Tag Archives: Opinion

Photo by Michelle Lewis

Welcome back Bobby

By Michelle Lewis

When Charlie Strong said “I’m not cut that way” both Louisville football players and fans believed him. People felt like, finally; finally we have a coach who wants to be here, who wants to build his legacy, a coach who means it when he says he’s not going anywhere. Maybe he meant it at the time but even if he did, he still left. Not only did he leave the school and the fans, he left his players without even telling them he was leaving.

It wasn’t the first time a coach has left U of L; it wasn’t even the worst, most painful way Louisville has been left by a coach. During the Cardinals’ bowl game in 2002 players learned from reporters that John L Smith was leaving for Michigan State. No, you didn’t read that wrong, they found out during half time of the bowl game. Then, his exit got worse,  uglier and more painful. During an interview Smith answered a question about U of L and its fans by saying “The people here have no idea where they are on the food chain. Does that make sense? You better know where you are on the food chain and what sharks are doing. They think they’re at the top of the food chain, and they’re not.” Ouch, talk about stinging.

Bobby Petrino was introduced as Louisville’s new head coach at the same time Smith was cleaning out his desk down the hall. People know what happened next. Petrino led the school to a 41-9 record overall, a 20-game home win streak, and a 4-0 record against in-state rival UK. The Cardinals went to a bowl game every year under Petrino and won the 2006 Orange Bowl finishing the season ranked third in the country, U of L’s highest ever ranking.

After the 2006 season Petrino was hired to be the head coach of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. For Louisville fans, this was devastating. Petrino had interviewed for other jobs but had signed a contract extension just before the season and while he had interviewed for other jobs before nobody expected his departure given the season the Cards had just wrapped up, the talent returning the next year, and the expectations that it was finally time to compete for a national championship. The NFL is a game changer though and when most are honest, few blame him for taking the job.

When Athletic Director Tom Jurich learned that Charlie Strong was leaving he wanted to move fast selecting a new coach. He didn’t have to look far. The new head coach was about 100 miles away and already had a daughter at U of L and a son who had led Trinity High School to a state football championship. He and his wife were already familiar with both Louisville and the university. Jurich knew the coach but needed to be convinced. After a nine-hour interview, both Jurich and Louisville fans were saying, “Welcome back, Bobby”.

Many fans were ecstatic, some less than enthused, but none doubt that Jurich’s chose a very talented coach who wins. Petrino could lose 50 games straight and still have a career winning record. Louisville fans have been burned in the past though and those who doubt this hire do so because of his previous departure. They feel that’s the reason not to hire him again. They fear having their hearts broken again. Most don’t admit that though, instead they cite his tenures with the Falcons (he quit after going 3-10) and then Arkansas where he was fired after having a motorcycle accident with his mistress on board then lying about it.

Yes, his actions in both instances were less than honorable but had nothing to do with his time at Louisville or why he is the right choice for Louisville now. To figure that out you can start by listening to what his former players say.

“Those of you bashing Bobby Petrino…. Explain to me what did he ever do to Louisville besides win games?” tweeted former Louisville football player Richard Raglan. Another alum, current Chicago Bear Michael Bush said “Now the question is how I feel about it. I’m all for it. People mess up in life. You live and learn. The bottom line is Bobby Petrino wins games.”

Nearly 100 former Cardinals voiced their support for Coach Petrino through tweets, interviews, phone calls  and emails. In addition, NFL wide receiver Roddy White said through multiple media that he’d send his son to play for Petrino given the chance and CBS Sports’ Greg Doyle wrote an article on why he thinks Petrino is the right choice and deserves the second chance and basketball analyst Dick Vitale voiced his support as well.

More important than what any of them think or even than what fans think, is how the players feel. Many were hurt and disappointed by Strong’s departure and especially by not having been told he was leaving. Many learned he was Texas bound from ESPN coverage and weren’t sure how they felt about Petrino. Then they talked to his former players, to people who were around when he was at Louisville before, and then to him and they were won over. The guys on offense were likely the easiest to win over once they had seen footage of his offense. Several current players loved seeing the comments he made about rival UK, which if you haven’t seen these, go directly to Google and YouTube and check these out for yourself, and just as many fell in love with the black uniforms they saw the Cards wearing in big games.

