Tag Archives: Marianna Michael

Budget Forum_6393

Ramsey runs the numbers on state cuts, 12-13 budget

By Marianna Michael–

On April 19, 2012 the Floyd Theatre was filled with about 100 faculty, staff and students attending President James Ramsey’s budget forum. This was a forum in which President Ramsey discussed the budget in the face of the 6.4 percent cut to higher education at the state level. This cut would be the second largest recurring cut in the past 13 years, though it has not yet been approved by Governor Steve Beshear.

The anticipated 6.4 percent cut to higher education would remove about $9 million from the University of Louisville’s operating budget.

When Ramsey explained the budget he said that there have not been any final decisions made on it. The Board of Trustees financial committee will receive the budget in May. They will then send the budget to the full board in June, where it will be finalized.

At the request of the university, many people have sent in suggestions about how they think the university could save money. According to the university’s financials information webpage, some of the suggestions ranged from implementing furloughs to fining people who smoke on campus.

In an effort to make the budget transparent, President Ramsey and Provost Shirley Willihnganz have been meeting with different organizations including the Arts and Sciences Council and the Student Government Association.

President Ramsey noted that many of the important budget documents could be found online by going to the budget and financial planning webpa on the universities webpage.

President Ramsey highlighted reasons why the university must function as it does. In 1997, the state of Kentucky declared, “The University of Louisville is to be a Premier Nationally Recognized Metropolitan Research University.”

This law is the reason that the 2020 Plan was devised. The 2020 Plan is the driving force behind budget changes, as it outlines what the University of Louisville must do in order to achieve the mandate set by the state.

Though, due to the financial concerns that the university is facing, only so much of it can be followed with the funds that the university has.

Junior Jake French, a civil engineering major, said that one of the things he would like to see the university improve upon is the parking options. He suggests that, “They can spend money to make parking lots bigger because there are times where I pull into the green lot and can’t find a spot.”

One of the questions submitted to Ramsey during the forum was regarding how athletics was funded. President Ramsey explained that the athletic department covered their own tuition and salaries, among many other things.

Another question he answered was how many layoffs and furloughs there are going to be. President Ramsey reported that there would not be any university-mandated layoffs or furloughs. However, the University of Louisville did enact a hiring freeze of all new employees, which was done in anticipation of the state’s reduction in funding to the university.

He went on to explain that unit managers may layoff some of their staff, which does not include faculty, but this is most likely due to performance rather than budget.

According to the current plans, approximately 12 to 15 people will be laid off from approximately 6,000 people.

Photo courtesy UniversityofLouisville


Resident life woes

By Marianna Michael–

Dorm life is something every kid has pictured since watching Boy Meets World. It’s painted as a place to grow up, make friends, and have fun. University of Louisville Properties offers all this and a little bit more in Community Park.

Community Park, or CP as its residents call it, is located right at the heart of Greek Row.

To some, its location is prime – but to others, not so much. During fraternity Rush Week, the doors of CP are crowded with well-dressed frat boys who refuse to leave the sidewalk for anyone who wants to get into their dorm. It’s also the who-can-turn-up-their-music-the-loudest competition. The best advice for anyone trying to focus in CP is to vacate your room and head to the relatively empty library. Luckily, those festivities only last one week and normal life resumes at its end.

The main things that residents have to combat now that the weather is nice outside are the random pick-me-up games that usually include the throwing of some object. People crossing through the courtyard should watch out for the flying whiffle ball/volleyball/Frisbee that may be making its way to their heads. The number of near-misses is ridiculous, but in all fairness it is not completely the fault of whoever is playing their game. Yes, the players should watch out for people who are passing through, but those crossing the courtyard should also make sure they do not walk in the middle of a game. One might find oneself walking through a very intense light saber battle on their way to get to their room—it does happen.

