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SGA approves grants for new esports arena, technology

April 19, 2018

 

BRYN YOUNG

News Editor | bjy001@latech.edu

 

Louisiana Tech will recieve a technology boost over the summer after the Student Government Association approved two grants for an esports arena and new charging tables for Tolliver.

 

The grants will cover the $80,931.90 for 30 Alienware gaming computers and $17,205.12 for tables with outlets that will be purchased and installed over the coming months, according to SGA President Ben Rice.

 

Rice said the projects were an opportunity to show students where their money goes while also getting some upgrades the university needed.

 

“We decided to put together a grant because there is a huge pool of money that is made up of student fees that students rarely get to see,” Rice said. “The money from the Student Technology Fees has purchased things like remote printing stations in the past, but the money usually goes to niche technology for programs. We thought it would be a good idea to funnel some of that money to projects where all students could use the equipment.”

 

The location of the arena has yet to be set, but Rice said the Student Center may soon be home to Tech’s esports teams.

 

“We are still looking around campus, but I think it will go in a portion of the large banquet hall on the second floor of the student center,” he said. “It can bring more energy to campus in that location, and it will be fairly easy to do the electrical and network upgrades required in that location.”

 

Rice said he thinks the money is going to supporting a club and teams that will likely help Tech’s recruiting in years to come.

 

“I think our esports team will be like any other sports team,” Rice said. “When they start winning championships and competitions, they’ll be great for recruiting and spreading our brand.”

 

Devin Caffarel, a sophomore finance major and esports club member, said the project gives him hope for the future of his sport.

 

“It feels great to see a popular sport that I enjoy watching and playing get the recognition it deserves,” Caffarel said. “I feel inspired to work harder, improve more and compete more often.”

 

Caffarel said the new gaming space will help improve and unite the gaming community on campus by giving them a place to call their own.

 

“One of the key problems for the fighting game community on Tech is not having a set meeting point where we know games can and will be played,” he said. “Most of our meet ups for practice are in dorms, Tolliver or Mitchell (Hall). Having a solid meeting point will really help in making the competitive and non competitive teams improve and socialize with others interested in the sport.”

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