“Things are going to change……I’m good with that” tweeted defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin. He later added “As a senior for my squad, and the first player to speak to coach Petrino, I can speak for the team and say we’re about to have a hell of a year.”

If Jurich and the players are convinced he deserves the chance to be Louisville’s coach again and his family has forgiven his mistakes then fans should stand with them and say, again, welcome back, Bobby.


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The Louisville Cardinal revamps in order to better serve students

By Sammie Hill–
The University of Louisville student body always embraces the first week of school with enthusiasm, and the Louisville Cardinal offers students even more of a reason to become excited about the upcoming year.
The Louisville Cardinal has revamped and reinvented itself in order to better suit the student body’s needs.

By increasing the multimedia element of the Cardinal, U of L’s student newspaper has transformed into far more than just a weekly paper. While still producing a weekly issue of the newspaper in print, the Cardinal plans to better utilize online videos, photos, stories, and social media in order to keep students up to date and engaged in the events surrounding U of L.
The Cardinal’s goal is to better involve the students of this university, while serving as a platform to address issues affecting U of L and to let student voices be heard. The Cardinal will aim to cover events relevant to the university, provide students with information that is of interest to them, showcase the opinions of the student body, and adapt to the changing world of journalism to effectively meet the needs of our audience.
On behalf of the Louisville Cardinal, we are excited to serve the student body this year. We hope to be an engaging, helpful, and current source of information that enhances the experience of U of L students. We will strive to provide breaking news and interesting features to our fellow students, while generating thrilling sports stories and an open dialogue of student opinions.
The Cardinal encourages students to utilize this resource to allow their own voices to be heard. The newspaper stands as a great way to get involved at U of L, a learning experience and resume builder for those interested in journalism as a career, a fun hobby for those who enjoy writing, an outlet for those wanting to express their opinions, and more.
We hope that the new Louisville Cardinal will be a celebration of our university as well as an accessible source of breaking news, investigative reporting, important features, student voices, and coverage of our distinguished athletic teams.
The Cardinal wishes the University of Louisville student body a great first week of school.


Online classes may be the path to success

By Maggie Cunningham–http://www.dreamstime.com/-image23923200

In two years, four semesters and 18 classes, I had been to campus a total of three times. Each time had been to visit my advisor so that they could remove the academic hold on my schedule for the next year. The advisor constantly reassured me that if I wanted to, and planned accordingly, I could finish my entire Bachelor’s Degree online.

I didn’t know who the president of the university was or what he looked like. The campus was a maze, parking was confusing and I didn’t know a single student or organization.

Classes taken online by way of Blackboard have been the only option for me to ever finish my degree. I don’t have scholarships, grants or loans, and FAFSA is, well, not helpful. Paying out of pocket when you are a young adult is costly, so the only way to make it happen is to work full time, which in turn takes up all of the time the average student would be spending sitting in a classroom.

Some students, like me, excel in the online atmosphere. I have made it on the Dean’s List and am getting straight A’s for the first time in my life. But they don’t work for everybody. So how do you decide if online classes will work for you?
I don’t know anyone who knows online classes better than I do. So as I do with most things, I made a list — a list of pro’s and con’s to online classes.

The most important pro is flexibility. Instead of going to class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for an hour at a time, many teachers will assign a few items for the week and they are due by a certain day and time towards the end of the week. You can read the assigned chapter, complete any activities and participate in blogs and discussions around your schedule when it is convenient for you. You can fit your class time around work, errands, a child, an internship or a practice schedule.

As far as money is concerned, I have never had to get dressed, put on makeup, or buy any excessive school supplies. I have never wasted gas on driving to and from campus, or spent any money on a parking pass or a meter. I assume in the grand scheme of finances, these seemingly insignificant costs really add up.

It is also important to note that taking tests, in some ways, can be easier when done online. On Blackboard, every test is open-book. However, most tests are timed, and being unfamiliar with the chapter material can and will hurt you. In most cases, you should read a question and recognize it. If you don’t remember the exact answer, you have a short window in which to find it and move on to the next question. Some classes, like Spanish, actually require a webcam for some tests so that you can prove verbal and written competency, and that you definitely can’t fake or cheat.

