As we get closer and closer to May 1st, national college decision day, we've been welcoming (small) groups of (socially distanced) admitted students to campus as you all make your final college choices. At the end of the visit day, I like to stick around to see if any students have any lingering questions. In my 15+ years at Tulane, there is one question that I get more than any other. It goes something like this:
[student approaches, somewhat timidly]
"So... I loved my visit to Tulane. Love the campus, got a great vibe from the students and New Orleans just seems so cool. But... I am not a "partier." Will I still fit in at Tulane? Will I find people similar to me?"
The answer, 1000 times over, is YES. I wish everyone knew how frequently I get this question. I almost want to gather all of our admitted students to gather and shout, LOOK! Look how many of you are asking this same question! That in itself shows that the answer to this question is YES. You will still love Tulane and you will still find your "people" here. Let me explain:
Every year when the Princeton Review releases its annual list of biggest Party Schools, we always take a look. Yes, we're on it. But I want you to look at the other 19 schools on that list and see if you find something in common with them. Go on, go look right now, I'll wait.
So, did you notice it? Tulane is the only school on that list that is located in a major city. The rest are located in small towns or college towns. Why is this important? Because at Tulane, you do not have to "party" to love your four years in New Orleans. There is so much else to do aside from just drinking at a fraternity party or tailgating for a football game.
New Orleans gets a reputation for being a party city. Sure, you can certainly enjoy yourself here. But the NOLA things our students most enjoy aren't "partying" in the traditional sense. We're home to 141 festivals a year. Our front yard is one of the most incredible parks in any city in America. We have some of the best (and most affordable) restaurants in the world within walking distance to campus. My point is, you don't have to drink a sip of alcohol or "party" in the traditional sense to love this town. Bourbon Street? All tourists. Yes, you might go from time to time, but the way our students experience this city is through live music. It's through Magazine Street. Jazz Fest. The Voodoo Music Experience. Second Line Parades. Biking in City Park. Completing my Graduation Bucket List. You will love this city, even if you don't party. New Orleans offers so much more than just "partying" in the traditional sense, and (perhaps surprisingly) that's how most Tulane students spend their time here.
And parents, don't sell NOLA short if you think it's just a party town. So much of what our students do here is academic related. It's wetland research like at Tulane's Bywater Institute. It's internships at the National World War II Museum. It's visiting the African Drum Circles in Congo Square for music and dance classes. New Orleans is one of the most culturally rich, historically significant, and beautiful cites on the planet. Sometimes people forget that.
So, prospective students! If you are worried about fitting in here if you don't "party," trust me on this one. You'll find your festival-going crew. And you'll find your stay-in-and-Netflix-binge on a Friday group. You'll find a large portion of our students are social, but not Animal Housers. Almost every day when families visit our campus, they tell me about how they arrived in NOLA, checked out Bourbon Street and Tulane fell a bit lower on their list of colleges. But then, they took the streetcar uptown and saw that while we are close to the French Quarter, Uptown (home of Tulane and Loyola) feels like a world away. And then they learn that Bourbon Street is not all NOLA has to offer, just as not all of our students are the partying type. I watch a sense of relief and excitement wash student's' faces as they see that NOLA is so much more than they initially thought and that Tulane is not the wild party school those lists would indicate it is (also true for our 19 peers on that list).
And then... they enroll, they find their people, and they love it here.
It's five days till Crawfest! No better time to hear about the Crawfest Top Five. One great thing about Crawfest this year is that anyone can attend the virtual version of the festival. Check it out on Saturday here! Today I am turning the blog over to Reagan McKinney, the Digital Marketing Director of Crawfest. Lets go!
* * *
New Orleans is the city of good food and good fun and Tulane University is no different. Every spring semester, Tulane is the host to one of the largest student run music festivals in the country: Crawfest. Crawfest combines two of the city’s favorite things: Crawfish and good music. Open to the entire Greater New Orleans community, Crawfest is a cornerstone of the Tulane experience. This year the festival will take a hybrid format and will feature Crawfest pick-up in person on campus and music live streamed for the community. We want to take the opportunity to highlight some of our favorite Crawfest moments.
