About the Union
- We are closed today.
- Mon 05/20
- 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Tue 05/21
- 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Wed 05/22
- 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Thu 05/23
- 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Fri 05/24
- 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Sat 05/25
We are working to make your Union greener!
Your Union recycles several different materials, including:
- Ink Cartridges
- Light bulbs
- Copy Paper
- Cooking Oil
- Aluminum Cans
- Plastic Bottles
The Union also uses several other different environmentally-friendly products, like biodegradable “to-go” boxes and plates, starch based utensils (as opposed to plastic), and recycled napkins and cups. Plus, the Union uses Enviro Care carpet cleaner, bio-friendly hand soap, floor restorer, and disinfectants.
But that’s not all! The Union is doing more than just using green products. We have a building-wide control system to efficiently control heating and cooling throughout the building, eco-friendly restrooms with automatic hand-washing stations to conserve energy and water while producing less waste, and energy efficient fluorescent bulbs and motion sensitive light switches wherever possible.
Here’s an example of just how much your Union is doing:
Cardboard to be recycled is picked up from the Union once per day, five days a week, 48 weeks a year. The container for this cardboard is able to hold about 2500 boxes a time, or about 1640 pounds and is nearly always full when the cardboard is picked up. Every year, the Union recycles over 370,000 pounds of cardboard. That’s about the same weight as a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet!
Your K-State Student Union is committed to making the Union as eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable as possible. We will continue to add recyclable, biodegradable, and sustainable products and services to further these goals.
Other sustainable initiatives.
Water bottle filling station:The Union has an Elkay® EZH2O™ bottle filling station to provide quick, clean and green hydration. The filling station is a convenient way to reduce dependency on plastic water bottles by providing rapid water fill and minimizing plastic bottle waste.
The EZH2O™ bottle filling station fill rate is three times faster than a traditional drinking fountain and allows operators an electronic, touchless sensor for sanitation. The filling station also includes the innovative Green Ticker™ to count the quantity of plastic bottles saved from landfills. The bottle filling station is located near a first floor water fountain on the outside of Caribou Coffee.↑ Back to the top
Like all public buildings on the K-State campus and larger Manhattan, the K-State Student Union is a smoke-free facility.↑ Back to the top
“You, as students, are a source of information of the first importance if the new center is to produce anything like a full return on its investment. Since it is for you primarily that the union is to be constructed, your needs, wants, feelings, opinions, and habits must be revealed clearly, or tens of thousands of dollars may be spent in erecting a monument to an unfulfilled purpose.
Although we are all admittedly less than perfect in our knowledge of our own needs and our ability to express them, and although it is unlikely that we can specify with exact accuracy the facilities and services that would be most beneficial and satisfying to us, there is nevertheless no better source for this information.”
Taken from the “Guide-Posts in Planning the Kansas State Union”.
And so it was that in the early 1950’s, the students of Kansas State University were given the charge to plan their student Union with the understanding of the debt they owed to the many students who were before them.
They were obligated to the students who, in 1938, voted, overwhelmingly, in favor of a student fee for the purpose of building a student union. Seventy two percent of the student body voted in this election with 76% of those voting in favor of the fee.
They were obligated to the students in the 1940’s who paid the student fee without experiencing the benefit of the building.
The K-State Student Union has gone through many changes in its first 50 years of providing quality programs and services to the students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests of K-State. The foundation that was laid 50 plus years ago is the same principle that directs the Union today and the same one that will lead it into the future.
March 08, 2006 was the 50th Anniversary of the day that the K-State Student Union first opened it doors for the K-State community. Lectures, entertainment, roll back pricing in our retail units, a huge anniversary cake, and much more were involved in our celebration.
