This article is a part of a series where Hack College writers investigate different parts of campus life in order to provide readers with  information on how you can use this service better while in college. Stay tuned for other parts of campus.

You’ve probably walked through this building to get to your next class. Or maybe you needed somewhere to study, or an easy place to grab food with friends. I’m referring to the student union (aka student center), a place designed to meet all of your on-campus needs outside of your classes or dorm room.

Some might be missing out on all the student union has to offer, so I’ve compiled some reasons why it’s the ultimate place to spend time on campus.

Student Organizations

On most college or university campuses, the student union is the place that student organizations hold their general meetings or events. This is a building designed with students in mind; the spaces available give students a place to organize and develop a community of their own. The student union can also be the home of your campus activities office, which is where you go when you want to get involved on campus. It’s where you’ll find your programming board, student government, and maybe even the campus newspaper or radio station. The student union gives student organizations the space to thrive each and every year.

Food Court

One of the most important functions of a student union is providing a place to share a meal together and “refuel.” As one of the most-used buildings on campus, there are likely a variety of options for students to get hot food. There’s also usually a place selling coffee, so if you’re like me, you’ll be visiting this place frequently to get your day’s worth of caffeine.

Study Space

On some campuses, finding a place to study outside of your dorm room can be a challenge. For example, the library may be too crowded for you to get anything done. Study lounges may be too small to accommodate your study group’s needs. But the student union offers a reliable internet connection and ample space to further your education outside of the classroom. Some higher education institutions also turn their unions into 24/7 study spaces during midterms and final exams week.

Space to Relax and Grow

The student union is designed with the broader needs of all students in mind. This means providing ample lounge chairs as well as space for quiet studying or group project work. The union is meant to be a place that gives students an opportunity to grow: grab a book and read in a comfortable chair, meet up with students from your class, or take time to clear your mind and zone out. It’s  a resource that should be used to facilitate student learning, open discourse, and provide a home for students who need a place to spend time between classes. Being comfortable and feeling connected to campus allows students to stay involved and better themselves within a community of likeminded people.

The Center of Campus

The best part of the student union is that they are typically located in the middle of campus. An easily accessible, open all day resource like this gives students the best opportunity to be successful in their educational pursuits. Services like the Career Center, Campus Activities, or the student organization areas are intentionally housed in this building so that students have a place to call “home.”


What are some other uses of the student union? Tweet at @hackcollege and let us know!