9/13 COVID-19 Update

The Student Union will be closed for two weeks effective Sunday 9/13 at 5 p.m. in response to the university's shelter in place restrictions.

Student Union
521 East Ave North
La Crosse, WI 54601


The Student Union provides space for all students to relax as they recharge between classes. They will find a place to relax by one of the four fireplaces, dining with friends, or listening to music in the Entertainment Cafe. The Union is designed to provide a supportive and safe place where all students will feel at home.

Assisted Listening    

  • Spaces: The Bluffs, Theater, and E-Cafe
  • T-coil enabled assistive listening system
  • Headphones available upon request
Hours expanding section

The Student Union will be closed for two weeks effective Sunday 9/13 at 5 pm due to the University's shelter in place restrictions.

Fall 2020 Hours

Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Dining locations & hours expanding section

Einstein Bros. Bagels
Monday - Thursday: 7:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday: 7:15 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sunday: CLOSED

Erbert and Gerbert's
Monday - Friday: 10:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 1 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Grilled It
Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED

Kitchen Classics
Monday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED

Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED

The Cellar
Monday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED

Student Union

What are the building hours for the fall 2020 semester? expanding section

Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. 
Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. 

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Where can I get a face covering in the Student Union? expanding section

Face coverings are required in campus buildings and outside if physical distancing is not possible. One-time use face coverings are available at each of the three entrances to the Union. Reusable cloth face coverings are available at the Information Center in the Union. Bring your ID Card so we can verify that you received a face covering.

 Our authority to require face coverings and physical distancing for students on our campus includes but is not limited to, Wis. Stat. s. 36.11(1)a., Wis. Admin. Code ss. UWS 17.09(1), UWS 17.09(8), UWS 17.09 (14), UWS 17.09 (15), UWS 18.08(9)(b), UWS 18.11(7)(e) and Regent Policy 23-2. 

Our authority to require face coverings and physical distancing for members of the public on our campus includes but is not limited to, Wis. Stat. s. 36.11(1)a., Wis. Admin. Code ss. UWS 18.08(9)(b), UWS 18.11(7)(e) and Regent Policy 23-2. 

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Where can I eat, study and hang out in the Union? expanding section

Rooms available for additional dining seating and studying:

9:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m*: Rooms 3105, 3110, and Cliffwood (middle section of the Bluffs)
12:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m*.: Room 3314
*Disinfection breaks schedule will be added

Last modified: 08/27/2020

My class schedule says I have a class in the Union, is this true? expanding section

Classroom spaces in the Student Union:

Grandad Bluff Room 2130, Miller Bluff Room 2110, Cliffwood Bluff Room 2120, and the Theater 0120 will be used for classes until 4:30pm Monday-Friday.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

How do I pick up my textbooks? expanding section

During the RUSH period people must sign up for a reservation time to ensure limited number of people in the space at a time. Everyone MUST be signed up for a time. Student ID required. Link to schedule an appointment: http://uwlax.edu/go/textbook-appt

Last modified: 08/27/2020

I am a president of a student organization. Can I still hold meetings in the Union and reserve rooms for fall semester? expanding section

Student Senate has determined that all Student Organizations meetings shall be virtual during the first 4 weeks of the fall semester. Executive board meetings may be scheduled during fall semester in accordance with the COVID-19 social distancing room capacities.

Meetings/events may not exceed 50 people in a room.

Room capacity is limited to approximately 30% of normal capacity.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Can I make a room reservation for spring semester? expanding section

Reservations for spring semester are suspended until further notice.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

I want to have a table to educate students on an issue. Can I reserve a table on the first floor of the Union? expanding section

Table reservations have been moved outside the southwest entrance to the building, while the weather is still nice. Two table are available in this area. Table reservations are also available at Whitney Center.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

What events and activities will be occurring on campus during fall semester? expanding section

There will be a variety of in-person, hybrid, and virtual programs for students to attend. We are planning a variety of events, in which some people will be able to attend in person and others will watch the event being streamed.  We are working with our movie/films contract, so that we can hold some films outside, some in the theater, and some streamed to our students. Our Involvement Fest will be a virtual event, and recruitment for Fraternities and Sororities will use a hybrid format. Continue to watch the Student Union, CAB, and the COVE social media for the latest on events.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Can I still volunteer and participate in leadership or involvement opportunities? expanding section

Ugetconnected will still have options for volunteerism and needs in the community.  The Leadership and Involvement Center will also continue to provide leadership development programs via social media videos, as well as online workshops.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Can I still hang out or study in the COVE? expanding section

There are still spaces in the COVE and throughout the Student Union for students to study. Tables have been physically distanced, and chairs are limited to promote distancing.  Offices and couches in the COVE have also been arranged to limit the number of people in those spaces.  Please respect the room occupant numbers that are posted and follow guidelines listed for these spaces. 