In my own mind, I have always had this list of pros readily available to defend the type of education I receive. When some family members found out I was taking classes online, it seemed like they thought less of the education I was getting because of how I was learning it. Let me make one thing clear: taking classes online is no walk at the park.

Because of the lack of face time and physical class time you get, you have to do twice-if-not-three-times the coursework to prove to the teacher and the university that you are learning what you are supposed to. In a classroom discussion about history, you can hide in the back and never raise your hand, but still get participation points for being there. Online, you are almost always required to post in discussion boards at least two to three times a week and each has to be a certain length. Most often, you have to make your own initial post, and then wait a certain amount of allotted days or hours before logging back in and responding to other classmates posts. Weekly quizzes often ensure you have read the book if one was required for reading; and assignments and papers are heavy, so that they know you aren’t just coasting through.

An extreme downside is the financial aspect. Online hours are more expensive, and they don’t cap at 12 credit hours if you are taking more. So if you take five classes, or 16 credit hours, not only are you paying for each individual hour, you are paying roughly 130 percent of each of the normal cost for those hours.  To some this may not be worth the pajama classes from the couch. But even with the added expense, I wouldn’t have been able to pay for regular tuition without working full time anyway, so paying the extra bit was more than worth it. It was my only option.

For many students, an actual lecture and the teacher and student interaction that you get face-to-face in a classroom is vital to a clear understanding of course content; taking online classes spells disaster. Between not being able to force themselves to do the work since there is no official set class time, and the many distractions that can keep you from finishing your work, if you don’t see yourself as a motivated and organized individual the lack of a classroom could be detrimental to your GPA.

The biggest con however, was the one I didn’t know about. Last semester I finally broke down and took a class I was obsessed with taking that was only available on campus. It wasn’t until I had to come here more often that I realized how much I was missing. I had no idea what any of the buildings were, where they were or what purpose they served. I didn’t understand what wide array of groups there were to become affiliated with. There is so much here to take a part in, that is a major part of our lives and shouldn’t be missed.

If I hadn’t taken that class, I would not have met the teacher who opened up so many doors for me both on and off campus. Since I finished her class, she has sent me numerous internships to look into, and written me recommendations for them all. She also wrote me an amazing recommendation for the Mortar Board at U of L. She didn’t do these things because I am “just that awesome,” she did them because having face-to-face interaction built a connection between student and teacher that cannot be built through a computer screen.

The most important thing that this teacher did for me was introduce me to The Louisville Cardinal. Having not been on campus, I had never even heard of the student newspaper.  When a position opened, she recommended I apply. So I did, and here I am. I have learned more in the past few months about the things I want to do when I leave this school from working at the paper than I have in any class. The experience alone will make it easier for me to succeed.

I can only imagine all of the doors that could have been opened for me by teachers just like her, who I never had the chance to meet. I highly recommend online classes because they have allowed me to finish a degree that I never thought I could. But I also advise you not to take that classroom or lecture hall for granted.



Letter from the Editor: Ave atque vale

By Rae Hodge–red-bullhorn-200-x-172

There’s a seething hatred of the amateur in U.S. media culture. It comes from our idolization of those legendary writers who started their careers without our kind of savage competition (back when anyone with a strong stomach and a notebook could get a job in a newsroom, no matter how drunk or unreliable) and who’ve never had to save a sinking ship.

This hatred is enabled by a precisely-cultivated consumer hunger for  polished, packaged media. Rough drafts are despised by U.S. audiences; they cringe with embarrassment at the manic glee we take in fumbling with new discoveries– an oddly placed semi-colon, an ill-aligned column with mismatched fonts, a lede uncovered six graphs too deep.

The condemnation of the amateur, the demand for a polished first try, the fear of  appearing foolish– when these conditions put a tremble in writers’ hands, we get dangerously close to losing that crucial element which  develops depth in our writing: a willingness to fail, and then to rise from failure without embarrassment. And then, for the hell of it, to do it again.