1. The Bands
First and foremost Crawfest is a music festival. Crawfest always features amazing bands that never fail to get the crowd moving. We’ve featured artists like Ra Ra Riot in 2019. This year the music portion of the festival will be livestreamed and headlined by Galactic.
2. Volunteering before the festival
One of the best and easiest ways to get involved with Crawfest is to volunteer. Almost every single student organization on campus pulls together some of its members and asks them to volunteer their time with Crawfest in order to make the festival happen. Volunteering Crawfest is where you can meet some life long friends and is also a great opportunity to get some free Crawfest merch and dibs on the first crawfish of the day!
3. All the photo ops!
If there’s one thing Tulane students can do best, its pose for a picture. Not only is the backdrop of Crawfest gorgeous with the oak trees littered across Tulane’s campus, and the gorgeous mix of historic and modern buildings. But, Crawfest also has a plethora of balloons backdrops that really capture the spirit of Crawfest.
4. Trying Crawfish for the first time
Crawfish is definitely a New Orleans delicacy and for many Tulanians Crawfest is their first time trying the small shellfish. Boiled to perfect with creole seasoning, potatoes, and corn crawfish are a simple meal that you can eat pounds of!
See you at the 'Fest!
Hey there, Class of 2025, and welcome to Tulane!
My name is Andre Hebert and I am an Assistant Director in Housing & Residence Life at Tulane University. Living on campus can be a daunting experience but know that there are so many people there to support you in your transition. Those of us here to support you are your Resident Advisor (RA), a student staff member who lives on the floor with you; and your Resident Director (RD), a professional staff member who lives in the residence halls, supervises the RAs, and helps build community in your residence hall. For first-year students, we also have six Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) that you can apply to live in, in addition to the new Gender Affirming Housing Cluster in Wall this year.
RLCs are immersive spaces in a residence hall where students live together to learn about and participate in activities centered around a theme. Students within each RLC live on a designated floor(s) with other RLC students who are interested in a deeper exploration of the community's focus. While each RLC is different, all of them involve increased interaction with Tulane staff and faculty, unique programming and off-campus experiences, and designated TIDRS courses so that students are learning together both in and out of the classroom.
The six RLCs being offered for the 2021-2022 academic year are: Current, Honors-Scholars, Kaleidoscope, Squad, Spark, and Third Coast. I would highly recommend learning more about each RLC by checking out our RLC website.
Although I work with all of our RLCs, as a staff member I don't experience them first-hand, so I have provided two perspectives with you below regarding the RLC experience.
This first blurb comes from Porter Volk, RA, who works with the Third Coast RLC.
“The Third Coast RLC provides a fantastic opportunity to learn more about how culture, identity and geography intertwine in a region so loud and so vibrant as the Gulf Coast. Fresh opportunities with history, food, performance and music are all waiting for you - the more you lose yourself, the more you’re bound to learn!”
This second blurb comes from Sienna Abdulahad, Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, who manages the Kaleidoscope RLC.
“Kaleidoscope has been a fulfilling experience for students seeking not only to build an inclusive community but sustain it. Our residents make up most diverse RLC at Tulane University. Many of our students get connected the moment they attend their first TIDES course with Sienna Abdulahad and Petey Peterson, and learn that the class is not lecture based, but dialogue based. Students can bring their own voice, full identities, lived experiences and perspectives to the table. Then they critically analyze systematic oppression in our society with the goal of co-creating collective liberation. Our residents are equipped with the tools to become self-aware, coalition building leaders of student organizations, ambassadors, peer mentors, Community Engagement Advocates (CEAs) and generally some of the most engaged members of both the Tulane and New Orleans communities.”
Remember, your Housing Application and RLC Application are due by May 8th!
You can find the supplemental RLC application in your Housing Portal when you are filling out your Housing Application. You will be taken to a separate form where you will select which of the six RLCs you would like to apply for and you will need to fill out some supplemental essay questions for each RLC to which you are applying. I highly recommend reading through the questions, answering them in a Word document, and then pasting them into the RLC application. Our system sometimes times out or does not let you go back to a previous page, so it is best to have everything ready to go when you want to apply.
