Volume 79 | Issue 1
January 2011

Valdosta State University, Student Union

Valdosta State University
Four-year, public, suburban
Full-time enrollment: 13,000
Location: Valdosta, Ga.

Student Union
Director: Robin Vickery
Size: 118, 959 sq. ft.
Floors: 3
Year built: 2010
Annual budget: $750,000
Student staff: 40 (part-time)
Nonstudent staff: 3 (full-time)
Website: http://www.valdosta.edu/stulife


In 2004, the student government at Valdosta State University voted to build a new union facility that would serve the entire campus community.

“The previous union had only 37,000 square feet, which was seriously undersized for our campus population,” Director Robin Vickery said.

Because the original union was built more than 50 years ago, the markings of some underground lines and pipes were not on the site plans. According to

Vickery, a running joke during construction was, “What will we dig up today?” considering the build process was often delayed due to a new discovery.

Unique features

The Valdosta State University campus is uniform in the traditional Spanish mission-style architecture used, and the Student Union was no exception.

Vickery said that the grand staircase and rotunda are stand-out features of the building.

Student’s role

The rotunda is also a place where students can often be found gathering as it is the most popular place in the building to study and socialize.

Some union services that students also enjoy are the food court, meeting rooms, student organization offices, computer kiosks, bookstore, theater, and games room.

And students have a “huge” role in running the union. Not only are they responsible for a large portion of the building’0s daily operations, but also students serve on the Student Union Advisory Board, along with staff and faculty, which is responsible for the policies and procedures that govern the building, Vickery said.


The union is always busy with programming including weekly movies, concerts, comedy shows, games room tournaments, dances, and community functions.

A few annual student life events are stand outs, such as Homecoming, Relay for Life, and Parents’ Weekend. Also, the yearly Fall Explosion offers special events, cookouts, and community service projects as an opportunity for students to meet one another and make new friends while being involved.