We need amateurs. It’s the amateurs that are refusing to abandon the ship. It’s the amateurs that run into the wreckage of Gannett’s slash-and-burn newsroom attacks to save the typewriters. It’s the amateurs, raised in the recession, who can make ends meet on a shoestring budget, even if it means blogging through the night, and handing out copies on the street. They’re rushing to the scene, they’re taking notes, they’re losing sleep trying to cover all the beats. Every incentive to do this work has been taken away except one: the love of it. And the amateurs have come for no other reason.

That’s why The Louisville Cardinal is so important. As the de facto journalism program at the University of Louisville, we’ve cleared a space where new writers can fall on their faces as many times as necessary to get it right. This paper is a learning clinic full of ugly injuries, false starts, hostile sources, too few helping hands, not enough money, and no one to say when. We fight uphill battles every step of the way. Our reward is in keeping the lights on, our victory is having stacks on the stands. Leave it better than you found it, our motto.

That’s what I’ve tried to do here. When I arrived, the few writers we had were paid in peanuts, given no class credit, squeezing articles out between second jobs and full course loads, and then getting told — if anyone read their work at all — that they’re horrible at what they do. We were sliding down the mountain slowly, with only 16 pages between us and oblivion.

But we rallied. We fought tooth and nail. In a time when circulation across the country was dropping, we rose to 20 pages (the issue you’re holding rose to 24). Then we published our first book. Now, in the 2013-2014 year, writers and staff will earn credit for their work at the Cardinal through our Campus Media class, and will have both an advisor and an experienced professor to help them chart their course and recover from injuries.

My belief in the importance of this work — of their work, of your work– never waivered. And it’s been my privilege to fight, to fail, and to win with these faithful few.

If you’re one of us, and you’re reading this, know that you have a place here. If you’re hands are trembling, we’ve got a cure. Know that our sweat and ink, since 1926, has gone into creating and protecting this paper in anticipation of your arrival. You’re the one we’ve been keeping the lights on for.

I’m honored to have been among those charged with this task, and to be the one to invite you now: leave it better than you found it.

Ave atque vale.



Why should you get involved at The Cardinal?

Caitlyn Crenshaw, Managing Editor
Working at The Louisville Cardinal has been one of the most challenging and most rewarding experiences of my college career this far. This place is where the staff learns not only about journalism, news and writing, but learn how to come together to produce something to be proud of. When I first started at The Louisville Cardinal, I never imagined that I would gain and learn so much in the next two years. I hope that every person who ventures into the basement of the Houchens building in the next year to The Cardinal’s meeting puts forth a great amount of effort at whatever they are passionate. I will promise you one thing, it will pay off.

Simon Isham, News Editor
Since I began working at the Cardinal, I have had the privilege of working in and with all of the sections of the paper, generating content and designing pages. I have also been fortunate to have such extraordinary co-workers laboring at my side to produce a well-rounded publication every week. There were many times when I was confident that the paper would be unable to meet its deadlines; nevertheless, we always persevered — and how!  Writing for the Cardinal is a fantastic experience as well as a hearty reality check so I encourage any student interested in journalism to apply for a job at the Cardinal. I simply cannot wait to begin as editor-in-chief in the fall.

Maggie Cunningham,
Assistant News Editor
After spending two years at U of L hardly ever coming to campus, editing and writing for the Cardinal has introduced me to the school and campus I didn’t even know I was attending. My typically introverted self is now comfortable walking around campus and talking to complete strangers and I actually know where I am going on campus, sometimes. Not only is my writing improving each issue, I am learning so much about what I want to do when I graduate and I feel more prepared than ever.

Sammie Hill, Sports Editor
I began working at the Louisville Cardinal my freshman year, and when the position of Sports Editor opened up, I knew it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. Throughout the past two years with the Cardinal, I’ve met incredible athletes, covered exciting games, and witnessed U of L’s success in so many sports. Working at the Cardinal gives students the chance to see so many different sides to Louisville and experience all that the university, and the city, has to offer. I’m happy that I made the decision to get involved with the Cardinal and hope incoming freshmen will check it out too.

