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People stand outside of Comstock Hall to show their support of Aung San Suu Kyi.

McConnell Center hosts Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Sue Kyi

People stand outside of Comstock Hall to show their support of Aung San Suu Kyi.

By James El-Mallakh-

Aung San Suu Kyi, an activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, spoke to students and visitors Monday at the University of Louisville’s Comstock Hall. Suu Kyi has risen to prominence as an outspoken critic of the government in her country of Burma. The Burmese government has recently pursued pro-democratic measures, such as releasing political prisoners; Suu Kyi was one of those released from a 15 year long house arrest. Since then she has been elected to her country’s parliament and has been allowed to leave her country. She arrived in the U.S. last week for a 17-day visit, during which, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Metal while in Washington.

Suu Kyi thanked Senator Mitch McConnell and the audience for their support of her country’s democratic reforms and asked that the United States continue to support the reforms of the country. “It worries me a little that many may think there is no longer any need for them to make an effort to help along the democratization of Burma,” Suu Kyi said. “It is now that we need your support more than ever, your intelligent support because you need to be aware of what is going on in Burma.”

Suu Kyi spoke for nine minutes before she took questions for the rest of the hour.

In answering a question about sanctions on the government of Burma, Suu Kyi said the sanctions have been of great help but that it was time that they be lifted, “It is time that we of our country started taking responsibility for carrying on the process of democratization.” Last year Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Burma and said that as the Burmese government makes democratic progress, sanctions against the country will be lifted.

Among other topics, Suu Kyi answered questions about the media’s role in Burma, increasing access to basic education and the importance of non-violence when pursuing change. Suu Kyi was asked what our democracy could learn from the Burmese struggle for democracy. “I think what you can learn from us is that we are not as different from you as you think we are,” Suu Kyi said.

“To me what democracy means is the right balance between freedom and security… In the end when it comes down to it, I don’t think that there are any people in the world that would not say that they want security as well as freedom. Of course, how they define security and how they define freedom may be different.”
Photo: Ryan Considine/The Louisville Cardinal


Mandatory campus meal plans have some students questioning the value of meals

U of L provides more options for using flex points while requiring on-campus students to buy more meal swipes

By Tyler Mercer–

At the University of Louisville, every student is required to purchase a meal plan. Specifically, the U of L Dining Services webpage states, “Meal plans are mandatory for all campus residents, regardless of course load, and for all commuter students” who meet three requirements. Any commuter who has a full-time course load, 12 hours, attends nine of those hours on the Belknap campus and lives off campus must purchase a commuter meal plan.

Commuter student Megan Aldridge, a senior health and human performance major, said of mandatory meal plans, “I like the fact that I have some money on my meal card, especially when I forget to bring my debit cards or cash.”

For those like Megan, having a meal card is a comfort when rushing to school because  traffic becomes a problem. Students never have to worry about forgetting to get cash out when his or her meal card has money on it.

Students who live on campus need the meal plan to eat the majority of the meals they eat during the week. Lunch at The Ville Grill uses what is referred to as a “swipe” while picking up a meal from somewhere else on campus, for example food from the SAC, uses flex money.

The default meal plan for students in a residence hall without a personal kitchen; such as Community Park, Threkheld or Miller Hall; is from the $1,460 tier and it comes with 110 meals and $610 flex points for each semester. Students living in halls with personal kitchens choose from the $930 tier. The default plan for this tier includes $930 Flex points and no meals. These plans can be upgraded, however, to add more flex points and/or meals.

However, there are those who find that they are forced to get more swipes than they use. Swipes can only be used at The Ville Grille and, with such a limited amount of places to use them, many go to waste. These meal swipes do not roll over to the next semester – when classes end, they disappear. Many students find themselves selling or giving away swipes to friends in order to use them before it’s too late.

With all the flex options on campus, some students need more flex than previously believed. Mallory Niemer, a sophomore psychology major, says, “The meal plan is convenient. However, it could be improved if we were given more flex dollars and [fewer] meals, and if we are paying as much as we do, we should have more of a say in how we spend it.” The Nest, located on the ground floor of Louisville Hall, sells snacks, food to prepare meals and household items like soap;  it accepts flex dollars for payment.
Photo: Flickr/UniversityofLouisville


U of L remembers Anthony Flaherty

By Simon Isham–

This week, U of L and the world at-large mourned the loss of Anthony Xavier Flaherty, someone whom I can only describe as a remarkable young man. At just 19 years old, Anthony was following a pre-med track as a biology major, a member of St. Barnabas Parish, the Senate Clerk in SGA, and President of Campus Y.

