Union Spotlight: Carl Hansen Student Center at Quinnipiac University

Union Spotlight: Carl Hansen Student Center at Quinnipiac University2004-03-0158Union Spotlightsfalse


"Quinnipiac," pronounced (KWIN-uh-pe-ack),Êis an altered version of a Native American word. There are differing theories on the exact meaning of the word. Some sources, such as "The Quinnipiack Indians and Their Reservation" (1900), assert that the name Quinni-pe-auke means "long-water land or country." Later sources claim "Quinnipiac" apparently was "quinnuppin-uk," defined as "a turning point; to make a change in the direction of travel." Both definitions seem appropriate for Quinnipiac University, because it is located near a long tidal river and because college marks a turning point in students' lives. This philosophy is part of the mission of the Carl Hansen Student Center, as it works toward the growth and development of the whole student and strives to be a part of the turning points in students' lives.

Unique features

This multipurpose facility provides opportunities for all members of the Quinnipiac community to come together in a relaxed atmosphere. Located in the Carl Hansen Student Center is the campus bookstore; Quick Stop, a convenience store; a full-service bank; Café Q, the university's cafeteria (known for its steak dinner); and a full-service post office housing mailboxes for residential students and organizations. The center's quiet study lounge and music listening lounge are popular spots for students to study, and both spaces overlook the beautiful Sleeping Giant Mountain. Located on the second floor are the center's administrative offices and offices of the Student Government Association, Student Programming Board, and campus media organizations. There is office space for approximately 20 student organizations and a graphic arts room used by all students.

Newly remodeled in 2003, Alumni Hall is a large auditorium that accommodates a variety of educational, cultural, social, and recreational activities. Conferences, lectures, films, musical performances, and dances are held there on a regular basis.

The main entrance of the center is one's first impression of the building. Overlooking the Quad, the entrance is accentuated by the large picture windows of the cafe, Alumni Hall, and the flagpole. During the sunny months, students sit in front of the building to study while working on their tans. At the end of the fall semester, students meet at the entrance for the tree- and menorah-lighting ceremonies.

Students' role

The Carl Hansen Student Center employs approximately 50 students who work part time in the office of the Student Center and Student Leadership Development, Game Room, and Campus Reservation and Information Center. Student office assistants aid professional staff members during normal business hours, and on weekends and after hours, student building managers are on duty. Additionally, the Game Room and Campus Reservation and Information Center is staffed by students until midnight, seven days a week.


The Carl Hansen Student Center has been home to many notable shows, activities, and performers. In the past, the campus's Student Programming Board has coordinated performances by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Busta Rhymes, Sugar Ray, Guster, Run DMC, and Ben Folds Five. Quinnipiac University After Dark (Q.U.A.D.), the university's late-night programming committee, helps keep students involved on campus from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends by offering events such as bingo tournaments, crafts, and laser tag. Another program—a university tradition—happens each fall, when Quinnipiac's finest men take to the stage in the Mr. Quinnipiac Pageant. The men perform in categories such as beachwear, formalwear, and a talent competition. And with the assistance of the Student Center Leadership Development Team, a new program was implemented in 2003 to promote multicultural awareness; Multicultural Mondays, as the name implies, highlight a multicultural artist, performer, or topic each Monday for the students, faculty, and staff.

Suburban, private, four-year


DIRECTOR: Kerstin Soderlund
SIZE: 37,350 square feet
BUILT: 1968
Part-time: 50
Full-time: 6

Updated Nov. 9, 2012