Making Orientation Better for Your Student

BlaiseBlaise LaCour is a Mass Communication Junior from Natchitoches, Louisiana currently serving as the Communications Chair for LSU Ambassadors. She attended the Southern Regional Oriental Workshop in 2016 and 2017 and served as a Parent Orientation Leader in 2015.

LSU is constantly working to have the best orientation program possible for incoming students, parents and their families. Part of what we do as a university to keep our orientation leaders as informed as possible is send them to an annual conference called the Southern Regional Orientation Workshop (SROW). The organization orientation leaders are chosen from, the LSU Ambassadors, selects a group of its members to send to universities across the south where they attend presentations and learn how other universities run their orientation programs.

This year, a group of about 40 Ambassadors, including myself, loaded up a bus and traveled to Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia for the conference.  Since the SROW committee had been chosen in November, this was a highly anticipated trip. In the months leading up to SROW, we prepared detailed presentations to bring to the Presentation Groupconference. Most presentation groups researched universities across the country in order to compile a well-rounded set of information for their presentations. Presentation topics this year covered areas like campus safety and financial literacy. At the conference itself, other universities discussed diversity, first generation students and the importance of social media at orientation. Over the course of SROW there is a large exchange of information between universities as a result of these educational presentations.

In addition to presentations, the Ambassadors participate in the song, skit, step and dance competition that takes place at SROW. Entering under the dance category, we performed a 3 minute and 30 second routine set to music combined with voice-overs that spoke about resources LSU offers its students. (https://youtu.be/jVoFKIyDoa4 ) This was one of several ways we displayed how dynamic LSU is as a university.

After four days in Georgia, we returned back to Baton Rouge eager to share what we learned at SROW. The conference seemed to pass in the blink of an eye in comparison to the months that were spent preparing for those four days. Because of this experience, the SROW committee is now a tight knit group of students who are well prepared to serve the university that we love. Committee Picture

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LSU Cares

lsu-caresLSU Cares is a university initiative dedicated to the well-being of students and promotion of a community that cares about each of its members. The purpose of LSU Cares is to provide an online process for students, faculty, staff, and parents/families to report concerns in an appropriate way.

How do I submit a report?
To submit a report, visit www.lsu.edu/lsucares and look for the category that you think best represents your concern. The categories include academic intervention, academic misconduct, behavioral misconduct, bias or discrimination, hazing, sexual misconduct, student grievances, and students of concern. There is no wrong way to submit a report. The category you select is not as important as the information you share about our Tigers. We will review the information and make sure it gets to the right people.

What happens when I submit a report?
After you submit a report, an LSU Cares representative will contact you as soon as possible to verify that your report was received and gather more information. We then develop a plan and reach out to the student(s) in need.  Reports can be made at any time and can also be anonymous.  It is not unusual for students to make a report about themselves or their peers when they have concerns they do know how to handle.

What qualifies for a student of concern report?
A student of concern report normally deals with students in crisis or distress.  Some examples include loss of a loved one, feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to turn, and showing a decline in their ability to function as they normally would. Students with concerns like this should all be given the opportunity for a helping hand. Please let us know so we can be proactive in their time of need.

Who sees these reports?
The Associate Dean and Director of Student Advocacy & Accountability receives all the reports and then assigns them to an appropriate advocate within the office.  Reports are reviewed daily. They are kept private and confidential and the information obtained in the report is used only to assist the student.

Emergency issues such as thoughts of harming self or others should be reported immediately to 911.  You can still make a report once the situation has stabilized and the student is safe. We will follow up with your Tiger as soon as possible.

Where can I get more information?
For more information, call the Student Advocacy & Accountability office at 225-578-4307 or send an email to care@lsu.edu.

Freshman Survival Guide: Changing Majors

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Chandler Wall will be serving as the POL for Music and Dramatic Arts and the College of Agriculture. He is a Junior from Dallas, Texas. He is a Human Resources and Education major with a concentration in Leadership. He is involved with LSU Ambassadors and his favorite spot on campus is Mike’s Habitat. 

Changing your major is quite common to the average college student. I personally have changed my major a total of 4 times now and almost every time I had to change my senior college. I would think that this next one would be the major I graduate with, but each time I would realize that it wasn’t for me.  After I realized that my third major change wasn’t what I hoped it would be, I decided that it was time for me to change again. Except this time was different, this time I felt lost. This time I wasn’t changing my major because I found something I felt I liked better.

Chandler BlogI didn’t know what I wanted anymore, or what the best fit for me was. I just knew that I wasn’t happy in that major anymore. It was a terrifying feeling. I had just finished my sophomore year of college, now half way through my college career and I no longer knew what I wanted to do. I went and talked to my friends about what I should do next and they all said the same thing, “Pay a visit to the Olinde Career Center.” I had heard about it in the past but had never been there myself. I didn’t realize that I walked by it almost everyday in the Student Union. I wasn’t sure if it would be able to solve all my problems, but I knew that it was definitely worth a try.

