Category Archives: Student Organizations

How To Balance Everything

megMeg is a third-year undergraduate student from Lacombe, LA pursuing a degree in industrial engineering at LSU. She is actively involved in LSU Ambassadors as the current Funding and Financial chair while having also served as a 2015 Orientation Leader and 2015 SROW LSU representative. Her favorite things to do are travel and eat all the good Cajun food possible!

Balancing everything in college, especially your first few semesters, can be trickier than some of those equations you deal with in Calculus! There’s school work, plus organization meetings, job shifts, and more with a maximum of only twenty-four hours in a day. Here’s a few theories of what three years of college have taught me thus far:

  1. Get a planner and USE it – A planner could be anything from a small notebook to a large calendar where you keep everything in. I recommend checking out the bookstore and finding what works best for you. The important thing is to have one and actually use it. This can help you see as things are coming up ahead of time so you aren’t waiting until the last minute or forget.
  2. Have friends to hold you accountable – It’s great to have friends that you can hang out with outside of class and go on adventures with during the weekend, but it’s important to have the friends that will spend an afternoon after class studying with you or working on that group project.
  3. Exercise – This is such an underrated component of keeping students happy and healthy in college! Even if it is just thirty minutes on a UREC machine or maybe an hour-long fitness class, just go and do something. Getting your body moving and focusing on yourself for a little while each day can help keep you focused. 
  4. Get involved but don’t overdo it – This meg2may not make sense now, but you’ll know when you get to this point. It’s great to be involved, but maybe you joined one organization too many and now you’re struggling to keep up with all your obligations. Maybe you’re finding yourself spending a large majority of your time on one specific involvement of yours and not keeping up with the other aspects of your life. To quote my mother, “Don’t be afraid to say no sometimes!” 
  5. Don’t forget to call home – Sometimes you just need time to chat with people you love from home that keep you grounded. All I can say is thank goodness my wireless provider has unlimited call minutes because I sure do wear out my mom’s phone catching up about our week or even sometimes the simpler questions like how long do I leave a chicken in the oven before I know it’s cooked. 

GEAUX Get Your Tiger Involved!

lindsey-blog-photoLindsey Powell served as the Orientation Leader for the University Center for Advising and Counseling this past summer. She is a sophomore from New Orleans, LA and is majoring in Biology for Pre-Pharmacy. She is involved with LSU Ambassadors, Student Government, Pre-Pharmacy Club, and Greek Life. Her favorite spot on campus is her sorority house.

This past summer I served as an Orientation Leader here at LSU. One phrase I told to all of my students coming through was “Get Involved!” My students heard it from me, other leaders, upperclassmen friends, and all of the speakers they listened to in those two days. There are so many reasons to get involved in college; Mainly, because it helps students meet so many new people and it brings them countless opportunities.

I think the reason I harp on getting involved so much is because the organizations I’ve joined since I’ve been at LSU have impacted me to a point that I don’t know where I’d be without them or the people I’ve met while being involved in them. Take it from me, since my freshman year I have joined three major student organizations. I became an LSU Ambassador, I hold a position in student government, and I am part of a Greek organization. The coolest part about all three of these organizations is that it brought me to people and gave me friendships I probably would not have had otherwise. I’ve gained best friends, study groups, and even roommates from these organizations. Of course, your student doesn’t have to join every organization that interests them. If they attend a meeting for an organization they think they would like, even if they don’t join it in the end, they may make meaningful connections or gain useful information they never would have without attending.

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Here at LSU we have over 400 student organizations. There is something here for everyone, no matter race, religion, personal interests, or talents. We have clubs for just about every major, if not all of them.  Joining that could help your student for the sole purpose of always having a study group. The people they will meet in those major-based clubs will be taking the same classes as them throughout their time at LSU. Or, like me, being a part of the Pre-Pharmacy club allows me to hear from representatives from different universities across the country about their Pharmacy programs and what they have to offer. My membership in this club is opening doors for me by giving me the opportunity to talk to representatives and figure out if one of those schools is where I would like to eventually study.