When Anthony took his own life at his home on Sept. 12, it came as a shock to his family and all of his friends. Within an hour of hearing the tragic news, well-wishers began to fill his Facebook page with compassionate memorials to Anthony, as well as condolences directed towards his family. The following are a couple of the ways that he will be remembered here at U of L:

“Anthony was a kind and gentle person. He was the type of person that everyone dreamed of being: he could speak well and he served his community till he had nothing left to give. More than anything though, he loved with all of his heart and would do anything for the people in his life. That is what I will miss most about him–his tremendous ability to love.” –Carina Edlin, a friend and confidante of Anthony’s

“Anthony Flaherty exemplified much of what the Y seeks to develop in young people: he was unfailingly caring, respectful, and generous. He used his considerable talents as a thinker and speaker to be the voice of the voiceless. For Anthony, the Y was a place to give back, and in turn the Y gave him the platform to be himself—with all of the humble and quirky brilliance that entailed.”  –Peggy Hatter, Operations Administrator at the YMCA Youth Association.

Anthony was interred on Monday at St. Michael Cemetery. His family has asked that expressions of sympathy be donated to Kosair Children’s Hospital, where he was treated for and survived cancer at age nine. But that is not the only endowment in Anthony’s name. The Kentucky Y has set up a permanent fund called the Anthony Flaherty Scholarship, which will sponsor one disadvantaged high school student to attend each of the Y’s social leadership conferences. They hope that it will enable a student to find a home in the Y, just as Anthony did. The donation campaign is online at

There will be a public remembrance service for Anthony from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 in the Interfaith Center on campus.

Anthony will be remembered for his ability to love. He will be remembered for his willingness to listen. He will be remembered for his voice, his brilliance and his compassion. He will be remembered, always.

General David Petraeus speaks at the University of Louisville

Director General David Petraeus

By Michelle Eigenheer–

The challenges confronting our nation call out for leadership,” said Senator Mitch McConnell on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, “…there’s no disagreement, none whatsoever, that our speaker today, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, General David Petraeus, literally personifies leadership.”

Petraeus came to the University of Louisville to give a speech in Comstock Hall as part of the McConnell Center’s Distinguished Speakers Series. Past speakers have included Speaker of the House John Boehner, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The event was closed to the public. The audience included ROTC cadets, high school students and military members, including some of those serving in the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell.

Senator McConnell listed many achievements made by Petraeus, in addition to being the 20th Director of the CIA: a 37-year career in the U.S. Army, commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, service as 10th commander of the U.S. Central Command, service as commanding general of the multi-national force in Iraq, commander of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, KS, overseeing development of a new counterinsurgency field manual for the Army that was implemented in the Middle East, service as commander of the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, four-time recipient of the Defense Distinguished service Medal, three-time recipient of the Army Distinguished Service Medal and recipient of the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, among others.

Petraeus’s speech was centered on the concept of leadership and how to be an effective leader.

There are four steps to being an effective leader, Petraeus told the audience: determine the big idea, communicate the big idea every way possible throughout the organization, oversee the implementation of the big ideas and capture lessons from the implementation in order to revise, refine and start again.

Petraeus used his experience as a commander in Iraq to draw a picture:

“We could not expect to kill or capture our way to victory in Iraq…We determined that the decisive terrain was the human terrain, and we poured our energy, manpower and resources into securing and serving it… You see, not all of the insurgents in Iraq were hard-core extremists,” he said. “By meeting with the more moderate elements of the insurgency, we were able to make the case that working with us in the new Iraq would help build a better Iraq and they would be involved.”

Petraeus steered clear of politics, stating more than once that he is a non-partisan entity. His leadership advice, he said, could be used by anyone in virtually any situation, regardless of political views or affiliation. He talked little of his work at the CIA, focusing mainly on his time in the Middle East, adding anecdotes from Fort Leavenworth and Fort Campbell. More than once did he make a joke about the University of Kentucky, ending his speech with, “Good luck, Godspeed and go Cardinals.”

President Ramsey gives State of the University Address

Ramsey shares pride and frustration with U of L students and staff

By Simon Isham–

The State of the University Ceremony kicked off at 2:15 p.m. with a processional of faculty, dressed in academic regalia and escorted by the University Drum Corps. Their route led them along the side of the Red Barn, around the West Lawn, and past the Rauch Planetarium. When they reached the School of Music, where the speech was to be held, all faculty, staff and student observers passed through an aisle flanked by drummers and filed into Comstock Hall for President Ramsey’s address.