When the new school year was starting I walked in and set up an appointment with a career counselor. She sat me down and we talked for a long while until she had a grasp on my situation. From there we started from scratch, we looked at many different majors offered by each college at LSU. She could tell that our conversation wasn’t getting me any closer to figuring out what I wanted to do. She then proposed that I take on online test known as the Strong Test. This test would help to tell me what kind of work style I had, what jobs would really suit me, which jobs wouldn’t, it even told me whaChandler Blog 3t majors I would work well in. So I went and took the test and I would meet back with her once the results came in.

About a week later, I went to meet her again to look at my results. I was surprised to see my test results were a stack of papers half an inch thick. They were telling me things about myself that I never realized and options that I had never even considered. We talked until I could narrow it down to three majors. Then I went and spoke to each senior college to weigh my options. Eventually I choose to go with Human Resources and Education. Words couldn’t describe the feeling of relief I had now that I had a major and a plan again. Sometimes people realize that they actual don’t want to major in what they came to college to study and that is okay. It’s better to realize this early during your undergrad, instead of a week before graduation or even after. The LSU Olinde Career Center is there for this specific purpose and it should definitely be utilized, because it definitely can’t hurt.

LSU Cale P. Smith Student Financial Management Center

Today’s post comes from Raylea Barrow, a Graduate Assistant for the Student Financial Management Center. Read more to learn what the Student Financial Management Center is all about!

The LSU Cale P. Smith Student Financial Management Center is thrilled for our brand new location in the LSU Olinde Career Center of the LSU Student Union! This facility will further allow us to engage students in financial literacy education and advise students to become financially responsible. Financial literacy education plays an important role in teaching students how to properly create and maintain a budget, form disciplined spending habits and set financial goals. Students will gain access to these lessons through our personal one-on-one advising, First Year Finance programming and any additional campus activities related to our office. The LSU SFMC also offers Transit, a free online course requirement which first year students can use to test their financial knowledge through mock scenarios.

Students and famalies interested in the LSU SFMC can continue financial education by accessing our online resources at sfmc.lsu.edu or our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/lsusfmc. Emily Burris Hester serves as coordinator for the office and her associate, Raylea Barrow, serves as the current graduate assistant. Our office, 158BB Student Union, has appointments available on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

This Thursday, September 18th, the Student Financial Management Center will be holding their first event of the year. Encourage your student to geaux check it out at Free Speech Alley!

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Location: 158 BB LSU Student Union

Email: sfmc@lsu.edu

Phone: (225)-578-1586

The LSU Tiger Card: Your Key to Campus

Mmorgan 1organ Decuir is currently a senior at LSU majoring in Elementary Education. She loves serving her university as a member of LSU Ambassadors, and she is also a proud member of Kappa Delta Epsilon and Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL). Throughout her years at LSU, she participated in SPRINGFEST as a Team Leader, served on the SPRINGFEST Executive Board as the Associate Chair for Events and Training, and served on the Student Support Service’s Student Activities Board as the Communications Liaison. This summer she is the Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Human Sciences and Education. Morgan is more than thrilled to begin her career as a teacher in Fall 2015.

 

“Where do I pick up my ‘I.D. card’?”
“I’ve lost my Tiger Card. How much is it for a replacement?”
“I’ve had my picture on my I.D. since freshman year when the weather was ridiculously humid and very hot! I can’t believe I still have this thing after 5 years.”

     These are all statements that I’ve heard multiple times since my first day at LSU during the summer of 2011. I, like mostly all incoming students, was confused about what my Tiger Card was capable of doing for me on campus. I didn’t know its purpose. I definitely did not know that I could submit a picture for my Tiger Card instead of taking one in the office during orientation. Mainly, I was super confused about all that was on this thing! I was never used to carrying around an I.D. card at all times, until now. After misplacing mine multiple times and having to pay using my personal money to replace it definitely taught me the importance of not losing it often. The LSU’s Tiger Card is one of the most important cards that you will receive during your time here at LSU. You will have a love/hate relationship with your Tiger Card, but I hope to relieve some confusion about the many functions that are contained on it.

 

What is it? 

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Your Tiger Card accesses most/all functions on campus. It holds your key to your Residence Hall if you live on campus, it has your Meal Plan loaded on it, and it keeps your TigerCASH safe and secure. If you need to take a test on campus, make sure you have your Tiger Card. Want to go to a football game or any LSU sporting event? Don’t forget your Tiger Card, especially on Game Day. Your Tiger Card should be kept with you like you keep your driver’s license or debit card—close in reach. Your Tiger Card is more than just an identification card; it is your key to LSU!

 

Where can I get one?

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If you need a Tiger Card, feel free to stop by the Tiger Card Office, which is located in room 109 of the Student Union. If you would like to submit a picture for your Tiger Card before your orientation, feel free to log on the Tiger Card Office website at http://www.tigercard.lsu.edu and click “Online Photo.” There are requirements for online photo submittal, so please factor those requirements into your photo selection! While you are at orientation, you are also able to take your picture in the office if you did not submit one. By the way, the wait time to receive your card is less than 5 minutes, unless there is high traffic from orientation lines, which to me is a lot faster than at the DMV!