After RLC applications close on May 8th, our campus partners who oversee each RLC will review applications and make decisions about who will live in each RLC. Due to the size of the RLCs, there may be some students who will not get into one. Therefore, we highly recommend applying to any of the six you are interested in.
If you have any questions about RLCs, please don't hesitate to reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Housing & Residence Life Learning Communities (email@example.com).Roll Wave!
Oh man, this cold snap we are going through is really upping my hot coffee intake! With that in mind, what better time to feature our favorite cozy New Orleans coffee shops. I have a few of my own personal favorites on this list and I also surveyed our student admission interns and staff for their top picks as well. Grab your reusable cup (or wait, don't...Covid) and check them all out!
French Truck: "French Truck gives me great vibes, the workers are so nice, and the yellow building just makes you want to smile! The coffee and tea are great quality and don't have crazy prices!" Thank Y'Vonne, '23, for this pick. Honestly, French Truck has basically become the Starbucks of NOLA as they are popping up all over town- they now have nine locations all over New Orleans (and one in Memphis!) The most popular location for Tulane students is probably on Dryades Street not far from campus. My personal favorite location is the brand new one that just opened up on the Lafitte Greenway. They allow dogs so Vincent and I love it!
Hi Volt: This one comes from TikTok sensation Owen: "I just recently moved to the LGD after 10 years Uptown, and HiVolt is by my new place. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside is modern but warm with cool light fixtures and a long bar. The food was top notch and their chai was one of the best I’ve had in a while. I got the breakfast burrito and the French Connection and need to go back soon!" I am in 100% agreement with Owen, as we usually are. HiVolt has these muffins that are massive and incredible - immediately go try one.
Rook: Didi, '21 (see also: our Homecoming Queen) added this Freret Street gem to our list: "Located less than a mile from campus on Freret, Rook is a super convenient walk. The café is extremely cozy with a small couch area in the back and board games throughout. All the drinks are delicious and (as the name of the shop implies) named after chess pieces/moves. My personal favorites are their holy grail (espresso with honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg) or serenity (lavender lemonade)."
Fair Grinds: My colleague Makenzie suggested this awesome spot. "Fair Grinds is located in the heart of Mid-City right next to the Fair Grounds and Race Course where Jazz Fest is held yearly. It is a creaky little two-story with pealing paint and so much charm sitting next to 1,000 Figs, a fabulous Mediterranean place and just across from the Café Degas. Not only is the coffee delicious but it is a mission driven enterprise, and all proceeds go directly to support community organizations in central and south Louisiana. With fresh made bagels and scones it is a great place to study or relax with a book."
Cherry Espresso: This one comes from Val: "Located in a renovated old firehouse in the middle of the West Riverside uptown neighborhood, this eclectic place roasts their own coffee that tasted wonderfully unusual. The baked goods and lunch items are also amazing. There are small tables in a quaint courtyard and on the sidewalk so you can choose indoor or outdoor. The baristas are friendly and laidback. Cherry has a loyal following that includes Tulane’s Provost!"
Baldwin and Co: Okay, full disclosure here: this place hasn't even opened yet, but I just get such a good vibe from their mission. From the looks of it, this independently-owned bookstore and coffee shop will provide some great services for its local St. Roch / 7th Ward Community. Baldwin & Co. will not only have books and coffee, but also a podcast recording studio, local cards and gifts and will regularly host local authors. Their mission is centered around a progressive and inclusive growth mindset. Check it out when it opens on Feb. 20th!
There's our list! The Hullaballoo featured a few more of their favorites in this weeks issue. Go forth and caffeinate!
Well... you're living through history these days! (source)
ECON 3970-02: Economics of the Safety Net
The Covid-19 pandemic has put significant pressure on the U.S. social safety net. This new course focuses on food and nutrition assistance programs and will help you understand: What are the different types of safety net programs, and how many people do they serve? How do safety net programs respond during economic downturns? What weaknesses has Covid-19 revealed about the existing safety net programs? How does economics influence the design of safety net programs? Does participation in food and nutrition assistance programs improve food security and health outcomes? *Pre-requisite: ECON 1010
No shortage of music here in NOLA! (source)
MUSC 1900: Music in New Orleans
This course is intended as an introductory survey of New Orleans music, including jazz, brass band, Mardi Gras Indian, rhythm and blues, funk, and hip-hop, through an intensive exposure to existing research, field trips, and occasional visits from local researchers and musicians. Musical socialization — the role of young people in extending the city's musical traditions — will be a running theme throughout the course and will connect the course materials to the optional service learning project.
