Dig Baton Rouge

Seven things to watch for on campus this semester

By Randee Iles

LSU is changing. From the new bookstore to the expansion of Tiger Stadium, there seems to always be construction on campus. With the New Year comes new projects, many of which students will be able to see growing as they walk to class each day. Besides the changing atmosphere, there are also many events to look forward to in the New Year; here are a few things Dig will be looking out for in 2015.

Massive Frat House

The LSU Board of Supervisors recently approved the plans for a new Kappa Sigma fraternity house (above). The new house will be 23,000-square feet and will cost $6 million. Kappa Sigma is paying for the house that will replace their current residency that is falling apart, but because it is on LSU’s campus it needed to be approved. Through 2015 the fraternity’s current house will come down, and the construction for the new house will begin. The three-story frat house will not be completed until 2016, but the fraternity will certainly experience a change in scenery during the New Year.

Student Athlete Nutrition CenterStudent Athlete Center

Another project we will not see finished in 2015 is the 22,500-square-foot, student-athlete dining hall. This is not a regular dining hall like The 459 or The 5. Besides feeding the athletes – and only the athletes – there will be nutritionists to help teach them how to eat healthier and even how to cook. The $12 million center will take over the area where the old Alex Box Stadium used to sit. Construction is set to begin before April of 2015 and finish the following April. With many commuter parking lots around this area, we hope construction will not cause parking delays.


The UREC construction is far from new, but since the last phase of construction has began we will see more change than before this year! Phase III of construction began in November and is set to finish in the fall of 2016. Many students who have been around for the construction will graduate before the expansion is finished, yet it is still exciting to watch the future being built from the ground up. Phase III is the biggest phase of all, and there are many things to look forward to with this redesign, including the expansion of the cardio/weight space, “outdoor pool area with LSU logo shaped lazy river and eight lane lap pool,” and a Fitness Assessment Center. These are only a few of changes that one should look for in the new UREC.

Plus/minus Grading System

A new grading system may be closer than we think. While some say a plus/minus system may not be in place for a couple years, according to LSU’s Daily Reveille it is set for Fall 2015. If this is the case, have no fear. Even though not all grades are equal when it comes to GPA anymore, this can be helpful to those students who are always trying to get their grade up .05 percent to get the next letter grade. Now a B+ is worth more than a B and not much less than an A-. When/if the grading scale is implemented, keep in mind that it is meant to help, not hurt you!


LSU Leveraging Innovation for Technology Transfer (LIFT2) provides up to $50,000 grants to faculty to fund research and inventions.  LIFT2 had a successful launch in May this year, so the Board of Supervisors decided to increase the fund by $2 million. Initially 15 grants were awarded, but with the new budget in 2015 we will see more grants, meaning more research and technology happening all around LSU.


LSU grad student Danny Holmes works on a digitally-enhanced guitar, the sort of instrument featured at NIME. Photo by Josh Hall
LSU grad student Danny Holmes works on a digitally-enhanced guitar, the sort of instrument featured at NIME. Photo by Josh Hall

Whether in class or on YouTube, many of us have watched at least one TED Talk. In 2015 TEDxLSU is coming back! The third annual event is being held on Feb. 28 in the Shaver Theater, with the theme “connect” where speakers will “address topics of connectivity in the worlds of social networks, science, music, technology, art and culture.” TEDx events are small, local versions of the annual TED convention. LSU’s Communication across the Curriculum puts on TEDxLSU. This is an event no student should miss.

NIME 2015

LSU will host The International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) in 2015. The conference that will take place May 31-June 3 gathers musicians and researchers from all over the world (past events have been held in Seoul and London), and they share their knowledge on new musical interface design – they’re essentially inventing new instruments! The event, which mixes past and future technology, will feature performances, installations, workshops and tutorials. NIME 2015 is the 15th annual conference and will showcase LSU’s growing place at the center of the digital media revolution.



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