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Can I hang out and talk to my friends in the Union? expanding section

Furniture has been moved to allow for appropriate physical distancing. There are still areas that a group of four students can hang out but must have a face covering while talking to one another.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

I like to study in the Union, will I still be able to study there? expanding section

Additional study tables have been added to the second and third floor, similar to what we do during finals week. Additional rooms will be used to study. All tables will have appropriate physical distancing.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

How do I use the Campus Food Pantry? expanding section

Swipe access to the Food Pantry has been removed for all students, faculty, and staff. Students will come to the front desk in the COVE to swipe their ID’s to get their boxes. Students, faculty, and staff can get one box per week. The food boxes will all be prepackaged with items such as pasta, sauce, grain, cereal, ramen, soup, veggies, fruit, protein, and snacks. The boxes will be ready in the Food Pantry and can be picked up between 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday-Friday in the COVE.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Will the Student Union still have a lost and found? expanding section

We will continue to accept lost and found items at the Information Center. Items will be sanitized by wiping down or spraying with disinfectant before placing in cabinets.  IC staff will determine items that will be kept and logged. Plastic water bottles and face coverings will be discarded.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

What is available to play in the Union lower level game area? expanding section

PLAY equipment including pool cues and basketball with be available for students to check out with their ID.  The machines have been arranged to allow for distancing. Info Center staff will sanitize equipment when they are returned. 

Board games in the lower level E Café have been removed until further notice.

Last modified: 08/31/2020

Is there a microwave available in the Union to use? expanding section

Common use microwaves have been removed. A gluten-free microwave and general use microwave will be available at the Information Center for student use. This allows us to disinfect after each use.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Can I fill my water bottle at the Union? expanding section

Drinking fountains have been covered but bottle fillers are still available.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Are the elevators available in the Union? expanding section

Elevators are limited to 2 people at a time unless people are members of the same household.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

What about hand sanitizer? expanding section

Hand sanitizer stations have been added to each entrance and throughout the building. We expect that everyone sanitizes their hands as they enter the building. 

Last modified: 08/27/2020

How do I register to vote in the November 3 election? expanding section

If you have your residence hall address, you can register to vote online at My Vote Wisconsin. The website is:  https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/

You will need a photo ID card to vote. This can be your Wisconsin Driver’s License, or if you are an out-of-state student, your student ID card serves as the voter id. In the past, students have had to provide proof of registration at UWL, and this document is available on your Wings account. When you are registered to vote, and we do recommend that you do this before the election, you can request an absentee ballot

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Where will I be voting if I don't request an absentee ballot? expanding section

The Bluffs Room in the Student Union is where District 5 votes (on-campus students).

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Student Union Dining

How has dining changed because of COVID-19? expanding section

All food will be served in to-go take out containers, there will be no self-service locations, no self-serve beverages, salad bar, or soda/ice machines.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

I don't want to stand in line to get my coffee or food, what options do I have? expanding section

BOOST Mobile Ordering: Beginning September 8, mobile ordering can be used at Einstein’s, Murphy’s’ Mug, and Erbert and Gerbert’s. Payment is accepted through the BOOST app when using Maroon Dollars, Campus Cash, or a credit card. When using Block Meals, payment will be taken when the order is picked up at the cash register. We will provide you with an app for your phone to do your ordering.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

What protocols are in place to promote the health and safety of patrons in the dining area? expanding section
  • Face Coverings – A face covering MUST be worn while standing in line waiting to order or pick-up an order.  If eating in the dining area, the face covering may be removed while eating. 
  • Social Distancing – All patrons are expected to practice social distancing (6 feet).  Signage, guidance systems and floor decals are in place help maintain the expected distance.
  • Seating in Dining Areas –Seating is limited.  Tables and chairs are set to observe the six-foot, social distance standard. The furniture should not be moved. Picnic tables are available on Coate Field.
  • Contactless Entry– Patrons will swipe their personal ID card using an external mag strip reader adhered to the counter, near the register.  
  • Hand sanitizer stations – At Whitney Center, stations will be available in entry area of each of the dining areas.  At the Student Union, the stations are located throughout the building.
  • Service in the Dining Areas – There will be NO self-service stations. Food will be served by dining staff.     
  • Dishware – Food will be served using compostable plates, bowls, cups, or single-serve packaging.  Plastic cutlery will be used.  Beverages will be available in cans, bottles, and cartons.  

