Volume 77 | Issue 5
September 2009

Union Spotlight: University of Wyoming, Wyoming Union


University of Wyoming
Wyoming Union

Wyoming Union
Four-year, public, commuter, rural
Full-time enrollment: 10,190
Location: Laramie, Wyo.

Wyoming Union
Director: Darcy DeTienne
Size: 126,485 sq. ft.
Floors: 4
Year built: 1939
Budget: $2 million
Student staff: 50 (part-time)
Nonstudent staff: 22 (full-time); 3 (part-time)


The Wyoming Union first opened in 1939 to be a part of University of Wyoming’s “Dream Campus.” The union project was completed withinWyoming a year of its commencement and totaled $240,000. Although the union has never been moved from the original building, additional square footage has been added over the years.
“The original facility opened in 1939, with 46,770 square feet. A renovation in 1960 almost doubled the space to 80,675 square feet. Another addition in 1992 expanded the facility to 116,715 square feet. The 2002 renovation added another 9,770 square feet,” Director Darcy DeTienne said.
With these additions, the union now stands at 126,485 square feet.

Unique features

The renovations offered a way for the union to have a more open floor plan where students are able to relax and socialize in larger groups. The main and lower levels are connected through large windows and skylights.
“This creates open, well-lit areas connecting the two levels seamlessly,” DeTienne said.
A large “breezeway” on the main level connecting to the major lounge also allows for more light and open space.
With the addition of dining, three fireplaces, and various televisions located throughout the lounge, the main level is by far the most popular place to be within the Wyoming Union.
“In essence a space is available for everyone’s preference,” DeTienne said.

Students’ role

Students at the University of Wyoming don’t have to leave campus to find part-time jobs. The union offers various positions for students from food services to information desk attendants and building managers.
“They comprise two-thirds of the total employee count of the union,” DeTienne said.
But the students also have their say in the direction of the union through being a part of the Union Board, which decides long-term planning, policy development, budget proposals, and other things of that nature. There are five student voting members, outnumbering the four faculty, staff, and administrator voting members.
In addition to these forms of involvement, the union also hosts nearly 200 student organizations, such as student government, volunteer service programs, and other leadership programs.   


The Wyoming Union led the way for the university in the fight to become a more “green” campus by purchasing multiple recycling bins and installing censored lights in offices, conference rooms, and restrooms. The student government also supported an optional student fee to purchase wind energy, which supported 10,400 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy in 2008.
The Alternative Spring Break program has also been hugely successful for the union.
“In the spring of 2009, its fourth year of existence, seven trips were scheduled within the United States and two trips were scheduled internationally to the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica,” DeTienne said.
During the year the union also organizes various concerts and shows for students to enjoy. Previous performers have included BB King, Switchfoot, Nickel Creek, and Collin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”