Noah Allison, Assistant Sports Editor
I love the Cardinal!
I could never forget my freshman year at U of L, it was full of experiences and memories that I will cherish forever and so many of them were solely because I joined the paper.
My first assignment was going to a football practice and interviewing QB Teddy Bridgewater; Teddy freaking Bridgewater! Other than getting to talk to him I also got my chances at meeting most of the 2012-13 Sugar Bowl Champions, I not only got to experience the remarkable season as a fan, I got to be there behind the scenes for much of the excitement too.
That would have been cool enough, but we just also happened to win the National Championship in basketball and I got to be along for the whole ride. Going into the locker room and interviewing guys like Gorgui Dieng, Peyton Siva, Russ Smith and Kevin Ware was surreal after watching them stick it to some poor team that had to travel to the Yum! Center to face our squad.

Getting to go to NCAA Tournament games and countless home games and getting to know the team that made history will always make me cherish the unbelievable opportunities the Louisville Cardinal created for me in just my freshman year of college.

Anna Meany, Features Editor
I’ve loved being an editor for the Cardinal because it has given me the opportunity to gain real world experience in a low-stress environment. I have gotten to know a lot of creative individuals while consistently working to produce a good paper each week. Probably the most rewarding thing about working for the newspaper is how much I’ve grown as a writer — seeing your own work in print is the absolute best motivator. Although I won’t be working at the Cardinal my senior year, I hope the staff can continue what great work the 2012-2013 section editors have worked to create.

Aimee Jewell, Assistant Features Editor
I adored working at The Louisville-Cardinal. Through writing for The Cardinal, I learned not only about writing and the campus, but about myself. Working at The Cardinal this past year not only taught me the importance of a deadline, how to appropriately express ideas, and how to stay involved on campus life, but it also led me to meet some of the greatest people I met while at UofL. Learning InDesign was always something I wanted to learn how to do, and by working at the paper, I got hands on training while writing about subjects I wanted to cover. I loved being able to pitch ideas and go out into the community to write about things that interested me, instead of simply receiving an assignment and writing about something I didn’t care for. I will miss The Cardinal tremendously after I graduate and truly hope that it only gets better from here.

Tyler Mercer, Opinion Editor
I started writing for The Louisville Cardinal last fall semester and only because a friend who worked here kept encouraging me to get involved. After seeing my first cover worthy piece, I knew that I could never trump that feeling. That one where you see your name in ink and you become overwhelmed with pride and hunger for more. I couldn’t stop writing and I didn’t want to. Since starting I have moved up the ranks a little and am very proud to say that my maturity, professionalism and drive have all grown as well. The people I have met here are some of the best. They inspire, motivate and encourage you and there are few places where you find so many people like this. Don’t make the mistake I did my freshmen year, get involved with us here at the Cardinal as soon as possible! You’re going to learn a little about writing and a little about journalism, but you’re going to learn a lot about responsibility, yourself and, hopefully, a little bit about where you’re headed.

Lara Kinne, Copy Editor
The best part about The Louisville Cardinal is that it gives every student a voice. We do not turn away weak ideas; we develop them. The success of our paper relies on teamwork and creativity, which is something we vigilantly accomplish on the clock. I respect all of the staff and writers who give their time (and talents) to push out a finished product every week. I am grateful to be a part of this team.

Mason McFarland, Assistant Copy Editor
The moment I walked into my first staff meeting at the Cardinal, I realized that all my expectations were to be defied. I thought a newspaper job would be stale and cramped. I was ready to white-knuckle my way through a semester of ennui for the sake of a nice résumé entry. What I found instead was a community of excellent human beings who were always open to new ideas — and every week I’m pleasantly surprised by the budding talent of the people I work with.


Networking to build a reputation, career

By Aimee Jewell–

While filling out my first job application at age 16, I was confused as to who I could write down in the references section, seeing that I barely knew any adults, other than friends’ parents and people that I babysat for. It was something I didn’t realize then, but realized since: keeping up relationships with mentors and making new contacts is vital for success, whether you’re applying for a job or simply running for SGA. No matter what age you are; 16 to 58, an employer will always need references to know that you’re an accomplished human being.

Networking is the key to making quality contacts. Meeting others in and outside your circle comes in handy, not only when you’re in search of jobs after college, but also when you’re looking to succeed in general. Looking for an internship? Having established relationships with business professionals might land you an interview.