As annoying as Rush Week can be, it’s not the greatest source of resident problems. What is going on with unexplained fire evacuations? Sure, we’re supposed to be prepared at a moment’s notice in case of emergency – but how about letting us know beforehand (if it’s a drill) so we’re not in the shower? No student living on-campus can forget the evacuation that happened at 1 AM in the pouring rain during finals week. This evacuation was never explained – what are the chances of a planned fire drill during finals week? It’s not unreasonable for someone who is living in a complex to want to know what is going on in his/her building – it wouldn’t take a lot of time or effort to type up a brief explanation of why the fire alarms went off. Even if these events are just drills, it would be nice to know there isn’t a something life-threatening happening in the building.

Especially affecting residents of Bettie Johnson and Cardinal Towne is the random, early-bird protesters outside of the Cardinal Towne restaurants. The most common protests are outside Jimmy Johns and Cluckers – chants can be heard throughout the residence areas nearby. On top of this, they pose an obstacle when getting to class. Their right to protest should not interfere with the right of students to get to class.

Another issue that can arise is the in-house printing that is supposed to be available. Many students have planned to use the free printer in the lobby only to find out that it was out of ink or out of order. Depending on how much time the resident has, most run to one of the other ULP properties or go straight to the library. Having to fix the printer when it is broken is an understandable dilemma, but running out of ink is something that whoever is in charge of the printer could prepare for.

One of residents’ favorite parts about living on campus is the random (and few) times when the water or electricity has to be shut off for an undisclosed amount of time. In addition to the obvious reasons why this is an inconvenience, it is quite horrible when you are writing a paper and need to plug in your computer but are unable to. Luckily ULP does a decent job of getting everything up and running in as little time as possible.

Apart from these minor interruptions to daily life, living on campus can be pretty great. Being just minutes from class and avoiding the stress of landlords are among the many benefits, but resident life could be much better if these problems were avoided.

Cartoon illustration by Michael Layman/The Louisville Cardinal

Photo/Flickr: UniversityofLouisville

recycling bins

RecycleMania diagnosed in U of L Cards

By Marianna Michael–

RecycleMania, an eight-week event in which colleges and universities compete to find out who can recycle the most items, is underway at the University of Louisville. The competition, which began on Feb. 5 will end on April 6.

This is the second year in which the University will be participating. According to U of L’s sustainability website, last year alone, the university collected 241,782 pounds of recyclable material during the eight weeks, which is approximated to be about 10.91 pounds per person on campus.

Dr. Justin Mog, Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability, said that this initiative was started by residence halls, with full support of the Sustainability Council. Though RecycleMania has only been held at U of L for two years, the competition has been around since 2001 when Ohio University and Miami University started a competition to get their students more involved with recycling.

A university or college campus wins by having the most pounds of recycling per person. This, and the fact that the university had high numbers in the majority of each kind of recycled material, is the reason that U of L beat the University of Kentucky last year.

QRS, which is the recycling company that picks up the materials, weighs the items by separating them into two piles – glass and aluminum – before taking them back to their plant. This is how the university figures out how much weight to report to RecycleMania.

U of L students are able to participate in RecycleMania simply by putting recyclable materials in the bins placed around campus. The university offers a single-stream recycling system, which means that recyclable materials can be deposited in a single recycling bin, regardless of what material it is made of.

According to the 2011 Recycling Report, U of L has almost doubled its aluminum recycling numbers from 12,500 pounds in 2010 to 23,548 pounds in 2011.

The RecycleMania initiative is meant to get more students and faculty involved in recycling, but its effects are questionable. Freshman chemical engineering major Philip Knight said, “I will recycle the same as I usually do because I try to recycle anyway.”

Dr. Mog encourages everyone to recycle anything that may be considered appropriate. As Dr. Mog said, “The numbers from the latest reports suggest that we could be recycling a lot more than we are on campus and that is why events like RecycleMania are important to remind and reengage students and everyone on campus that we can almost recycle every type of waste you have – except Styrofoam – but we are working on that.”

