Bowman-Milligan Photo

Criminology and political science junior Javin Bowman and political science, Spanish and international studies junior Abbie Grace Milligan are running for SG president and vice president under the Bowman-Milligan campaign.

Student Government President Javin Bowman and Vice President Abbie Grace Milligan sat down with President William Tate IV and Interim Provost Matt Lee for a meeting packed with an array of topics ranging from sexual assault awareness to COVID-19 protocols on Oct. 11.

The purpose of the meeting was for Tate and Lee to receive updates on the status of campus while ensuring student concerns are being met. 

Milligan said she is looking forward to working with Tate and hopes his administration enacts change on LSU's campus. She said she expects to see more leadership from Tate than prior administrations.

“My biggest issue has always been addressing sexual assault,” Milligan said. “We are still having protests about this issue and seeing the repercussions of the things that happened before Tate’s administration. So I would like to see his administration address this issue and I plan to hold members accountable if problems go unaddressed.”

The sexual assault allegations against former French graduate student Edouard d'Esalungue d'Arros were not discussed during the meeting, Milligan said. Tate previously said in a statement that he cannot comment on the situation due to the ongoing lawsuit involving the university.

Milligan said she hopes the new administration won’t make the same mistakes that were made in the past regarding Title IX. 

“All of this neglect from so many different levels of this university is just really unacceptable,” Milligan said. “A lot of people, in my opinion, were not given the repercussions that they deserved. What we really need to be addressing is the culture that was allowed to continue by those who were in power.”

Next steps for the Building Renaming Committee were also discussed in the meeting.

The 16-member committee, made up of faculty, staff, students and alumni, is in the process of evaluating the buildings on campus names after racist historical leaders and deciding whether any need to be changed. 

The committee, which was formed before Tate took office, singled out all the buildings that might have a controversial background.

“Members of the committee started brainstorming ideas and they were making a lot of progress,” Milligan said. “But since [former LSU president Thomas Galligan] left, there hasn’t been a chair for the committee which has limited further progress.”

Because there was so much pushback from Middleton Library's renaming, some university officials fear that state legislators could cut funding, according to Milligan.

In order to circumvent these issues, Tate suggested that each building that was singled out by the renaming committee should have a sign or plaque which would acknowledge the history behind the name.

“Instead of going through the process that we went through with the library, the university can do something that a lot of other schools did and add an acknowledgement to highlight the history,” Milligan said.

The group also talked about Tate’s “Scholarship First” initiative and what it means for LSU in the future. Milligan said it’s a five-to-10 year plan which aims to boost the university’s academic standing.

“I’m so excited about this,” Milligan said. “Everybody is well aware that LSU academically doesn’t really compare to most other SEC schools. So, I think it’s a really great way to rebrand our campus, because it will create a new goal that everyone works toward.”

Colin Raby, an SG senator representing the College of Engineering, said that he is looking forward to Tate’s “Scholarship First” approach.

“I think it is a great initiative,” Raby said. “I think it is often misinterpreted because people say, ‘Oh scholarship first, so we are not going to have football or anything’ but it is pretty much saying that there is room for improvement academically so we should try to improve.”

He added that he is glad that Tate is willing to put more focus on academics over other aspects of the university.

“We come to LSU to be students first,” Raby said. “I’m happy with Tate’s initiative to help raise the university in the national rankings.”

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