Tag Archives: Caitlyn Crenshaw

timthumb

The Do’s and Dont’s of Recruitment

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–timthumb

One of the many questions facing incoming and returning women as the summer nears its end is have you thought about going through sorority recruitment?  Some girls may jump in ready to start out on a new experience either for the first time in college or for something new as a returning student.  Whether you are an incoming freshmen or a returning student, knowing what to expect throughout the week of sorority recruitment will help to ease your nerves and be confident in whatever happens on bid day.

Before I give you advice on what to expect throughout the week of panhellenic recruitment, I want you to know why I encourage everyone to think about signing up for sorority recruitment.  One of the best decisions that I made coming into U of L was to sign up for sorority recruitment.  To those of you who are uncertain, I encourage you to take a chance and just maybe, you will not only open yourself up to many opportunities during your college career, but also discover the meaning of best friends and sisterhood.

The four days of recruitment are divided into themes for each day: finance night, philanthropy night, skit night and preference night.  On the first day, finance night, expect to meet a lot of people very quickly.  Don’t be intimidated by the conversations, because chances are the sorority women you are talking to are nervous as well.  Philanthropy night is centered on each house’s individual philanthropy, which is at the heart of the entire greek community.  On skit night, each house will put on a short skit showing the personality of their chapter and what they are truly all about.  Don’t be afraid to get into it and have fun.

On preference night, you will find a different atmosphere than the rest of the week.  This night is where each house gives you a glimpse of their sisterhood and why they want you to be a part of it.  You will hear girls say how they have found a home in their chapter.  When they say this to you, they are not reciting from a script.  They sincerely have found a home in the friendship of their sisters and the community of greek life.

Listen to your Gammi Chis. These girls are your recruitment counselors throughout the week and will be with you every step of the way.  You can talk to them about anything and about every house.  They will give unbiased advice.  They took this position because they want to help you have fun, feel comfortable, and find a chapter that you can call home.

It doesn’t matter what letters these girls belong to on bid day because they all have something in common: they are there for you throughout the process of recruitment.

When you sign up for recruitment, there will be guidelines on what you should wear each day.  For example, black, cocktail dresses for preference night are encouraged.  Follow the guidelines, but do not be afraid to be unique and show your personal style.

Exude confidence and stand out. With so many girls going through recruitment, it can be hard for the women inside to remember everyone’s name and something special about them.  It is up to you to make yourself memorable and make the women on the inside want to get to know you more personally.  It is important to be yourself, so that when you have that memorable conversation at one of the houses, it is a real connection with the women of that chapter.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how many you have to ask.  It’s understandable to be curious or confused.  Ask the women you are talking to questions such as, “What made you want to go greek?” and “What would you ask in recruitment if you could do it again?”  The more questions you ask the more at ease you will feel at a house.  The women on the inside will be completely honest with you and want you to end up at the right house for you.

Like so many of you, I did not know what to expect throughout the week of panhellenic sorority recruitment.  The best advice is to be flexible and embrace the uncertainty of each day.  Inevitably, a schedule will be lost or incorrect, but it will work out.  Going into each day with an open mind about each of the sorority houses will only make each day fun and help calm your nerves.

When you start to feel overwhelmed or that maybe sorority recruitment was a bad idea, don’t give up just yet.  At the time of recruitment, you may not see the meaning to the madness, but I promise you, one day you will see it.  And on that day, you will happy you stayed throughout the week.
The best advice that someone gave me was to imagine yourself in sweatpants watching a fun movie cuddled up on the couch of the sorority house with the girls you are talking to throughout the week.  Wherever you end up on bid day, know that the girls wearing the letters that are soon to be yours as well saw the qualities in you that they value and embody.  They are genuinely excited and thrilled when you come running with your bid.  This bid card is the end of recruitment, but it is only the beginning of your life as part of a sisterhood.

features@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo by Andrew Nathan/The Louisville Cardinal

The new student rec center is scheduled to open in fall 2013. It is expected to host 4,000 users per day, many of whom will be students in physical education classes.

