Category Archives: News

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U of L offers new Latin American and latino studies major

The Latin American and Latino Studies program educated students attending the RSO Fair.

By Nathan Douglas–

As of this academic school year, students have the option to major in Latin American and Latino Studies, a new program in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Rhonda Buchanan, the director of the LALS program, along with the members of the LALS steering committee, have been preparing a Bachelor of Arts degree for LALS. The board of trustees approved the degree this July.

The program was designed to pair well with another major, enabling students to broaden their horizons with ease. “It’s an interdisciplinary degree,” said Buchanan, who encourages students to obtain an additional major or minor. The core program is 36 hours and includes many classes that will overlap with most of the majors in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The new LALS major seeks to “examine the historical, social, economic and political structures of the Caribbean, and Central and South America as well as areas of study concerning Latinos in the United States, such as immigration, equality, social justice, multiculturalism, identity and culture.” The new B.A. degree will join the existing minor among other programs, which have been earned by many students since the program’s debut.

As a part of the LALS program, internships are available for students. Matt Smith, a student in the LALS program, has used his knowledge gained through the LALS courses to better understand the Latino presence in Louisville. He is spending this semester volunteering at the Kentucky Racing Health Services Clinic, which treats Latinos working with horses who do not have healthcare. “My experiences at the clinic have helped me understand in a real world context some of the issues facing healthcare in our community for both patients and physicians,” said Smith.

There are also several study abroad opportunities in the program, giving students the ability to earn credit hours while traveling in a foreign country. The Panama Scholar’s program, for example, is in its 11th year and has seen many students.

Those wishing to know more about the LALS program can find more information on the U of L website or from Dr. Rhonda Buchanan, the program director.
Photo: Rae Hodge/The Louisville Cardinal

9th dangerous university

U of L ranked 9th most ‘crime-rattled’ campus in the US


Blue light stations around campus are meant for convenient emergency communication.

By Michelle Eigenheer–

Newsweek magazine’s website, The Daily Beast, released a report this summer of the “25 Most Crime-Rattled Colleges,” which listed the University of Louisville as No. 9.

The study was done using the college crime data that is available through the U.S. Department of Education. In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Act, universities are required to track and submit publicly available crime statistics of reported incidents.

Newsweek looked at four-year nonprofit private colleges and four-year public colleges with more than 6,000 total students. From there, it analyzed the numbers of murders, negligent murders, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, car thefts and arson cases between 2008 and 2010. These crimes were analyzed on a scale based on the idea that not all crimes hold the same weight. Murder, for instance, is weighted 20 times more than burglary. These statistics were then put up against the total enrollment to come up with a percapita ratio. These numbers were used to rank the colleges from 1 to 25.

According to The Daily Beast, U of L reported two murders, 47 robberies, 53 aggravated assaults, 124 burglaries, 62 car thefts and six cases of arson between 2008 and 2010.

The University of Alabama, Huntsville ranked most crime-rattled in the U.S. Other schools on the list include, Yale University, Harvard University, Mississippi State University, University of California in Santa Barbara and Duke University.

“I’m surprised. I guess because I haven’t been exposed to it yet, as a freshman,” said Alyssa Gillenwater, a freshman pre-engineering student, “I feel safe when I walk around U of L, but I guess I wouldn’t expect that much crime to be happening.”

University officials have attributed U of L’s ranking to the death of two young children by a reckless driver, a few years ago.

As of Sept. 1, 2012, the U of L Department of Public Safety has reported 49 incidents in its online crime log since the semester started on August 20. These range from driving under the influence, to stolen property, to criminal mischief and terroristic threatening.

Newsweek’s Top Ten:

10. California State University, Bakersfield
9. University of Louisville
8. University of Connecticut
7. Tennessee State University
6. Morgan State University
5. University of Central Arkansas
4. Northern Illinois University
3. University of San Francisco
2. Johnson & Whales University, Providence
1. University of Alabama, Huntsville
Graphic by Kassie Roberts/The Louisville Cardinal


U of L parking overflow causes problems at The Province

Very few parking spots can be found a The Province since the implementation of the overflow lot.

By Tyler Mercer–

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2013, the University of Louisville’s new student recreation center has begun construction. This construction has directly affected residents of both University of Louisville Properties housing and those of the Province. Students, who would normally have parked in the lot next to Kurz Hall, are now being forced to park in a new student parking lot that was opened this semester at the Province.

Students must now use the Province’s bridge to access their vehicles and because of this, safety has become a concern for both sets of residents. Amanda Puckett, a freshman psychology major at the University of Louisville, said, “I always feel a little bit weary when I have to walk over to my car. I would think that a lot of students feel that way. In the back of their minds, I’m sure there is some worry that something will happen to them or maybe even their car if it’s parked off campus.”

