Tag Archives: editorial

Photo by Austin Lassell

Montrezl Harrell, sophomore sensation

By Noah Allison

I would have started this story ranting about how sophomore power forward, and the team’s third captain Montrezl Harrell isn’t getting enough credit for his production to the team. But at this point I’m not sure anybody can help but take notice at how important his play has been for the Cardinals this season.

On Saturday night in Storrs, Connecticut, against the University of Connecticut Huskies, Harrell went eight of ten shooting from the field for a total of 18 points. An effort that led to the Cardinals to having 40 points in the paint compared to the Huskies 20. Harrell also had 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in his double-double effort in the hostile environment.

Last year as a freshman coming off the bench, Harrell averaged 16.2 minutes a game. This year as a sophomore he has made the transition to being a team leader, proving his right in earning the position of the team’s third captain along with seniors Russ Smith and Luke Hancock. Harrell played 39 of the game’s 40 minutes on Saturday in his spirited effort against the Huskies.

This year, due to the early on and eventual permanent suspension of last year’s starting power forward Chane Behanan, Harrell has taken on the responsibility of increased play time. He has averaged 26 and-a-half minutes as the team’s starting power forward.

But it has not simply been his play at his particular position that has led to him having such an impact for the Cards this season. It has been his overall contribution to the Cards that has earned him the much due current recognition.

On a team that has struggled to rebound well, Harrell has been the lone bright spot. Despite not being the tallest member of the team at six-foot-eight, he is well in first place as the team’s top rebounder with 160 on the season. The second highest total belonging to six-foot-ten senior center Stephan Van Treese with 91.

Harrell is also the team’s second highest scorer with 228 points on the season behind team leader senior guard Russ Smith, who has 349 points on the season. Harrell’s ability to work the low-post better than anybody else on the team has his shooting percentage at 64 percent, the Cardinal’s best percentage with at least 90 shots attempted.

But the stats don’t tell the true story. Montrezl Harrell is simply out there giving it his all to the get the Cardinals a victory. Winning is all the sophomore knows, last year as a true freshman he was the youngest contributor to the National Champion Louisville Cardinals. Naturally as it is all he knows Harrell’s expectations are to be a National Championship team.

The early struggle for these Cards to adapt to the times and the competition of this year had people questioning the ability of this year’s mens Cardinal basketball team. But there is no doubt the National Championship pride, demeanor and work ethic is there. It is just a question of the right players stepping up when their team needs them most.

That is what the Cards of last season were capable of, and this is what sophomore Montrezl Harrell is ready for in this year of defending the title that belongs to The University of Louisville.

Editorial: We aren’t so different after all

To the newly elected officials of the Student Government Association,

You have to be insane to want to work at a newspaper, or in government. Especially the student varieties of both.

The student government and newspaper work not only at our jobs, but to make people care about what we are saying and putting into print. Few care about our opinions and the work we do, not even the administration. And they’ll tell us so. The body of people we want to serve barely know we exist, how we work, or whether we can be trusted. The only response we ever get about our work is when we get something wrong. Our power to act is always constrained, if not by the direct hand of intervention, then by the number of hours in a day. We wake up at five in the morning, we sweat out 16-hour days, and we work ever with one hand tied behind our backs.

Students, who are not involved in the inner workings of SGA or the Cardinal, know that there are hundreds of other resume-padding organizations one can join. There are places and people who would make it easy for us, where our opinions would be listened to. There are places where people would teach us how to improve at something instead of berating us when we fail to meet their expectations. It’s not too late. We could still get out of this. Everyone would understand, and no one would fault us.

If, knowing all this, we decide still to press on, we will have no one’s pity, only the enmity and suspicion that accompanies the insane. People won’t understand why we are doing this to ourselves. Sometimes we won’t either. For their sake, and ours, let us explain it to them:

We do it for the same reason we took our first step. Because we have always been the ones to take action. We do it for the same reason we clench our fists. Because we must defend that about which we are passionate. We do it because we have yet to be robbed of our will to do good, and because even if we fail, we will have stood our ground. We do it because it wakes us up at night and keeps us up at night. We do it because someone has to. Even if we don’t know what we’re doing, we do it because we know that it is important. And that it is our obligation to protect the keep until someone better shows up.

So before the Louisville Cardinal and the SGA find ourselves on opposing sides of an issue, perhaps it is best to take this moment to show you that we’re not so very different at our core. And to say, at the very least, congratulations.

