Volume 78 | Issue 6
November 2010

University of Michigan–Dearborn, University Center

University of Michigan–Dearborn
Four-year, public, suburban, commuter
Full-time school enrollment: 9,000
Location: Dearborn, Mich.    

University Center

Director:Kathleen Herr
Size: 83,000 sq. ft.
Floors: 2
Year built: 1980
Student staff:30 (part-time)
Nonstudent staff: 55 (full-time); 10 (part-time)

The University Mall was built in 1980 as a mixed-use building on the University of Michigan–Dearborn campus; a separate building, called the Recreation and Organization Center, housed student activities and clubs. When the latter building closed in 2004, the University Mall was renovated and reopened as the University Center.

Unique features
The University Center offers a few unique features for the campus population.

“We have a foot bath as well as meditation/prayer room located within the building,” said Jonathan Larson, student activities supervisor.

Additionally, the building offers a mother’s room for those students with small children.

Students’ role
In the University Center, students are often found in the Student Organization Center or the food court. Both of these areas offer ample chairs, tables, and couches that can be used for studying or socializing.

Student employees at the University Center serve various roles. Some are called ambassadors and are in charge of setting up conference rooms and working the information desk. Other employees may be student assistants that help student organizations with event planning. Additionally, two students are employed as graphic designers.

“The Student Activities Office has close to 15 student employees who work our front desk or work in the Community Involvement and Volunteerism Center,” Larson said. “These students are planning service projects, alternative breaks, and managing community outreach.”
A true hallmark of the University Center is the programming it offers the campus community. Annual events such as Globalfest, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and the Homecoming Ball always draw a crowd.

“Globalfest has more than 1,200 faculty, staff, and students who attend,” Larson said. “There is a wide variety of ethnic foods and desserts as well as musical performances. It is a University of Michigan–Dearborn tradition.”