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LSU Dairy Store Increasing Revenue Despite Budget Cuts May 6, 2011

Filed under: Spring 2011 Stories — kswige1 @ 4:48 pm

The Dairy Store also provides the dining halls on-campus with 50 three-gallon containers of ice cream every week

By: Kristen Swiger

-Baton Rouge

It’s no secret that LSU has seen its fair share of negative effects from the recent budget cuts, but one campus location is thriving despite surrounding money troubles.

The Dairy Store has been a part of LSU’s campus since 1956 and is slowly gaining popularity among the student population.  Its location tucked away between Tureaud Hall and Patrick Taylor Hall makes the store easy to pass up.

Chuck Boeneke, Dairy Store manager, said that the store is different from other campus units in that it generates its own revenue rather than receive money from the state.

“We generate our own revenue and out of that revenue, we take our own expenses out,” said Boeneke.

Most people are also surprised to know that the Dairy Store gets all of its milk from its very own dairy farm right off River Road.  Both milk and cheese from the dairy farm are used to make the homemade ice cream right in the facility.

Leo Johnson, Dairy Store employee, helps make the ice cream once a week and said that is takes almost all day to it.  “We get milk from the LSU cows, we get cream from the local creamery, we mix it up with sugar, water, all that good stuff, and we make ice cream every week.  All the ice cream served in the store, we made it,” said Johnson.

However, ice cream isn’t the only product available to students.  Meat and cheese is also pre-packaged and ready to buy on a daily basis.  Boeneke said that the goat and lamb meat is rather beneficial for business, because both are difficult to find in supermarkets around town.

Even though the Dairy Store had to cut down on two full-time manager positions, the budget cuts haven’t really affected student workers.

Boeneke said, “Our main focus here is teaching and research. The store provides an outlet for the products that are made in order to train the students how to make them.”

Not only has the Dairy Store been seemingly unaffected by budget cuts, but the sales have even increased from past semesters.  Revenue has gone up over 50 percent in the last two years.

To help out the dining halls on-campus like the 5 and the 459, the Dairy Store supplies them with about 50 containers of ice cream a week.  Ice cream in cups, cones, and three-gallon containers seem to be the most popular items sold, and the store usually sells about 300 to 500 ice cream cups or cones per day.

Containers, however, are usually heavier and more difficult to carry.  As a result, Boeneke said that the store plans on reordering more of the smaller 3-ounce cups, which cost about $4000. The store also changed its hours to stay open until 5:30 pm on the weekdays in order to accommodate easy streets being blocked off early.

Currently, sixteen ice cream flavors are available to customers and sixteen more rotate out.  Employees Ty’Quan Miller and Leo Johnson agree that both students and visitors are a popular sight in the store, and business has not seemed to decrease at all over the past few months despite economy concerns.

“Hey, LSU we have the best and I’ve actually taken ice cream home to some of my friends, and they were like it’s better than Bluebell and Kleinpeter all put together,” said Miller.

Heather Higgins, frequent Dairy Store visitor, also said that as long as students love ice cream, the store shouldn’t have any problems gaining profits.  “It’s something students want and so they make it a part of their budget,” she said.

All of the revenue made from the Dairy Store goes back into operating both the store and the dairy farm.

 

University Libraries Use Technology and Social Media to Attract Students April 12, 2011

Filed under: Spring 2011 Stories — kswige1 @ 1:10 am

By: Kristen Swiger

-Baton Rouge

With the use of technology growing on campus, it can sometimes be difficult for different people to reach out to students.  Middleton is currently working to make the transfer in order to attract more attention.

Middleton library has integrated the use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to make it easier for students to utilize library resources.  Jenna Ryan, assistant reference librarian, said that this change was necessary in order to keep up with tech-savvy student campus.

“If they’re not coming into the building, we have to have ways to communicate with them to let them know what is available if they’re not aware of it.  The idea is to be where the students are,” said Ryan.

