When discussing the drawbacks of the University with any naysayer, the size of the University inevitably comes up. Since it has over 30,000 students, there’s no way for the University to care about every single one. Students must be seen as cash-cows, or merely an 89-number. I disagree.
Despite the University’s status as one of the largest public schools in the nation, they do a nice job of ensuring the students always have resources available.
The shining stars of the University would have to be the advisers. Advisers are those who make sure you’re on the right path and assist you when you’re not on one at all. Countless students can recount just how an adviser has saved their life, or more aptly, their college career. Each college has its own number of advisers, each equipped with knowledge to help students navigate college with the ease of knowing someone is there to guide them.
There are so many things you truly don’t know about the University or your degree until meeting with an adviser. Scheduling an appointment is incredibly easy, and many colleges do take walk-ins. This means accessible assistance at any time. If you’re not able to meet in-person, many advisers will correspond through email.
Some of the University’s professors don’t have the best reputation, but this is where the independent learning part of college comes in. When teaching yourself doesn’t work, there are even more University-provided options to ensure your academic success.
I know many students who take advantage of the Supplemental Instruction sessions provided in conjunction with their courses. Unfortunately, they don’t exist for every single course.
Six days a week in Troy H. Middleton Library, the Center for Academic Success provides free tutoring for 19 course subjects. They also provide free online tutoring, with current students being provided with 900 free minutes. Genesis Tutoring in the LSU Student Union provides evening tutoring in 14 course subjects.
The Department of Foreign Languages offers tutoring five days a week in Hodges Hall. The Department of Physics and Astronomy even offers tutoring for one of the most difficult subjects on campus — physics. There’s also writing help and support provided by the writing coaches in Coates Hall. Even the residential halls on campus provide tutoring. All students have to do is walk downstairs.
This plethora of resources doesn’t draw a picture of a university apathetic toward its students. Rather, they prove the University is interested in ensuring success for each individual student.
I’ve heard many stories about the difficulties of working with the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. Yes, this can be extremely frustrating. However, they can also be extremely helpful. Outside of all the document-sending and the back-and-forth communication, the University’s financial aid office is very speedy in their assistance. Designated by their last name, each counselor is assigned a group of students to assist. Only hindered by the number of students in front of you, they generally get back to you as fast as possible.
The University has a number of detractors who point out some of the injustices students and faculty face on campus. However, to say the University administrators only see students as an 89-number or the total of a fee bill is as incorrect as it is disrespectful to those who work hard to prove this stereotype wrong. I’ve never experienced a problem with the University that couldn’t be solved with an email or a phone call.
The University provides so many resources and opportunities on campus — students need only ask for assistance. There are people on campus waiting to help you. In fact, they’d be more than happy to do so.
Maya Stevenson is a 19-year-old English and economics sophomore from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.