Volume 77 | Issue 3
May 2009

Truman State University, Student Union Building


Truman State University

Four-year, public, rural
Full-time enrollment: 5,635
Location: Kirksville, Mo.



Student Union Building

Director: Damon Ferlazzo
Size: 97,000 sq. ft.
Floors: 3
Year built: 1967
Annual budget: $370,790
Student staff: 25 (part-time)
Nonstudent staff: 6 (full-time)



The birth of the Student Union Building at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., came out of a decision made in 1945 by facultyTruman12009 planning committees. During the 1950s and the 1960s, money was raised to update and upgrade the facility. Through senior gifts and a loan granted to the university from the federal Housing and Home Finance Agency, the Student Union Building opened in 1967. Since then, the building has undergone several renovations—one of which has changed the morale of the entire union. In August 2008, a $6 million renovation changed the “Quiet Lounge” into what students have now deemed the “Hub.”
“The building’s main lounge and its accompanying mezzanine, ‘the Hub’ as it has been dubbed by students, has transformed from a dreary, sleepy, ill-used, ‘Quiet Lounge,’ to a lively, upbeat, and informal living room of campus,” said Damon Ferlazzo, programs coordinator.
The most recent upgrade was finished in January. The $189,000 technology upgrade included a better Wi-Fi
coverage, built-in data projectors, new sound systems, and a “smartboard.”

Unique features

The Student Union Building provides a number of useful resources for students, such as the university bookstore, various places to eat, and information services. One of the most common “hang-outs” is the main lounge, which provides students with a place to study and have fun. Recently a unique source of fun in the Student Union Building was a synthetic ice skating rink that was installed in the largest ballroom. Students enjoyed ice games and ice line dancing. Some students even skated for four hours straight.

Truman22009Students’ role

There are many ways for students to become involved in the Student Union Building. Students are trusted with responsibilities that include opening and closing the building, programming for special and late-night events, as well as assisting with technology issues that students and other patrons might have.


The different types of programs offered at the Student Union Building offer students a wide variety of experiences.
“It hosts a variety of special programs and events: presidential debate watch parties, video game tournaments, Super Bowl party, a Mardi Gras and Jazz celebration, musical and theatrical performances, and has even served as a movie theater,” Ferlazzo said.
Along with the synthetic ice rink, the Hub also held the Ultimate Night of Video Games, which featured “a 30’ x 16’ screen, five other big screens, a Guitar Hero tournament, and even original Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis games,” Ferlazzo said.