ENLS 3010-03: Writing about Race
This section of ENLS 3010 Writing Intensive: Writing about Race explores texts about race and racism that emerge from the US and African Diasporic contexts. Concerning topics ranging from the eighteenth century to the present, it engages work by scholars, poets, artists, and activists rooted in various traditions. Debates around gender, sexuality, incarceration, settler colonialism, medicine, and space are among the key themes that will take center stage throughout the assigned materials. This is a discussion-based course. In addition to active participation, student assignments will include presentations, discussion facilitations, abstracts, writing exercises, bibliographies, and a research paper. *Pre-requisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011
Subject matter in Germ-3510 (source)
GERM 3510: German Culture and Civilization: East Germany
The focus of this course is the representation of East German culture and the construction of identity. Through an interdisciplinary examination of a range of literary and historical texts, film and other visual arts, students will gain insight into the social, historical and political context of Germany behind the Mauer. Students examine both the minutiae of everyday life as well as the broader cultural and historical framework in order to understand and critically approach East German identity and the nature of life behind the wall, as well as the impact of the DDR and the Wende on the culture of contemporary Germany. Class taught in English.
ASTA 3910: Made in China: Material Culture & Crafts Production of Premodern China
Our life is full of products made in China. Known as “the World‘s Factory,” China is not only the main manufacturer in the age of globalization, but also plays a leading role in crafts production during the premodern era. This class investigates the material culture of Chin before the age of mechanical reproduction. Each week, we will focus on a specific medium, including ceramics jade, lacquer, silk, gold, and silver. We will examine the production, circulation, transmission, and reception of artworks made by different materials to reconstruct the social life of things against the historical background. Special attention will be given production technology and the entanglement between people and objects.
CMPS 1100: Foundations of Programming
This is an introductory, practice-oriented course on computer programming. Students design, implement, test and debug programs for computational problems drawn from various fields using Python programming language, while working individually and in groups under guidance of peer teachers. This course emphasizes program design process, object-oriented software development approach, and development of practical programming skills that translate to programming in other modern languages.
Film Production on campus (source)
DMPC 1110: Intro to Film Production
The course addresses what it means to be a director, writer, cinematographer, editor, composer, designer, and more, and how those definitions frame creative work, including the relationship of production cultures to consumers and markets. It considers how creative industries establish business models governing content production and distribution.
ITAL 3330: Italian Identity through Literature and Film
This interdisciplinary course, taught in English, examines representations of Italian identity in literature, cinema, and the mass media: what does it mean to be Italian? What constitutes the Italian "national character?" The materials for this course span a variety of media, from classics of neorealist cinema and commedia all'italiana, to recent movies and film series; from anthropological treatises like Giacomo Leopardi's essay on Italian national identity, to the contemporary satire of Italian society by comedians like Corrado Guzzanti, Paola Cortellesi, and others. We will explore themes like the representation of the Italian family; dialects and regional differences; politics and crime; emigration, and more.
Your service learning partner in CENG-1180, featuring Tulane alumnae! (source)
CENG 1180: Global Impacts and Opportunities in Chemical Engineering
This course will connect core chemical engineering concepts to real-world applications—showcasing the global impact that chemical engineers have on our planet and the grand challenges that they are working to address. Topics include energy generation and renewability, advances in medicine, innovative food production, revolutionary materials, and pollution prevention and sustainability. Students will learn through relevant readings, discussions, tours of local businesses, hands-on projects, and guest lectures from leaders in the field. The course incorporates an optional 20-hour service-learning component. Students participating in service-learning should be enrolled in the co-requisite section CENG 1890.
Service-learning teams will partner with one of two participating community partners.
