|About the Union
In 1968 the North Student Center was opened as the first officially planned college union at Kutztown State College. As the name implies, the North Student Center was located on the north or academic side of the campus with the intention of building other satellite college unions, particularly on the south or residential side of campus. However, the concept of building satellite unions never came to fruition.
The North Student Center was significantly expanded in 1992 per a student referendum, and the facility was renamed the Student Union Building. The original plan for the 1992 addition was scaled back because of budget constraints, and as a result the construction was slightly reduced. This eventually led to the need to further expand the facility to meet the needs of a growing student body. In 2000 and 2001 respectively, two additions per a student referendum were added totaling 28,500 square feet of new space. In May 2002 the University Council of Trustees renamed the Student Union Building the David E. McFarland Student Union Building in honor of the university's outgoing president.
Students now indicate that food is the most important reason they come to the McFarland Student Union. The new Bear's Den Coffeehouse featuring
Taylor & Byrne's Café, Art Gallery, and Cyber Lounge and the Cub Café Snack Bar, bring together students and staff on a daily basis for food, fun, and interaction in a sprawling, comfortable atmosphere. The coffeehouse has helped create a sense of community and social interaction that was long absent from the union. The union prides itself on being a well-rounded facility that offers students and staff many opportunities for formal and informal involvement and services.
Besides the coffeehouse, recent additions featured a new auditorium, student offices, computer lab, one-card office, outdoor seating space, renovated and expanded food service area,
and renovation/addition of six meeting rooms (which helps with the union's more than 3,000 events per year of conference services). The union has several lounges
including a fireside study lounge and commuter lounge
— a convenient resource and relaxation spot for
commuting students during the day. It also
houses a credit union and the university bookstore. The union is also home to many administrative offices and student organization offices.
Student employees play a tremendously important role in the union's operation. Students are responsible for coordinating facility set-ups, opening and closing the facility, managing weekend operations, running the information center and computer facilities, providing production and audio-visual services, and working as graphic designers. Additionally, the Student Union Advisory Board, composed of students, administrators, and a faculty representative, develops and creates policies, which the university vice president and president then approve.
This past fall a series of 9/11 activities was held in and around the McFarland Student Union. The theme of this three-phased program was "Reflect. Remember. Renew." Two events stand out as being particularly memorable. A campus art project honoring victims of the 9/11 attacks was held in the union. Community members were invited to sign a victim's name and paint a small section of a 6' by 12' artwork designed by a Kutztown faculty member. The art project is now displayed in the Bear's Den Coffeehouse as a memorial. After a week of emotional activities, a picnic was held on the union's lawn to initiate an effort to "Renew" and begin again post-9/11. Thousands of students and staff gathered for a celebration and for the unveiling of the community art project.
From, The Bulletin
Association of College Unions