|The Early Days through 1949|
|March 3, 1926||J.C. Christensen, an 1894 KSAC graduate and faculty member, advocated a union building for the KSAC campus to include faculty, officers, alumni and former students. (Industrialist)|
|1933||First consideration among the students for a union building at K-State. At the time a successful campaign for the Memorial Stadium was started and there was some discussion about building both a stadium and a union. Due to lack of funding, the union portion was dropped.|
|1935||President Farrell appointed a committee of students and faculty to study ways and means of building a union building on campus.|
|1936||The University Council of Deans created a commission to promote a project for a student union building|
|1937||The KSAC Student Council voted in favor of an appropriation of $400 toward securing a union building|
|1937||Five delegates, sent by Student Council, attended the Association of College Unions meeting at Purdue.|
|March 11, 1938||72.2% of the student body voted in student referendum. 76% of those voting voted in support of funding a union via a student union fee. The approved fee was $5 per semester and $2.50 for summer session.|
|1941||Student Union fee began|
|1941||Board of Regents approved locating the Union south of the Engineering Hall (Seaton).|
|1941||Planning and construction was delayed due to WWII.|
|1947||The freshman poll showed that 98% of the class members interviewed favor the earliest possible use of Thompson Hall as a temporary student union.|
|1947||Temporary barracks were obtained from the military facility at Herington, Kan. and located north of the tennis courts to act as the temporary student union. This facility remained opened until the construction was completed on the permanent building.|
|1947||Proceeds from Jazz at the Philharmonic, a jazz concert presented in the college auditorium benefited both the temporary union and the permanent union.|
|1950||Planning again is postponed due to the Korean War.|
|November 1950||Porter Butts, Wisconsin Union director and student union consultant, spent time on campus with President McCain discussing the idea of a union at K-State.|
|1951||During the Flood of 1951, the temporary Union building served as an area of refuge for those who had been forced out of the homes. Meals were served in Thompson Hall.|
|1951||President James McCain made it clear that a student union had top priority in new building constructions. He appointed a committee of five students and five faculty members to form a union planning committee|
|1953||The Council for Student Affairs established the Union Governing Board. The first meeting of this board occurred on March 15, 1955, one year prior to the opening of the new building.|
|1953||Ground is broken for the construction of the union. The spade that was used was the same one that Dwight D. Eisenhower used when he broke ground for the Memorial Chapel in 1947. O.D. Milligan Construction company is named the building contractor.|
|1954||Student fee was increased to $12.50 per semester with $7.50 going towards bond retirement and $5 allocated for operations.|
|Feb 1, 1955||Loren Kottner named first Union director|
|March 15, 1955||The first meeting of UGB occurred one year prior to the opening of the new building. Leon Armantrout was selected as the first UGB chairperson.|
|April 1955||Ed Gillettee appointed first chairperson of the Union Programming Council.|
|December 1955||114 students made up the first UPC|
|Jan 1956||Blue Key, senior men’s honorary, presented the Union with money for a fireplace.|
|March 8, 1956||The K-State Student Union OPENS. The original building consisted of 110,000 square feet at a of cost 1.65 million dollars. The amount allocated from the student operational fee was $64,000 representing 14% of the first year’s income.|
|March 8, 1956||The theme of the Grand Opening was “Night at the Circus.” The student variety show that was part of the grand opening banquet was emceed by K-State student Gordon Jump (The Maytag Repairman and WKRP).|
|March 9, 1956||The Four Lads, nationally known vocal quartet and recording artists, perform at the first dance in the Union.|
|March 14, 1956||The St. Patrick’s Day prom is held in the ballroom.|
|June 1956||The temporary Student Union is removed.|
|December 1956||Hosted the ACUI Region 11 fall conference|
|May 6, 1957||Union Governing Board polices are approved.|
|December 1957||First Holiday Smorgasbord event was held. This was a two-day event prepared by Union Foodservice.|
|March 1958||Automatic pin-setters were purchased for bowling center.|
Major Events of the 1950s
The Four Lads (Opening Night), Kingston Trio, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie Band, Christmas Smorgasbord, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson Trio, Charles Peterson (Billiard Expert), Matt Benton, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Governor George Docking, Jimmie Featherstone Orchestra, The Crewcuts, The Pastels, The Da Vinci Invention Exhibit, Hubert Humphrey, Dylan Todd, Harrison Salisbury.
|1960 – 1969|
|October 1960||Union assumes responsibility for the campus’ vending program.|
|1961||The concept of a Lake Union was pondered. Four different sites on and around Tuttle Creek Lake were studied. After two years, it was decided that the construction cost and the cost to operate such a facility would be too high for students’ to support and the idea was dropped.|
|1963||First addition to the Union is completed. Green Construction Company of Manhattan was the general contractor and added 40,000 square feet to the building. Largely due to the significant growth in enrollment at K-State, the addition was funded without additional student fee money. The additional square footage cost $900,000.|
|October 1963||Richard Blackburn becomes the second K-State Student Union Director.|
Major Events of the 1960s
Fred Seaton lecture, Dallas Symphany, Contemporary Prints of Norway exhibit, Jean Coleman, John McComb, Jim Hoy, Harry James, Nina Simone, Buddy Rich, Ruth Price, Harry Belafonte, Nipsy Russel, Al Hirt, George Rockwell lecture, Baroness Maria von Trapp lecture, Spider and the Crabs, The Jerms, The Thieves, The Red Dogs and The Fabulous Flippers.