New recreation center promises to revolutionize campus fitness

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

The new student rec center is scheduled to open in fall 2013. It is expected to host 4,000 users per day, many of whom will be students in physical education classes.

The new student rec center is scheduled to open in fall 2013. It is expected to host 4,000 users per day, many of whom will be students in physical education classes.

U of L campus is changing and the construction dust will soon be wiped away from the new student recreation center.  Since construction began on the 128,000-square foot facility in May 2011, the anticipation for its opening has only grown, and will continue to grow as the facility is expected to transform campus culture.

In a tour of the new recreation center facing fourth street, Dale Ramsay, the director of intramurals and special programs,  gave The Louisville Cardinal an inside peak at what the U of L campus will experience when it opens in the fall. Walking into the enormous structure of steel, students will be immediately met with the open space that carries throughout the building.

Ramsay gave The Cardinal a tour of many amenities under construction and expected to open in late October: an indoor soccer field, four racquetball courts, an indoor track, three fitness rooms, a game room, six basketball courts, weight rooms and a café.

The café, named Zesty Bistro, will be managed by Sodexo and provide healthy options for students.

“The idea for a first-class, state-of-the-art-student recreation center began in 2009, by representatives the SGA senate (sic).  The students in SGA, who toured facilities around the country of other universities and proposed the plan for the new rec center to the president and Board of Trustees, have created a legacy that will impact the quality of campus life for the next generation of U of L students,” said Ramsay.

The construction, operation, management and equipment of the recreation center, costing $38 million, is made possible through a student recreation fee of $98 to all students.  In 2011 the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the student recreation fee that was proposed by the SGA.

Ramsay said of the recreation center, “This is a great example of their voice being heard.”  The voice of students was heard, and campus culture will never the same because of it.

The rec center is located within two blocks of six residence halls.  Michael Mardis, Dean of Students, said “It will provide a dynamic and vibrant place for students to gather and socialize near their residence halls.  We have created a student neighborhood.”

The opportunites for students are expanding with the recreation center.  Ramsay said, “It’s going to give our students a place to work out, to connect to campus, to socialize, to engage. This is going to be something for the regular student.”
Sydney Daub, freshman psychology major, said, “I’m excited for it to open so I can use it.”

Ramsay, who has worked at U of L for 33 years, said, “I was here when the student activities center opened.  It’s the same thing.  The SAC transformed campus life back then, and this is going to do the same thing.”

This transformation of campus life is much anticipated throughout the university.  Daub said, “It just shows how the university is improving and growing.”

The hope is that the growth in new facilities will bring growth to other areas of the university.  Ramsay said, “We know the sooner we get (students) engaged, the more they’re engaged, the more likely they are to be retained and to graduate.  We want to graduate more students and the rec center will help us to do just that.”

The rec center is anticipated to accommodate about 4,000 users a day.  Daub said that with the opening of the new student recreation center, she can see campus life changing as “more people will want to stay on campus, instead of going home or off campus.”

With the additional space opened up to student groups and RSOs in the new rec center, Daub said, “I think that it’ll draw more people.”

Ramsay said, “It’s something (students) should be extremely proud of because this was their idea. It should empower students to know that their voice is heard.” And with the call of student voices on campus comes the change of campus culture as it was before the construction and opening of the student recreation center.

news@louisville.edu
Photo courtesy of louisville.edu

UNBREAKABLE

Unbreakable: Louisville’s Inspired 2013 Championship Run

In celebration of the University of Louisville’s NCAA Championship victory over the University of Michigan, The Louisville Cardinal, the independent student newspaper, is proud to announce the publication of “Unbreakable: Louisville’s Inspired 2013 Championship Run,” an instant book released by Triumph Books.

The 128-page full-color book, available on April 15, is packed with Louisville Cardinal stories and dramatic photos from throughout Louisville’s historic season, including the Cardinals’ inspiring NCAA tournament run!