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com

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

blaine_hudson

Editorial: When a library burns

“When an elder dies, it is as if a whole library had burned down.” – West African proverb

There have been few men in the University of Louisville’s roster of deans and professors who have, in their tenure, fostered the type of inspired academic growth as that which was evident in the life and career of the late Arts & Sciences Dean, Dr. J. Blaine Hudson.

In his passing the community has lost a lighthouse of a leader, the university a library filled with staggering experiences.

His legacy is cemented by his monumental contributions to the study of Louisville’s history, and his tireless devotion to building a racially aware Louisville. His work in “Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History” remains a treasury of knowledge about race relations in the city.

Hudson’s leadership was visionary. He served his community in his chairmanships of the department of Pan African studies and of the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission. He also led the educational program, Saturday Academy, and served on a committee appointed to curb West End violence in Louisville.

Faculty, students and leaders in the community all looked to Hudson for guidance and wisdom.

Acknowledgements of his work have come from U of L president James Ramsey, who spoke of Hudson’s contributions, saying that they “will have a lasting impact on generations of U of L students” and from Mayor Greg Fischer who said, “He understood the city’s history, and he selflessly shared his learnings and insights from both an academic and real-life perspective. Though he grew up in times of racial segregation, his entire life was spent helping bridge racial divides…”

It is unlikely that this city, much less this university, will ever find a professor and leader with such unique strengths, such profound insights into our shared history, and such devotion to his students as what we found in Dr. Hudson.

The Louisville Cardinal extends its deepest condolences to the family members and community who survive in the tragic passing of this truly great man. We gather ourselves with you under the black umbrella of your grief. We are students who, though left cold by the loss of his light, are still warmed by the magnificent blaze of this library as it burns to the ground.

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo courtesy louisville.edu

Students moving from Miller Hall

Editorial: Molding us for the future

 Students both required to live on campus and exposed to ethical hazard

“How do you like your U of L dorm?”

“It’s growing on me.”Bada-bing.

It would be easy to take a few cheap shots at the University of Louisville for the recent mold problems on campus that led to the relocation of hundreds of students in the middle of their mid-term exams.

It would be easy to say that U of L’s record amount of private funds is being misdirected, noting that the U of L Board of Trustees and the Council on Postsecondary Education approved a plan to build a $38 million, 128,000-square-foot student recreation center, and that U of L sold $37.5 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance construction of the project.

We could argue that U of L should spend more on maintenance and less on new structures, and talk about the $31 million road project that will provide access to a 39-acre area that university officials plan to develop into the Belknap Engineering and Applied Sciences Research Park, of which U of L Foundation provided $6.2 million and the state provided $24.8 million.

As easy as they might be, they aren’t fair arguments against the university. Although mold doesn’t happen overnight, the University of Louisville’s spending record is proof enough that the intent of the U of L Foundation and Board of Trustees is to provide high-quality facilities for campus living. If anything, their securing funds for future construction proves their interests lie in creating the type of livability that keeps students in class and paying tuition. We’re a growing campus, and in the last 10 years the physical presence of this university has inarguably improved.

Accidents happen even to the best of us. In 2010, Columbia University was responsible for buildings that were found to have both mold and vermin. Responsible institutions do what they can to prevent accidents, apologize for their occurrence and rectify the situation by providing restitution to the effected and by preventing the same mistake from happening again.

U of L’s mold accident doesn’t so much highlight the flaws in U of L’s investment strategy as it does in their policy. Forget the cheap shots; here’s the real problem: requiring students to live on campus in these facilities per the First Year Live On policy. Because they cannot guarantee that accidents like these won’t happen, it is unethical for U of L to take away a student’s right to make their own informed choice of residence. Beyond that, First Year Live On is an incredibly infantilizing policy that should offend anyone old enough to sign a lease.

Forcing freshmen to live on campus their first year allows U of L to guarantee a yearly dollar amount to the private companies that own, construct and lease the buildings. This is the same principle as the student meal plan: to entice companies like Subway to set up shop, U of L guarantees a dollar amount via their mandatory meal plan.

On both the housing and food level, it is unethical for U of L to contribute to an inflating student loan bubble by taking federal student loan dollars (which you’ll have to pay back later) and giving them to private companies, particularly when the quality of the product is forever in question. I think that’s worth repeating: at U of L you are essentially a conduit through which private companies are able to access public money.