Even though Middleton provides both students and faculty with a way to look up journals and databases through their website, they also installed a new feature called “text-a-librarian” that allows students to texts questions any time of the day.  Some students are slower than others to accept these technology advancements concerning libraries.

“I feel like it actually has a very negative effect on the social atmosphere, especially on campuses.  At the same time, it adds a certain plus to be able to organize,” said Ryant Anderson, finance junior.

However you feel about it, it looks like advanced technology is here to stay as far as books are concerned.  To follow Middleton on Twitter for updates, use the hash tag, “#lsulibraries.”

 

Are Academic Programs Abroad Being Affected by International Affairs? March 30, 2011

Filed under: Spring 2011 Stories — kswige1 @ 5:45 pm

By: Kristen Swiger

-Baton Rouge

Academic Programs Abroad is an opportunity that many LSU students take advantage of during their time at school, but many don’t take into account how international issues affect the program.

The study abroad program offers students the chance to go virtually anywhere in the United States to study for a semester or a year at other universities, as well as internationally to other countries.  Summer programs are also available to students whose schedules during the semester simply don’t allow them to take time off.

According to Harald Leder, academic programs abroad director, the most visited continent tends to be Europe, but the upward trend soon reversed shortly after the economic crisis. He said that the program has since been rebounding, but it’s still too early to tell how much it will fully recover.

While the economic recession is an obvious concern to study abroad, what kind of toll has the recent turmoil in places like Libya, Egypt and Japan been taking?

“The students who were in Japan through our program are now on semester break, and they are back safely in the United States to recover.  As for Egypt, we have an American university in Cairo, and things are developing and quieting down to make way for more business opportunities,” said Leder.

Leder also said that LSU would never send students to countries where protests were taking place, such as Libya.  Countries with travel warnings are also taken off the list as potential study abroad destinations.

LSU students had their own opinions and concerns regarding visiting other countries.

Paul Arceneaux, biology junior, said that he would want to study abroad despite the current international problems.  “It’s a great educational opportunity.  You’re witnessing history in the making,” he said.

Kisa Valenti, physics senior, said that the events would influence her decision to study abroad, but for different reasons.  “I wouldn’t go to countries in upheaval like northern Africa or the Middle East for safety reasons, and I obviously don’t want to go to Japan, because they are currently dealing with major problems.  With that being said, I wouldn’t be scared to travel to other places,” Valenti said.

Leder said that every country is closely monitored before the program decides to incorporate it into the list of options.   So, far there are no concerns regarding lack of safety on other countries.

“We’re here to monitor and help, and we have parent orientations where we talk to parents and students.  Everyone has open communication channels, and they know how we operate. That has serviced us pretty well,” said Leder.

In 2009, the program accommodated 515 students and 612 students the year before.  Study abroad saw that number decrease to 499 students just this past year in 2010.  Leder said that he hopes to maintain the numbers this year, but they are not likely to increase.

To find out your options for study abroad programs, email studyabroad.lsu.edu to set up an appointment.

 

UNPLUG Program Aims to Increase Energy Conservation March 24, 2011

Filed under: Spring 2011 Stories — kswige1 @ 12:56 am

By: Kristen Swiger

-Baton Rouge

Residential Life recently kicked off a competition between residence halls that aims to teach students the importance of energy conservation.

The program will last until the end of March and encourages students to find that one thing that is easy for them to remember and incorporate it into their daily lives. This main slogan is called “finding your dot” and can be anything from unplugging cell phone chargers to taking shorter showers.

Catherine David, Reslife Communications Coordinator, said that the competition can benefit students financially in the long run. “It does have direct impact in keeping our rent rates low for students and also any money that we have in our budget goes back to our buildings and is reinvested in our students,” she said.

LSU’s wallet also benefits from the UNPLUG campaign program.  Last year, the university saved a little more than $10,000, while $13,000 was saved the previous year.  “I think people want a cleaner environment, they want to use less energy, and they want to certainly in times like this save LSU a little money,” said Allan Pulsipher, Executive Director for the Center of Energy Studies.