The softcover book includes profiles of head coach Rick Pitino, Russ Smith, Peyton Siva, Gorgui Dieng, Luke Hancock and other Louisville stars. Plus, there is a bonus section on the Louisville women’s run to the Final Four.

“The staff of the Louisville Cardinal rose to the occasion to produce an instant championship book,” said Mickey Meece, the adviser. “The photography and features and profiles capture the spirit of the team and the jubilation of Card Nation.”

Relive the heart-stopping moments and unforgettable accomplishments of a team that won America’s heart. Enjoy the work of student journalists, with an introduction by Louisville’s renowned sports journalist Billy Reed.

About the book: Full-color glossy, softcover, 8.5 x 11 inches, and 128 full-color pages

Pricing
Only $14.95, plus $6 shipping and handling
Add $1 S&H for each additional book.

How to Order
Contact The Louisville Cardinal; office@louisvillecardinal.com, Call Lisa Potter, business manager: 502.852.0701, Fax: 502.852.0700.

Order online at www.triumphbooks.com

Or call IPG at 1-800-888-4741, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

 

The Louisville Cardinal Inc. is a nonprofit organization. Proceeds from the book will go to buy equipment, train and support student journalists at the University of Louisville. To interview the student journalists, please contact Mickey Meece.

millennials

Millennials are the most stressed generation

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

It is midterms. You have spent more time in the library than in your bed.  You have a full course load, and time seems more elusive than the raindrops on a gloomy Louisville day.  Are you stressed yet? If you are a millennial, stress might just be keeping you up at night.

Americans in the millennial generation, ages 18-33, reported a higher stress level than any other generation, according to a recent study by the American Psychological Association.  Millennials reported an average stress level of 5.4 compared to the national average of 4.9 on a 10-point scale.  Even more alarming, 52 percent said stress made it hard for them to sleep at night in the past month according to the survey.

So why are we so stressed out? This time in the lives of millennials is filled with crossroads and life choices that while they may not define us, they have the immense power to direct and affect us.  What defines a person can only be determined by what they allow to define them.  Stress and anxiety are at its worst when control and coping are at its worst.

For Millennials, top stress sources are work, money and relationships. The economy came in fifth, just behind family responsibilities.

As the stress level of millennials rises and the stressors stay strong, the need to find effective coping mechanisms in life is of utmost importance.  Whether it is taking some time off, exercising more, listening to music, or turning to family and friends, these ways of coping with stress are important to establish rather than unhealthy or harmful habits.

The survey also found that more millennials reported being diagnosed with anxiety or depression than their elders.  These findings prove the importance of coping with problems effectively and in a healthy way.  Norman B. Anderson, PhD, a lead researcher on the survey and CEO of APA, said, “We need to improve how we view and treat stress and unhealthy behaviors that are contributing to the high incidence of disease in the U.S.”

Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, of the APA, said, “not being able to move on with the goals that they have” contributes significantly to the stress and expectations of this generation.  And in an economic climate where the college degree many work desperately to attain does not gurantee a career or job after graduation, millenials experience conflict between the idealistic dreams of their youth and the harsh realities of the present and future.

In contrast to the stress levels, the survey also found millennials to be brimming with optimism for the future.  It seems like the perfect paradox presented to be part of the generation with the most stress in their lives and also the most optimism for the future – as if it is this optimism for the future that motivates millennials and gives meaning to their stress.

Why worry about the little things?  Worry about what you can control in life, and everything else will either fall into place or it is not worth the worry.  Ask yourself what has to happen to be happy and present in this moment, rather than worrying about tomorrow.  This is the time in our lives where making mistakes is expected and learning from them is what’s important.  When the stressors in life seem too overwhelming, it is important to realize that these things may affect and direct a person, but they do not define them.

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo by Genevieve Mills/The Louisville Cardinal

The Providence

Province Crime sparks attention

As police review security cameras, they hope students will continue to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity.