Regardless of how much money U of L invests in new construction projects, and regardless of how fantastically they may maintain the older buildings, the argument remains the same: if the housing options were as great as U of L says they are, U of L wouldn’t have to force you to live there. That they do should call both their motives and capacity into question, and rightly invites the extreme criticism of anyone unfortunate enough to have to move into — or out of — Mold Hall.

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Tricia Stern/The Louisville Cardinal

panel C

Editorial: Open forums should include students

In an organization like a university, wherein several disparate departments are vying for funds and have differing interests and concerns, communication is key.  That’s why the open forum for faculty and staff held on Sept. 20 was so important.

Universities are increasingly becoming more and more like a business.  The product they’re selling is a degree and the value it holds in society.  The students, as customers, are in the peculiar position of paying the university for a degree that can’t be bought with money alone.  We also have to work for it.  In addition to all of that, there are many professors and students who disagree about the purpose of a university altogether and feel that a university should be a place where value is earned and education should be sought after for its own sake and not bought and sold like a commodity.

Both of these lines of thinking coexist at U of L and in many ways are necessary for a successful campus community.  Without the business side, we would not be able to pay top professors and bring desired amenities to campus. Without the academic side, however, the campus wouldn’t be fostering a learning environment and releasing capable, intelligent graduates into society.  The open forum was an attempt to bridge the gap between business and academia at U of L, focusing on the ways in which these two areas intersect.

Many of the issues discussed had to do with the budget and making sure money was appropriated responsibly.  The smoking ban was also discussed, as well as a perceived disconnect between faculty and staff.  All of these issues are important and there must be a running dialogue like this, to insure that all sectors of the campus community are communicating and working together.

Another forum will be held on Oct. 12 and hopefully many more will be held throughout the year.  It might also be beneficial to have a similar forum, involving President Ramsey and a similar panel of administrators and students.  Students that have pertinent concerns should have their voices heard.  The student, after all, should be the central figure in a university environment, more so than faculty or staff.  We are the ones receiving an education and paying salaries, for the most part, and our perspective should be represented.

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo courtesy UofL Today

province

Editorial: As the university expands in an already crowded city, parking becomes a nightmare

For students, parking at U of L is a nightmare. There’s a choice of paying $90 and over for a parking pass that may or may not ensure you a spot – at residential halls, lots fill up quickly, forcing tenants to seek parking in the Floyd Street parking garage – or you can find free parking a few blocks away and walk an extra ten minutes to class. Even this latter option has become harder with the death of the ‘janky lot.’

To make matters more difficult, the University is killing more student parking spots with the building of the new student recreation center, near Kurz Hall. This knocked out enough parking that they had to set up an overflow lot by the Province – not exactly ideal for the students who have to walk there. What happens to the students who work late and have to walk back to their dorms after dark? Walking across campus at night is scary and shouldn’t even be a problem that students face.

The University keeps building and building and building a ton of new structures, but it’s compromising parking. When parking is in such short demand already, the only thing U of L should be building is a new parking structure.

Not only does the parking situation inconvenience students, but it infringes upon the lives of residents around the university. If residents of the Province are having a hard time parking in front of their apartments – a convenience that they pay a lot of money for – then this overflow lot is apparently not a good idea. Residents of Old Louisville, too, have to deal with students who take up street parking and walk to school. To pay to live in a house in Old Louisville isn’t cheap enough to have to put up with students who don’t care that they’re inconveniencing the people who live in the area.

U of L keeps growing, but stuck in the middle of the city like it is, it doesn’t have enough room to spread out. Because campus is wedged into a small space, parking is exchanged for the opportunity to grow. This isn’t an acceptable exchange for those who have to deal with it every day.

