Filling the void: Where to find Memorial Union services

Special edition of UND Today offers guide to functions as campus awaits new Memorial Union

In today’s special edition, UND Today describes where to find the old Memorial Union’s services while awaiting the new building (rendering shown above).

 

For the full version of the map featured on the homepage, click here.

 

There’s a hole at the heart of UND — a literal hole, and a figurative hole as well.

It’s the hole where the UND Memorial Union once stood. Since its construction in 1951, the Memorial Union has been one of the most important buildings on campus.

Generations of students, faculty and staff visited the Union multiple times a day, finding food, space for talking and studying, student-government offices and countless other functions (including haircuts, for many years).

Today, a once-in-a-lifetime construction project is filling the literal hole — the hole in the dirt left by the Memorial Union’s demolition this summer.  “It’s monumental,” said Cassie Gerhardt, associate dean of students, of the $80 million project to build a new Memorial Union.

“It will change the landscape of UND as we know it.”

But what about the figurative hole? The many functions that the Memorial Union served — while construction is underway, where can members of the UND community go to find them?

That’s what this special edition of UND Today is about.

UND has taken pains to ensure that students and others still can access all of the Memorial Union’s services, as easily and almost as conveniently as they could when the services were all in one building. And in this collection of stories, UND Today will point out exactly where those services can be found.

“The Union is gone, but people across campus are making sure the experience and services our students expect are still there,” said Cara Halgren, vice president for student affairs & diversity.

“Our Class of 2023 never experienced the Union as UND students, so we’ve worked on ways to replicate those experiences and opportunities the Union used to provide in different venues and spaces on campus.”

Those experiences include everything from dining options to study spaces to One Stop Student Services and student government. In each case, the university is striving to ensure that students gain the experiences they expect on North Dakota’s flagship campus.

The first story in today’s series will list the key services and describe — and map — where they  can be found. The second story will highlight the newly renovated Chester Fritz Library’s role as a campus hub, and the third will describe Wilkerson Commons, the “mini-Union” where key dining and student-government services now can be found.

As this rendering shows, the new, 158,000 square-foot, three-story Memorial Union will include study and meeting spaces with up-to-date technology, expanded dining and retail options, indoor/outdoor gathering spaces and much more.

Through it all, readers should keep in mind the temporary nature of these changes. For the new building will be completed as soon as 2021; and when it opens, UND will enjoy a bigger and better Memorial Union than ever before.

“The Memorial Union was a central hub for everyone on campus,” Student Body Vice President Matthew Ternus told UND Today. So, “the next couple of years without it will be interesting.”

But make no mistake: the results of the wait will be worth it, Ternus said.

“The new Memorial Union is a new start to UND student life,” he remarked. “It is a new space which brings new opportunities for growth and community on our campus. We’re going to have this new facility to use in which we will foster school spirit.”