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

Student Union

What are the building hours? expanding section

The Student Union hours of operations

Summer 2021 Hours

Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: CLOSED
Sunday: CLOSED

Last modified: 05/26/2021

Face Coverings expanding section updated

Individuals who are fully vaccinated can now safely resume activities inside of the Union without face coverings. Masks will remain available for continued use at each of the three entrances, as well as at the Information Center for anyone who wishes to continue following COVID-19 safety protocols. 

Hand sanitizer stations can be found throughout the building, and we encourage all individuals to continue regularly washing their hands. 

Last modified: 07/23/2021

How do I use the Campus Food Pantry? expanding section updated

The Campus Food Pantry is accessible whenever the Student Union is open.
Students will be granted access to the Food Pantry via their Student ID card once they complete the following registration form.

The Food Pantry is located in the Student Union, room 2220 (inside the COVE).

Last modified: 07/23/2021

Where is the lost and found located in the Union? expanding section updated

Lost and found items are housed at the Information Center on the first floor. Items in the lost and found will be discarded at the end of each semester.

Last modified: 07/23/2021

What is in the lower level gaming area? expanding section updated

All PLAY equipment is available for students to check out from the Info Center using their Eagle ID.

Last modified: 07/23/2021

Student Union Dining

BOOST Mobile Ordering expanding section updated

BOOST Mobile Ordering: mobile ordering can be used at Einstein’s 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. Download the BOOST app today: 

Last modified: 07/23/2021

What new dining options are available on campus? expanding section updated
  • Dining Plan – Students on a traditional Dining plan will be able to use 2 meal swipes per day in the Student Union between the Cellar and Sono. These 2 meal swipes can be used daily Monday-Friday.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Last modified: 07/23/2021

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