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Calm down. The University Union isn’t that great

Calm down. The University Union isn’t that great

Samuel Wiggins

Calm down. The University Union isn’t that great
September 02
11:41 2016

Waiting for the University Union to finish was like anticipating the Christmas present you thought you had in the bag. But then, you unwrap that present and instead of it being your much deserved Xbox, you get socks. Lots and lots of boring and scratchy socks. Nothing at all like the gift that your parents led you to believe.

This is exactly what UNT did to its students with the Union.

For two years, UNT ripped up its campus with ambitious plans to renovate its old Union with one that looked seemingly massive and high-tech, filled with places like Fuzzy’s and Starbucks that students could always count on. All of these new features, however, are just disappointing.

Yes, we can all agree that the Union is beautiful; especially thanks to its smooth, modern design and a greener-than-thou vibe. The Union also boasts a 28 percent energy reduction through incorporating more natural lighting in its architecture.

Still, was rebuilding the Union even worth it?

In 2012, students were given the option to raise student fees to $115 (starting fall 2014) for a stylistic overhaul of the classic Union. Once the majority voted “yes,” the university began preparations to change the building forever. Many of the students that voted in favor of the tuition increase were not going to be enrolled long enough to experience it, as many of them graduated by the time that our current Union finished. While there are a few students who have been present for both Unions, they even share the mindset that the original Union was much stronger.

Space. Where is it?

The old Union felt gargantuan in scope, whereas its successor doesn’t even come close. It felt like Hogwarts with its massive staircases and abundant amounts of open space. The Piano and the One O’Clock Lounge sat in a wide area that could be heard throughout the building; the Lounge being an actual “lounge” that hosted bean bag get-togethers and seasonal parties.

The new Union is a step-down from this. Yes, it’s very tall and has its share of rooms. But it feels like a giant rectangle going upward without any character. It has no comfortable quality about it, nor does anything appear to be inviting or welcoming upon arrival. You can walk straight through today’s Union and get to the other side of campus in a heartbeat, which is nice but it doesn’t make up for how hundreds of people parade down the stairs for one single guard rail.

Unhealthy food. Great.

Come on, UNT. You had this huge opportunity to bring in healthier food choices, but instead, you doubled up on taco and chicken choices. Sure, the Union has a salad bar and other “healthy” options in the cafeteria… even though it closes at 3 p.m. I’m confused where UNT expects people who don’t eat meat or dairy to get healthier options when they close their cafeteria 3 hours after lunch. Even when you eat at the Union’s food chains, they are all run by poor trainees and the food is subpar at best.

The Union was rushed to open last December so employees must have been rushed in their training because of it. Students have even experienced troubles from Fuzzy’s, with its tacos coming out cold and not-so-fresh. Needless to say, the food could be cooked a lot better.

Lines

It’s almost as if the people that blueprinted the new Union didn’t take into account that making food in separate spots — all spread out like a mall food court — was probably the worst idea for student cuisine. The Union was small before, but it has shrunk down twice as much, not considering all of the new freshmen. The food lines are so ridiculous that it’s akin to walking through Disney World on the first day of summer. It’s even worse because you have another thousand people waiting to actually get their food, after ordering 20 minutes before.

The Union of Old

The Union’s existence just doesn’t justify all of its cons outweighing the pros. Even though it’s cool to have new public rooms on campus, it makes finding somewhere to be alone a lot harder. We miss being able to go up the second floor, walk down a hallway and find random seating to eat and be alone. While there’s thousands of students walking around on the first floor, people were still able to find quiet, comfortable seats of sanctitude. The food chains were all near one another and the lounge was actually meant for relaxation.

Now, it’s all about listening to covers of Def Leppard without a concrete time and place for karaoke wailing. It just feels like the years of construction weren’t really worth it. Our school didn’t want a miniaturized business building, we wanted something of a sanctuary to bring all the students together. A true Union.

Featured Image: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

Victoria Baghaei

Victoria Baghaei

I write opinions, yo.

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1 Comment

  1. Josh
    Josh September 05, 17:23

    Could not disagree more. The old Union was an outdated, embarrassing eyesore. It seems that no matter what you do, there will always be those who choose to complain.

    Reply to this comment

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