Celebrating 45 Years at the Student Union

Lilith Greta Meyer, Contributing Writer

Free massages, caricature drawings and a 15-foot climbing wall – that is how the University-Student Union (U-SU) celebrated its 45-year anniversary.

First opened in 1975, originally in the building that is now the Student Health Center, the Student Union moved around campus quite a bit before getting settled in the U-SU building ten years ago.

The event on Thursday kicked-off with a performance from Cal State LA’s cheer team. Representatives of the U-SU’s Board of Directors took the stage, introducing the union and encouraging new students to get involved in some of the various programs it offers.

A new mission statement was issued, in which the U-SU promised to provide Golden Eagles with opportunities to live up to their full potential.

Once the formalities were over, the party started. Crowds formed around waiters carrying trays of mini burgers, spring rolls and other refreshments. 

The main musical act of the evening, Top Shelf Brass Band, a Riverside based jazz ensemble, entertained with covers of popular songs as handfuls of students opened up the dance floor. At tables set up around the plaza, representatives of different U-SU services promoted their programs and gave information. 

Popular games and activities were provided for students and guests. Lines of people waited to have their portrait drawn by one of the four cartoonists on-site or to relieve some stress by getting a free massage.

Among the highlights of the event was a photo booth, a giant tic-tac-toe game and bungee-secured climbing wall. Even U-SU tenants got involved. Wells Fargo set up an inflatable basketball game where students can score goals and win small prizes. The Cal State LA campus Starbucks added a special edition anniversary Frappucino to their menu for the day.

According to U-SU Director of Operations John Ortiz, the aim of the festivities was to celebrate 45 successful years of existence as well as raise awareness of the events and services offered by the Student Union. 

Freshmen students Julian Herrera and Kenia Vargas-Navas were positively surprised as they stumbled upon the celebrations in the plaza, which they had not previously been aware of. Both new Golden Eagles are excited for what the U-SU has in store for the future.

Herrera said, “I will definitely be keeping an eye out for upcoming events.”