Photo/Flickr: epSos.de


Cardinal Politics: Campaigning gone wrong

By Marianna Michael–

Politics should not be defined as an act anymore — it is an art form. The art of politicking has evolved from organized debates to today’s vicious slandering. As if this were not enough, “Super PACs,” PACs being Political Action Committees, are gaining power. These groups can endorse whomever they please and spend as much money as they want on any form of advertisement. This gives candidates a way to run malicious ads about their competition without necessarily having to take the blame. By allowing third parties to campaign on their behalf, candidates relinquish any responsibility to ads that slander another candidate.

America is losing control of its government and the way that the government works. It is upsetting to see all these candidates for the presidency not having to be held accountable. A good leader would not allow such a group of people to attack his opponents. Instead, he would take a stand and offer a more effective and honest way to spend the funds being put into these ads. Even though none of the candidates have given permission to the Super PACs to run the advertisements, they are not condemning them either. This is just as bad.

Newt Gingrich is a prime example of how slanderous campaigning turns people into hypocrites. Towards the end of 2011, Gingrich was constantly complaining about how the media and Mitt Romney unfairly called him out on many issues. He continuously reminded Americans that he had never slandered any of his opponents. It was only a matter of days after Gingrich’s announcement that he started running negative advertisements towards the Romney camp. This is a prime example of hypocrisy at it’s finest.

Campaign advertising is not bad and is in fact the nature of how a politician gets elected in this day and age. This part of political life is accepted and harmless. There are examples of this all around campus as CardVision and CardsUnite compete in SGA ‘s election. What is harmful is libel, the malicious publication of untrue material. This is not only against the first amendment, but diminishes the legitimacy of the entire electoral system. Politicking becomes art in the way that campaigns can get around the standard of clean campaigns.

What makes political elections seem so full of guile is that everyone tries to find fault with everyone else. The thing is, no one is perfect. Yes, Gingrich has had many wives and Romney is rich, but why does that matter? Those are personal decisions that they have made in their past. Most people should desire a president that is willing to forgive his or her opponents and look towards the future. In a perfect world, a president would be elected based on what he or she can do for his or her country, not by what their demographics or history say.

In a utopia, there would be such a thing as a clean campaign. Politicians would run for office based on their own merits, not by slamming their opponents. Until this day comes, voters can sit back and watch a bipartisan effort to make everyone look bad.

Photo courtesy Newt.org


Relationships for dummies

By Nathan Gardner, Marianna Michael, Caitlin Crenshaw and Anna Meany–

To women:

Rule 1: Stop playing mind games.

We aren’t psychic. If you want something, tell us. Don’t say, “Oh, I don’t really care if we see a movie tonight,” and then blow up at 11:30 p.m. because you didn’t get to see Ryan Gosling take his shirt off on a 25-foot screen while stuffing your face with buttery popcorn and a five-gallon Coke.

Rule 2: No double standards.
Despite our beautifully sculpted bodies and hard exteriors, we get jealous too. Don’t get mad when we grab a bite to eat with our girl friends and then argue that it’s perfectly okay for you to have coffee with a guy friend. You can’t give us a set of rules that don’t apply to you.

Rule 3: Be confident.

We don’t want to hear that you need to lose 10 pounds. Look at us. With our hairy backs and man boobs, we feel pretty dang lucky to get a girl as hot as you. Quit complaining about your body and flaunt what you’ve got.

To men:

Rule 1: R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
If you want a chance with a good girl, you have to separate yourself from the pack. Don’t be the d-bag that lets the door slam in my face. Kiss our foreheads and stand on the side nearest the street on a sidewalk. Girls notice those things! We want you to be the man in the relationship, so act like it!

Rule 2: Be interested, not interesting.
Unfortunately for men, we’re mostly selfish creatures that share an undying need to be noticed. Here’s a tip: women love to talk about themselves! Earn even more brownie points by showing us your memory – many men seem to lack that. And if you’re not genuinely interested in getting to know us, be polite and let us go.