The first to take the stage was Dr. Joseph Steffen of the biology department, who gave a reflection on the life of university friend and benefactor Owsley Brown Frazier who passed away this August. Steffen also gave an introduction for Student Government Association President Justin Brandt, who in turn introduced Ramsey.

Ramsey opened his remarks by thanking the faculty for their attendance and hard work, calling the State of the University Week events, which had been underway since Sept. 7, “A Celebration of Faculty.” He then told his audience that the purpose of the State of the University Address is to encapsulate the events of the previous year with a wide lens, noting both trial and triumph.

The president proceeded to say that the State of the University Week is an important time to ponder the contributions that certain individuals have made to the university and to credit those people. To this end, he referenced the fact that two years ago, the university had used the State of the University Program as an opportunity to celebrate the building of the College of Education and Human Development in the names of Woodford and Harriet B. Porter, as well as the christening of the College of Business in the honor of the late alumnus Harry Frazier.

Ramsey addressed his audience once more, and stated that:

“Faculty [are] the heart and soul of the academy. It is you who define UofL, and you make us special among higher education institutions. And it is you, our faculty, who endured the greatest burden from budget cuts, and the costs it imposes to the classroom and research laboratories.”

He then asked the 2012 recipients of the President’s Distinguished Faculty Award to rise and be recognized.

Ramsey gave further recognition to Provost Shirley Willihnganz, whom he compared to a football head coach for her team, the faculty. He presented her with and read from a plaque commemorating her 10 years of service to the university as provost and vice president.

He then turned towards the past, enumerating the university’s achievements over the past year, highlighting U of L’s ranking as 12th in the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities Good Neighbors; ranking in the top 15 percent by the Carnegie Foundation; ranking in the top 15 percent as a military-friendly university; Arbor Day Tree Campus status; home to 8 Fullbright Scholarship winners; home to 25 total number of national scholarship winners; and Dr. Roberto Bolli’s spearheading of development on a four-university $9.56 million clinical cardio research grant.

Ramsey also listed the many cross-campus milestones that have been met, such as the 30th anniversary of the James Graham Brown Cancer Research Center; an addition to the College of Business which houses the Entrepreneurship and Equine programs; a record number of doctorate degrees awarded; the development of the Spinal Chord Injury program and of the Shelby Campus; a record ten Big East championship teams; the groundbreaking for a new student recreation center; a memorandum of agreement with the commanding officers at Fort Knox in an effort to expand educational opportunities for service men and women; and a partnership to help people in the poorest zip codes of America attain the dream of a college education.

The president also chose to address some of the many disappointments that came along with the past year, including rejection as a location for a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, failure to receive funding from the National Institutes of Health for a Clinical and Translational Research program and the disapproval of a co-asset merger of the University of Louisville Hospital with “partners who would help us include healthcare for the people of our state while generating academic support for our health sciences campus.”

Ramsey expressed his disappointment with another round of state budget cuts, adding that the cuts “were made more painful by the fact that Kentucky’s economy was growing—state revenues grew … 2012 [was] a year of continued loss of key faculty.”

Still in optimism for the future, Ramsey said that “We could say to our founders in 1798 that we were true to the course, true to the cause, true to the mission of being a center for advanced learning.” While he admitted his shock that the university had been unable to meet all of its goals—most especially cuts to financial aid, stagnation of the Cardinal Covenant program and a freeze on salary increases for faculty and staff—he also professed to be even more amazed at the achievements and hard work of the faculty, staff, and students at the university. “What you have done,” he said “can in spirit lift our community and state up in these difficult times.”

As an auxiliary to his previous statements, Ramsey told an anecdote about having traveled across the commonwealth to hear fourth grade students at J.B. Atkinson Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning give speeches about their college aspirations. The theme, he said, was resiliency. “It is for us to be like those students,” said Ramsey, “to be resilient in overcoming hardships and challenges.”

In return, he said, “We can pledge to you that we will never forget the people whose work it is to make this a great university. We pledge to you to do better, listening to you more intently than we have in the past, so that we do not forget the challenges that issue from problems that you face daily. We pledge to keep you better informed and engaged in the budget process. We pledge to you that as a campus we will come together as one to initiate discussion as we assess the future of the university. … I am absolutely convinced that the best days of the University of Louisville are yet ahead. Our best days are ahead of us because you are … the University of Louisville.”
Photo: Andy Carter/The Louisville Cardinal

libya map

US ambassador killed in Libya

Violence breaks out across the world as anti-American sentiments spread among Muslims

By Genevieve Mills–

In the midst of riots in Libya and throughout the Middle East, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, was killed along with three other Americans, his staff members, at the Benghazi consulate. These riots are said to have been a response to a film trailer for “The Innocence of Muslims”, a film that mocks Islam and the prophet Mohammed. The film was made by an American filmmaker, who has since been questioned by authorities, but not arrested. While the U.S. government has denounced the video, Muslim protestors throughout the Middle East have attacked various American establishments, from embassies to fast food restaurants.