In the past, UNPLUG won an Environmental Leadership Program award in pollution and prevention from the Louisiana State Department of Environmental Quality , as well as a Lantern award from the Southern Public Relations Federation.

Currently, the Business and Engineering Hall is in first place with 13 percent reduction in energy consumption with Herget Hall following closely behind with 12 percent reduction.

 

 

 

 

 

On-Campus Housing Almost Full for Fall Semester March 1, 2011

Filed under: Spring 2011 Stories — kswige1 @ 1:47 am

By: Kristen Swiger

-Baton Rouge

LSU’s increased student population is causing on-campus housing to fill up quickly for the fall semester.

Those students who are not able to get into the residence hall of their choice are put on a standby list to await any cancellations or openings that may occur.  Unfortunately, some students are forced to search for off-campus housing if dorm rooms don’t become available in time.

Taylor Darrow, a freshman who had to find an apartment off-campus after being put on a standby list, said that she realizes the many advantages that dorms have to offer.  “You’re close to campus so you can just wake up and walk to class, whereas I have to take the bus, and sometimes they can be late or get stuck in traffic…plus it’s easier to make friends, because you’re all in the same boat,” said Darrow.

Jay High, communications manager for Residential Life, said that this is the third consecutive year they’ve had to resort to a standby list.  Kirby Smith will be open in the fall to house three-hundred fifty students.  “We are very excited about the increased enrollment, and we want to be able to provide housing to every student who wants it,” he said.

Even though Kirby Smith will soon be home to students, it will be converted to conference housing at the end of five years.

High also said that the money used for construction on the dorms is funded separate from the university so as not to interfere with budget cuts.

http://poll.fm/2ucp2

 

LSU-PD Launches Video for Preparation of Shooting Incidents February 17, 2011

Filed under: Spring 2011 Stories — kswige1 @ 1:59 am

By: Kristen Swiger

-Baton Rouge

The LSU Police Department  launched a new video on their website to help prepare students for potential shooting incidents on campus.

“Shots Fired” is a step-by-step video tutorial on what actions to take if a shooter were to ever enter a classroom. Kevin Scott, LSU-PD detective sergeant, said the online video was a long time coming, and the best way to reach tech-savvy students on-campus.

“If we didn’t think it was the right thing to do then we wouldn’t have done it, and I think we have taken the first step towards that. Is that the final step, absolutely not,” said Scott.

The Police Department also works with a program called C.A.R.E. Jennie Stewart, C.A.R.E. manager, said the program was created to provide students with resources to help them cope with anything from daily stress to odd behavior patterns.

“We want to get them connected with campus where they identify that they’re part of a community, and when you feel more connected to a community, you are more invested as a citizen,” said Stewart.

LSU-PD works with C.A.R.E on a regular basis to help students who might portray warning behaviors. In addition, the LSU-PD website allows students to use anonymous tip reporting, as well as search for crime alerts in their area. To view the video, go to http://www.lsu.edu/shotsfired.

 

Maintaining New Goals for the New Year February 3, 2011

Filed under: Spring 2011 Stories — kswige1 @ 1:49 am

By: Kristen Swiger

-Baton Rouge

With the start of the New Year, many students are trying to get in shape.

Every spring semester following Christmas break, the LSU rec center is packed to the point where a quick workout is impossible.  However, the number soon drops as students give up on their fitness resolutions.

Healthy Lifestyles Coordinator Lacee Breeden said the beginning of the spring semester is when students have the most free time to exercise.  “Having small goals and taking small steps…is very important,” she said.

Dining halls, like The Five, have also recently added healthy menu choices for students who are looking to eat right.  “As we get near midterms, etc., students will eat more, because they’re a little more stressed,” said Director of Dining Services David Heidke.

It’s important for each student to find their own motivation in order to maintain their fitness goals.  Fitness classes, personal trainers and nutritionists are available at the rec to help students who want to lead healthier lifestyles.