About University Unions
Who we are:
University Unions is an organizational unit within Student Life which offers services, programs, spaces and student involvement opportunities within the Michigan League, Michigan Union and Pierpont Commons. For generations these facilities have been more than buildings -- they have served as crossroads for the University community and have helped to shape campus life. While the unions began as gathering places, today they serve as the "living room" of the campus, providing conveniences and amenities that the members of the university family need in their daily life on the campus. The unions also serve as places for getting to know and understand one another through informal association outside the classroom.
2011-2012 Annual Report
For over 100 years, the University Unions have been serving the University of Michigan community. In 1914, the University of Michigan became one of the seven founders of the Association of College Unions International. More history.
University Unions offers a full range of services and amenities which are needed in daily campus life and in support of the mission of the University. These include retail services and support offices, facilities and programmatic support, and professional consultation.
Retail Services & Support Offices
Within the Michigan League, Pierpont Commons and Michigan Union you will find everything from brand name fast food restaurants, table service sit down dining, and full service catering; to services such as banking, travel, and computer supply; to a Ticketmaster outlet and campus box office; to full service U-M Bookstores and convenience stores. University Unions also hosts a variety of campus support and student organization offices to help students and others navigate life at the U-M.
Facilities & Programmatic Support
The three campus union buildings comprise over 500,000 square feet – making UU one of the largest college union complexes in the world. Available for use are a variety of spaces and programmatic support, including over 40 meeting rooms and full service event management services, 21 hotel rooms, billiards and recreation space, and plenty of study space.
University Unions offers leadership and skill-based experience to over 500 student employees and volunteers. UU is always ready to provide assistance, whether it includes meeting and conference management help, student organization accounting and banking services, student organization graphic or advertising assistance, major event production or promotion consulting, or student and student organization leadership development opportunities.
Member of ACUI
University Unions is proud to be a founding member of the Association of College Unions International (ACUI). Founded in 1914, ACUI is a nonprofit educational organization that brings together college union and student activities professionals from hundreds of schools in seven countries. Its members work on urban and rural campuses, in two-year and four-year institutions, and at large and small schools. They are students and administrators whose mission is to build campus community. ACUI enriches them all through education, advocacy, and the delivery of services. For more information on ACUI go to
Facilities Conditions Analysis –
During the 2008 winter term, University Unions worked with the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) office to hire consultants to examine the physical conditions of the Michigan Union, Michigan League and Pierpont Commons. The infrastructure study, conducted by Integrated Design Solutions (ids), allowed us to better understand the extent of deficiencies which exist, along with the estimated costs to address problem areas.
Results of the Facilities Conditions Analysis (FCA) identified $53 million in facilities deficiencies. The associated costs are for infrastructure/basic needs, rather than programmatic or cosmetic enhancements. For example, the report recommended replacement of elevators due to poor condition, but did not explore remodeling the University Club to create an improved dining experience. Each Union building has been assessed as falling into the “poor” category within a standardized Facility Condition Index; the lowest possible level among all conditions levels. Projected costs for the Michigan Union totaled $31 million in corrective needs, the Michigan League $15 million, and Pierpont Commons $7 million. Notably, however, some deficiency corrections are projected to provide operational savings in energy consumption when completed.
Following the FCA outlined above, the Unions initiated a comprehensive Master Plan Study in 2009 to take a broad and meaningful look at improvements that could be made in the area of programmatic functions, as well. Workshop Architects, an architectural design firm with experience in student life buildings, was brought on board to facilitate the plan development. An overview of the Master Planning project and resulting recommendations can be found in the 2009-2010 University Unions Annual Report above (pages 8-9).