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

U of L students have been held at gunpoint in the Province student apartment complex in two separate incidents within the last two weeks.

Kenneth Brown, assistant university police chief, told Wave3News that the suspects were masked, inciting apprehension in some students living in and close to the area.

Police said that the two incidents occurred within eight days of each other on Jan. 27 and Feb. 4.  University police described both incidences occurring between the late evenings to early morning hours involving two men dressed in U of L apparel where one of the men showed a handgun and made demands for money.

“(They were) approximately in their 20s and on the last occasion they were wearing U of L clothing,” Brown said to Wave3.

According to the crime report for each incident, both cases are currently open with no one being formally charged.

As police review security cameras, they hope students will continue to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity.  University police are teaming up with Louisville Metro Police Department to solve these incidents and increase the safety of students.  If students suspect suspicious activity or feel unsafe, they are encouraged to call university police at (502) 852-6111.

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo courtesy of louisville.edu

President Obama references Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall in his recent inaugural speech.

President Obama addresses the Millenials

By Cailtlyn Crenshaw–

President Obama references Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall in his recent inaugural speech.

“For we remember the lessons of our past,” President Obama declared in his second inaugural address last Monday.  Most notably, Obama remembered the lessons of Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall; however, these lessons seem to be more forgotten than remembered.

While some media outlets are proclaiming that the inclusion of the mention to Stonewall is a landmark for LGBT rights and activists, the cultural reference seems to be lost on the generation who it matters to the most: the millenials. During my Modern American Culture class after the inaugural address, the professor bluntly asked his 30 students, “How many of you know what all three of those references are?”

Not one hand went up. In a college classroom of millennials, not one hand went up knowing the significance of the president’s remarks.

When the women of 1848 assembled at Seneca Falls to fight for their rights or when civil rights demonstrators marched on Selma, Alabama for their rights or when the Stonewall riots sparked the modern fight for LGBT rights, no one imagined that these events would hold the cultural significance that they do today.

What does it matter if the president makes the first inclusion of the word “gay” in an inaugural address, when the generation who his policies affect the most are not aware of history as it ’s happening?  Obama assumed that his audience possessed a knowledge and awareness of current and past cultural events. In reality, we have lost a sense of cultural literacy, not only for the present, but also for the past.

It is this cultural amnesia, especially that of the millennial generation, that controls the future of our country. It is not only the absence of knowledge of important cultural events that calls for concern for this country’s future; it is the absence of a thirst for this knowledge.  What does it say about our country when we as a society are more concerned with what’s on someone’s mind on Facebook, rather than outside of our computer and in the world around us?

In response to the inaugural address, the media has concentrated on the landmark inclusion of the word “gay” and the recognition of LGBT rights, rather than the issues Obama rose in directing our nation towards for the next four years, such as healthcare, alternative energy sources, foreign policy and immigration. A Huffington Post headline reads “By Linking Stonewall with Seneca Falls and Selma, Obama Reminds Us That LGBT Rights Are Civil Rights.”

Obama said, “Progress does require us to act in our time.” To act in our time, our society must possess a knowledge of cultural literacy that highlights not only the past, but the present – significance of events such as Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall, so that civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights are more than news stories and political marches.  It speaks as a milestone for society when the policy against women in combat is lifted or when the 40-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade occurs; however, these milestones will not speak for themselves in the future.  We must continue to fight for these rights, as millenials in our twenties and millenials in our forties.

“With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history,” Obama said. But first, let us be aware and possess a knowledge of not only events that affect our pockets, but our society’s rights.  If the lessons learned in the past are left in the past, our present will remain in the struggles of the past. Will we continue to fight and uphold the same battles because we forget the past so easily?

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: courtesy of nti.org

UofL Flood Timeline

Flood watch: completed construction could curb calamities in campus cloaca

The Louisville Cardinal delved into its archives for the last decade of flood stories concerning the University of Louisville and its interactions with MSD. Now that the Ekstrom library project has reached completion, the university hopes that the Belknap campus will experience distinct reductions in flooding.

