Allocate More Funding for LSU Facility Services

Allocate More Funding for LSU Facility Services

113 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
Petition to
Associate Vice President of Budget and Planning Tommy Smith and

Why this petition matters

Ask any LSU student about the quality of janitorial and maintenance services on LSU's campus and they'll tell you the same thing: it's unacceptable. Ask faculty members and alumni, and they will reflect a similar story from years past and present. 

It would be easy to blame the people at LSU Facility Services for these maintenance grievances as they are the ones tasked with directly fixing these sorts of problems. Furthermore, assigning blame to the workers provides human faces to direct anger and frustration at, which may be cathartic. However, using maintenance workers as scapegoats is misguided. They are equally victims of widespread maintenance issues as the people who report them.

The root of this problem can be summed up in three words: Cold. Hard. Cash. Like many widespread issues, money, or rather, the lack thereof is the key factor in determining the degree to which maintenance issues will worsen. Money is what keeps the campus running. Money is what pays the maintenance staff for their hard work. Money is what pays for tools and materials needed to fix larger, unusual jobs.

LSU Facility Services is severely underfunded. According to LSU budget data from FY 2017-18 to FY 2021-22 (illustrated in the graph above), the percentage of LSU’s operating budget expenditures by function for plant operations/maintenance has been on a steady decline from approximately 11.1% in FY 2017-18 to 9.2% in FY 2021-22. While this could reasonably be explained by COVID-19 leading to less maintenance work needed, the money spent annually says otherwise. When you adjust the numbers to account for the inflation rate in 2021, what you get is a more eye-opening story: 11.1% of LSU’s operating budget expenditures by function in FY 2017-18 is 11.1% of approximately $613.94 million USD ($68.15 million USD). Meanwhile, 9.2% of LSU’s operating budget expenditures by function in FY 2021-22, the fiscal year when this petition is being written, is 9.2% of around $639.20 million USD ($58.81 million USD).

(For more information on LSU’s operating budget, check out LSU’s Office of Finance & Administration's website.)

LSU needs to allocate more funding to LSU Facility Services. 

The workers of LSU Facility Service have a nearly endless workload and are not compensated nearly enough for it. Furthermore, they do not realistically have enough people to handle the amount of maintenance issues around campus. If the operating budget could allocate more funds toward these two goals, we can see some consistent change in maintenance quality.

LSU also needs more funding from the state.

Although Gov. Edwards' administration is seeking to allocate some of the budget's excess funds to deferred maintenance at college campuses in an upcoming Louisiana House session, the portion of the recommended $133 million LSU would get would not only be insufficient for covering all of the projects, which costs approximately $650 million, but it would not go toward hiring and retaining employees as well as increasing wages. We need a well-maintained and well-treated maintenance staff in order to see everyday improvement in maintenance. While this money would help improve conditions, there needs to be some form of consistent funding to help increase and maintain the LSU Facilities staff.

We are a group of LSU students who were assigned to make an activism campaign for our advanced political communication course. We pitched ideas to each other and landed on improving maintenance on campus after going on a tangent about our maintenance woes. After discussing similar living experiences on campus and going down the rabbit hole of research, we built a platform to draw attention to this called LSU Maintenance Mania.  We do this by allowing people to tell their LSU maintenance stories to add the human element back to this big scope problem.

We've examined reports, gathered information, and collected data in order to educate LSU students, faculty, facility service members, and parents on the quality of maintenance services and the misallocation of funding.

If you want the quality of LSU Facility Services to improve, sign this petition.

(To view our site and for more information about our campaign, click here.)

113 have signed. Let’s get to 200!