What’s New in the Student Union?

After two years of planning and construction, the union has a completely renovated first floor, complete with an eSports arena and arcade.


Eston Parker III

The Union now offers modern spaces to study, game, and socialize.

Kendall Little and Elliot Rodriguez

The Student Union on the Boca Raton campus is home to Student Government, Student Media, multipurpose rooms, and after an $11 million renovation, so much more.

The union now includes an eSports Arena, arcade, and a modernized first floor.

eSports Arena

Eston Parker III

The Student Union is now home to a high-tech gaming center called the eSports Arena.

According to the eSports Arena website, the facility “features 40 MSI gaming PCs boasting high-end hardware such as the RTX 2070 graphics card, over 40 of today’s most popular games, and wall monitors for spectators to follow the action. Each station is furnished with a full-desk mouse pad and comfortable gaming chair.”

The arena has pay-to-play options for the PCs, Nintendo Switch consoles, and Xbox One, but also offers free options for students. Students can purchase PC gaming hours online through the eSports Arena website.

Students can use the university’s PS4, Xbox360, and Nintendo Wii for free and also bring their own consoles free of charge.

The eSports Arena is not limited to just digital entertainment, but also games such as ping pong, pool, and board games that are free to use.

The university is in the process of recruiting three eSports teams that will branch off of the eSports Gaming Club, according to Student Union Director Michael Cooper.

The eSports Arena is open to students, faculty, and staff daily from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.


Eston Parker III

The arcade inside of the Student Union was not originally in the renovation plans, but union officials felt that building it would be beneficial for students.

“The addition of the arcade was done as it was a natural, complementary addition to the already established eSports and Gaming Center,” university spokesperson Brittany Sylvestri said.

The arcade has an array of games available seven days a week. The FAU community can pay to play the arcade games in two ways: mobile payment apps or U.S. dollars.

“The area currently offers 12 arcade-style machines, which include two premier machines – Jurassic Park and The Walking Dead, also a basketball and air hockey section, claw and crane games along with a retro 80’s style Ms. Pacman arcade gaming machine,” Joshua Glanzer, assistant vice president for media relations and public affairs, said in an email to the UP.

Modernized First Floor

The Student Union’s first floor renovations feature a new and modern look, complete with video walls and monitors, silver fixtures, glass dividers, and gray flooring.

“We have completely renovated the entire first floor of the Student Union along with cosmetic updates to the second floor,” Cooper said. “Infrastructure changes included a complete replacement of the HVAC/air conditioning system which now includes local controls for the entire facility, an entire roof replacement that expands from the Student Government area all of the way to the Kaye Auditorium, new technology upgrades with new and improved WIFI throughout, new wiring for the additions of new digital screens (video walls and monitors) along with a complete audio upgrade.”

Student Union Director Michael Cooper says that there are many new job opportunities at the Union in the arcade, eSports arena, the box office, and the technical department. (Eston Parker III)

The union includes three different areas for seating and studying throughout the first floor.

“Compared to other universities, it is a good place to socialize,” said freshman Alejandro Gomez. “At the union, you can stop and talk with friends after a long day of class.”

The Student Union renovations were funded by the Capital Improvement Fee Trust Fund, also known as CITF, which is money set aside by the Board of Governors for university improvements within the State University System of Florida.

The Board of Governors is composed of seventeen members that oversee the operation of state universities.

The funds come from capital improvement student fee assessments, interest earnings, and subsidy grants, according to Justia US Law.

Job Opportunities at the Student Union

Not only is the Student Union a hub for students to socialize, but it’s also a place for students to work and learn. Cooper encourages students to apply for a series of new jobs in the Union. Anyone interested can find the application on the Student Union website under the Student Employment tab, and students can contact staff directly at (561) 297-3730.

“We added a large number of new student positions with the addition of the eSports arena, arcade and the new box office areas along with new openings to help support our expanded new service requirements related [to] audio, video, and technical needs,” Cooper said.

Y’Urissa Everett, a guest services employee at the Union majoring in hospitality, acquires skills needed for her major while also being an employee. She says it’s one of the most diverse buildings on campus.

“This building is devoted to student activities. It contains game rooms, informative and club offices, and an auditorium. This is the building that you would go to if you had any concerns or ideas. Events, social, organizational, and conferences can be held at the Student Union,” Everett said.

To be considered for employment at the Student Union, applicants must be a current FAU student, have a 2.5 cumulative GPA, and bring a printed copy of their application, resume, and unofficial transcript to office 203 in the Student Union.

What’s Still in the Works

Though the Student Union is full of new features, the renovations are not complete.

“There is currently a plan to build a new Union Marketplace, which will house a smaller Starbucks area as part of the overall build,” Sylvestri said.

Students have been mourning the loss of an on-campus restaurant, the Burrow, since it
closed its doors in 2018. Students suspected that the Student Union renovations would include a new restaurant, but according to Sylvestri, “a new restaurant is not planned at this time.”

Editor’s Note: This story is a part of our September issue titled “SG Leaders Unmasked,” which you can pick up on campus or read online here.

Elliot Rodriguez a Staff Writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email at [email protected] or DM his Instagram, @elliotyaknow.

Kendall Little is the Managing Editor for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories email [email protected] or tweet her @klittlewrites.