Leading the Way in Geothermal Energy with New Housing Options

New Residence Halls First in the Nation with Geothermal Energy

For over 500 Southeastern students, the 2018-2019 school year began by moving in to one of the two new, state-of-the-art residence halls. Ascension Hall and Twelve Oaks Hall, located adjacent to the former Zachary Taylor Hall, feature private and shared rooms, classrooms, meeting and common areas, and dining and retail venues. But while the roomy, contemporary spaces may be what awe most people who enter these additions, what’s below the surface is perhaps even more exciting.

Ascension and Twelve Oaks Halls have a hybrid geothermal system. With this type of system, pumps move heat from the ground to the building when the weather outside is chilly. When cooling is needed, the process is reversed. The result is a sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and economical solution to heating and cooling.

An initiative of Southeastern Sustainability, the system is the first of its kind for any university or state building in Louisiana. The new buildings, which draw from 220 geothermal wells, are also the second largest site in the country to use a system like this.

In additional to environmental benefits, the system will significantly cut down on heating and cooling costs. It is projected to save over 50 percent on energy expenses as compared to a traditional system and build.

And students will get to feel the effects of this new technology in more ways than one; the system will also serve as a learning laboratory for real world experiences for Southeastern students in various disciplines.

The new residence halls were featured on a recent WWL-TV news story.  Click here to view.

Farmers Market September 19

The Southeastern Louisiana University student organization Reconnect will sponsor a farmers market in front of the Student Union on Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The only student-run farmers market on a college campus in the state, the event features food sales from area farmers, food samples, arts and crafts, homemade soaps, and much more.

Vendors include Deb’s Designs’ all-natural bath and body products and Mrs. Francis Chauvin’s homemade pies and shoe sole pastries. In addition to fresh produce, other items available for purchase include jams and jellies, beef jerky, tea cakes, hummus, farm-fresh eggs, breads, and popsicles.

“The Reconnect Farmers Market is an event where you can interact with local farmers and vendors, eat a healthy and fresh lunch, or pick up some homemade jewelry or bath products from your fellow students. It’s a way to shop locally and support healthy food choices without having to leave campus,” said Diana Taj, public relations coordinator for Reconnect.

A student environmental club, Reconnect participates in the Real Food Challenge, a national effort among college students to promote the use of locally grown, healthy and sustainable food products.

Lowest Student Debt in the State

Southeastern Louisiana University students have the least student loan debt out of all the universities in the state, according to statistics recently released by LendEDU. The average debt per borrower for Southeastern’s graduating class of 2017 was ranked No. 1 in Louisiana for least debt and No. 46 among public colleges nationwide.

In Louisiana, the average debt per student borrower is $26,808, the 19th lowest in the nation. Forty-eight percent of Louisiana students graduated with debt. Southeastern graduates reported the average borrower taking out $20,164, 14 percent less than the previous year.

“For over 90 years now, Southeastern has been dedicated to one thing – our students’ success,” said Southeastern President John L. Crain. “Part of that focus on student success is sensitivity to college affordability. Southeastern has always represented a great value and we have a long-standing tradition of programs and initiatives that save students money.”

He pointed to two examples: the Southeastern Promise with its four-year path to approved degree completion that comes with a fixed net tuition guarantee for participants and the university’s textbook rental program, which saves students thousands of dollars while attaining their degrees.

The statistics stem from a voluntary survey conducted annually by Peterson’s College Data. The complete study can be found here.

Ranked as one of America’s Top Colleges By Forbes

Southeastern Louisiana University is once again among Forbes’ top higher education institutions in the nation, having been named to the list of America’s Top Colleges 2018. Only the top 650 public and private higher education institutions in the United States make the annual Forbes Top Colleges report.

“Southeastern prides itself in providing our students with unparalleled academic rigor and an exceptional collegiate experience,” said President John Crain. “Our faculty and staff are truly invested in our students’ success and it shows. This recognition at a national level is a testament to their work and dedication.”

According to Forbes’ methodology for its America’s Top Colleges 2018 report, the schools included distinguish themselves from competitors due to their belief in “output over input.” Forbes states it is not interested in what gets a student into college, but rather on a students’ return on investment and success after graduation. The 2018 list focuses specifically on measures of post-graduate income, student debt, student satisfaction, graduation rate and academic success.    Forbes utilizes resources such as the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System from the Department of Education and PayScale.com to calculate its rankings.

According to Assistant Editor Carter Coudriet, “Forbes aims to measure what we believe students care about most. Where will a college steer them in their life after graduation? How likely are they to find success in their chosen field, to earn enough money to pay their student debt, to win career accolades, to become leaders in private and public life? How effectively does their school support them so they can graduate within four or six years and join the workforce?”