Thursday, January 27, 2022
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Student Union pleases commuter students

The fall semester marked the opening of the Student Union on campus. The planning for the building started four years ago.

According to Google maps, the new student union is .3 miles from the Quad (Royal Hall, Haag Hall, Scofield Hall, Manheim Hall and Newcomb Hall area) and takes about six minutes to walk.

Oak Place Apartments is about .2 miles from the new student union and should take about three minutes on foot.

The common complaint around campus is it’s not in a convenient location.

“I like how open and sunny it is inside, but I feel like it’s stuck on one side of campus, so it’s kind of a walk from where I have all my classes,” UMKC Senior and commuter student Courtney Smith said. “I see myself using the student union sometimes. I’m a commuter student, so I may or may not use it depending on what part of campus I’m at.”

Senior Nickalas Collins found a benefit to the location.

“I live about 10 minutes away from campus and having this new UC, I will probably be more inclined to go there and relax instead of going home in between my long breaks of classes,” Collins said.

Location complaints are not the only subject the new union is spurring conversation about. A comparison of the old university center and the new student union is common around campus.

“The old UC was just not cutting it and it did not have the feeling of youth,” Collins said. “But this new UC has a new and refreshing feeling and as a student I feel more ‘at home’ in the new UC.”

“I think it’s really nice. Things are easier to find in the bookstore, and there are more options,” Smith said. “I thought the old university center was okay. We didn’t have a ton of options and the bookstore was small.”

The new student union cost $38.3 million to construct, paid for and designed by students. Sodexo also contributed $1 million dollars to the project. The end result is pleasing to some students.

“It seems, in my opinion, it is a great investment from UMKC and will really be a strong selling point for new students who are interested in coming to UMKC,” Collins said.

“I think that it’s a good investment because the bookstore definitely needed to be expanded, and by adding more restaurants/ food vendors, it becomes much more accessible to commuter students who don’t have meal plans,” Smith said.

Although the new student union is new, 10,000 square feet is dedicated for student organizations meetings and has a 6.3 square foot multi-purpose room, Collins has already noticed one way the union could be approved upon.

“I really like the new student union,” Collins said. “I do feel however that the new UC should adjust hours to accommodate for finals. This would be extremely beneficial for the students like me who need a place to conduct a study group that is convenient for everyone.”

For more information on the new student union, visit

www.umkc.edu/union.

nbomgardner@unews.com

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