Students discuss potential campus updates

Maggie Eubanks, News Editor

ULM President Ron Berry took office almost two years ago, and with every new administration comes new ideas. 

Berry directed his administration to begin looking at the campus master plan at the beginning of this school year, and student leaders got the opportunity to voice their opinion earlier this month when they met with the master plan architects about the future of the university. 

Students from several RSOs, such as the Honors Program, ResLife, the Lambda Society and Greek Life met with the architects of the master plan, who showed them the goals they were trying to set for ULM. 

The students were given the chance to voice their opinion about a variety of topics, such as the state of classrooms, what to do with the old student union building and how to make the campus look more modern. 

Aakriti Pant, a representative for ResLife at the meeting, said she was honored to be chosen to participate and enjoyed hearing other students’ opinions about how to improve campus life. 

“It shows the openness of the university administration towards new ideas and students’ input,” Pant said. “It also helped students connect to each other and learn about different aspects of campus life at ULM and be open to others’ perspectives and opinions about how we could make ULM better.”

Doug Ashe, the lead architect of the master plan, said that his goal was not to create a brand-new master plan but to update the old plan created by former President Bruno in 2013. Ashe said this was a great time for ULM to look at the master plan because of what is happening around the university in the city of Monroe. 

“The City of Monroe is doing a master plan, Parks and Rec is doing a master plan and ULM is doing a master plan, so there’s an opportunity to coordinate all of those so that each one can inform the other and move forward collectively rather than working independently,” Ashe said. 

Estrella Hernandez, a representative for SGA, said she was excited to share her opinions with the committee and believes the master plan is a positive move for students. 

“As a student, it can be seen as an honor to have your opinion valued enough to be on the in of what’s to come for ULM,” Hernandez said. “This new master plan will aid ULM by enhancing the environment students will find themselves in.”

If everything goes according to the schedule, Ashe said the plan should be ready to present to the public by early October.