ACUI Open Forum

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  • 1.  Campuses with a Student Union and Conference Center

    Posted 12-01-2021 09:12
    Good Morning! 

    We are in the early stages of a campus renovation of our student union or a new build at Youngstown State University. I am looking for any schools that have a Conference Center and a Student Union to contact in the future. Thank you in advance and wishing you a great remaining of the year. JPB

  • 2.  RE: Campuses with a Student Union and Conference Center

    Posted 12-02-2021 09:19
    Hi Joy-
    We're right down the street from you in Columbus (of course that street is I-71&76!), but if you'd like to connect or come down for a facility tour and visit, I'd be happy to make arrangements with you!

    Jeff Pelletier, MA, MBOE, LSSBB
    Ohio Union Director
    The Ohio State University
    Columbus, OH

  • 3.  RE: Campuses with a Student Union and Conference Center

    Posted 12-02-2021 10:54
    Hi Joy - 

    Our firm has worked on a number of student centers, student unions and conferencing facilities across the country. If you have some questions that we can help with, let us know - we're happy to provide any assistance we can!

    Although it might be more fruitful to have a conversation, you can see a few examples of projects we have worked on here: Student Life | CannonDesign
    CannonDesign remove preview
    Student Life | CannonDesign
    Creating buildings and spaces that encourage connections, foster engagement and respond to student needs. We create facilities that become destinations and traffic generators while also responding to the patterns of student life. Our student centers, residence halls, recreation and wellness centers, and athletic facilities embrace the campuses they're on and students they serve.
    View this on CannonDesign >

    Michael Glaros

  • 4.  RE: Campuses with a Student Union and Conference Center

    Posted 12-02-2021 12:21
    Hello Joy,

    Our student union (Highlander Union) has 9 conference rooms and we just open a new hybrid building which hosts academic spaces, along with conference space. Please feel to reach out to us should you have any questions. You can either reach out to Good luck!

    Nick Olivarria
    Sr. Events Manager
    University of California–Riverside
    Riverside CA

  • 5.  RE: Campuses with a Student Union and Conference Center

    Posted 12-03-2021 09:16

    Hi Joy

    It's such a good question and getting the balance right on the continuum is an important challenge.  I couldn't quite tell if you are inquiring about institutions with two buildings: a conference center and a separate union, or a union with identifiable conference center/function within.  I'll assume the latter (mostly) and be happy to comment on the former if I assumed incorrectly.  Perhaps revealing that the majority of union career is Midwest, these are some ideas for you (mostly driveable, if interested): U of Michigan has three unions with significant conference activity and one of them (Michigan League) has a smaller boutique hotel operation; Purdue has a large union with a significant hotel operation plus an adjacent / separate conference facility; Wisconsin has two unions and one has a sizeable hotel and conference function; Illinois and Indiana have quite large hotel operations and conference activity within their unions; and you've heard already from our friends at Ohio State.  These are, of course, all Big 10 institutions.  I recall Bowling Green State University having an active conference program visibly promoted, and Western Kentucky has a conference center (Knicely Conference Center, I think?).  You might also want to search the Unique Venues website for venues in your area just to get a feel for what's out there.  Finally, when you get ready to launch into your project, you might consider writing your RFQ/RFP specifications to ask the selected consultant / firm to provide benchmarking of such facilities, as well as market analysis for your area – this information will help you feel confident about the spaces you include (and at what size, type, etc.) as well as financial projections for your new building.  I found this to be helpful in my projects.  What an exciting time – good luck and enjoy the ride!

    Loren Rullman
    Principal & Director, Higher Education
    Workshop Architects Inc.
    Milwaukee WI

  • 6.  RE: Campuses with a Student Union and Conference Center

    Posted 12-07-2021 14:39
    Hi Joy,

    We have a Student Center and a few satellite spaces, including a 600 seat auditorium, multipurpose lecture hall, general purpose classroom with event sapce, and a 7-space conference center. Different pricing plans for each space depending on the client type. Happy to chat further sometime.


    Katie Beaulieu
    Interim Director, Student Center
    Wayne State University
    Detroit MI

  • 7.  RE: Campuses with a Student Union and Conference Center

    Posted 12-09-2021 19:18
    Hi Joy,
    Congratulations on the renovation!

    Our campus has a Student Union (focused on student activities) and a University Center (focused on department and community events). Happy to chat further as needed! In fact, the department that schedules events for campus is physically split between these two buildings. The reservation team works from the Student Union and the conferences team works from the University Center.


    Morgan Meehan
    Director, Popp Martin Student Union and Cone University Center
    University of North Carolina Charlotte
    Charlotte NC