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A smart Louisiana Purchase
Pigskin or Sheepskin?
By reputation, classes at LSU are little more than a way to kill time between football games. But recently, administrators have taken measures to win credibility as a flagship institution by shifting research into overdrive. Results have been mixed. On the one hand, the research push has generated much-needed revenue for the school, which has seen its share of the state tax kitty grow smaller and smaller. On the other hand, some say the emphasis on research has taken away from the emphasis on teaching. In addition, many students are more concerned with the Big Game than with the Great Tradition. Biology, chemistry, and physics are some of LSU’s strongest and most popular majors, especially for those on the med-school track, but enough bookworms arrive at LSU to make English and French curricular powerhouses. Those who are not so easily discouraged by large classes and taciturn profs can enjoy a rich gumbo of learning, enrichment, and fun.
Get ’Em, Tiger
Football is king at LSU, and the raucous stadium, known infamously as Death Valley,
is the king’s throne (one particularly thunderous game actually registered on the
campus Richter scale). Students’ passion for
High Times in the Deep South
Formerly a plantation overlooking the Mississippi River, LSU boasts one of the loveliest campuses in the nation. Azaleas, magnolias, and oaks line the grounds between the lakes and Italian Renaissance–style buildings dotting the campus. The campus borders an economically depressed area of Baton Rouge, but the campus is generally safe. The neighborhood adjacent to LSU is home to some fantastic restaurants: Mike Anderson’s Seafood and The Chimes are particular favorites of Tigers fans, along with popular haunts such as Canes and Louie’s. Devotion to the football team infects all of Baton Rouge, so on game day, expect to find few businesses open. The campus itself has residence halls that are populated by only around 20 percent of undergrads; the rest seek digs off campus. Sorority members enjoy the stately graces of the antebellum mansions that serve as their chapter houses. Baton Rouge’s central location is within easy distance of party mecca New Orleans and the beaches of the Gulf Coast.