Moving Forward in the University Union, written by Jaime Blanton

It’s been said that architecture is one of the highest forms of art. Great buildings should be beautiful and functional. Amazing spaces are emotional. They draw us in and encourage us to stay. They inspire us and reflect our personality.

Consider what your home says about you. The colors, fabrics, furniture photography and artwork are all unique combined in a way that somehow defines you.

Shouldn’t the University Union at the place where you find yourself also reflect you? The University of North Texas deserves a university union that speaks to what it means to be an Eagle. The Mean Green community is diverse and dynamic. We are innovative and intentional. We are as fun and laid back and we hardworking and determined. Our current space isn’t us.

The existing union doesn’t function to serve a growing student population. There aren’t enough meeting rooms or lounging spaces. The atmosphere doesn’t showcase our spirit and traditions in way that does our rich heritage justice. Our space is sending a pretty loud message about our institution—that we’re out-of-date and out-of-touch. With its dated décor, limited windows and even further limited access for visitors with mobility concerns, its saying we are stuck in the past and not moving forward. NOTHING could be further from the truth.

The University of North Texas is wonderful place with a bright future. UNT needs a new union. Not only because we have outgrown the current one, but also because we deserve a space that reflects and speaks to who we are. It might not be accurate to say that a great union would inspire visitors, prospective students and parents, and current students to stay and fall in love with UNT, but a renovated space would ensure we have building that matches our story.

Jaime Blanton serves as the coordinator of Parent Programs in the Office of Orientation and Transition Programs. Her office is the University Union. She spends her days helping parents and family members connect to their UNT students and the institution.

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