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

U of L has taken advantage of an incentive program offered by the Metropolitan Sewer Department to several institutions to collaborate on improving clean water and reducing flooding occurrences. Larry Owsley, Vice President of Business Affairs for the university, said, “they (MSD) are sponsoring this to reduce the amount of storm water that goes into the sewer system.”

The sewer system, which includes U of L, is the combined infrastructure for storm water and sanitary waste disposal.  This system causes overflow at water treatment plants resulting in contaminated water entering the Ohio and Mississippi River when the sewer is filled overcapacity.

An MSD incentive program provides U of L with $1.50 for every square foot of impermeable surface that does not drain rainwater into the sewers.

Owsley said that the university has done “about 13 projects” through the MSD program.

“The Ekstrom library project is now complete.  That project covered about two-and-half acres of hard surface. Water from that surface will drain into the infiltration pit,” said Owsley.

In order to prevent rainwater from entering the storm water system, “the infiltration pit collects water from 2 and a half acres of hard surface, the roof of Ekstrom Library and some of the sidewalk, and water does not back up as quickly,” said Owsley.

In addition to the project at Ekstrom Library, there is an ongoing project to prevent flooding under the construction of the student recreation center on 4th Street. The project “will collect water from the roof of the new recreation center and the surrounding parking lot.”  In total the project will cover six acres of hard surface.

“That’s the biggest one we have going on right now,”  Owsley said of the project.

MSD is under a Federal Consent Decree to be completed by 2020 to address the combined sewer system surrounding the city of Louisville from the boundaries of the Watterson Expressway to the Ohio River and the problems concerning overflow.  MSD cites the goals of their incentive programs intended for institutions such as U of L, as “to develop long-term solutions aimed at improving the quality of our country systems and the Ohio River.”

According to the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, Louisville is the first to fall under this decree as the largest city in the state; however, all other communities with overflow problems will follow in order of priority.

Owsley said, “The MSD program is not for flooding in (and) of itself. They are under a federal court order to reduce the amount of rainwater that goes into the sewer system.

“Almost 22 acres of hard surface that we’ve diverted the rainwater from the storm system,” has been completed.

Each of the projects is designed so that the stipend from MSD covers the cost. Owsley said, “We are not putting any other university money into the projects-no state appropriations, no tuition. It is all coming from MSD. It adds two benefits for the community: clear drinking water and flooding reductions. It is a win-win situation for MSD and for us.”

Mark Hebert, director of media relations for the university said in an interview with the Cardinal in September, “If we have a storm like in 2009, it’s going to flood.”  However,  during “The most recent hard rainfall we had, some of the measures we had taken after 2009 appeared to work because we didn’t have as much damage.”

The univeristy plans to continue work on projects to offset the effect of flooding in the campus and surrounding community through the funding provided by the MSD incentive.

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Infographic by Mason McFarland/The Louisville Cardinal

health-story-photo

Surviving finals without hindering your health

By Caitlyn Crenshaw and Michelle Eigenheer–

As the end of the semester comes and finals come with it, good health may be hard to maintain for students as they exercise their minds instead of their muscles. It may be easy for students to push physical health aside, but as stress levels soar, it’s important that students take care of their bodies.

“Before you know it, students on campus will be camping out in the library and studying ferociously to finish the semester with success,” said Katrina Neubauer, a graduate assistant at the Office of Health Promotion on campus.

One of the events offered by Health Promotion is the annual Calm Cafe on reading day in the Health Promotion Activity Room.  Neubauer said that students “can take advantage of a calm and relaxing study space” through this event.

When students live in dorms or student apartments, quiet time for studying comes at a premium during finals.  Neubauer said, take advantage of resilience-building ways to manage stress and sleep.”