1) Glass Half Full: a community-run glass recycling organization co-founded by Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering alumnus Franziska Trautman (above). The goal is to recycle glass into sand to create usable products for New Orleans. Students working with Glass Half Full will work on one of two projects 1) formulation of an asphalt mixture using glass-sand for the purpose of filling potholes or 2) developing a streamlined drop-off and pick-up route for glass recycling collection.
2) Home by Hand: strategically uses affordable housing development, neighborhood beautification, resilience & flood remediation tools, and family asset-building activities to spur the revitalization of New Orleans neighborhoods. Students working with Home by Hand will create and buildout a custom internal construction management tool to eliminate the need for costly third-party software.
CLAS 2811: Hate Speech and Politics in the Ancient World
The use of hateful, abusive, and insinuating speech by contemporary politicians and the media is not a novel phenomenon. Forms of verbal attack commonly encountered today have precedents in ancient Greek and Roman writings, and in this course we will examine the diverse forms and uses of hate speech and invective in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Throughout an emphasis will be placed on comparing ancient and contemporary hate speech in order to investigate similarities and differences in terms of speakers, targets, audiences, topics, rhetorical techniques, and cultural and historical contexts. In general, course participants are encouraged to reflect on the cultural assumptions and biases at work in hate speech, how it is used by political actors, and the relationships between rhetoric, persuasion, and truth.One of the many historic moments in Civil Rights history that took place right here in NOLA (source)
AFRS 3300-04: Sociology of Black Resistance
This course explores historical African American resistance in the United States from a critical, Black sociological perspective. This course centers the African American plight beginning with the TransAtlantic Slave Trade to the present. Students learn to recognize and critically think about patterns of power and diverse African American responses to discrimination, and cycles of punitive actions they face as a result and within the context of colonialism, race construction, and the legal system.
Welcome back to part three of our blog series dedicated to enjoying NOLA without breaking the bank. Today's final installment is dedicated to experiencing all of the great free and cheap things to do around town. This is a pandemic-centric list, as the majority of our free festivals (of which we have more than days of the school year!) are obviously on hold for now. This list also is for any staff member at Tulane who is about to get a much deserved two week vacation! Pop on that out-of-office, turn off those email notifications (really) and spend two weeks doing some of the activities on this list.
Christmas Hotel Lobby Hop: A very seasonal addition to this list, lobby-hopping in December is one of my favorite free activities. The lobbies of the grand hotels here in NOLA convert to incredible winter wonderlands and halls of lights throughout the month of December. I've done some research and it seems that most of the lobbies are still fully decorated this year, but they are restricting the number of folks allowed in at a time and are - of course - requiring masks. The two can't miss lobbies are the Roosevelt and the Ritz-Carlton. Here's a pretty comprehensive list.
Just the sight of her will put your mind at ease! (source)
Buy some succulents. Strange tip to have on this list, sure. But let me tell you what - if you have not visited Sunrise Trading in Kenner, well boy oh boy are you in for a treat. Situated on two acres and utilizing ten greenhouses, this is a place where you'll feel you've stepped into another planet. If you like plants or just want something you freshen up your dorm room or house, take the drive out to Kenner and you'll see why I love this price. All of their plants are sold at wholesale, so you won't be breaking the bank to scoop up some succulents.
Enjoy NOLA's amazing outdoor spaces. I'm currently writing this blog with my windows wide open as its a beautiful 70 degree day here in NOLA. Enjoying the great outdoors around town is pretty easy these days. In fact, we just filmed a great video featuring our six favorite outdoor spots. From our front yard, Audubon Park, to cross-town along Crescent Park, New Orleans has some of the finest urban parks and outdoor spaces anywhere in the USA and enjoying them doesn't cost a cent.
Free Museums! Thanks to the Helis Foundation, Louisiana residents (and I think college students) can visit a number of our local museums for free. Check out the Contemporary Arts Center on Sunday, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Botanical Garden on Wednesday, and Ogden Museum of Southern Art on Thursday.Photos just do not do it justice!