It is under debate whether or not the attack on the American ambassador was a spontaneous part of the riots or a carefully planned attack on the anniversary of Sept. 11th. The Libyan government says the attack was planned. Libya’s Interim President Mohammed el-Megarif said, “It was planned, definitely. It was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago. And they were planning this criminal act since their arrival.”

There have been over 50 arrests made by Libyan officials in relation to the attack but Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., disagrees with el-Megarif’s statement.
Rice claims there is no evidence of a planned attack and that the riots in Benghazi, Libya were similar to the ones in Cairo, Egypt. Of the attack on the ambassador, she said of that the original protest against the film, “Seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons.” These weapons include guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

The U.S. and Libya are working together to catch those responsible for the death of the ambassador, but questions are being asked of both nations, such as why there wasn’t more military protection at the embassy. Some ask why more marines weren’t stationed to protect in Benghazi, and questions regarding what the marines were armed with have arised. Actions are currently being taken by both governments to protect Americans in Libya, as well as to prosecute the attackers.

President Obama has spoken of the attack, condemning the violence of it, and saying that the U.S. will, “work with the Libyan government to bring the killers to justice.”

“There is absolutely no justification for this senseless violence. None,” he said. “[The attack] will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.”

This attack is one of many made on American and European embassies since Tuesday. There have been protests to the film in over 20 countries.


CEO Leaves the Speed Museum

By Elijah McKenzie–

In August, the Speed Art Museum announced that after five years of service, Charles Venable will be leaving his position as CEO to take a job with the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Venable’s last day at the Speed will coincide with the Final Viewing Day on Sept. 23, when the museum will open its doors to the public one last time before its temporary closure.

The Louisville landmark is scheduled to undergo a three-year-long expansion that will create an outdoor art park and piazza, as well as an entirely new north building to house modern and contemporary art and temporary exhibitions.

“I am very proud of all of our collective accomplishments and will continue to be a great champion of the Speed as it embarks on its exciting future,” Venable said in a press release.

Lisa Resnik, David Knopf and Scott Erbes have been appointed as Co-Interim Directors by the Museum Board of Trustees to direct and implement strategies of expansion in Venable’s stead.

Resnik, who joined the Speed in 2007, is the current Chief Operating Officer of the museum and will serve as chairwoman of the leadership team.
Knopf became the Speed’s business manager in 1984 and was made the Chief Financial Officer in 2002.

An employee of the museum since 1999, Erbes presently serves as the Curator of Decorative Arts and Design.

Meanwhile, Todd Lowe, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Speed Art Museum, has chartered a search committee to begin looking for a new CEO.
“While there is never a good time for as talented a leader as Charles to depart, due to his work on the master plan for the Museum and his fundraising leadership, the Speed is in an excellent position to enhance its institutional reinvigoration and expansion,” Lowe said in a press release.

According to Greg Gardiner, Director of Operations and Expansion, Venable’s departure shouldn’t have an effect on current plans for expansion and renovation.

“The expansion plan is moving forward as envisioned,” said Gardiner. “The design vision of the improvements to the museum are well planned and supported by the Board and staff, and will continued to be refined and implemented over the next few years.”

Under Venable’s leadership, the Speed has raised nearly 95% of its $50 million goal for the upcoming 200,000-square foot expansion. According to Kirsten Popp, Communications Manager at the Speed Art Museum, the remaining 5% of the funds are expected to come from private donations and community members.

“This project has been in the works for 15 years, but Venable was brought on to execute and fundraise for the project,” said Popp. “We’re now in the phase where we’re picking out the tile for the floors – just focusing on the little stuff. We’re in a position where we’re ready to move forward.”
Popp added that the new restaurants and cafes that are expected to open in the north building might potentially be outfitted to accept Cardinal Cash.
“I anticipate there to be conversations about that,” Popp said. “We want to make it as easy as possible for students to come into the museum and take advantage of all it has to offer.”

Though the museum space will be inaccessible over the next three years, the Speed has announced a concert series, scheduled to begin Sept 30 and end Feb 17. Performances from musicians such as Stephanie Blythe, Warren Jones and Conrad Tao are expected.

