Biggest Issue At The Memorial Union


Demetria Slyt, Opinion Editor

When the plan for the new Memorial Union was first established the campus was a bit split on the decision to say the least. Now that the Memorial Union has been up and running for the past semester and a half, I am sure that everyone can agree that it is something special. The new cafeteria, as well as a plethora of open study spaces, has been a big hit with many students and even various faculty members across campus. However, as a student myself, and an employee at the Union, I have noticed a few issues with the new structure. What is the biggest issue within the new Memorial Union? What have other students noticed? And what could be changed or improved within the Memorial Union? 

*It goes without saying that the new Memorial Union is huge! Or at least it feels that way with the open floor plans and large spaces. In such a big place, it is easy to get a little lost or turned around when looking for a specific location. Now, I am not sure if I am the only one who has noticed this but… where are all of the bathrooms? My first time in the union I spent probably 15 – 20 minutes trying to figure out where the restrooms were and finally, I caught a glimpse of the tiniest sign I have ever seen. It wasn’t in plain sight where everyone could easily see it, but kind of nestled away around a corner. I’ve also noticed that just when you think you know where a bathroom is and you try to point someone in the right direction, it turns out there was an even closer bathroom (and now that poor soul just got sent halfway across the building). The only thing I can suggest to solve this minor issue is to get new signs or paint arrows on the walls like in the old Memorial Union. I need a big bright neon sign pointing people to where the bathrooms are, stat!  

In all honesty that probably is the only issue that I take with the union. Other students have pointed out that designated or more private study rooms always seem occupied. This does put a damper on things for those who wish to study without feeling crowded or want somewhere more quiet to work on assignments. Thankfully there are other options around campus, such as the university library; however, I have been told that even that location feels a little crowded at times too. Some students wish that the food options at the union were a little cheaper, but unlike the old memorial union, you can actually use dining dollars to get some grub.  

All in all, there are not many real issues within the new Memorial Union, and the minor things can be changed very easily (or are maybe just part of being on a big campus). Have you noticed these issues? Are there other issues with the Memorial Union that hasn’t been discussed here? What do you think could be changed for the better? 


*Disclaimer: While this is an opinion piece it is also meant to bring comical relief to the very few issues I have noticed since the memorial union has been open.

Demetria Slyt is a Dakota Student Opinion Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].