Hundreds of students pass through the Long Beach State University Student Union every day where they eat, study, sleep and socialize. On Nov. 30, Long Beach State students were able to voice their opinions on the future of the USU.
Associated Student Inc. hosted the “Future U Project Kick-off” in the USU Southwest Terrance and University Dining Plaza. The event provided students with music, food and several opportunities to learn about the USUs’ history and decide its future.
In the showroom, ASI had several interactive activities where students could learn about the history of the USU and leave suggestions for what they’d like to see there.
The event included free prizes, taco plates, a photo-booth, succulent pot decorating, boba and hot chocolate, henna tattooing and caricature artists.
One of the major goals of the event was to reach 15,000 students, in order to get their perspectives on any renovations or expansions.
“While the building stays roughly the same size as it was in the ’90s, our student population continues to grow,” said Akshay Waghmare, Chair of the Long Beach State University Student Union, Board of Trustees. “We need to connect with students to understand the needs and demands of the ever growing student population.”
Long Beach State is the second largest of the CSU system. It has an enrollment rate of over 35,000 students enrolled in the fall of ‘22. The USU itself opened in September of 1972 with little to no renovation or repurposing of the space during the past two decades.
Shannon Couey, the communications coordinator for ASI, said that from the information they’ve been able to look at, food and comfort seem to be at the top of students lists.
“The feedback that I’ve consistently seen students give is more variety in our food options,” said Couey. “A lot of students are looking for spaces to rest and relax and just kind of chill between classes.”
More food options is something that many students have had an interest in. The closure of University Dining Plaza and Nugget Grill during the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States left students with one less restaurant to get food from. Adding on to the space was presented as a possibility by the ASI, indicated by the concept art of new and renovated USU spaces they displayed in the showroom.
Students who attended, such as fashion design major Adam Moroyoqui, seemed to respond positively to the event and the possibility of adding more to the USU.
“I wouldn’t really necessarily say like subtract anything more just like, keep on adding and trying to improve like I don’t know just make the school feel more like a community,” Moroyoqui said.
Students can visit the ASI website and social media in order to see what other events are being planned for the remainder of the fall semester.