I wish every freshman tiger could read this, and even the upperclassman that haven’t found their place on campus yet. Meeting people different from yourself and surrounding yourself with people who are both similar and different from you helps you grow as a person. It helps you figure out who you are and find yourself, as well as learn about those who are different from you.

So, while you read this and hear my story, think about your tiger moving away from home and starting a whole new chapter in their life. Encourage them to get involved and to not only make those life-long friendships, but to also open those doors to new opportunities they didn’t get in high school.

How I Made LSU My Home

Mel pic Mel Cotchery will be serving as the EJ Ourso College of Business POL. She is a Business Management major from Baton Rouge. She is involved in LSU Ambassadors and Black Student Union. Her favorite spot on campus is the Quad where she enjoys writing poetry. 

I would first like to start off by saying welcome to the Tiger family!! You and your student just made one of the best decisions of your lives. Just a little over a year ago, I was that first year student, and I had yet to learn that this was true. At that time, I did not even want to attend Louisiana State University, but now, it is my home.

While I was not born in Baton Rouge, I have lived here for most of my life, and therefore have been surrounded by the LSU football culture for over a decade now. I always cheered and rooted for the athletes in purple and gold, but I simply wanted a new experience. I wanted to branch out and move away. (Thankfully) things didn’t work out that way.

When it comes to college, everyone gets a fresh start. In a short amount of time, I learned that no matter how close your hometown is to your college campus, it will not affect your ability to adapt at a quicker (or slower) pace. Louisiana State University was a large adjustment for me, even though I am from right here in the capital city. The trick to kicking those first-year jitters is to explore. What are all your goals? What will you do to achieve them? What are your hobbies and how can you MELblog pic 1perfect your craft? What will make you comfortable in this new environment? These are questions that students should begin asking themselves. The answers can be found right here on campus, you just have to look.

Part of what makes your home your home is the comfort you feel. LSU wants you to feel comfortable and thrive in being yourself, which is why there are over 400 organizations offered on campus. Joining an organization or club makes your transition to college easier and more enjoyable. This was the major key in the start of my love life with LSU.

After watching the performance the orientation leaders put on at orientation last year, I knew that I wanted to be an LSU ambassador. I stayed in the loop and walked through Free Speech Plaza waiting to learn about them one day. Becoming a member of this wonderful organization not only satisfied my desire to serve my community, but in return it gave me amazing peers and a family at school.

If your student is not sure about all of organizations offered to them, I would recommend that you inform them about tigerlink.com. This website lists the numerous possibilities for getting involMel Blog pic 2ved on campus and presents a brief summary of what you could expect.

While getting involved is the number one tip I can give, that is not the only way to feel cozy. Sometimes, students want to take their first year to let everything sink in; there is nothing wrong with that! If groups and clubs aren’t for you, I would advise making new friends. Becoming friends with your classmates makes attending class more enjoyable, it provides you with a study group and if something comes up to where you miss class, you’ll be able to get the notes from that peer. A+ here you come!

Something I appreciate about my university is the constant communication they have with the students; we are always in the loop! Every student receives a registered email, and this is where they will receive a substantial amount of information about all things Tiger-related. Emails about tutoring, shows in the theatre, or even free food are sent to all students, letting us all know what we can expect in the near future. These events are great for mingling and winding down after a long week of school. Every student should definitely attend at least one event, especially their freshman year; you’ll soon see why this is the best university in the world!

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With all that being said, everything you and your student needs is here. There is a place for every single person on this campus and room for us all to flourish. If I, a person who had LSU at the bottom of her list of desired colleges, came to bleed purple and gold in a matter of weeks, I know that anyone can. Tell your student to take advantage of what is being offered to them; it’s the best way to make this house a home.

Sincerely, Mel Cotchery, a proud Tiger

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Welcome Back Tips

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Erica Peterson is a Junior Business Management Major. As a LSU student, Erica is involved in LSU Ambassadors and Vice president of AACC Ambassadors. Erica enjoys volunteering at LSU events and helping incoming freshmen.