A representative from the University of Louisville housing department reported that there are blue lights stationed in the new lot along with a security guard near the pedestrian bridge and walking security guards in the parking lot itself.

With this increase in foot and vehicle traffic, residents of the Province are noticing more activity in their own neighborhood. Commuter students, who normally would have to park a good distance from campus, have started to use the Province’s parking lot because it is not patrolled.

“No one checks these lots for passes so students can park here for free without fear of a parking ticket,” said Jessica Bartlett, a resident at the Province, “I don’t feel safe when I have to park a building or two away at night when the lot at my building is full, and I have to struggle back to my apartment with my backpack and groceries.”

Bartlett also voiced concerns about her personal safety at the Province. “Someone was robbed at gunpoint in my good friend’s building. I know these things can happen regardless of the new parking, but with the new lot there are more people in and around the complex.”

Students from U of L, who now park at the Province, should keep this information in mind when deciding when they travel to their vehicles and what exactly they feel safe leaving inside them.

“I probably wouldn’t walk around alone at night,” says Grace Thoeny, a resident at the Province, “but I wouldn’t do that anywhere in Louisville.”

The safety of everyone involved is very important. For questions about safety while living here at U of L, contact University Police at (502) 852-6111. In the case of an emergency, call 911.
Photo: Rae Hodge/The Louisville Cardinal

reddit logo 2

President Obama takes questions on Reddit AMA, talks internet freedom

By Rae Hodge–

In an unexpected use of social media, President Obama made an unprecedented appearance on at 4:30 p.m. on August 29 to answer questions from the public in a Reddit AMA.

Obama responded to a number of Reddit users on a wide variety of current campaign issues and policy questions. Particular to the appearance itself, Reddit users expressed concern over legislation concerning Internet Freedom and access to the internet.

“We know how Republicans feel abut protecting Internet Freedom,” asked one user, “Is Internet Freedom an issue you’d push to add to the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform?”

Obama responded “Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody – from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although their will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won’t stray from that principle – and it will be reflected in the platform.”

The Louisville Cardinal will continue to cover this story as more information becomes available.


In the news: What you missed while you were in class

Shooting occurs at Empire State Building

A shooting outside the Empire State Building August 24th resulted in two deaths, including that of gunman Jeff Johnson. Eight others were injured by what New York Mayor Bloomberg has stated was a workplace related shooting.

Neil Armstrong dies at age 82

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died August 25th at age 82. The United States icon died of complications from a recent surgery from heart bypass surgery earlier this month.

Lance Armstrong may lose Tour de France titles

Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France winner, has been accused of doping by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for many years. Now, Armstrong is giving up the fight, calling it an “unconstitutional witch hunt.” As Armstrong walks away from the case brought against him, he may also be walking away from his titles.

Hurricane Isaac approaches

Hurricane Isaac, expected to intensify to a category 3 or higher, may affect the Republican National Convention being held on August 27-30, in Tampa. Warnings have been issued from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.


Residents move into new Rustin Community

By Noor Yussuf

University Tower Apartments, UTA, now houses a new living learning community with a social justice theme named after the civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.

This year the 8th floor of UTA houses students who are interested in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) issues as well as other social justice programs, “We are a social justice themed housing that provides a safe, affirming environment for students of all identities,” said Molly Eames, a senior at the University of Louisville, who is the resident assistant of the community.

The floor is named after Bayard Rustin, a famous civil rights activist who is one of the organizers of the march on Washington, and also marched with Dr. Martin Luther King and other prominent civil rights activists. Rustin, himself, was a gay man who faced many challenges. However Brian Buford, the director of the LGBT office, hopes Rustin’s role in social justice issues will inspire students, “he is, in my mind, the embodiment of everything we hope students will learn about social justice, and he’s the inspiration that we will build things on,” Buford said.

While the program is mainly concerned on LGBT issues, it is open to all other students who have interest in all social justice issues, “We love allies and it’s not just queer-focused at all, we talk about myriad issues in the social justice realm, we have something to offer everyone,” said Eames.

Jana Hockersmith, a freshman, who graduated from Eastern High School is among the residents who live at the Rustin community. She also believes that this will help her transition to college, “I think this community will really help me become more active on campus and make my transition from high school to college much easier.”

Though the Rustin community has been operating now for only two weeks, Hockersmith already enjoys the program, “I have made a lot of friends quickly, and our resident assistant has been nothing, but supportive, and she is really a big part of what makes living here so great,” she said.

Although this is the first year the social justice themed housing is started, Jacob Jones, a sophomore majoring in Justice Administration, hoped that this community was there during his freshman year, “I was so terrified of being placed with a random roommate when applying for housing, but knowing that my potential roommate had similar interests as I do and a fair-minded sense of being would have made me feel a lot more comfortable when making the transition,” Jones said.