|1970||Second addition is completed. Green Construction Company of Manhattan was the general contractor and added 100,000 square feet at a cost of 2.88 million dollars. This brought the building’s total square footage to 240,000 sq. ft., which was built at cost of 5.4 million (to build a Union of this size in 2006, it has been estimated the cost would be in excess of 42 million dollars). The students of today owe a great deal of gratitude to the students of 1938, 1941, 1961, and 1968 for their futuristic planning.|
|1970||Included in the second addition was the creation of the Union Bookstore. The Recreation Center now totaled sixteen lanes of bowling, all on the same level.|
|July 1973||Walt D. Smith becomes the third K-State Student Union Director.|
|1978||First showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.|
|1979||First of Mitsugi Ohno Glass Sculptures is put on display in the Union|
Major Events in the 1970s
Joan Baez, John Denver, Jimmy Buffett, Cicily Tyson, Doc Severson, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Jimmie J.J. Walker, Seals and Croft, Lily Tomlin, Jefferson Starship, Scotty of Star Trek, Bob Hope, The Doobie Brothers, Red Skelton, Bread, Jerry Lewis, Michael Murphy, America, Billy Joel, Harlem Globetrotters, Marshall Tucker Band, Firefall, The Temptations, Three Dog Night, The Sound Farm, Jimmy Webb, John Biggs, Brewer & Shipley, Mac Davis, The Earl Scruggs Revue, The Byrds, Mother Earth, Mason Profit and Danny Brooks, Chicago, Friends of Distinction, Steve Martin, Dennis Banks lecture, Jimmy Caras billiards demonstration, Peter Yarrow, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Ed Shaughnessy, REO Speedwagon, Arlo Guthrie, Gordon Parks exhibit, Pott County Pork and Bean Band, The Pointer Sisters, Jethro Tull, Harry Chapin, Pure Prairie League, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Maxine Marx (daughter of Chico) lecture, Royal Lipizzan Stallion Show, Bread, Alex Haley lecture, Paul Gerni billiards demonstration, merson Lake and Palmer, Duck’s Breath Comedy Troupe, Dick Gregory lecture, Edmunds and Curley Comedy Dinner Theatre and many many many others performers on the Catskellar stage.
|Fall 1980||Bill Woodard bowls the first 300 game in the Union. He has two of the six 300 games bowled in Union Recreation. Tim Lundberg and Bill Severn also have bowled 300 games. All three were coached and sponsored by the Union Recreation Department. They were students that worked in the Union and members of the KSU Bowling team|
|April 1986||The New York Times recognizes the K-State Student Union as one of the top five student unions in America.|
|Fall 1986||The first Opus Band Competition is held.|
|February 1988||Jack L. Sills becomes the fourth K-State Student Union Director.|
|January 1991||Union Station opened as a non-alcohol entertainment and food facility in the space formerly know as the Catskellar. (The Catskellar, a coffee house , was created with the 1970 addition and located in the space that housed the original eight lanes of bowling.)|
|August 1991||Union becomes a tobacco free building.|
|April 1993||The Stan Winter Alpha Tau Omega, Union Leadership Scholarship is created. The scholarship was created in memory of Stan Winter who was active with UPC both as a volunteer and as an advisor and who was also active in the ATO fraternity.|
|Summer 1993||Union serves as a Red Cross refuge area during The Flood of ‘93. The Ballroom was set up with cots and the meals were prepared by Union Foodservice.|
|December 1993||Union Enhancement planning process begins.|
|February 1995||Subway opens in Union Recreation.|
|May 1995||Official name becomes the K-State Student Union.|
|August 1995||Beer sales begin in Union Recreation and in Union Station.|
|October 1995||Bernard J. Pitts becomes the fifth K-State Student Union Director.|
|July 1996||Professional Food Management is contracted to operate Union Foodservice.|
|Fall 1996||The K-State ID Center is moved to the Union with Union management providing the service.|
|June 1998||Union Renovation construction begins. McPherson Construction Co. of Topeka is named the general contractor for the Union Renovation. Francis Construction named general contractor for the Union Plaza. Blueville Nursery of Manhattan is named general contractor for landscape and irrigation.|
|August 1997||Commerce Bank opens in temporary location. Moved into their current location in July, 1998.|
|Fall 1999||The renovated Union Foodcourt is opened featuring Taco Bell, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Manchu Wok, Market Carvery, Slicer’s Deli, and Freshens. The grand opening was on September 9, 1999.|
