For students interested in making new friends, skating and gardening, Skate LSU is the organization for you.
Sociology graduate student James Jordan created a “skating and gardening” group for students.
By seeing a fellow skater, it is expected to interact and make plans to skate together, according to Jordan, because skaters are community based.
“As soon as you see someone skating, it’s like, ‘Oh, okay we should be friends’,” Jordan said. “But if they are weird, then they’re just weird.”
Jordan said he knew skating is a good way to make friends. He was tired of skating by himself, so he drew fliers recruiting fellow skaters to meet every Friday at LSU Memorial Tower at 5 p.m.
Jordan said he currently has a core group of people who skate, with a GroupMe, so they can “link up” whenever they want during the week.
For the gardening aspect of Skate LSU, Jordan created a group before he started skating in San Francisco known as “Echotree.” Originally the group was based around gardening, but as he started skating, he wanted to incorporate both into one group.
Jordan is currently building greenhouses at Front Yard Bikes and has a gardening program at University Terrace Elementary School. He is teaching kindergarteners and first graders how to plant seeds for organic vegetables, raising them in the greenhouses, growing them in a farm and getting the food back to the students.
Although Jordan doesn’t plan on constructing greenhouses on campus, he wants University students to go the greenhouses and help him build because he said the University currently has enough greenhouses.
Jordan said he is growing food because the elementary students don’t have access to fresh food. He has a passion for teaching the students how to grow them.
One of the things Jordan and Skate LSU plan on doing in the future is jumping off eight steps with their skateboards.
The group “posts up” somewhere, asking what they want to do and if someone recommends something—such as jumping off eight stairs—the group will try until they complete the task.
“[The students] should definitely come join us with their skateboards,” Jordan said. “I also have an extra skateboard, so someone can hit me up if [they] want to learn.”
Biology freshman Adrian Randle said he is fairly new to skating. When he initially came to the University, he was unsure if he’d be able to continue skating.
“[The group] helped me find some friends, and get really good at skating,” Randle said. “That’s what I really want—to skate good.”
Philosophy and history senior Charles Desobry said when he skateboards, he feels a sense of freedom, which he thinks is what draws people to skating.
“[Skating] is very exhilarating and very freeing,” Desobry said. “I imagine skating is today’s calvary.”
Desobry said there are numerous negative connotations associated with skating being mostly intercity kids and or “punk people.”
“I’m very hopeful skateboarding will become an actual activity that people will do to cultivate and get better at,” Desobry said. “It will be seen not as an image but as an activity.”