While there’s another living learning community for those interested in Leadership at Center Hall, programs like these boost students’ academic performance, “we know that participation in a community like this one has been linked to academic success, retention and an overall sense of connection to campus life,” Buford said.

The program is created through a collaboration between the office of LGBT and the University of Louisville Housing and Residence Life, “My office will lead the programmatic aspects of the community, and the residence life folks will handle all the other important aspects of housing,” Buford said.

Among the major programs the group is looking forward to will be held on October 4th, during Pride Week celebrations. They have invited Rustin’s surviving partner Walter Naegle and national activist Mandy Carter to lead a celebration.
Photo: Nathan Douglas/The Louisville Cardinal

Gun Culture-1

Campus shootings create unease among U of L students

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

Friday, August 24, at least 10 people were shot and two confirmed dead in a shooting outside of the Empire State Building. This incident, along with the Aurora, Colorado shooting and Sikh temple shooting, has dominated headlines and motivated some to ask about the affects of gun culture on college campuses.

Since the beginning of August, the University of Louisville Department of Public Safety has reported over 76 crime reports on or near U of L’s campus. Although students living in U of L’s metro area are accustomed to the sound of sirens, students are not accustomed to the appearance of guns. “It would make me feel uneasy,” said Jessica Portale of guns on campus.

Recently, students attending Texas A&M University heard the sounds of multiple gunshots in a residential area just south of the university campus. The shooting resulted in three deaths, including a constable.

Kellie Haggerty, junior equine administration major, said that the crime, “Comes with living in the city,” but, “I would rather not have guns on campus.”

Potale, a senior psychology major, said, “You just associate school and guns as a bad combination.” One of these examples of bad combination” occurred in 2007 when a college student committed the worst mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history.

When Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people on Virginia Tech’s campus before killing himself in April 2007, college campuses throughout the country were motivated to revamp their policies and response procedures.

According to the Michael Minger Act Report for 2010, U of L created an “Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response Working Group.” The day after the Virginia Tech shooting the group began and continues to meet monthly.

The 2010 report also includes a program on campus safety and security, Active Shooter DVD Training Program, for campus police, students and university employees. The report said, “due to the increase of shootings on campuses in America, DPS launched a program that provides guidance for surviving an active shooter situation through prevention and reaction.”

DPS has also launched a U of L CardSafety App for iPhone and Android. This app includes a feature that tells the user what to do in the case of certain emergencies. For an active shooter, students, faculty and staff are advised, “If you are near an exterior exit, try to escape the building. If you are in a room with a door, immediately close door, lock it or use heavy furniture to block the door.” The app continues to advise users to, “Stay out of view. Turn off the lights. Get behind heavy furniture.” CardSafety also has guidelines for how to react in other emergencies.

When the shooting at Texas A&M occurred in close proximity to campus, the university issued a Code Maroon, the university’s emergency notification system, telling people to avoid the area because of an “active shooter” report. Fifteen minutes later, another Code Maroon was posted to the university website indicating the suspect was “in custody.”

UofL implements the Rave Alert Aystem to alert students, faculty and staff of emergency situations. According to the 2010 report, over 12,894 individuals are currently registered for the Rave Alerts. To sign up for Rave Alerts, go to
Graphic by Kassie Roberts/The Louisville Cardinal

University of Louisville student dies in vehicular accident

By Rae Hodge–

U of L junior Jordan Murphy, 20, was struck by a vehicle while walking on the interstate and died early Saturday morning. Police responded to the scene at 1:30 a.m.

Murphy, a business major, was struck by a Mercedes while walking on an on ramp to I-65 and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Police spokesperson, Alicia Smiley, said that it was unclear as to why Murphy was walking onto the interstate. However, unverified student sources have said that Murphy had attended a party that night and refused rides home.

The Kappa Zeta chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha, sponsor of The Fourth Annual Trash Bash, has a history of providing safe transportation options for attendees, including busing and ride-share programs.

“Pi Kappa Alpha takes safety seriously. Free bus transportation was provided to and from campus for our guests,” said fraternity president David Osborne in an e-mail to The Louisville Cardinal, “Guests were carded and wrist banded, and LMPD officers were hired as security for the event.”

This is the second vehicular incident this week in connection with U of L. On Monday, a man was hit by a car on Brook Street and attempted to flee the scene but was arrested after charging a police vehicle.

“We are deeply saddened by Jordan’s death,” said Osborne, “While he was no longer a member of Pi Kappa Alpha, many of us were still friends with him and cared about him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Charges will not be brought against the driver.

Provost office to contract efficiency corporation to cut costs

By Rae Hodge–

In response to the statewide 6.4 percent budget cut to higher education, the University of Louisville has developed an Efficiency Subgroup, made up of university faculty and staff, whose goal is to work with Scott Nostaja, CEO of efficiency corporation Excell Core.