Some of the events of the 1990s
Tsunami, Katherine Davis & Sidney James Winfield, William Jewell College Caledonian Pipe Band, The Griffins, Greenpeace Lecture, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Harvey Pittel Saxophone Quartest, Marc Price (comedy), Jaz Kaner (comedy), Don Reed (comedy), Janet McLaughlin, Bertice Berry lecture, Dixie Cadillacs, Paul Watson lecture, Cleveland Brass, Nacy Kassebaum lecture, Opus, David Naster with JR Brow. Michael Levine Lecture, Ashanti, Live, Weezer, Fatima Mansions, Daniel Rosen (comedy), Minneapolis Reggae All Stars, Timothy Leary, Sarah Weddington lecture, Zerf, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Dave Mathew Band, Soul Asylum, Mathew Sweet, Jerzy Wiatr lecture, Bobby Seale lecture, T.K. Mattingly lecture, Jack White billiards demonstration, Andy Warhol exhibit, Phil Donahue, The Blueberry Monsters, Jack Gladstone lecture, Jane Elliot lecture, Dinner theatres, Ultimate Fake Book, Frog Pond, Drive In Movies, Spontaneous Combustion, Blue Moon Ghetto
|2000||Friends of the Union established as the Union fund raising program. The first contribution was made by Alpha Delta Pi.|
|January 2000||Pepsi-Cola is awarded exclusive pouring rights at Kansas State University. This also included assuming the responsibilities for Union Vending.|
|February 2000||Cats’ Den convenience store opened for business.|
|Spring 2000||“Rock’it Bowl” begins in Union Recreation.|
|April 2000||The renovation to the Bookstore is completed.|
|June 2000||Union Computer Store opens for business.|
|July 2000||Union Haircare, a hair salon, is opened in Union Recreation.|
|October 13, 2000||The Union Renovation project is dedicated.|
|Spring 2001||Union Plaza construction is completed|
|January 2002||Chinese Warrior exhibit is unveiled. The artwork was donated to the Union by the Brandberry Family.|
|February 2002||Crimpers Too assumes responsibility for Union Haircare in Union Recreation.|
|June 2002||Varney’s Bookstore of Manhattan assumes management responsibility for the Union Bookstore.|
|September 11 2002||Three Allee Chinese Elm trees planted in the Union Plaza on September 19, 2001 were dedicated “in memory of the human lives that were lost on September 11, 2001 in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania and to honor the courage, spirit and strength of the people of the United States of America.”|
|April 2002||Hosted the National College Bowl Tournament.|
|August 2005||Panda Express opens.||2006||Union’s 50th Anniversary celebration.||2006||Established UGB part-time scholarship.||September 2007||Bookend Café opens in Hale Library.||April 2007||Caribou Coffee opens.||Fall 2008||Café Q opens in Durland Hall in the Engineering Complex.||Fall 2008||Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina opens in Union Station.||2009||Union website redesigned.||November 2009||New sound system installed in Forum Hall and Grand Ballroom.|
Some of the events of the 2000s
First Friday/After Hours, Greg Carroll & the Midnight Blue, Glamour Magazine Tour, Sumo Wrestling, No Jive Trio, OPUS, Jacqueline Spears Lecture, Soul Cats, Festival of Nations, Bumper Car Bash, Slambone, College Bowl, Buck O’Neil lecture, Black Panther Photo exhibit, Mike Errico, Comedy Corner, Air Ascension Ultimate Balloon Ride, Road Scholar College Tour, Lewis Black, Orange, Mark Sterner lecture, Danny Glover, Felix Justice, Dinner Theatre, Indy Car Racing, Myrlie Evers lecture, David Coleman, Slam Poetry, Darrell Hammond, “Journey to a Hate Free Millennium” lecture, Jeffrey Ross, Devin Henderson (magic), Lunchtime Lounge, Craig Karges, Al Franken, K-State Idol Competition, Thursday Night Buzz, Finals De-stressor, Gary Howard lecture, Daniel James (Hypnotist), Dr. Myra Gordon’s art exhibit, Jon Rittenhouse lecture, Vagina Monologues, Mo Rocca, “Antoin Sevruguin and the Persian Image” Smithsonian exhibit, MythBusters, Gil White lecture, Dr. Drew/Loveline lecture, Funnel Cakes, Joquelyn Hughes Mooney exhibit, PostSecret, Dancing with the K-State Stars, Owl City, Joel McHale.
|January 2010||Skywalk opens.||June 2010||K-State Message Board constructed on Anderson Avenue.||September 2010||Foodcourt renovated.||September 2010||Einstein Brothers Bagels opens in Hale Library.||Spring 2011||Denny’s Express opens in the Union Foodcourt.||Spring 2011||K-State Veterans Center opens in former KSU Office Supply location.||August 2011||Bill Smriga becomes the sixth K-State Student Union Director.|