05/05/2014 10:24 AM
BATONG ROUGE – High-achieving minority students from across the state of Louisiana
assembled at LSU from April 25–27 for an opportunity to talk with administrators,
tour the campus and gain additional insight into campus life.
SPRINGFEST is an event that exposes academically astute high school juniors to all the academic rigors, leadership opportunities and social experiences available at LSU. The selected students are invited to LSU for a weekend of fun and exciting activities that highlight LSU’s academic curriculum and resources available as an LSU student.
SPRINGFEST has been in existence since 2002 and was originally conceptualized as a
program primarily for African-American Students. Over the years this program has
grown from hosting 50 students to being able to host up to 100 students and is open
to all ethnic minority students who meet the program’s requirements. Applicants are
asked to have maintained a 3.5 grade-point average, or GPA, and should have already
taken the ACT or SAT. In addition to their GPAs and test scores, students are selected
based on their high school involvement, recommendation letters and essay response.
This holistic approach allows the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs, or OMA, to
take into account each student’s experiences and likelihood of being a successful
During SPRINGFEST weekend, the high school students are guided by current LSU students
or “team leaders” who applied, interviewed and were selected by staff members from
OMA and the SPRINGFEST executive board. This board is comprised of students who have
previously served as team leaders or have worked on other programs and initiatives
sponsored by OMA.
This year, the SPRINGFEST executive board was led by Shakilya Gauthier, accounting
senior; Chenice Samuel, management junior; Kristian Black, biochemistry junior; Morgan
Decuir, elementary education junior; and student coordinator Lekendra Fusilier, petroleum
engineering senior. Having student team leaders provides the high school students
with mentors who can share their experiences of being an LSU Tiger.
Once the high school participants, called SPRINGFEST VIPs, arrive at LSU they are
assigned to a team. Each team of students is identified by LSU icons, such as the
A.P. Tureaud team, Maxine Crump team, Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden team, Donna Brazile
team and Shaquille O’Neil team. Each high school student receives a bio on their particular
LSU icon and the trail blazed by that person in LSU history.
Students participating in SPRINGFEST are lodged in the Lod Cook Hotel and experience
a weekend full of activities including informational sessions on how to apply to LSU
and how to apply for financial aid, a Q-and-A with current LSU students, a college
department and student organization fair and a campus tour.
In addition to exploring the academic resources available at LSU, VIPs experience
dining at the Tiger Lair and have a late night movie that is shown in the Live Oak
Lounge located in the Student Union. The VIPs even get to participate in the SPRINGFEST
prom. Similar to a high school prom, the women wear their best semi-formal dresses
and the men dress in suits. During SPRINGFEST prom VIPs are treated to a nice meal
in the LSU Student Union Cotillion Ballroom and dance the night away with music provided
by a DJ. No prom is complete without the crowing of king and queen and SPRINGFEST
prom is no different. Each team elects one prom king and queen whose transformation
throughout the weekend has shown that they truly Love Purple and Live Gold.
“I really enjoyed prom, the student panel, and everything else that SPRINGFEST offered.
LSU is now my top choice for college! I would recommend sophomores at my high school
to apply to this program next year,” said VIP participant Viche’ Stevenson from St.
Mary’s Dominican High School.
Most high school juniors already have a few universities that they may be considering,
however SPRINGFEST provides a unique opportunity to experience all that LSU has to
offer which may be a deciding factor when selecting where a student choses to attend.
"Overall, I was scared to be here on LSU's campus. However, that changed after SPRINGFEST
weekend. I was able to see the opportunities that LSU had to offer for me. I was able
to feel how I can experience features of a Historically Black Colleges and Universities
at a predominantly white institution. LSU is definitely my top choice now," said VIP
participant Tania Dixon from St. Mary’s Dominican High School.
At the conclusion of the weekend, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Student
Aid hosts a “Parent Panel” for parents to learn more information about LSU. This year’s
panel included a representative from the Department of Residential Life, LSU Honors
College, First Year Experience/Orientation, a student representative and opened with
an official welcome provided by Kenneth Miles, interim vice provost for equity, diversity
& community outreach.
For more information on the SPRINGFEST Minority Recruitment Weekend, please contact LSU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs at 225-578-4339.
Posted on Monday, May 5, 2014