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Fine Arts and Rat Feces at Louisiana State University.

When the ceramics studio ceiling crashed into a large sink that just about every student in the building uses, people around campus started paying attention to the [Studio Arts] building’s long list of issues. Problems with the building, which was constructed in 1924, date back much further and are not limited to that one studio.

One of students’ biggest concerns is lead paint and asbestos they have identified throughout the building using home test kits.

… There is exposed wiring throughout the building, some of which is near students’ lockers in the main hallway. When the ceiling leaks — which it often does in many places — students fear the mix of electricity and water and avoid going to their lockers.

Restrooms are not cleaned regularly and rat feces often appear throughout the building, [a student] said.

“I haven’t seen Facility Services in here until the ceiling collapsed,” she said. “Once we started the protest stuff, then we started seeing them here and there. … We’re only starting to get attention now that we’re speaking out about it.”

… At various times, the Studio Arts Building has been home to squirrels, rats, a raccoon and during summer 2013, a homeless man, she said.

“The shabbiness draws random people to it,” [a student] said.

… [On the up side, the building is] brimming with the kind of quirkiness that only art students could come up with… Someone drew the outline of a house around a hole in a wall where a rat that students named Leroy once lived.

Go, Rats! I mean, Tigers.

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4 Responses to “La vie au sports factory.”

  1. Michael Tinkler Says:

    As a tweed-wearing art historian member of a department of Art and Architecture, our wonderful and devoted cleaning crew is terrified of disposing of art…to the point that when big piles of discarded junk appear in the halls at midterm or the end of the semester they leave notes asking “Is this art?” We reply by writing, “No, this is trash!” People like me enjoy writing these notes.

    Perhaps the cleaning staff at LSU is too traumatized by having recycled art to enter the building except under direct orders.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Michael: LOL.

  3. Dr_Doctorstein Says:

    Back in the 90s I was a grad student at LSU. One of the reasons I went there was the fact that my comparatively generous fellowship package included (so I was told) an office. Upon my arrival in Baton Rouge I learned that said office was not in Allen Hall, but in a building call Gym Armory. Room 202. At the foot of the stairway in Gym Armory was an aromatic pile left there by something much larger than a rat. At the top of the stairs was Room 202, a large, open space occupied by a silent but attentive-looking collection of buckets and mops, which I lectured briefly on Mary Rowlandson.

    Back in the English Department office an admin told me that no grad student really gets an office, at least not, you know, an office per se. But would I like to share a desk in the adjunct corral? There followed a nice talk with my chair; by the end of what turned out to be just the first of many lessons in academic politics I actually wound up with a real, if dingy, office, right there in the basement of Allen Hall, a few doors down from an equally dismal space once occupied, in a distant time when LSU mattered, by Robert Penn Warren.

    (In 1958, a crucial and transitional year in the Annals of LSU Fame, Warren won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and the Tigers beat Clemson 7-0 for its first national football championship. One door closes, another one opens.)

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Dr_Doctorstein: Funny. I’m a big fan of Robert Penn Warren…

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