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Office of Student Activities and Union Services

The Student Union

The Student Union is the heart of our campus. It is a facility designed to meet the needs of our students and provide a variety of services. We believe that the Student Union is the PLACE to be! Our motto is that the Student Union is your PLACE to play, lead, ask, convene, and eat!

The union is a common space for everyone enrolled in, employed by, or visiting SUNY New Paltz to engage, reflect, and be part of the action. Below are the offices, spaces, and services students can obtain. For building reservations, policies, and forms, please see the Forms and Policies page on our website.

Academic Year Hours of Operation

  • Monday-Thursday: 7:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
  • Friday: 7:30 a.m.-12 a.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m.-12 a.m.
  • Sunday: Noon-12 a.m.


  • The Student Union opened in 1971 at 103,800 square feet.
  • The first expansion to the Student Union in Summer 2010 added approximately 12,000 square feet.
  • Watch a time-lapse video and introduction to the Student Union Atrium construction project.
  • We currently have a total of 12 meeting rooms, two medium-size multipurpose rooms/lounges, one large multipurpose room, and 16 student club offices (not including the radio/TV/newspaper/student association/campus ministries offices).
  • The Student Union is home to the following offices:
  • The Student Union averages (over the last three years) 6,000 reserved events per year.
  • The Student Union is connected to the Haggerty Administration Building through the lower level walkway.
  • Student Union Fact Sheet 
  • Click here for a photo slideshow from the grand opening of the Atrium on Sept. 13, 2010


A Statement of the Association of College Unions International

The union is the community center of the college, serving students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests. By whatever form or name, a college union is an organization offering a variety of programs, activities, services, and facilities that, when taken together, represent a well-considered plan for the community life of the college.

The union is an integral part of the educational mission of the college.

As the center of the college community life, the union complements the academic experience through an extensive variety of cultural, educational, social, and recreational programs. These programs provide the opportunity to balance course work and free time as cooperative factors in education. The union is a student-centered organization that values participatory decision-making. Through volunteerism, boards, committees, and student employment, the union offers firsthand experience in citizenship and educates students in leadership, social responsibility, and values. In all its processes, the union encourages self-directed activity, giving maximum opportunity for self-realization and for growth in individual social competency and group effectiveness.

The union's goal is the development of persons as well as intellects.

Traditionally considered the "hearthstone" or "living room" of the campus, today's union is the gathering place of the college. The union provides services and conveniences that members of the college community need in their daily lives and creates an environment for getting to know and understand others through formal and informal associations.

The union serves as a unifying force that honors each individual and values diversity. The union fosters a sense of community that cultivates enduring loyalty to the college.

(Adopted by the Association's general membership in 1996, this statement is based on the Role of the College Union statement, 1956.)

 The Atrium: the Student Union Building Addition


The design of the Atrium has won several awards, including a 2009 American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and Metropolitan Arts Press. Established in the 1990s, the award programs honor and recognize outstanding new achievements and innovation for new architecture.


The Student Union Atrium addition and renovation is a sustainable high-performance building designed to reduce energy consumption and provide a healthy and enlightened interior environment. The project employs a number of green design elements that make the building sustainable and reinforce the design themes. The U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was used as a guideline in the design of the project.

Some of the green elements include:

  • Glass enclosure to harvest daylight, providing daylight to at least 75 percent of spaces
  • Use of lighting controls to minimize daytime energy use by electric fixtures
  • Use of energy efficient LED lights to wash perimeter walls at night
  • Heat recovery in the upper portion of the building volume to reduce heating needs
  • Radiant heating and cooling
  • Low water consumption plumbing fixtures
  • Use of natural and recyclable materials such as New York bluestone, concrete floor with recycled glass aggregate, and wood doors and architectural trim
  • Use of building materials with low VOC (such as paints and adhesives) to improve interior air quality
  • Maintain open space on campus by developing in a denser area
  • Recycling and/or salvaging of construction demolition
  • Use of building materials that are extracted, harvested, recovered or manufactured within 500 miles of the project site
  • Use of renewable materials and certified woods