Rule 3: Keep it classy.

Trusting you might be a mistake, but if a girl does, don’t give her a reason not to. Don’t turn into a drunk slut. Getting touchy with her best friends is never a good idea. Use common sense, boys.

Photo/Flickr: barbtrek


Cardinal Politics: Hot topics, The war on drugs

By Marianna Michael–

America’s war on drugs has been at the forefront of political and social debate for years and is becoming more prominent as pushers for marijuana legalization gain attention. Although its historical popularity can’t be pinned to one culture, our current generation makes its use apparent.

This topic has continuously been a major subject in all presidential elections, including the 2012 Primary Debates. Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich all strongly oppose the legalization. However, it’s interesting that certain candidates have allegedly smoked marijuana.

Ron Paul is the only candidate that is in support for legalizing marijuana and even introduced a bill in its favor.

The pros to legalizing marijuana are plenty and adhere to America’s capitalist nature. Millions of dollars of revenue will be added to America’s Gross Domestic Product since there will be a deficit of illegal, black market sales. Why should our country not exploit something that can help get it out of debt? This question lives in the same forbidden category as why it is unacceptable to build casinos in Kentucky, even though the Kentucky Lottery provides the KEES scholarships.

It is only fair to look at the con side of legalizing this drug. The cons include a list of unanswerable questions. How would it be sold? Would there and should there be an age limit since its greatest use would be for medicinal purposes? The truth is that those two questions can cause enough controversy to put a bill on hold for a few more decades. The ultimate question would be, is all this time and trouble worth it?

The government should attempt to have a trial period in which this drug is sold legally. After about a year, the statistics should be looked at. If there is an increase in GDP and fewer deaths reported from marijuana use, then this law should remain intact for the rest of eternity. It should be an employers right to fire anyone who is high during work, because it could effect the safety of others around them if they are operating machinery or have to work with people. If anything else comes up amendments can be added to the law, since that is the purpose of amendments. America was built on the concept of freedom, so citizens should hold the right to do what they want with their bodies.

Photo/Flikr: Bob Doran


The latest campus inconvenience: Closed facilities wreak havoc during study time

By: Marianna Michael–

For most college students, Saturday is a day of rest and relaxation. That is, if you have not procrastinated all week. Since this is generally not the case, Saturday is better known as catch-up day.

For many students, when the weekend rolls around, it is spent running around town, completing all the errands that have been continuously put off. Then, when, say, 6:00 rolls around, students often decide that it’s time to study for the four tests they have in the upcoming week. The obvious place to do this is the library. However, as you walk up the steps, you notice that the doors are locked and no one is inside. This situation is unusual since it is a widely known fact that sections of the library stay open 24 hours a day, following SGA’s struggle to make the library more available to the student body.

This “fact” is not actually true. The library seems to have limited hours when it comes to the weekends. Do they think that because it is the weekend, professors assign less work? Or is it that students do not study on the weekends? Both of these statements are undeniably and obviously untrue. SGA fought a hard battle to keep the library accessible for 24 hours a day so that students could use the resources that they are paying for. This injustice is made even more unacceptable as students watch their tuition steadily increase.

The request for more open availability was not meant to inconvenience anyone – SGA did not ask for anyone to be at the checkout desk when they switched to the 24-hour schedule. No one has asked for the Tulip Tree Café to be open. Students just need the tables, chairs, rooms and computers to be available. Our tuition is paying for the security guards it takes to run it, so why is the university’s money not spent with the best interest of the student body in mind?

Students deserve to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that if they suddenly find themselves needing to study at the last minute, they can have a quiet place to go. The money spent to attend U of L should guarantee this and no student should have to deal with the frustration of finding the library closed when they need it most.

Photo: Lara Kinne/The Louisville Cardinal