With the stress of finals, many students find themselves sick and studying.  In spring 2011 the National College Health Assessment showed that of the “47 percent of students who reported they had fallen ill in the past 12 months, 40 percent felt it had negatively affected their academic performance in some way.”

If students find themselves feeling sick, they should not hesitate to take a visit to the doctor.  Phillip Bressoud, executive director of campus health services, said, “We can generally see acute urgent visits same day or next day.”

Bressoud said one thing everyone can do is “cough or sneeze into your sleeve rather than your hands.  The method is much better at reducing the spread of germs than coughing or sneezing into your sleeve.”

The Office of Health Promotion is also offering a new NapZone in the Health Promotion Activity room.  Neubauer said, “The Nap Zone is a designated nap space where you can snooze to lock in learning or recover from late night study sessions.”

According to a 2010 University of Minnesota study, students’ GPAs decrease in relation to their lack of sleep.

Poor diet is also a factor during finals. It’s tempting to grab a bag of chips and an energy drink for your studying, but it’s not a healthy route to take. Doritos aren’t exactly brain food and drinks like Red Bull have made headlines lately with reports deaths linked to energy drinks.

Reports to the Food and Drug Administration have cited the potential involvement of  5-Hour Energy in 13 deaths over the last four years. Monster Energy has also been reported to the FDA as a potential contributor to deaths across the country.
It’s not necessarily the amoung of caffeine in an energy drink that gets people hyped up, but the amount of sugar that comes with it. The stay awake-factor is pretty much the same as in a cup of joe. Plus, black unsweetened coffee has no calories, versus the 100 calories found in a Monster.Instead of grabbing an energy drink, try sticking to old-fashioned coffee. A regular cup of coffee, depending on how it’s made, contains between 100 and 150mg of caffeine, according to energyfiend.com. Most Monster and Rockstar drinks contain 160 mg of caffeine. A can of Red Bull contains just 80mg of caffeine.

As for snacks, munching on junk food or McDonald’s is not going to help students much. There are many easy alternatives when you need quick sustenance.

Dried fruit is a great snack to have on hand. Not only can students avoid orange fingerprints all over rented textbooks, but dried fruit contains vitamins and minerals that junk food does not.

Nuts are another great snack, as they contain the protein your body needs. Eating them will make the consumer less sluggish since bodies use protein to produce energy. Protein also helps to build up the immune system, helping to keep away sickness.

For students who need meals fast, try skipping the McDonald’s and pizza and order in something like Jimmy John’s which isn’t generally deep fried or frozen, shipped, and thawed.

It’s hard for students to stay healthy while dealing with not only the stress of finals week, but the necessity to sit and study for hours on end. It’s not a hopeless case, though. There are ways to survive the end of the semester.

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Photos by Michelle Eigenheer/The Louisville Cardinal 

SONY DSC

Students urged to keep healthy during the winter

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

As the breeze in the air turns from somewhat chilly to downright cold, many students find lying on the couch more appealing than venturing outside for a workout.  However, with finals looming on the calendar, it is vital that students make health a priority.

Katrina Neubauer, a graduate assistant in the Office of Health Promotions, said, “Students need to make sure they stay active and eating healthy during the winter to avoid excessive weight gain, high stress levels and loss of muscle and bone density.”

Dr. Ed Ehlinger, the director and chief health officer of the University of Minnesota Boynton Health Service, said:  “College students are a large and growing population and are establishing lifestyles and behavior patterns, they are the trendsetters and the role models for younger people and they are the future leaders of our society. That is why we need to make them a priority.”

Dr. Ehlinger is conducting a comprehensive survery of the health of college students currently and hopes to affect students’ habits.

Neubauer encourages students to get invovled to become more physically active.  “Joining a group fitness class will help students enjoy their workouts and stay motivated,” said Neubauer.

One of the ways to stay healthy without breaking a sweat is to create a nutritious plate at each meal of the day.

