Renovated lower level Union lounge opens

Dylan McManis

On Jan. 29, the lower level lounge of the Washburn Memorial Union held its grand opening ceremony, having been preceded by the Union Daze events.

Renovations to the lower level lounge have been in the works since the Fall semester, 2015. The grand opening of the lounge is only one of the first stepping stones that the Union has in store in order to restore the whole Union for the first time since 2001.

While the grand opening itself was only for one day, it was part of a week long celebration, Union Daze. All week, students received free entertainment and snacks. At the grand opening, there was free popcorn, soda, several different flavors of beef jerky and music. Using the various lounge seats and booths, students were able to sit and relax, hanging out with their friends and working on homework.

Traevor McPherson, a sophomore legal studies major, was one of the people enjoying the festivities.

“I like the lounge. The seats look odd at first, but they’re actually very comfortable,” McPherson said.

Part of the ceremony was to announce the contest to decide the new name for the lounge, with the goal of making a more comfortable and personal space for students.

“I think it’s a great idea, that students get to name the lower level. It’s majorly for us. The lower level hosts a variety of student organizations as well, so it needs to be something for the students,” McPherson said.

“The booths are very unique because the only other place like it is in the library, and you don’t always want to hang out at the library. So the booths help students get out of their rooms and hang out in a much more neutral area.”

The lower level of the Union will be named before too long, but until then, the new furniture is available for students use in their own way.