LSU’S ENVIRONMENT: BENEFICIAL OR DETRIMENTAL?

Baton Rouge, LA— A panel consisting of educated professionals from Louisiana State University came together for the college’s Moment and Movement symposium to discuss environmental topics concerning the city of Baton Rouge, specifically the LSU community. 

The panel, which consisted of Brian Salvator, Lillian Bridwell-Bowles, Pamela Blanchard, and Richard Shaw, discussed how the physical, architectural, and ecological aspects of the university’s campus is affected by the physical and social environment.

The panel began by considering the many environmental concerns surrounding LSU’s campus. All four of the panelists were in agreement that LSU’s historical buildings are some of the campus’ most attractive features, but they are also extremely detrimental.

The campus of LSU is abundant in rich history made evident through the many sites and buildings across the property that date back to the campus’ founding. While these buildings may be economically efficient in terms of drawing in money from donors and alumni, they are environmentally detrimental when it comes to the health and comfort of students and faculty.

Lillian Birdwell-Bowles began the discussion by pointing out that almost every building on LSU’s campus has some sort of issue in its infrastructure, specifically the buildings that make up the university’s “quad.” The buildings the make up “quad” are some of the oldest buildings on campus. Problems in the “quad” range from insulation to air quality. Birdwell-Bowles explained that these buildings have temperatures ranging around 35 degrees, making it uncomfortable for those who use the facilities. The community of LSU has made a conscious effort to restore and cherish the history of the school by salvaging as many of these buildings as possible, but there are still many problems that have yet to be resolved. 

The panelists also brought the topic of LSU’s social environment into the discussion. Richard Shaw asked the question: where do students meet on LSU’s campus to have intellectual conversations about the world going on around them? Because a majority of the buildings on the campus are out-of-date, they do not offer communal spaces for students to come together to discuss, debate, and deliberate on the happenings of the world that they live in. Without supplying students with these kinds of spaces, is LSU really helping or hindering the social lives of its students? Pamela Blanchard brought up the fact that “the time to reach kids is when they’re young.”

While the panelists each voiced their many concerns with the campus of Louisiana State University, they were also all in agreement that the school’s ultimate desire is to harbor the success of its students. While trying to uphold its history, LSU also strives in achieving the goal of, as Lillian Birdwell-Bowles states, “educating the next generation of leaders.”

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