For more information about the Speed Art Museum expansion and the 2012-2013 concert series, visit


Memorial services for Anthony Flaherty

Anthony Flaherty’s funeral Mass will be held 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 17, 2012 at St. Barnabas Catholic Church, 3042 Hikes Lane, with the burial at St. Michael Cemetery. Visitation will be on Saturday and Sunday from 2 – 8 p.m. at Ratterman & Sons, 3800 Bardstown Road, where a prayer vigil will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Interfaith Center will also hold a memorial service for Flaherty on Sept. 22 at 2 p.m.
Photo: Flickr/The Pink Princess


U of L and MSD attempt to control campus flooding

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

No matter what season it is, students at U of L are accustomed to the alert that warns of “flooding.” The university has made the prevention of flooding a priority since the flood in 2009 that cost $20 million to repair.

With the threat of Hurricane Isaac last week, rain was on the mind of campus. This threat is such a typical occurrence that university officials have taken steps to prevent flooding.

Metropolitan Sewer District, MSD, has given the university an incentive to prevent flooding. Larry Owsley, vice president of business affairs for the university, said, “They will give us two dollars per square foot of every hard surface that we keep out of the sewer system.” This incentive means that “if you can keep water out of the sewer system, it won’t cause the flooding,” said Owsley.

Since the collaborative program with MSD began two years ago, the university has “done roughly $9.9 million of those projects,” said Owsley. And that money has been going back to the university to support efforts making improvements since the 2009 flood.

Mark Hebert, director of media relations for the university, said of the 2009 flood, “It was unbelievable.” In the time of an hour and a half 8.5 inches of rain fell on campus. MSD said of the situation in 2009, the “drainage system was overwhelmed with rainfall intensities.”

In 2009 the damage to U of L was extensive. “The total damage took us a little over a year to repair,” said Owsley, “it was 20 million dollars” of damage to repair. Of the cost of repairs, $18.5 million was from damage to buildings and $1.5 million was from damage to the contents of buildings.

After the broad damage from the 2009 flood, the university has taken preventative measures totaling “$800,000 worth of work over a year and a half period of time,” said Owsley.

The most recent intensive rainfall in May 2012 poured 3.25 inches of rain on campus within an hour. Hebert said, “Some of the measures we had taken after the 2009 flood appeared to work because we didn’t have as much damage. I think it’s fair to say that it was money well spent.”

Owsley said, “We’re spending the money we get from MSD to make these improvements. It’s not taking away from the educational programs.”

The flash flood in May of this year did less damage than that of 2009. The university “had $170,000 worth of damage to Houchens and Chemistry at that time,” said Owsley.

As hurricane Isaac headed for Louisville on the day of the football season opener against UK, fans were encouraged to keep alternate parking in mind due to flooding. With the risk of flooding almost every season, Owsley said, “We will continue to work on as many areas of campus as we can.”
Photo: Flickr/UniversityofLouisville


Board of Trustees meets again for hospital merger negotiations

By James El-Mallakh–

The University of Louisville board of trustees held a closed-door meeting to discuss the ongoing negotiations with potential partners to merge with University Hospital. The board members were given “information associated with the selection of a partner for the University of Louisville and University Medical Center,” said Gary Mans, a spokesperson for U of L.

There are several potential merger partners the university is in negotiations with, according to an article on the university’s news website, U of L Today. No final decisions were made at the meeting.

The university has not disclosed what potential partners the university is negotiating with. Mans said, “State Procurement rules prevent me from providing any detail.”

The rules that Mans is citing are the rules according to the Request for Proposal process. Kentucky law prevents the negotiating parties from revealing their identities or how many negotiating parties are involved.

The meeting that took place on Sept. 5 is the second closed-door meeting that the U of L board has had in two weeks to discuss the negotiations regarding potential merger partners. The previous meeting was held on Aug. 30.

The expected date for a final decision on University Hospital’s merger partner is Sept. 28. However, that deadline is flexible and can be pushed back.

Dr. David Dunn, the executive vice president for health affairs, said that a partner is needed for University hospital to assist in terms of finance and operations.

The university began accepting proposals from merger partners in February. University Hospital was expected to merge with Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System in December but that deal was rejected by Gov. Steve Beshear. In a press release, the governor stated his concerns were “the influence of a religious entity on a publicly-owned institution, especially regarding reproductive issues” and “the loss of control of a public asset.” Beshear’s approval will also be necessary for a future merger.

No other items of discussion were on the agenda for the board’s meeting. The next board meeting will be held on Sept. 13.
Photo: Nathan Gardner/The Louisville Cardinal