Welcome back to classes! Well, welcome to fall classes, because I want to make it perfectly clear that the University Union does not rest during the summer. While I know many of you were enjoying some much needed time off, working a summer job, vacationing with family, or just recharging your battery, the Union staff was hard at work preparing for a new semester. Over the course of the past few months, we have been busying cleaning the building, finishing construction projects, catering to the needs of various orientations, and re-training our staff to be the best in the country.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my summers and I enjoy a little bit of down time, but I am super excited about the upcoming semester. First, students are back!!! Yes, I know some of you took summer courses and were here braving the 50+ day heat spell while your friends and family were taking full advantage of their relaxation time, but I guarantee there is nothing like that first day of class! I think it is the unknown. Will my classes be hard? Will I meet a really cute girl/guy this semester? What exciting events are happening this semester that I have to attend (i.e. First Flight, Robert Gates, UPC events, etc.)? Will I just get through this semester, so I can graduate? Whatever your survival strategy is, please know that we care about you here in the University Union, so let us help you out. Stop by our new Information Center located on the first floor (near the Syndicate) and ask a question. They are ready! Oh…billiards and darts are free now, so ask them if you can play too!
Second, football is back!!! As students, you just started paying for a state-of-the-art football facility and I encourage you to attend as many games as you possibly can. Even if you don’t like football, you have to love hanging out with your friends and tailgating. Besides, you are paying for it, so enjoy it! It’s a great facility and I have had the pleasure of touring it a couple of times. Go Coach McCarney! Go Mean Green!
And finally, we have an update for you about the University Union Master Plan! I am happy to report that the Board of Regents approved the request for the committee to move forward and hire architects. The committee will begin reviewing the proposals sometime in mid-September, have interviews on campus the last part of September, and hire the official architect in October. This means you are even closer to having visual renderings of what YOUR new student union might look like…pending your approval of a referendum in March, of course. I am very proud to say that the student representation on this committee has been wonderful. Your peers are doing a great job of letting the consultants know exactly what you would like to see in this new facility. Additionally, we had over 150 students show up to two forums this summer to talk about the project. This is amazing!!! If you want to see how those conversations went, just read some of the previous blogs and updates. Thank you so much UNT for being one of the best student populations in the country…it just goes to show you really care about making a change on this campus.
As we move forward, I will update you as much as possible. Currently, the committee is looking at space and trying to put all of the elements into the facility that you want. Of course, we are trying to be cautious of making sure this project is as inexpensive as possible. We know that you will be paying the bulk of the money to create this new University Union, so it will be as fiscally conservative as possible. Also, I am hoping that you are following our social media campaign. Let’s be honest, if you took the time to read my entire blog, you probably are, which means you are a very involved student. We have lots of great information available for you, and we want to hear your comments as we move forward. I cannot begin to tell you how important this information is to the committee. Finally, I invite you to come and visit me in my office on the 4th floor of the University Union, so I can give you a “behind the scenes” tour of our facility and share even more information with you. It would be my pleasure.
Until my next blog, I hope that the start of your fall semester is a wonderful one. I wish you cooler weather. I wish you the very best in your classes. And, I wish you happiness in your personal life. Take care my friends…see you in the Union!
-Zane Reif, Director of the University Union and Activities