South Campus prepares students for future

Located southwest of Louisiana Tech University’s Main Campus sits the home of the School of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry, South Campus. While most programs reside on Tech’s Main Campus, a more rural setting provides the students within this school a more valuable learning experience and better prepares them for their respective fields of study.

This rural setting allows students the space, nearly 900 acres of it, to complete their studies.

“We have the breathing room to do what needs to be done,” said Matthew Tetlow, a sophomore at Tech majoring in Forestry with a concentration in Forest Management. “There’s enough space to conduct different research projects, have room for the animals to not be cooped up in tiny enclosures, parking is also never a problem on South Campus.”

While hands-on learning is important for all students, it’s critically important for students in these programs.

“It’s important that they get that hands-on experience, and that’s what our program is known for,” said Dr. Gary Kennedy, Dean of the College of Applied and Natural Sciences.

The largest program on South Campus is the Animal Science program, with about 140 students on the campus belonging to it and the majority of those students being pre-veterinary.

“They know how to give a vaccination, they know how to control a large animal, they know how to draw blood from a pig, or a horse, or a cow,” Kennedy said. “The vet schools tell us our students are very well prepared, and they do well because they’re well prepared.”

Having a space to gain experience needed to grow their professional skills is important for these students, but they also reap other benefits from being on their own campus.

“South Campus gives an at-home feel, it feels more one on one, the professors genuinely want to see you succeed inside and outside the classroom,” said Emma White, a junior at Tech majoring in forest management. “You definitely get to know the teachers on a more personal basis.”

Compared to Main Campus, South Campus has a smaller population of students and faculty, which creates a different culture compared to Tech’s Main Campus.

“I greatly enjoy my classes on South Campus more than Main Campus because of the culture South Campus has,” said Sydney McMillan, a junior at Tech majoring in Forestry with a concentration in Wildlife Habitat Management. “We’re all a big family and regardless of your major, people will help you out.”

While having a separate campus comes with its benefits, it also comes with some disadvantages, and some students feel that South Campus is often forgotten and neglected.

“We are kind of in the shadows and our facilities are not as nice, we tend to be forgotten about,” White said.

The university is currently considering doing renovations on Reese Hall in the near future, and Kennedy says that it is a priority for him that the renovations get done.

“It’s difficult out there, it’s not as visible,” Kennedy said. “It’s a priority for me, but you don’t have a big public outcry about it or anything like that.”

While South Campus’s facilities might not match up to Main Campus, students within the School of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry enjoy having a quieter, slower paced campus and enjoy the culture of caring that exists on South Campus.

“We are a lot closer and more caring towards each other,” said Paige Parks, a sophomore at Tech majoring in Forestry with a concentration in Wildlife Habitat Management, “It’s a special place!”

Story by Communication student Brennan Hilliard.