ASUN past officers to celebrate new Joe Crowley Student Union

11/14/2007 8:00:00 AM

Krutz, previous associate vice president for Student Life Services Rita Laden, former University president Joe Crowley and others.

The Nov. 17 event will be held from 2-5 p.m. on the third floor of the new union. A ribbon cutting ceremony and remarks will occur in the ASUN President's room at 3 p.m. and the Rita Laden Senate Chambers dedication begins at 4 p.m.

Rita Laden served as an administrative faculty member on campus since her appointment as coordinator of campus standards in August 1984. She has had more than two decades of campus leadership roles as the University's judicial officer, Greek adviser, Associated Students manager and as associate vice president for Student Life Services.

"I am thankful for all the generations of students I had the privilege of working with," Laden said. "It would be an understatement to say that I'm deeply honored and humbled."

The Joe Crowley Student Union project has been a hope of the University and the institution's student leaders for many years.
The project was kicked into high gear by ASUN President Alicia Lerud in early 2003 when she put forth a resolution for the expansion of student life facilities, which included a new union.

As a result, ASUN and GSA leaders worked with the administration to develop an Education and Survey Working Group. This group was made up of students, faculty, and staff who were for, against, and neutral about the potential project. An outside consultant was hired to develop a thorough feasibility study to determine if this project was both needed and wanted by students.

The information gathered through the extensive survey process and student input helped prove that a change was necessary. The bookstore routinely had to close during the first few weeks of classes because it exceeded fire code capacity.

Each year, the Jot Travis Student Union (JTSU) turned away about 25 reservations per week, due to a lack of space. The campus had grown to the point where there was no longer convenient parking or shuttle stops to the Jot Travis Student Union.

"It was obvious that the building was not adequate for the student population we had 20 years ago, much less now," Laden said. "They need adequate office space and programming venues that will accommodate their needs. In addition to the group meetings and activities, students need a space just to 'hang out', to meet friends, to study. The new union will provide this."

Construction began in Spring, 2006. The Joe Crowley Student Union is a 167,000-square-foot, "green," environmentally friendly facility. It is double the size of the Jot Travis Student Union, which has served as the University's student union since 1958.

"We simply outgrew the old union," said Chuck Price, director of the JTSU.

Some of the things to look forward to in the new union are student lounges and meeting rooms with fabulous views, a 220-seat movie theatre and event spaces such as a ballroom that can seat up to 1,200 people for large events.

There are several shaded patios and outdoor seating areas with easy access to the food court and sports grille. There will also be increased outdoor programming areas for bands and movies, increased space for the ASUN, the GSA, and the Center for Student Cultural Diversity. The Nevada Sagebrush, the campus' student-run newspaper, and Wolf Pack Radio are also moving into the new building.

"We now have a building designed to meet the needs of students," Price said.

Students chose to name the Joe Crowley Student Union in honor of Joe Crowley, who served for 23 years as president of the University of Nevada, Reno. The building is primarily funded by self-assessed student fees as approved by the Nevada Board of Regents.


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