By this time, you have mostly unpacked, met your roommates and at least called your parents once before school starts the next morning but now its time to get ready for the first semester of college. It’s completely normal to have your nerves and worries quickly kick into gear when you start to over think so take a deep breath relax. Remember that college is a time to have new experiences and explore what you want to do in the future. The first day of class is usually the easiest but here are some quick tips people often forget to tell.

 1) Go to every class

I know you have been told this a thousand times right but it’s the truth! Think of every skipped class as a wasted fifty-dollar bill. Besides learning the material directly from the professors, you often get inside information like what sections of a chapter may not be on an exam.

2) Calendars exist

I quickly found that my life was more stressful than it had to be if I waited to the last minute. Make a calendar and actually look at it through out the week. I put mine next to my bedroom door as a constant reminder that something may be due.

3) Wear comfortable clothing

I wish someone told me this before I wore sandals across the entire campus my first day of class. Ouch. It’s okay to be stylish and comfortable at the same time, LSU is not grading you on your personal style. I quickly discovered that no one is really paying attention to what I was wearing in the first place. 

image (1)4) Embrace the awkwardness

Anticipate some awkwardness when you approach new people but don’t let that stop you from trying. Embrace every moment of it and remember they are just as nervous. Talking to the people around you can be one of the fastest ways you find new friends.

 

 5) Chill out

Whether it is a nap or catching up on a TV show, find time to relax. Now, just because I said chill doesn’t mean it should become a habit. Taking time out your study schedule to do something you enjoy can help give you that boost to keep going.

6) Don’t try to copy someone’s experienceimage

Make every moment at LSU your own. Be yourself or start a personal journey to discover who that person may be one day. Make every second count.

As school begins, I would encourage you to figure what works best for your academic and social needs this semester. Every students needs are unique and these simple tips can help with coming back to school.

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We Will Now Take a Short Intermission: The Transition From High School To College

DrewDrew is a junior majoring in Film and Media Arts with minors in Business and Art Administration. As an LSU student, Drew is involved with LSU Ambassadors, and a part of the Freshman Leadership Council. This summer Drew served as a Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Drew is  currently working as a Small Group Leader for the STRIPES Program, which is an extended orientation program for first year students. 

Prologue:

I have always loved theatre since I was in the first grade. So naturally on move in day my mom turned to me and said, “Ok man, Act 2!” This was the realization that I was going to college and it was my time to be in the spotlight. For those of you who have had kids in theatre, you know that intermission to Act 2 can be stressful. Worrying whether the audience liked it or not, if they are staying for Act 2, can you save the show, and many more thoughts cross your mind. This should sound familiar to you, because I am sure a million worries are going through your head as the Director of this show.

The transition from high school to college is a very nerve-racking one, but the greatest thing about it is that no one has to do it alone. There are all kinds of people and programs that can help make the transition a smooth one. Students are just as nervous about coming to college as you are to let them leave. I was a very shy kid freshman year, and I swore that the scene in Legally Blonde where she gets kicked out on the first day would be my life. However, that was not the case. All the fears about not finding classes, mean professors, not making friends, and any other worry you or your student may have is not the case.

Scene 1: Academics

This may be the biggest worry, but maybe the most easily fixable. First of all, they have to find their classes! LSU Ambassadors will be at the clock tower the Sunday before classes start to help students walk their schedule so they know and are comfortable with where their classes are. During Welcome Week, ” Ask Me” stations are also set up around campus in case your tiger gets lost. Finally, there is the LSU app that has a map of the campus.  I used this app on my first day and pretended like I was texting the whole time!

Now on to the classwork. If your actor is having a hard time connecting to their character ( or having a hard time learning the material) there are several things that can help them out. First off, office hours are a wonderful resource for your student. All professors are required to have office hours and  I never regretted going to talk to my teachers about information that I may be struggling with. Also the Center for Academic Success ( located in the basement of Coates Hall) can help your student with tutoring, learning and studying strategies, and time management help. If your student is struggling this will be a great place to send them. 

