The Student Union once served as a much-needed reprieve from tailgating on the Parade Ground, offering students and fans food options and bathroom access.
But multiple incidents that occurred over the past few years in the building during home games led the university to close the Student Union starting during the 2021 football season.
LSU spokesperson Ernie Ballard said that the decision was made to ensure the safety of everyone in the building on those Saturdays.
"After consulting with LSU Public Safety and Risk Management, it was determined that it was not feasible to continue to keep the building open on home game days,” Ballard said.
Assistant Director of Risk Management Ashley McGowan said incidents are confidential and they are unable to comment.
On non-game days, the Student Union is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., leaving on-campus residents with the option to study, take a break or get food.
Students who utilized the food options and bathroom access, and on-campus residents who used the complex for food and the UPS Store during games voiced frustration with the change.
Sports administration junior Emily Farrell often used her free time on Saturdays to pick up packages.
“They should at least have people in [The UPS Store] organizing everything,” Farrell said.
Farrell added that when the Student Union closes, it creates a backlog at The UPS Store because packages have to wait to be processed. Long lines of students waiting to pick up their packages can be seen on most weekdays, especially this semester, Farrell said.
Psychology junior A’Miricol Stallworth agreed and said the closure creates more problems than it solves.
“It’s an inconvenience because it’s just a game day and you never know if you might need to go in and get something like a package or food,” Stallworth said.
Law student McKenna Dorais said she agrees that the Student Union should be open on game days.
“I think the Student Union should be open during game days because of the bathrooms being available,” Dorais said. “Most of the buildings are closed, leaving people with no option but to use a port-a-potty which can be hard to find."