Take the St. Charles Streetcar to view the Christmas lights. Another seasonal addition to our list, Saint Charles Ave. is really lit this year (sorry.) Perhaps because viewing Christmas lights is a pandemic-friendly activity, but it seems to me that the families on St. Charles have really gone all-out this year. What better way to take it all in than an evening ride on the streetcar. It's only $1.25 and you'll get to see the my personal favorite house at St. Charles and Cadiz street. It just.... incredible.
Audubon Appreciation Days: Every Wednesday, Orleans Parish residents with one proof of residency get free admission with up to four guests to Audubon attractions. The Appreciation Days rotate each week from the Aquarium, Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Zoo, and Planetarium at the Louisiana Nature Center. You can view the schedule here and thanks to Lela ('22) for this tip!
I took this photo on Royall Street last year during the holidays.
Crate dig at Peaches Records It's free if you don't buy anything! You also can't put a price on talking with the owner, Shirani Rea, about New Orleans' music scene, says our admission writer (who is also the incredible editor of this blog!) Ali DeFazio.
I was here last week for the NOLA Film Fest and their outdoor theater is just the perfect pandemic spot to check out a flick! Related, the brand new Dixie Brewery is offering a full set of holiday films at their outdoor theater for $15 for a picnic table. My colleague Leila saw Elf last night!
Stroll down Magazine St.: No better place in NOLA to window shop and check out some of the best local shopping on any street in America. Admission rep Bailey says "Magazine Street is lined with colorful houses that are fun to look at as you're walking around. There are cute boutiques, art/jewelry stores, and thrift shops to check out too!"
Shopping local is also super important this holiday and last year I did 100% of my holiday shopping on Magazine street alone!
Hopefully this list (and our previous two posts about food and shopping) can provide anyone on any budget an opportunity to enjoy all the remarkable, unique and delicious things that New Orleans serves up. Back to my fellow staff at Tulane - read this great article about having a restorative winter break. Part of it suggests making a plan for your leisure time. Welp, you've got that plan! Go forth, have a great break and see you next year!
Riverwalk Outlet Mall: Y'all, I am not going to lie: the Riverwalk Mall is the best kept secret in NOLA. I went last week and purchased two pairs of overalls for my Halloween costume for $12 total from the American Eagle Outlet. Next on my list was 40% Crocs (sure, you can still knock Crocs. 'Till you get a pair) and then cleaned up on Under Armour workout masks and rounded things out with a sweet 60% pair off New Balance shoes. Seriously, this place has the best deals, it's unreal.
Buffalo Exchange on Magazine: This isn’t super cheap but I usually go for their sale rack, which has some great stuff for under $10. Especially great for costumes (Tara, '22.) The staff is really nice and if you have pieces you’d like to exchange then they’ll work with you. (Rula from Admission)
Red White and Blue Thrift in Metairie: It’s cheap and there’s tons of options. Bonus tip: buy business professional at thrift stores. You can buy really nice stuff that’s not super used for wayyyyy less than you’d normally pay! (Lela, '22)
Goodwill Industries on Tulane: In terms of the mega-sized thrift stores in NOLA, this one is the biggest and the best. Great for anything from Mardi Gras costumes to Saints gear to everyday clothing and furniture. Under renovations right now, but head back as soon as they reopen!So much junk! (source)
Habitat for Humanity Restore: Habitat Restore has super affordable home goods, which was amazing when moving off campus to furnish your home on a budget. The best find in my house was a wood tv stand for 5 dollars. (Didi, '21)
Tulane Classifieds: This site is a great way to find second-hand things from people in the neighborhoods around Tulane. Anything you find on this site will usually come at a great discount and are barely used. In my house, our couch was originally $1500 from West Elm and we got it for only $75! Both of these places are great because buying second hand is a great way to recycle and help the environment! (Didi, '21)
Trash to Treasure is ah-mazing
Tulane Trash to Treasure: Tulane Trash to Treasure redirects these otherwise-destined for the dumpster dorm supplies, stores them over the summer, and sells them back to students and community members during the August move-in period at heavily discounted prices. All proceeds then go to local New Orleans-area nonprofits combating some of our city’s most pressing environmental and social problems. Literally everyone wins.