The last portion of the most recent Master Plan Committee meeting consisted of a discussion among the Committee. The discussion was led by Stefanie Ritz, Assistant Director of Assessment, Marketing, and Planning.
It was concluded before Ritz’s presentation that the future UNT Union should be the “space between.” This means that the facility must figuratively provide windows to the rest of campus and the rest of the world. Students vote with their feet; they decide what is available and best for them on campus by where they are required to be or where they usually end up. The Union must develop and adapt to the educational goals of students so that students will view the Union as a beneficial place that compliments what they wish to acquire out of college.
The next question that arose among the Committee – “How does the Union expand to the rest of campus?”
Zane Reif, Director of University Union Activities, responded, “We need to prioritize what is most vital to the Union. What do we value?”
The Steering Committee plans to partake in “benchmarking trips.” They will travel throughout the nation and observe other Universities’ Unions and facilities.
As the Master Plan Project has developed to become the largest and most expensive project in UNT history, Reif wished for the Master Plan Committee to discover how a Union can “…transform a campus.”
Ritz then led the discussion to prioritize what is best for the Union. It was an attempt by the Committee to discover what should be truly valued within the facility.
Ritz introduced numerous ideas, and the Committee discussed accordingly. Below are the ideas presented and discussed:
Welcome Center: This aspect of the Union could possibly be used as a secondary source of information for new and prospective students. Maybe it would be best if the Welcome Center was within its own building. The Committee decided that a Welcome Center would help the Union become the core of the UNT campus.
RTVF Broadcast Center: This would include filming and showing broadcasts within the Union. However, this must be decided within the RTVF department.
A few topics were highly debated and concluded as a “maybe.” Such topics include a police substation, lockers/storage, casual dining, and commuter services.
The Committee discussed and undoubtedly placed other topics as high priorities. The ideas and topics selected as high priorities for the Union were a game room, practice/rehearsal space, student lounge areas, student organizations space, recreational/multipurpose room, an information center, atrium/courtyard, ballroom, art gallery, and outdoor seating.
In contrast to those decided as high priorities, other ideas and topics were concluded as entirely unnecessary for the Union. The Committee decided against a campus barbershop and quiet study space. They chose against quiet study space because they felt that the Willis Library should be left for those types of activities and that the Union should provide for lounge and leisure activities.
As the Master Plan Committee continues to meet, discuss, and prioritize, they do not neglect what the UNT community wishes. All suggestions and ideas are taken into account.
Any suggestions, concerns, or ideas may be submitted via e-mail:
Also, communicate directly with the Union via Facebook or Twitter.