The Ville Grille offers Nutrition Navigators to help students fill their plate.  Neubauer said, “They will be there to help students create nutrient-dense-plates and aid them in making healthier food choices.”

The SAC gym offers a fitness and wellness program that includes group fitness, aerobics and other sports.

“It is our hope that you will improve your lifestyle through improving your fitness level and truly become engaged with our program,” according to the intramural office.

During winter, students are more likely to spend time working their brains, rather than their hearts.  Neubauer said, “This sedentary behavior can lead to serious health implications such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.”

In general, students who make health a priority tend to also make education a priority.

Dr. Ehlinger said, “Good health helps students remain in school, and a college degree or certificate is an excellent predictor of better health and economic status throughout one›s lifetime.”

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Photos by Lara Kinne/The Louisville Cardinal

Rideshare programs offer more transportation options to students

New rideshare programs offer more transportation options and incentives to students and staff

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

When Logan Green constantly had trouble traveling between his home in L.A. and college in Santa Barbara, he came up with the idea to create Zimride, according to Curtis Rogers, who manages university partnerships for Zimride.

UofL recently launched a partnership with Zimride to improve alternative transportation, along with the university’s new program CARpool.

 

Carol Norton, the assistant director of the department of sociology, is member of the alternative transportation committee as an employee volunteer and helped to propose both of these programs, CARpool and Zimride, to the Sustainable Operations committee.  “It is something that I’m passionate about,” said Norton.

Through CARpool, students, faculty and staff can work with the parking office to designate where you will park, according to Norton.  Carpoolers individually decide how to split the cost of the parking permit and how to organize their schedules.

There are also incentives in place for those who carpool.  Norton said:  “Every member of that carpool will receive ten passes per semester if there are ten times when you can’t carpool.  You’re not left out in the cold; you’ve made an investment.  You can use that pass in whatever color the permit is.”

Unlike other cities, such as Nashville, Louisville does not have a high occupancy vehicle lane on its interstates to encourage carpooling.

“UofL has a climate action plan and cutting its carbon emissions is part of that action plan and that is tied to vehicle use,” said Norton.  In addition to the CARpool program, the university’s partnership with Zimride has the potential to have a positive effect on the number of carbon emissions.

Through a student’s personal account on Zimride, the amount of miles, money and carbon dioxide saved are all calculated.  Norton said, “Zimride is the largest network of any rideshares in the United States among college campuses.”

Norton said: “In five years, I would love to see that the majority of the people are members of Zimride.  And that we have an actual carpool parking lot, perhaps.  We find that our carbon emissions have gone down.”

Rogers said, “Zimride has partnered with over 100 college campuses.”  Zimride launched last year at Indiana University-Bloomington and within one month had 1,000 matches.  Currently, Zimride has logged over 1,483,168 miles through Indiana University students.

“We would love to have the feedback from the students.  Right now, we’re just trying to get the word out to the students and the rest of the campus,” said Norton.

Nathan Sheeran, freshman bioengineering major, who commutes hasn’t heard of the carpooling program or Zimride, said “there are a lot of people who live around me that have the same schedule, so we could commute together.”

Zimride offers features, such as entering your preferences for music, smoking and what car you have, in addition to the ability to interface it with your Facebook account.

Norton said, “The dollar sign seems to motivate people first.”  She started carpooling to the university when the price of gas increased a year and a half ago and was introduced to someone in her area through a colleague.

we expect to see students share rides on longer, one-time trips. This offers great savings to students with vehicles, and offers car-free students more options for getting out of town.

One of the advantages to Zimride, according to Norton, is “you meet new people.”  When Norton began carpooling with Vicki Tencer, they didn’t know each other.  “And now we’re friends,” said Norton.

Sheeran said, “I did (carpool) in high school and that’s how I got involved in some clubs.”

Norton said of the university’s new initiatives, “We feel like we’ve been able to contribute to something to the university as individuals, not just as staff.”

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo courtesy of Flikr/Joe Shlabotnik