Why a Student Union?
A Student Union is a vital component of college campuses across the country and the world. It’s time the students of UIS build a student union of their own.
When UIS opened in 1970, no freshmen or sophomores lived on campus or took classes. There were only 811 students. The part of campus we know as Legacy Campus and which houses the Student Affairs Building and Student Life Building was known as the Interim Campus. We’ve out grown the space.
But 42 years later in 2012, we have over 5,000 students, multiple academic buildings, dormitories, and a rec center. One piece of the campus that remains to be built is a student union.
Across the state every public university has a student union. Across the country, most major college campuses, public and private, have a student union. We need one at UIS.
Many students on campus may be wondering what exactly is a student union. 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.
A student union is a place to gather away from the dorms, 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.
We need a building dedicated to student space, needs and priorities; a destination for the students, events by the students, and a hot spot of activity for the students. It is a living room for students to come together at all hours of the day, any day in the week. At UIS, we do not enjoy a campus town to provide many of the social opportunities that other campuses enjoy. We can help to change this with a student union. Think of it as a campus town in a box. Students will no longer have to complain about PAC not open on the weekends. We will have the student union.
Above all, a student union will help to grow the community. Many feel the disconnect of students spread out in disparate dorm rooms, or off-campus because they feel there is nothing to do on campus. A student union would forever change this and bring a bright, loud, bustling center to a campus made up of students, by the students, and for the students.
Goals for the Building
- Exponentially build community, increase student life and opportunities for students
- Create genuine new student access space on campus
- Provide high-tech learning and study areas
- Increase student employment opportunities
- Enhance the social and personal development of students
- Construct a unique and inspirational building to last decades
- Help with recruiting of new students and the retention of current students