Most of the program’s Fall 2016 cohort joined staff members and a few returning students for its annual tailgating party in the hours leading up to the Tigers’ 34-13 defeat of visiting Jacksonville State.
The group enjoyed a menu of chicken and sausage jambalaya, grilled chicken breasts, brisket sliders, pasta primavera, popcorn, chips, cookies, sodas and water — not to mention several tailgating games and non-stop music.
“In India, I never watched football. I didn’t know the rules,” said Priyank Patel, a first-semester petroleum engineering major. “And then in ‘Live Learn Grow’ class, when (LSU Global student services marketing coordinator Jerit Roser) explained the rules, we got it a bit, and I was excited for the tailgate. I had never been there, and I never knew what it was like.
“We started going to the places on campus, like the Parade Ground, and it was amazing. I could never have imagined that this could happen in a college because we have a different culture. We could never imagine those things, so it was surprising. It was good. We played a lot of games, we had food and it was really fun.”
A few staff members then led the new students through the campus festivities to Victory Hill, where the football coaches and players, as well as the band, cheerleaders and dance team, marched toward Tiger Stadium.
“We went to the hill nearby the stadium, and when all the players started coming, I was so excited,” Patel said. “Me and (student services advisor) Brittany (Swanger) were dancing, and I took lots of videos and saved them in my computer that night.
“Then, I went to the stadium. And when I went there, the rain started, but it was still really fun. I’d never been to a stadium before, so it was just really amazing. I’ll never forget it. And the crowd, I’ve never seen such a crazy crowd. The team spirit was unimaginable.”
LSU continues its schedule Saturday against Missisippi State.