Your Student Union Building is a sprawling multi-million dollar complex that provides a wide range of services and programs for a diverse student body. The “SUB,” so nicknamed by the students, serves as the “living room” of campus, a place where everyone can go for fun, work and opportunity.
Unions initially grew out of debate circles during the early 20th century. Eventually, stand-alone buildings were constructed so students could have a place to interact with each other beyond the classroom, somewhere to breakdown social barriers and gain a measure of self-governance over their college experience.
Your Student Union first started taking shape at the St. Margaret’s Hall campus of Boise Junior College (now Saint Luke’s Hospital) in the 1930s, when Dr. Eugene and Lois Chaffee opened their nearby residence for social gatherings. Then in 1941, with the relocation of campus to its present-day site, students were allotted a room in the Administration Building, a space they would soon outgrow. The following year, construction was completed for a Union building designated solely for use by the student body (now the Communications Building). “The Corral, a place to round up Broncos,” became the venue for everything from civic and social events to relaxing at the soda fountain.
During the fifties, the building underwent an expansion and the first permanent director was hired to oversee Union operations. Dances and weekly club meetings were also being held on a regular basis, and the first dormitories were built, placing greater emphasis on the need for Union services and programs.
In 1965, the college became a four-year institution, resulting in record-breaking enrollment numbers and an even greater demand that the Union accommodate the needs of a growing campus community. In 1967, where your Union stands today, a brand new facility was completed, featuring a game room with a bowling alley, offices and meeting rooms, and even a barbershop.
The new SUB underwent a facelift in the early seventies, enlarging portions of the south side. In 1974, the college became Boise State University, and by then was hosting internationally-recognized speakers. During the 80s and 90s, enrollment numbers rose for women and underrepresented minorities, prompting many Unions, like Boise State’s, to establish women’s and cultural centers. New technologies required modifications that brought you a Cyber Café, laptop checkouts and wireless Internet. In 2009, the facility underwent a major remodel and expansion, a $30,000,000 project to accommodate your ever-changing needs.
The role of Student Unions will continue to evolve just as the student body will continue to change and grow. Boise State’s SUB will persist in meeting the demands of an advancing hi-tech, globally connected world, in a sustainable, state-of-the-art “living room” just for you.
Role of the College Union
The union is the community center of the college, serving students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests. By whatever form or name, a college union is an organization offering a variety of programs, activities, services, and facilities that, when taken together, represent a well-considered plan for the community life of the college.
The union is an integral part of the educational mission of the college.
- As the center of the college community life, the union complements the academic experience through an extensive variety of cultural, educational, social, and recreational programs. These programs provide the opportunity to balance course work and free time as cooperative factors in education.
- The union is a student-centered organization that values participatory decision-making. Through volunteerism, its boards, committees, and student employment, the union offers first-hand experience in citizenship and educates students in leadership, social responsibility, and values.
- In all its processes, the union encourages self-directed activity, giving maximum opportunity for self-realization and for growth in individual social competency and group effectiveness.
The union’s goal is the development of persons as well as intellects.
Traditionally considered the “hearthstone” or “living room” of the campus, today’s union is the gathering place of the college. The union provides services and conveniences that members of the college community need in their daily lives and creates an environment for getting to know and understand others through formal and informal associations.
The union serves as a unifying force that honors each individual and values diversity. The union fosters a sense of community that cultivates enduring loyalty to the college.
Adopted by the Association’s general membership in 1996, this statement is based on the Role of the College Union statement, 1956.
Updated Nov. 25, 2008