Scene 2: Health

What about health and nutrition? The producers of our productions (LSU) have already thought of that. At LSU, we have the Student Recreational Complex that has several aspects to keep your tiger in shape. Besides weights and workout equipment, they also have a swimming pool and several other sports courts like tennis, racquetball, a rock wall, and much more. Your student can also register for classes at the complex. They have cycling classes, kickboxing, and even street beats for your dancer.

Another great resource to keep your tiger healthy is the Student Health Center located on the corner of Infirmary Road. The Student Health Center is always there if your student ever has any questions about their physical health and mental health . In the basement is health promotion, which has dietitians to help your student keep a balanced diet while in college. The first floor is for physical health that helps your tiger when they are sick. They even have a pharmacy and specialty doctors to help your tiger get back on his or her feet. Finally, the second floor is for mental health. This floor contains licensed therapists for one-on-one or group sessions. I suffer from anxiety so this was a great resource for me especially with the transition. I also know people who have gone because of homesickness, breakups, or other mental issues that they may face.

Scene 3: Social

How will they make friends? This is a simple solution as well. The Office of First Year Experience (FYE) puts on a series of events called Welcome Week. They have events throughout the week and some events even have free food. You can access the full Welcome Week Schedule by clicking here. Attending “What’s the Big Deal about Jambalaya?” was a great way to meet out of states students and get a free dinner in the process.

Another idea that will help out with this aspect is getting involved.  LSU has over 400 organizations that play active roles both on and off campus. Joining organizations is how I met most of my friends, and I will never regret joining them. However I have an older sister, who is 5 years older then me, and she got involved by working at a restaurant with a lot of other college students here in Baton Rouge. This is where she made all of her friends, and through those friends met the man that became her husband last September. Friends will come at the right time, and you just have to be patient and let it happen.

The Finale:

Even though the curtain is closing on Act 1, it does not mean Act 2 is written for you. New characters, adventures, plot twists, and the unexpected is what makes stories great! Your student has the resources to do great things, and they will once their story starts to unfold. The curtain is about to open on Act 2 of their schooling and you have been front and center for the performance all along. You have what you need to direct your student, so let them go on their own in the spotlight, and I promise you the show will end with a standing ovation.

Its More Than Just Service!

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Justin Daws is going into his junior year at LSU. He is studying Human Resources with an emphasis in Leadership Development. At LSU, Justin is involved with LSU Ambassadors, Relay For Life of LSU, Colleges Against Cancer, and work for the Office of Parent and Family Programs as the Student Assistant. During the summer, he has served the Office of Orientation as a Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Music and Dramatic Arts.

 

While here at LSU, service is not only a trait that we try to instill in all of our students, but also an attitude that is taken into the hearts of every tiger here at this university. Starting at orientation, we encourage all of our students and families to help give back to the community by donating school supplies, so that we can stuff the bus and give back to the Baton Rouge community. Then from there we turn right around, and serve our community before school even starts with Community Bound. The Saturday before school starts, LSU sends over thousands of students, staff, and faculty to different locations around the Baton Rouge area to help assist and serve the community.
My first year here at LSU, I was able to participate in Community Bound. The Saturday morning started off with a welcome by the Chancellor of the University in the LSU Student Union Theater, which was both inspiring and a great way to start off not only the day, but also the year. We then loaded onto LSU Buses, which took us to multiple different locations with our fellow classmates and soon to be friends to serve the community. Some of my closest friends and I were able to go assist in the cleaning and painting of a local public school. After the day came to a close, we were given lunch at the school we were working at and then brought back to LSU.