Dr. Tracy Eells, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, announced at U of L’s July 11 Faculty Senate meeting that “a draft report has been submitted to the Provost,” and that the Provost’s office “is planning to offer a personal services contract to Scott Nostaja to implement some or all of his recommendations.”

Eells says that the Provost will soon supply more details on what that group is recommending, although Eells offered that some of the questions raised in an attempt to find cost-saving measures were “Would it make sense to contract as a single vendor for office supplies? And are there ways the administration can be restructured?”

Senate Faculty Chair Robert Staat said that the Efficiency Subgroup will be made up of the following persons: Ann Coffey, Precilla Hancock, Neville Pinto, Enid Hines, David Martin, Maurice Snook, Ann Rademaker, Mike Martis and David James.

Excell Core has worked with multiple universities and private entities in the past with the purpose of finding ways to cut costs, with mixed results. At University at Buffalo Nostaja operated a similar company under the name AVCOR. UB campus newspaper, The Spectator, reported that some faculty were wary of AVCOR and the firm’s history, along with what they claimed was a level of secrecy around the firm’s role.

In 2005, the UB Foundation, an entity similar in operation to the U of L Foundation, employed Nostaja and AVCOR to consult on the “UB2020” planning process. Although the University at Buffalo was attempting to hire a consulting firm, the position was not open to multiple bidders, and UB would not disclose the financial terms of the consultation contract.

In 2010, after the retirement of John Simpson, Nostaja was appointed interim UB President in a heavily contested process and eventually withdrew his name.

Eells says that a draft report of recommended cuts has been submitted to the Provost for consideration, but The Louisville Cardinal was unable to obtain a copy of this report. The Office of the Provost has not responded to questions from The Louisville Cardinal regarding U of L’s relationship with Excell Core.

pal coalition

PAL Coalition meets to stop underage drinking

Strader speaking to the audience gathered at the First Gethsemane Baptist Church on Algonquin Parkway. Strader says that what works in preventing underage drinking is,”what we’re doing tonight… you here with your children is an absolutely positve thing.”

By James El-Mallakh–

A coalition of several local area drug prevention groups met at an open community forum to discuss problems and prevention methods regarding underage drinking.

The local groups, under the title of the PAL Coalition, met in the First Gethsemane Baptist Church Development Center last Thursday.

The event featured two key speakers. The discussion focused on statistics about underage alcohol abuse and methods that can be used by parents to help diminish the possibility of their children drinking while underage.

“Alcohol dependence is highest among one age group in America,” said speaker Ted Strader, a substance abuse counselor, “18 to 20 year-olds going to college.”

As the Executive Director at the Council on Prevention and Education: Substances, Strader was equipped with multiple statistics regarding underage drinking.

“40 percent of college students abuse alcohol… regularly,” said Strader. “Half of them are likely to have bad outcomes in their lifetime.”

Because college students are a high-risk age group, one of the members of the PAL Coalition is the BRICC group, which is housed at the University of Louisville. An on-campus drug prevention program, the Building Resiliency in the Campus Community group, focuses on increasing resilience towards substance abuse on campus.

The Brown-Foreman group and Beam Inc., are in a combined effort to combat alcohol abuse in college students. In early August, the two groups announced they will donate $600,000 to U of L and the University of Kentucky to be used on alcohol education programs at both schools. The two groups, since 2008, have given both universities a total of $1 million dollars to educate students about the danger of underage drinking.

Heather Parrino, the BRICC Coalition Coordinator, made a distinction between effective and ineffective methods of preventing drug abuse. BRICC uses a nationally recognized system of tiers of effectiveness. The effective education and prevention methods are the first tier and ineffective ones are the fourth tier.

“We only choose to implement things that actually work,” said Parrino. “We don’t do red ribbon weeks; we don’t do car-wrecks on campus, where they have students dressed up with blood; and we don’t sponsor speakers.”

Two of the methods BRICC uses to curb underage drinking are challenging students’ expectations about alcohol and training students for intervention procedures.

After the speeches, the floor was opened to discussions and questions from the audience.

Despite Strader’s emphasis on the impact of underage drinking on college students, the meeting took place away from U of L’s campus and contained very few college students in the audience. The location for the event was originally meant to take place in a venue closer to U of L but had to be relocated due to a scheduling conflict.

A 2012 survey conducted by Michigan State University asked adults what their concerns were regarding children’s health. The survey revealed that obesity, stress and lack of exercise were of greater concern to adults than alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse came in eighth place overall.

To explain why alcohol abuse is less of a concern than other issues, Strader said, “parents respond to what they’re made aware of in the media.”

“[Alcohol abuse] hasn’t been a hot media topic.”

The PAL Coalition is funded in part by a federal grant given by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, or SAMSHA.
Photo: James El-Mallakh/The Louisville Cardinal