Four campus street names were recently changed to better reflect Southeastern’s identity, geography, and sense of place. Texas Avenue has become Union Avenue, Tennessee Avenue is now Mane Street, Virginia Avenue has become Roomie Road, and Tornado Drive on North Campus has changed to Lion Lane.
The new names came about at the urging of students after several first-time campus guests using computerized navigation expressed confusion as to why a university named for and located in Southeast Louisiana would feature streets named for other states and a different mascot.
“It was just a bit confusing, for example, for someone visiting campus for the first time ever,” said Richard Davis, Southeastern Student Government Association president. “If you think about it, it just doesn’t make sense. Why would you take TEXAS Avenue to get to Southeastern LOUISIANA University’s Student Union? Or turn onto TENNESSEE Avenue for the Southeastern LOUISIANA University School of Nursing?”
With so many more travelers now accessing the former Texas Avenue in order to reach the new Ascension and Twelve Oaks residence halls or attend events at the Student Union, it became an opportune time to review not only this campus street name but all others as well.
Once the four incongruent street names were identified, several student organizations were contacted to help craft a pool of potential names and select those that would be the best fit. New street signs have been installed that sport the names Union Ave. (replacing Texas Ave.), Mane St. (replacing Tennessee Ave.), Roomie Rd. (replacing Virginia Ave.), and Lion Ln. (replacing Tornado Dr.). Online mapping services have been notified of the change and efforts are underway to update all campus maps and directional identifiers.
Why did they have those names in the first place? Historical reasons point to a street naming convention in the City of Hammond that features various states as street names. And, North Campus used to house Hammond High School (HHS), which explains why the street was named for the HHS mascot. “We’re excited to see the new street signs properly reflect the pride we have in our campus,” Davis added.