(New York, NY, October 9, 2019) Hunter College announced today the opening of its new Student Union on campus, a dramatic change for the college with its commuter population. The Student Union was created in response to student interest in spending more time on campus.
“It was music to my ears when students approached us about wanting space on campus where they can just have fun or relax,” said Jennifer J. Raab, president of Hunter College. “It means that students want to commit more of their time to campus life, leading to a stronger Hunter community. Our new Student Union also provides beautiful club space to help our students connect on social and cultural themes, as well as on pre-professional interests, like our pre-med club. Importantly, this multipurpose space was made possible by a public-private partnership, including our engaged students and supporters and colleagues in the New York City Council, CUNY, and the Hunter College Foundation.”
Occupying the second floor of Thomas Hunter Hall—the Lexington Avenue building opened in 1913 that is now the college’s oldest—the Student Union includes a state-of-the-art game room, featuring widescreen gaming stations, foosball and ping pong tables, work surfaces, and widescreen monitors showing local and world events. The room also has a large motorized drop-down projection screen in its central raised stage area, with a high definition projector, for special occasions.
President Raab noted the active role the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) played in informing the Student Union’s design, as well as in committing student-activities-fee funding for the project. The $1 million needed to create the game room was paid for with $500,000 in student funding, which was matched by Hunter College Foundation funding. Additional funds to meet the $3 million budget for the rest of the Student Union floor came from the City Council, Hunter College Foundation, and CUNY.
At the ribbon cutting, President Raab provided special thanks to City University of New York Vice Chancellor Judy Bergtraum for the financial support and the careful oversight of the design and construction of the flexible and modern new space.
Cathy Weinroth, Chair of the Hunter College Foundation, shared why she was pleased to have shepherded the foundation’s support for the project. “I was a student here, a commuter, and I wish I’d had this kind of place,” she said. “I’d love to hang out here from time to time!”
Besides the game room, the Student Union features a dedicated Undergraduate Student Government office for meetings, planning, and student engagement. There is new space for the Office of Student Activities to be used in the planning and running of all extracurricular events (e.g., co-curricular and cultural events) for undergraduate and graduate students. The College Association Office, which oversees student activity funding in support of clubs and undergraduate and graduate student governments, will also have new space.
There is also a multi-use conference room, with a partition to allow for configuration options, to better accommodate the needs of different student clubs. A Student Resource Center offers 18 workstations, connected to four printers, for student use.