The service did not end here, throughout the academic school year, LSU hosts many different opportunities to serve the school and the community. During homecoming, we do a massive school caned food drive and build Tiger Stadium out of cans on the parade ground. We are constantly hosting small service projects and events that can any student can participate in. One of the best ways of serving the community and LSU would be through the many different service organizations on campus. I, myself, am part of the Relay For Life of LSU organization as the executive director where we raise money for The American Cancer Society and serve men and women who are dealing with the effects of cancer. The organization that I am part of is only one out of many different and unique groups on campus that students can get involved in to help serve and give back

If there is one thin I can tell an incoming student to do to make their time here at LSU meaningful, I would tell them to give back. By giving back, you feel like you are making a difference and trying to better the world. Here at LSU, giving back and serving is what ties every group and organization together and makes us one big family. We may have different groups we support and different styles of service, but at the end of the day we are all serving as tigers and that ultimately represents the love and respect we have for our university. 10152024_10202805935621336_2175477830755590663_n

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Geaux Get Involved

katKat is a junior, from New Orleans, LA, studying mass communications with a minor in leadership development. As a Junior, Kat has served on the Freshman Advising and Preregistration Team for two summers. She currently serves as an LSU Ambassador and as a Student Senator in LSU Student Government. This summer, Kat is beyond excited to serve as a Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Engineering and a Small Group leader for STRIPES.

 

When stepping foot on LSU’s campus, I was immediately presented with the vast opportunities that you can have as an LSU student. At STRIPES, an extended orientation program for first year students, I was able to meet many different leaders that were involved in many diverse organizations on campus. In addition, there was a presentation specially geared to aiding students on getting involved as an LSU student.  At the presentation, I was encouraged to attend the LSU Welcome Week, known as Bengal Bound. This week was full of exciting events and free food, which all college students love.

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Once I got settled on campus, my involvement journey all started in my residential hall. friends from residence hallI started by branching out and getting to know different people in my community in South Hall. From watching tv in our common areas to studying in our study rooms, I loved connecting with other students. After meeting so many new friends in my residential hall, I decided to find more ways to get involved on campus. My friends and I took a visit to Free Speech Plaza where we were able to get more information about the over 400 organizations LSU has to offer. From this experience, I decided to begin my journey as an LSU Ambassador and a member of LSU Student Government. Both of these opportunities have made an incredible impact on my LSU experience.

 

Every student’s journey at LSU is different, so encourage your student to get involved with an organization or community that they are truly passionate about. Friends for a lifetime can come in the most unexpected ways, and with endless opportunities getting involved truly makes a student’s time at LSU more memorable.lsu ambassadorsKAT

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Geauxing Greek: Randi Kirk

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Randi is a recent graduate of LSU with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. During her time at LSU she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, LSU Ambassadors, Alpha Lamda Delta, Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board. This summer she will serve as the Parent Orientation Leader to the College of Agriculture and this fall she will pursue a Masters in Healthcare Administration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

 

Letters. No, I’m not talking about the 26-character alphabet you are taught at a young age, I’m talking about the Greek insignia that I wore on my first day of class.IMG_1602 The first day of classes for any college student can be intimidating but thankfully I walked into class and sat down next to a girl wearing the same exact shirt as me. Going into my fall semester of my freshman year of college there were many things I was unsure of: where would I live, what would my friends be like, would I succeed in school, but most of all – would I fit in? It’s the question that sits in the back of each person’s mind as they enter the unknown. Geauxing Greek for me was a no-brainer, my family’s tradition at LSU was to be Greek. Therefore, it was my every wish and desire to run down the curved road of West Lakeshore Drive in 100 degree weather before my first day of school.

IMG_1604Recruitment is exhilarating for some and absolutely terrifying for others. It’s filled with ice water and conversations, most being repetitive. However, regardless of the outcomes you end up where you truly belong. Although four years ago I couldn’t imagine being anything else but another sorority, I am incredibly blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a Zeta Tau Alpha.Being Greek is so much more than the stories one hears over the news, or what people post on Facebook, it’s a tradition that becomes a part of you forever. The letters that I represent stand for a philanthropy that changes lives, scholarship that pushes you to be a better student, leadership that develops you, and socials to round you out.

