by Cecilia Demoski ’23
You may have heard the Student Union be described as “the campus living room”, and that statement couldn’t be more true. The Student Union is an iconic campus building where members of the campus community can gather, eat, get involved, and so much more! It may be one of the busier buildings on campus, but there are a few spots that may be overlooked. Here are some of the hidden gems that are located inside the Student Union!
Worried you’re going to get bored at UT? Don’t worry, Union Station has you covered. Located on the first floor of the Student Union, the Union Station Recreation Area is a place for students to hang out! There are Billiards tables, ping-pong tables, and several gaming consoles that are free to use for all students. There are also plenty of board and card games to use! Union Station can be accessed through the Center for Student Engagement suite and is open from noon to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Vol Snacks is a go-to stop for a wide variety of convenience store-like products. There are so many options available at Vol Snacks, and it’s definitely the place to go get that salty or sweet snack you’ve been craving. Unlike the P.O.D. Markets, Vol Snacks will not accept Dining Dollars or Flex Dollars as a form of payment. However, the store will accept Volcard. Plus, there are several ATMs from different banks right outside of Vol Snacks if you ever need to make a withdrawal!
Vol Snacks is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. It is located on level G2 of the Student Union.
Off-Campus Student Lounge & Lockers
Participants in the Rocky Top Commuter program are invited to visit the new Off-Campus Student Lounge on the G3 level in the Student Union (across from the VolShop.) Equipped with comfortable lounge furniture, a microwave, off-campus specific event postings, and lockers (form available in VolLink) available for check out; this new lounge offers a great break space between classes. The space is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.–10 p.m., weekends 10 a.m.–10 p.m. (hours vary for home football games).
The Student Union is also offering lockers to off-campus students to help lighten the load between classes. Students may reserve lockers on a first-come-first-serve basis for the fall semester. Interested students may apply via the locker check-out form (available in VolLink). Once you complete the form, visit the Student Union Information Desk between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to sign the agreement and receive your lock and locker combination. Direct questions to the Student Union Information Desk at 865-946-4636 (INFO) or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pride Center is an LGBTQ+ resource center that offers programming, engagement opportunities, and resources for students. As a place for LGBTQ+ students and allies, the Center is a community space where students can go to hang out during the day. The Center puts on plenty of events throughout the semester, so be sure to follow the Pride Center on Instagram and check out their event calendar! The Pride Center is on the third floor of the Student Union in Phase II.
Smokey’s Closet is where all students can get gently used professional clothing and accessories at no cost! The Center for Career Development and Academic Exploration and the Student Government Association have partnered to provide professional clothing for all UT students. It’s the perfect place to go when you have an upcoming interview, a new job, or an event that requires business attire. There is a wide range of options, from business casual to business professional, and plenty of pieces such as shoes, belts, and ties. Smokey’s Closet is located on the third floor of the Student Union in room 376C, across from the Dean of Students Office.
Center for Career Development and Academic Exploration
The Center for Career Development and Academic Exploration offers career resources, guidance, and programming for all students. Here, you can have your resumes critiqued, participate in mock interviews to prepare for job searches, and can even meet with a career advisor to discuss and plan career goals. The Center works regularly with employers to best prepare students for their future careers and provides individualized help. This is a great resource for all students here at UT, and is a spot that students should definitely visit before graduating! The Center is located in Phase I of the Student Union on the second floor in room 201. Visit their website for more information on drop-ins and scheduled appointments.
UCopy provides students with printing options at affordable prices, and is located right in the middle of campus in the Student Union! Here, you can get your resume printed on cardstock, a poster printed for a class project, or whatever you may need for a research presentation! UCopy is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and students are welcome to stop by and chat with a UCopy staff member about what printing options best suit their needs. For more information on services provided and prices, visit UCopy’s website.
Cecilia is a senior from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee majoring in public relations with a minor in journalism and electronic media. She has a passion for writing and social media and her favorite thing about UT is all the fun traditions. She plans on pursuing a career in public relations and creative communications after graduation.