Last modified: 08/27/2020

What is new in the Student Union for dining? expanding section
  • Dining Plan – Students on a traditional Dining plan will be able to use 2 meal swipes in the Student Union between the Cellar and Sono.These 2 swipes can be used daily M-F at Sono and the Cellar.
  • Dining Plan– Students can use their meal swipe(s) in the Cellar Monday – Friday, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm. Transfer hours at Sono Monday Friday 7:30 am – 8:00 pm. Transfer hours at the Cellar Monday – Friday 11:00 am – 8:00 pm.
  • On- The-Go Area (adjacent to Einstein’s) - Will be offering a variety of new grocery items, frozen meals, and bottled beverages.   Purchases can be made using Maroon Dollars, Campus Cash, and Credit/Debit Cards.
  • New Hours at the Cellar:  Monday – Friday, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm; Saturday & Sunday, Closed.
  • Erbert & Gerbert’s New Hours: Monday – Friday, 10:30 am – 9:30 pm; Saturday & Sunday, 1:00 pm– 9:30pm.
  • Kitchen Classics – A Pho Bar has been added.
  • La Crosse Café - New home for Sandwich of the Day!
  • Ozzi System – Located across from the dish belt, the Ozzi System gives patrons the opportunity to purchase and use a reusable container and flatware for meals purchased in the Student Union dining areas.  Purchase a token at the Information Center ($4.00 for students, $5.00 for faculty/staff).  The token can be used at any dining location in the Student Union when requesting a meal-to-go.  When finished using the container it can be deposited into the Ozzi vending machine (flatware is not deposited).  Scan the bar code on the container then deposit it in the Ozzi and receive a new token.
  • Cellar & Grilled It – Pagers are no longer being used.  Staff will be assigning numbers and calling them out when the food is ready.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

How many people can be seated in the Student Union areas at a time? expanding section
  • Lower Level: 65
  • First Floor: 76
  • Second Floor Bluffs Room 2120: 56
  • Third Floor Room 3105, 3110, and 3314: 41

Last modified: 08/27/2020

What new dining locations are available on campus? expanding section

Cartwright Center Cellar Location

  • Lower level Cellar location at Cartwright Center will open Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 1:00 pm.
  • Grab and Go Jack & Olive sandwiches, salads, healthy snacks, chips, pastries/desserts, and beverages.

Last modified: 08/27/2020

Current shelter-in-place food tent hours and options expanding section New

Food tent hours are updated on the Dine On Campus website. You can view the hours and menu for the tents on the site: https://new.dineoncampus.com/uwlacrosse/hours-of-operation

UWL Dining has opened a third location outside the Student Union for people to spend maroon dollars or block meals. Will be serving to-go food such as coffee, bagels, sandwiches and snacks.

-This week (9/14) hours: 8:30 a.m.– 1:30 p.m.
-Next week (9/21) hours: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Starting (9/21), a convenience store in Whitney Center will open Monday - Friday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. 
Block meals, maroon dollars, campus cash, and cash/credit/debit will be accepted.


Last modified: 09/18/2020

History & Architecture

History of the Student Union expanding section

The original idea of a union was to form a university-wide society which cut across college lines, aiming to achieve a semblance of unity through understanding differences.  The name "union" was used as the organization “united” the existing debating societies (Butts, 1967). The first of all unions was organized at Cambridge University in 1815.  In 1866 the students built a permanent building, (Butts, 1967). Houston Hall, at the University of Pennsylvania, was the first official union building in the United States.  It was built in 1896.  

The student union is the community center -- the living room -- of a university, providing services, conveniences, and amenities the members of the university need in their daily life on campus.  It is part of the educational program of the college where students, faculty, and staff can come together for informal interactions, as a place to relax, eat, and recreate. It is important that the student union provides a safe place for all who enter -- a place that fosters increased understanding of all people. 

UW-La Crosse has had five Union Directors since 1959.  Dr. Robert Steuck, Mr. Donald Strand, Mr.  Calvin Helming, Dr. Robert Mullally, and Dr. Larry Ringgenberg.

Architecture of the UWL Student Union expanding section

The architect used the natural features of La Crosse area to guide the design:

  • There were attempts to bring the outside into the building
  • The columns in the first floor level resemble trees with leaves
  • The terrazzo floor on level one represents three rivers meeting at the Information Counter
  • There is a lookout, like in the marsh, when you walk down the stairs from level one to the lower level
  • Recycled barn board used in some spaces
  • Bamboo used for some wood floors
  • Stone used throughout the building