But you might not always be ready to meet the right people. Some events are deemed “networking events,” so you go in knowing that you’ll be meeting new people. Other times, you may not know you’re going to be meeting anyone important.
I once met one of the most successful entertaining correspondents in Louisville – in work-out clothes.  She had just finished at the gym, and had I not known who she was, I probably wouldn’t have made that great of an impression. This experience taught me that I need to have a smile on my face, a firm handshake, and an “elevator speech” of sorts to present to anyone – no matter what their importance. I didn’t need anything from her then, but it was important to me to make a good impression. A year later she offered me an internship. To be successful at a job, one must know how to communicate effectively and it is through networking you can practice those skills.

But in order to make those contacts, you have to put in the work. For instance, Louisville is known as a “big-small city.” Doesn’t make sense to you? Think about it this way: almost every business professional you meet in the city will know a handful of others that you don’t know. Meet enough people and your name is given a weight, bearing what those people you’ve already met think about you. Networking is about building a reputation, establishing yourself, and making sure you represent your own personal brand to the best of your abilities. What you do in both private and public have some sort of an influence as to what people think about you, which means that if you act poorly, you’re representing yourself poorly.

Meeting other professionals may sound easy, but there’s a lot of work that  goes on behind the scenes before you’re ready to network. To make contacts and succeed in your field of study, it is important to be professional and represent your “brand” well. Dressing nicely, printing out resumes or business cards, and being open to talking with others are all important when it comes to meeting new professionals. But what matters most is your attitude.

So where can you network? Literally, everywhere. Networking is simply meeting others and establishing a well-rounded group of people who know who you are and what your personal brand stands for. From class, to RSO events, to city-wide events, there are numerous organizations at your fingertips to help you get to know others. Any collegiate organization is an opportunity to show your stuff, but community organizations like the Young Professionals Association of Louisville, YPAL, and New2Lou help, too. So, slap on a smile, gain networking experience and show everyone how awesome you are (in the most subtle sense, of course)!

Photo courtesy of medixteam.com


Dear Freshmen: welcome home

By Tyler Mercer–

Hello and welcome to the University of Louisville. If you’re reading this at orientation, I promise it gets better. Orientation barely scratches the surface of everything you will learn, encounter and love about U of L. This is only the beginning and, like many beginnings, everything is uphill from here.

There is something special about U of L that you simply can not experience at another university. Sometimes I think it’s because U of L sits right in the middle of a wonderful, yet busy, city. Other times, I think  I love it here so much for the many opportunities students have here  at our disposal. After this past year, I’ve realized it is entirely something else.

U of L is different because, here, we shoot for the stars. We dream big and we look at every challenge as an opportunity to grow. Here at the University of Louisville, we don’t find success; we make it. That is what sets us apart. I say “us” because we are a family here at U of L and as far as families go, this is one of the best to call your own.

The nation and the world watched as our football team won the Sugar Bowl and  our men’s basketball team won the NCAA tournament. These are titles that mean a lot in the world today, yet mean even more when it is seen through the eyes of a student at U of L. These titles represent the pride and respect we have for our school and the idea that sits behind being a Card.

I will not lie to you, freshmen. At one point of my freshman year here I thought that this wasn’t the place for me and some of you may be thinking the same thing. After many conversations and deliberation, I decided to stay here and that choice has forever changed my life. There are people and situations here at U of L that you never thought would mean anything to you or would ever in a million years affect your life, but they will.

I only ask that you enter your freshmen year with an open mind and a heart that yearns to learn (cheesy, I know).  Finding yourself is what you will do here. You will find yourself, dreams you never knew you had, success beyond measure and you will, hopefully, find the people and accomplishments you’ve been waiting for.

This past year U of L has succeeded tremendously in academics, sports and beyond. There are stars and heroes here and I want each and every one of you to find your place in the sky that is U of L and Louisville. All you need is the dream and the desire to succeed.

It is very important that you shed certain things from your high school years. You must find humility, motivation, drive and a sense of who you are beyond who you’ve been. You must make an attempt to go above and beyond what you have done to find success.