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo

Editorial: U of L Foundation needs oversight

The U of L Foundation has been responsible for financially sustaining a vast number of programs, departments and scholarships for the university. Most of the university’s funding, $141.8 million, comes from the foundation and its fundraising has made U of L a greater force in the Louisville community. Its importance to our school’s prosperity and growth is without argument.
When a private foundation, governed by a tiny number of members, assumes an ever-growing control over the interests of a public institution, it is the responsibility of an independent citizen press to carefully scrutinize the actions and characteristics of such a group. It is incumbent upon this newspaper to produce an examination of the U of L Foundation to the best of our ability, and in doing so, question the appropriateness of this group’s influence over U of L.
The U of L Foundation, historically resistant to transparency, should welcome this scrutiny and examination. If nothing else, this paper’s critical analysis is the fruit of a productive university education. There is something else, though: students, faculty, tax payers and the public all require a vast amount of information from the U of L Foundation to understand the scope of its influence and determine whether its decisions are in the best interests of students.
With so much at stake, the U of L Foundation is also alarmingly without any sort of system of checks and balances. As students, it’s our right to know how and for what reasons our school’s money is being used. Without some regulatory body or entity overseeing the Foundation’s activities, we can’t be sure they are being held accountable. The issue of a public university receiving more private than state funds is also something that must be carefully monitored. We must be certain that what happens at U of L is in the public interest and in the interest of Kentucky and not dictated by some outside private group or institution. Add in that some of these funds are unrestricted (meaning that they can be spent in any way the Foundation Board of Overseers sees fit) and it isn’t difficult to see that the system is at least in need of some oversight.
There has been outcry by public entities, student organizations and concerned faculty regarding the foundations lack of open communication about their plans and intentions for the university’s funds. The biggest question that concerns this newspaper is this: when will the foundation heed those calls, and respond to those voices?

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com
opinion@louisvillecardinal.com

moneycut

Editorial: Students get a raw deal with rising education costs, budget cuts

The recent unveiling of tuition increases paired with education budget cuts can be quite worrisome for students, and for young people looking to get the most out of college and plan for the future.

The University of Louisville has yet again raised student tuition. That’s understandable, given the growing demand for education, but it would be an easier pill to swallow if we could be assured that we are getting what we pay for.

With college degrees becoming more and more common, the saying that “a bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma” has never been closer to truth. With a college degree costing more every day and carrying less weight, colleges and universities should be finding new ways to increase the value of education to keep up with the rising costs. But with the budget cuts thrown on top of tuition increases, it seems the gap between value and cost is spreading, with one going up and the other going down.

Mitt Romney’s education stance doesn’t exactly make students feel optimistic either. As a country, we should be investing in the future. With the economy in its current state, the future is an unclear site. It seems we should be doing as much as we can to ensure a bright future instead of an uncertain one. The future starts with education, and if we want great things for future generations, shrinking the Department of Education is not a promising solution.

We know that one defining characteristic of conservatives is the push for a smaller government and less government spending, but it seems there are plenty of places to trim before the education system must go to the chopping block. For some reason, our government feels the need to create tax burdens instead of tax payers, when in fact, the opposite would make more financial sense.

If the government would invest more in education, they would create taxpayers with higher paying jobs and in turn generate more tax revenue. But instead, we disperse tax funds that discourage ambition. We understand that many people need and benefit from welfare systems, and they shouldn’t be punished for the misuse by the abusers of the system. But a restructuring is in order; a structure that encourages ambition, personal growth and education, instead of one that suppresses it. Whether an abuser or not, it’s hard to go get a minimum wage job when sitting at home is financially more beneficial. This just means that the government will continue to pay these bills and never gain revenue from these investments. The system should work as a helping hand, not a crutch.

We simply feel that education is the basis of local, national and personal progression, and if the government feels the need to reorganize the system, education should be off limits, unless changes are going to be made for the betterment of it.

Read more:
-Ramsey runs the numbers on state cuts, 12-13 budget
-Tuition increase set for next academic year

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo/Flickr: ImagesofMoney

Diverse Hands inverted

Editorial: Affirmative action has negative results for some students

Minorities have been purposely suppressed in American history – it would seem to make sense that we give them funding and opportunities for education mostly known to the privileged.

Affirmative action, intends on providing admission and financial aid to students based on racial identity. While affirmative action is good in theory, it prevents other underprivileged students, who may not be minorities from getting certain scholarship money.

But what about the non-minority students that aid is rerouted away from? Abagail Fisher, an otherwise adequate student, says she was not admitted to the University of Texas because she is caucasian. Her lawsuit against them, Fisher v. the University of Texas, is being reviewed by the Supreme Court.

The question of affirmative action’s intent raises all too many questions. Can we justify selective admission and scholarships specifically for gays, lesbians, women and minority racial groups? And while embracing diversity is important, can we consider these boundaries progressive for a more tolerant society?

President Obama argued that “we should take into account white kids who have been disadvantaged and have grown up in poverty and shown themselves to have what it takes to succeed.”.

Using his logic and a shift in focus to economic status, affirmative action could potentially die out.

Whether it benefits the university or decreases diversity is unknown.

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com