Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Student Union?
A: A student union is much more than a building, it is a campus downtown and a crossroads of activity. A student union is the center of life on campus, the living room.
A student union is a place to gather away from the residence halls, to see a concert or a movie, a game room to chill in after a workout at TRAC, and a café with different food options. It is a destination for non-traditional students and graduate students to go and work on homework, to hold meetings, to hang out at after class, and to have a place of their own on campus.
Above all, a Student Union is an opportunity to fundamentally change student life at UIS. More activities, more community, and more space for students to come together.
Q: How much will UIS students pay?
A: Friends and alumni of UIS feel a great pride in Springfield’s public university. Again and again we hear how much they appreciate what UIS contributes to the Springfield community, the State of Illinois, and beyond.
Because they know how much a student union will enhance life on campus and contribute to the community, these generous alumni and friends will be providing over half of the funding for the new Student Union.
Because State Funds cannot be used for a Student Union, students will have to pay a fee. However, the fee will not begin until the building opens.
When the building opens, students will pay the following fees:
$200.00 per student per semester for full-time undergrad students
$100.00 per student per semester for part-time undergrad students
$25.00 per credit hour for graduate students with a cap of 8 hours
Students enrolled in an on-line degree seeking program will not pay the student union fee.
Q: How does this union benefit or address the needs of UIS students?
A: Our student union will become the heart of the UIS campus. The student union will help facilitate a variety of cultural, social, educational, and recreational programs. You can expect a bustling campus center that will unite our campus, help retain our students, and attract new students to campus. Many UIS Admissions Ambassadors have stated that prospective students most asked question is where is your Student Union. We can recruit more students with a student union.
More space will be available for students of all types. Many student events have a hard time finding available space with our current facilities. With the additional space provided by the student union, organizations will be able to reserve space that fits their needs much more easily.
Commuter students, graduate students, and non-traditional students will be able to make their mark on campus by having areas dedicated to their needs. For online students, there will be high tech meeting spaces and the ability for interactive meetings More jobs will be available which will result in students maximizing their impact on campus. Alumni will also have a home base to gather for events and social occasions. There will always be something going on at our student union! Remember the slogan of the Student Union is OF THE STUDENTS BY THE STUDENTS FOR THE STUDENTS!
Q: What will be in the Student Union?
A: The new Student Union will likely include enhanced dining choices, lounge and study spaces, a sports room, student organization space, large programming spaces, outdoor gathering areas, and various other amenities. The Offices of the Student Government Association, Student Organizations and Office of Student Life would also be in the new facility. The new building will utilize the very latest in green technology to ensure an environmentally friendly and sustainable facility. The Design Committee will be sure to diligently consult the results of the Student Union survey as the building is designed.
Q: How will the Student Union be funded/how much will it cost each student?
A: Initial funding will come from UIS’ generous friends and alumni, including faculty, staff and administrators, residents of Springfield and many other donors. This support – over half the cost – is crucial to the Student Union, and we thank donors in advance for the foresight and vision they will demonstrate through their gifts.
The remainder of the cost will depend upon the implementation of a student fee (explained above).
Q: How long will it take to build the Student Union?
A: The Student Union building is projected to be completed in 2016.
Building a Student Union is a long process. The project will have to go through a planning process involving campus administration, university administration, and an outside design firm. This plan will then need to be approved by both the Board of Trustees and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
Q: Where will the student union be located?
A: Our student union will be located on the South Quad. This location will at an intersection between all parts of campus– UHB, HSB, dorms, apartments, and TRAC.
Q: Where can I find more information on Student Unions?
A: UIS is a member of ACUI – Association of College Unions International.