On another note, there are many organizations here to become involved. I urge you to find at least one RSO, or whatever it may be, to be involved with during your first semester. You will hear from many other people how important this is, but I hope that hearing it from a fellow student will somehow make you understand. If you find somewhere to make your own, you will develop a purpose for yourself and purpose is our drive.

I will tell you from experience that the more you are involved on campus and beyond the more you will feel as though U of L is your home away from home. You will be needed and wanted in these organizations and it will help you succeed.

Beyond finding somewhere to belong here, RSOs and other groups will introduce you to many people you may not have known otherwise. These people could possibly become the best friends of your life. If you strive to develop healthy and substantial relationships it will provide you with a security blanket of friends and colleagues that will make a large city feel like a small town.

Finding new friends and creating a network of people may be challenging at first. However, it is important to make new connections here to thoroughly enjoy your college career. There will be many new people with stories and backgrounds you haven’t encountered yet, and that’s okay. Just remember that this is a time of learning and growth, and while it may be uncomfortable to strike up a conversation with a stranger, you never know what you may have in common.

Louisville has endless opportunities for students to take advantage of. There are companies and organizations throughout Louisville who offer part-time and full-time employment and paid and unpaid internships to college students. It is important that you use these opportunities and do not let them pass you by. An unpaid internship or a part-time job will say a lot about your work ethic and character to future employers.

Louisville isn’t all work and no play, though. There are key neighborhoods and areas of Louisville that will provide you with all the fun and laughter you’ll need after a long week of classes. Areas like downtown, Bardstown Road and St. Matthew’s are all great spots to get a group of friends together for a fun day exploring and generally just having a good time.

Once again, welcome to the University of Louisville. I hope the next few years are packed full of wise decisions, lots of sleep and time-management. But if they aren’t, do your best.

Photo courtesy of rowlanddesign.com

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Twitter accounts to keep you ahead of the game

The University of Louisville is a large community sitting inside an even larger community of people and things that are always changing. Louisville is never a dull place to live and grow up, but sometimes there is simply just a lot going on. It can be hard to keep track of everything you need to do on a daily basis, never mind the fact that there is always something happening.

Here we have collected a few news and sports sources that you will, hopefully, enjoy following on Twitter. While this group is very active and informative, keep in mind that outside of these select few are many, many other accounts that it would be wise to follow. Among those are other local news sources, Twitter accounts that are shaped and revolve around U of L academics, athletics and more, and even a few accounts that are just for kicks. In today’s fast-paced, information at your finger tips world, you can never be too informed. Check out these accounts and let us know who you think we left out!

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Social media breaks the communication mold

By Val Servino–Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 2.27.39 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 2.27.50 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 2.28.01 PM

As a society we have become heavily reliant on social media. Countless celebrities have been the victims of online death hoaxes, which in order to become popular and circulate, must generate millions of mentions or views. Amanda Bynes’ Twitter account alone is an endless source of entertainment and news for both the population at large, and media news personnel. At times, this reliance is useful.

“If you are trying to reach friends or family and can’t get through via phone, try texting instead (less bandwith),” tweeted the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Many runners and spectators, in addition to cell phone use, took to social media as well.

Not only did those outside of the city discover news of the tragedy via social media, but in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, many were unable to locate loved ones due to the blockage of traffic in and out of the bomb site, and loss of cell phone service.

CEO and founder of the social media sites Dodgeball and Foursquare, Dennis Crowley, was a spectator at the Marathon. No more than ten minutes after the attack, he tweeted, “I’m ok. about 20k of us in corral just before mi 26 marker. @chelsa ok too”. Countless others sent out similar tweets, Facebook statuses, and posts to assuage fears.

Social media also became a beacon of hope, #PrayforBoston and #Boston trending worldwide for hours on Twitter. The Boston hashtag continued trending in the United States as of last Tuesday morning, on both twitter and instagram.

While generally, the Internet is used as a tool for escapism and general procrastination, it is times such as these in which one is reminded of the good social media has to offer. Given its frequent misuse — take a gander at the comment section of any YouTube video — it is refreshing to see the World Wide Web come together in such a cohesive manner.

