On his first day as president of UL, Joe Savoie was greeted at Martin Hall by more than 100 UL faculty, staff and students. Once he'd made it through the crowd, he headed up to his office for his first official meeting as president.

The meeting wasn't with department heads or university vice presidents or even members of his own staff. Savoie's first official meeting as president was with the three student representatives.

To forge a future as a top-tier destination school for students across the country, UL will need to forge a thriving on-campus life for its students. And with plans to invigorate its Student Union, refocus on-campus housing, and improve campus safety, UL hopes to foster a rich life for students in and out of the classroom.

At the forefront of the university's plans to bring students back to campus is a massive renovation of the student union, which is currently estimated to cost nearly $40 million. The money to fund the renovation has been university generated, collected from student fees.

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Cody Daigle cdaigle@theadvertiser.com August 26, 2008