Volume 77 | Issue 2
March  2009

The following pages share innovative programs, services, and amenities that student activities departments and college unions have introduced to their campus communities within the past year. Some of the featured ideas are happening on multiple campuses already, but the hope is that even those unique to one college can be adapted or offer inspiration for another institution. Readers who have additional “what’s new” submissions and those willing to “test” one of the showcased solutions and share the results are urged to e-mail to

California State University–Fresno
40th anniversary celebration

California State University–Fresno celebrated the 40th anniversary of its University Student Union Nov. 12–14, 2008. The three-day event featured activities for the whole campus community. The event kicked off with the union birthday party for students. This event included a mini-cupcake eating contest and live music. Additionally, the Fresno State Band played the “Happy Birthday” song, and everyone at the event sang along. “It was really cool,” said Eric Kent, operations services coordinator. “This event was completely directed at the students, and they all really seemed to get into the spirit.” The following day, a reception celebrated the leadership of the union, both past and present. Guest speakers included Gary Ida, the first union commissioner; Gerald Tahajian, a former Association Students, Inc. (ASI) president; as well as current union board, productions, and ASI leaders. “Our guest speakers mostly told stories of their own experiences in the union, and what it was like during their time,” Kent said. The 40th anniversary concluded with a tribute to Glenn Carlson, the first collegiate bowling coach. 

“Coach Carlson started coaching the team in 1969, when he established Fresno State as one of the premiere bowling programs in the nation,” Kent said. “He coached Fresno State women’s team at 12 intercollegiate championships, and also the men’s at six. He was a man that was looked upon with great respect and truly left his mark on our community.”

At this closing event, the leadership scholarship also was awarded. Overall, the anniversary celebration was a success, according to Kent. “I don’t think we could pinpoint the best part of the event,” he said. “All three days were a huge success, and we had a blast planning it.”

Wilmington College
First-year connections

At the beginning of the 2008–09 academic year, Wilmington College started a new student orientation program. The First-Year Connections program, founded by the residence life department, ensures that students have a smooth transition to college. All first-year students participated in this first-time program.