Chances are every student here will at some point set foot in Union South in their years at the University of Wisconsin. While it is an architecturally impressive building, it only takes a view visits to realize the university deserves a face-palm from students.
Considering, as the Wisconsin State Journal reported, the new Union South cost $94.8 million dollars, and our segregated fees covered about 60 percent of the bill, it would follow that the Union should be built with a focus on students. But, then again, that would just make too much sense.
As someone who lives across the street from Union South, I spend a lot of time there (if you’re reading this while there, you can probably do a once-over and find me). It was a pretty cool place to study and hang out at first, but soon the Union’s shortcomings exposed themselves pretty quickly.
Have you ever tried eating there? Your options are: over-priced greasy food from The Sett, over-priced moderately healthy food from Harvest Grains, pizza drowned in grease from Urban Slice or, probably your safest bet, Ginger Root. Except Ginger Root is only open three hours a day, so if you’ve got class during lunch time, tough luck. And while Harvest Grains is probably your healthiest option, the times I’ve gotten a soup or the macaroni and cheese side from there, it was pretty evident they probably put more butter in them than any human should consume in a day.
The second problem with trying to eat at Union South is there’s nowhere to sit during lunch. In fact, there are so few places to sit you can’t even pull the awkward “Hey, mind if I sit at this table with you”? to a stranger, because all those seats are already taken. If you want to have a place to eat your probably-over-priced lunch, then you better get to the union before at least 10:30 a.m. And considering most of us come from class, that’s not an option.
The third major factor making Union South not student-friendly is the everyday problem all college students face: We’ve got electronics that need to be charged. If you hope to find an open outlet at Union South, good luck. That’s even harder than trying to find a seat at lunch. Want to study at Union South during midterm season or finals? Better charge your laptop before you go, because there’s no way in hell you’ll find an open outlet.
It seems to me Union South, basically, is a union for parents and alumni on Badger game days. But considering that’s only seven days out of the year, it seems like the students who use it the other 358 days got a little screwed.
But, on the bright side, at the rate the university renovates and rebuilds the campus, it won’t be long until there is a chance to correct Union South’s shortcomings in the near future.
Reginald Young (email@example.com) is a senior majoring in legal studies and Scandinavian studies.