What do I use it for?

 

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You can use your Tiger Card any where on campus! Here are a few ways that you will use your Tiger Card:

-Entering your Residence Hall
-Use of block meals or Paw Points

-Use of TigerCASH

-Taking a test in class or in the Himes Testing Center

-Printing in Middleton Library

-Entering Tiger Stadium for a football game

-Doing your laundry in the Residence Halls

-Entering any LSU sports events

Do you know the difference between Paw Points and TigerCASH?

Well, Paw Points can only be used on campus for food purchases. For example, you can use your Paw Points to purchase food items in the Student Union, the Barnes and Noble bookstore, and even at the CC’s Coffee in Middleton Library. TigerCASH can be used on-campus and at some locations off-campus. If you have TigerCASH loaded on your Tiger Card, you can purchase food at Raising Cane’s or Chipotle. A full list of where you can use your TigerCASH can be found on the Tiger Card Office’s website.

I hope this post relieves any worries or concerns about your Tiger Card. Welcome to Louisiana State University, Class of 2018! Please enjoy your time here at orientation! We are all excited for you to be here and as always: Love Purple, and Live Gold! GEAUX TIGERS!

Change Break: Florida

Today’s post comes from Elisa Allen. She is a member of the class of 2017 from New Orleans, LA and is majoring in Marketing.

Driving into Florida Saturday afternoon was a beautiful sight. Our van erupted with laughter at the sight of dolphins leaping through the Gulf. After sitting through riveting environmental discussions and taking everything into perspective, it was a sad thought to think that what if in a few years others didn’t get to drive into places with the same beautiful greeting. I’m glad that on this trip not only was I able to do something impactful but I was informed on how to do more and continually help.
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Elissa Marie Allen (painting here in gold cap) paints part of the battery at Fort Pickens National Park in Pensacola, Florida.
Our team started off our trip in Pensacola, after a four hour drive of team bonding it was nice to reach our destination: campsite Fort Pickens. Well, technically it was the back-up campsite, we moved around a lot during the trip. We started off our work restoring Fort Pickens battery monuments, painting and cleaning the tour sites in the National Park. Finishing up there efficiently we went into the next day ready to tackle some trash. You would be amazed at the sight of all the trash that litters the beach; we definitely were. Working all day in the hot sun was exhausting, but camping less than a mile away was convenient. We ran into a bit of a storm, but the Park workers came to our rescue. I like to think it was good karma; we were saved from rain because we were doing what we could to make the place better.

We left the rain for Tallahassee Tuesday morning. There was a trend with the animals in Florida because this time we were greeted by a kid–that is a baby goat. We were shown around the magical Lichgate property that we had the pleasure of residing for the rest of the trip, than a tour of the SanLuis Mission our next volunteer project. The plan was to start working the following day but after finding out how much work was to be done we jumped in right then and there to prep. Working at the SanLuis Mission was such fun, despite all that had to be done. We worked the organic gardens weeding and planting and so much more. Being able to work with all friends, which is what our team came to be during this time, made everything so much better. Our work as well as everything else we experienced in Florida really inspired all of us to spread what we learned back into our community here in Baton Rouge.

Sophomore Year: The Next Chapter

Res Life

Meet Francesca Brewer from Katy, TX. As a junior in mass communication, I love being able to use my mass comm skill set as a Res Life tour guide. Because living on campus made the transition from high school to college so much easier for me, I hope my story can help current and future Tigers find their home at LSU. Meeting other Texas Tigers on daily tours and telling them the spirit and the community of LSU is what I love about my days…I hope you’ll enjoy my story here! 

Congratulations! You’re halfway through your first year at LSU!

Right about now you’re probably thinking about housing, roommates, and schedules for next semester. A year ago I was in the same place, and the biggest thing I needed to decide was whether I should live on campus as a sophomore or move off campus.

Like a responsible soon-to-be adult, I weighed my options. I knew not having a car would make living off campus extremely difficult. I also knew I wanted more space than a residence hall room offered. I enjoyed living on campus my freshman year, but I wanted to live somewhere with a little more independence as an upperclassman. I talked to friends and family and looked at options on the Residential Life website. I know there were more expensive and less expensive options available off campus, but living in an on-campus apartment was the best fit for me. East Campus Apartments (ECA) gave me the independence I was looking for while keeping the convenience of living on campus.

I’ve lived at ECA for two years now, and I love having my own room and living space and not having to worry about monthly bills yet! I also don’t have to deal with the added stress of waking up early, driving, and parking to get to class on time that students living off campus must deal with. I can honestly say that that extra time and stress saver has helped me improve my grades; it’s easier for me to attend office hours and study sessions when I never have to leave campus.

As you consider housing for next year, make sure you keep the East Campus Apartments and the West Campus Apartments in mind. They could be the perfect fit for you like they were for me! Campus Housing Contract Renewal starts in the spring…look for more details from Res Life soon about how to secure your space on campus for fall 2014.

For more details about the apartments, click here, and watch me give a tour of the apartments here!