In their apprehension of one of the two bombing suspects, Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, the Boston Police Department also used Twitter to warn their constituents to stay indoors. The organization has 158,452 followers — not quite a quarter of the population of the City of Boston, 625,087. They may have stepped a little too far into the social media haze, in this instance. Reverse 9-1-1 calls seem a more effective route, in comparison. News of this information was also broadcast live, warning residents of Watertown, Newton, Brookline, Belmont, Waltham, Cambridge, and Allston-Brighton to stay indoors; that all businesses were closed.

Similarly, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has 20,705 followers on Twitter — 3.31-percent of the Bostonian population, and .312-percent of the state total 6,646,144 as of the July 2012 census. It is unlikely that many who had taken to non-telecommunicative routes had viewed the MEMA’s advice and likely that they simply went about it on their own. Large institutions such as the police force and the Emergency Management Agency are best suited to addressing the public in the standard venue, as citizens have not yet come to see social media as an information source in that sense. While an understandable decision from a public relations standpoint, overall, it is flawed.

Photo courtesy of twitter.com


Possible versus probable: the grandmother excuse

By Tyler Mercer–

Recently I read a play by Margaret Edson titled “Wit.” For reference, some of the editions use the original spelling, “W;t.” The main character was an English professor suffering from cancer who was having regrets about her life. In a flashback she recalls a student coming to her with an emergency. The student’s grandmother had passed away and because of this the student needed an extension on a due date.

The professor denied the student the extension in a way that sounds very uncompassionate and simply rude from a standpoint as a reader and student myself. Death cannot be planned for or anticipated, in most cases, and unfortunately, it simply does not happen at convenient times. The death of a family could happen anytime and certainly many family members have passed away right as semesters are ending when papers and projects are due and final exams schedules are written in stone.

The professor was quick to assume the student was lying and most likely acted this way after years of these same excuses. Students, put yourself in your professors’ position and think about how often they have most likely been lied to about an excuse for a late assignment or whatever it may be. After years of teaching, the number of times is probably unknown.

A philosophy professor here once told my class that she had actually been given the same obituary from a student for two different excuses. She obviously doesn’t take her students’ word for much anymore. As students, we yearn for our professors to respect us and trust us enough to know that we wouldn’t lie about something so serious. However, there are students who neither earn nor deserve that trust and respect because they will lie about it.

First I want to urge students to take a few things into consideration as the semester comes close to its end and due dates and exams creep closer and closer. You may or may not have already lost a family member or friend in your lifetime; if not, I do not wish that upon you. If so, you understand the pain and heartache this can cause. This is not a joking matter and should not be lied about or used as an excuse to avoid doing something on time or entirely.

Most, if not all, assignments are put on the syllabus you receive for every class at the beginning of the semester. We all know when our exams are and when big projects and papers are ultimately due. It is our job as students to attempt to complete each of these assignments completely and on time. If we fail to do so, we should readily accept the consequences that will come from that.

It is not just or ethical to seek exclusion from those consequences by saying that your grandmother or whomever has passed away. Not only does it show an astonishing lack of maturity, but it also displays a lack of reverence and respect for the life of someone who should be very important to you. I only hope that you don’t, someday, have to regret diminishing the importance of your loved one’s life simply because you lacked the maturity and motivation to complete your assignments or keep up with your studies.

It is obvious that I sympathize the position that professors are put in because of those students who may attempt to use an excuse such as this. However, as people who have had more time here and have most likely, and unfortunately, seen more of life and death, professors should also understand the uncertainty and spontaneity of death. It isn’t something your students can plan for. It is your responsibility to act with a sense of sympathy and compassion. It may sound rude or inappropriate to ask, but I would rather bring in proof of some sort than have to miss a loved one’s funeral because of an exam. In the grand scheme of things, I’m sorry to say, your final exam is less important to us than our loved ones and it should certainly be the same way for you.

Professors should avoid treating these situations in the way the professor from Edson’s play did. If a student is truly lying then the consequences should reflect such. However, professors are not omniscient and cannot be certain either way. The possibility of an excuse being true should be taken into consideration in every circumstance.

It is much easier for you to require proof of some sort than for you to look heartless and cruel.