During my time in ZTA, I had the honor and privilege of serving in multiple leadership positions but the most rewarding was serving on Executive Council as the New Member Educator for 97 women. For an entire year, I dedicated my time and service to a position that consistently gave back to me in ways I never imagined. While serving on this council I also lived in the sorority house and let me tell you, the closet space is impeccable among 58 women. The house was a place that fostered many friendships that developed into best friends. There are nights of laughter, late night coffee runs, and studying until the early morning that I will never forget. Although, these few paragraphs may not say it, being Greek made me a better woman, a better sister, a better daughter, a better friend and a better student. I would not be the individual I am today without it and I will forever go into the world with the letters I wore for four years stored in the fondest part of my heart. My advice for you is that if you are considering Greek Life or if your son or daughter is considering becoming Greek, remember that we all get by from a little help from our friends. Take a chance and you just might find your home at LSU!IMG_1567

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SROWcus Pocus: A Magical Experience

ImageMeet Margaret Manning from Monroe, LA. She is a freshman Political Communications major in LSU’s Manship School for Mass Communication and a member of the LSU Ambassadors organization. In today’s post, Margaret will be telling us about her experience traveling to a regional orientation conference with the LSU Ambassadors.

This weekend I had the privilege of traveling with 50 of my fellow Ambassadors to Clemson University in South Carolina for the Southern Regional Orientation Workshop or SROW. SROW is a three day conference for university orientation leaders, graduate assistants and advisors from around the southern region of the country to attend to learn how to better their own orientation programs as well as share information about their own.

This year’s conference theme was the magic filled “SROWcus Pocus.” Complete with Harry Potter spells, voodoo and a little bit of Disney magic, the orientation team at Clemson pulled out all the stops to make sure visiting schools had the time of their lives.

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LSU has attended the conference for over 20 years, and the 2014 conference was one to add to the books. LSU’s Jordan Richardson and Taylor Parks represented LSU well when they were selected as the Most Outstanding Case Study presentation out of the whole delegation of about 80 universities. To further LSU’s success at the conference, 1896973_685249144852056_1151009334_nsenior Taylor Parks was chosen as  the region’s Outstanding Undergraduate Student by the Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education.

Wow. What a weekend. And to experience this as a freshman, I was completely blown away with pride! LSU had a presence everywhere we went. Whether it was walking down Victory Hill in Clemson’s own Death Valley, cheering with the Louisiana delegation or performing my presentation to a room full of people, I was overcome with a feeling of Tiger Pride.

I am glad that I had this experience and I can hardly wait to take what I have learned and apply it to orientation here at LSU to make sure that LSU orientation is the best it can be!

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Get Schooled: Buddy Walk 2013

ImageZachary Heathman is a sophomore, Mass Communication major from Jefferson City, Missouri. He currently serves as Special Programs Associate Chair for LSU Ambassadors. 

Every year, LSU Ambassadors has the privilege of teaming up with DSAG of Baton Rouge (Down ImageSyndrome Awareness Group) to put together a large event called Buddy Walk. Buddy Walk is an event where the community comes together to celebrate those born with an extra chromosome, and as a result, have Down syndrome. This is a cause very near and dear to the hearts of all LSU Ambassadors,because our very own advisor happens to have a son, Parish, with this disability. This is where the theme comes into play. This year the theme was “Parish Goes to School”, because he just started school this year. We always take the theme and use it to design a custom t-shirt that all of the volunteers wear to the Imageevent. This year we took the theme and created a design with the phrase “Get Schooled, It’s Just an Extra Chromosome”. There is just something about this phrase that is so empowering for not only those in support of the cause, but those with the disability as well.

So on the morning of November 2nd, 2013, me along with around 150 other volunteers, arrived at the Healing Place Church to begin a fun day full of service. There were so many fun games and activity stations for people to participate in, along with food, a DJ, hay ride and even inflatables. What was even more exciting was when the LSU Baseball team, LSU Cheerleaders and Mike the Tiger arrived to show their support and play with the kids. It was such a rewarding experience to sit back and watch everyone enjoying the event and watching all of the kids have the time of their lives! Watching the hard work of everyone involved pay off was more than worth it. I am so honored to not only be a part of an organization that supports causes such as these, in such great ways, but to go to a university that does this as well.  Geaux Tigers!

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