By Joe Wilson —
Excitement, community, and potential. These are just some of the words that the the top 4 officers of the Student Government Association use to describe the upcoming school year.
Earlier this week, Dorian Brown and Katie Hayden spoke with The Louisville Cardinal about their new roles as SGA’s Student Body President and Executive Vice President, respectively.
Prior to Their Positions
Both Brown and Hayden were elected to their posts in Spring 2022, after a tumultuous election cycle that involved months-long lawsuits and a run-off election. Reflecting on the election, Brown recalls being caught off guard by the contentious end of the campaign. “When it got deeper into the process, it kind of fueled my fire to want to be a person that can make changes in the future so that this situation doesn’t happen again in the upcoming years,” he said.
Speaking about the election, Hayden adds, “It was really hard. I would say there are a lot of different factors playing into the election. At the end of the day, we were very happy that it turned out how it did.”
What’s in Store For The Top 4
Brown and Hayden both expressed optimism about the future on campus, including a wish to revitalize U of L’s student community after the university decided to ease most of its COVID-19 restrictions from the previous two years. In August, the university announced it would no longer require students, faculty, and staff to wear masks indoors.
Hayden noted the improvement in student morale after the mask policy change. “It’s kind of funny, because you see people around campus that you’ve known for years, and they look completely different because you’ve been looking at them under a mask, so we’re excited to get a lot more face-to-face interaction this year.”
Ultimately, Hayden explains, the changes to the mask policy were made in consideration of public health guidelines and students’ mental health. “We talked about a lot of different factors that played into it, whether the mental health aspect of wearing a mask, the depression rates,” she explained.
Brown adds that the university continues to monitor COVID-19 cases on campus and will update the masking policy as needed. “We’re still going to track the COVID positive rates and base our next decisions on those.” Above all, Brown emphasized his goal to give students a typical college experience.
Looking Towards a Safer Future
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown and Hayden see campus security as a top priority in their administration. Hayden explains, “We’ve been working very closely with U of L PD to ensure we’re being extremely transparent in our measures. The university has put a lot of money into safety measures across the board.”
Reflecting on the other challenges the U of L community faces, Brown remains hopeful for the future. “We don’t know what’s in store for this year, but we have a lot of potential to have one of the best years the university has seen so far.”
File Photo // U of L SGA //