By Viviana Velasquez and Crystal Montano |Staff Writers|
The Santos Manuel Student Union (SMSU) is not just a pass way in between classes, but a form of connection.
The SMSU ranges from providing students with socialization, information of upcoming events and a great amount of options at the food court.
The aim is to give students the opportunity to interact with new people, grab a bite to eat, and become aware of events.
“The Santos Manuel Student Union is the focal point of the campus, creating a home for learning and leisure, as well as contributing to retention of our students,” states the SMSU website, “We will enhance our students’ overall university and life experience through our celebration of culture and diversity.”
Student Cesar Perez said, “The SMSU to me is a place where I am able to socialize and get away from the stress of classwork.”
Aside from the food, the SMSU also offers a variety of centers for students to come in and explore.
A few of the centers inside the SMSU are the Cross Cultural Center, the Pride Center, the Women’s Resource Center and the Osher Adult Re-Entry Center.
Unfortunately, a trend that we tend to see is students not being aware of the great amount of resources.
Giovanni Escalera said, “Most people don’t know about the centers in the SMSU, because many stay in their department building and just go to the Coyote Markets, rather than walking around.”
“The time I spend in the Student Union is when I have breaks in between classes like more then two hour gaps,” said Luis Portobanco.
The Osher Adult Re-entry Center, “provides an opportunity for adult learners to create a community where they can share interests and experiences, and participate in campus life,” according to the center’s mission statement.
The Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) office is located in SMSU room 108 as well as their Box Office, where you can purchase movie and theme park tickets at a discounted price.
Giacomo Thillet stated, “It’s a great resource that more students should take time to check out.”
The SMSU Program Board provides enjoyable social events throughout the year to promote “student life” and encourage students to meet new people and develop school spirit.
My favorite part is working with the Program Board, because we put on a lot of great events that are free for everyone and I get to meet a lot of great people.
“Neon Night” is the SMSU’s Program Board’s next event and will be held on April 17 at 10 p.m. in the SMSU Lobby.
The Cross Cultural Center, located in room 102, provides advising and workshops for students of all ethnic groups and endorses cultural awareness, and is a popular hangout spot for students, with several couches, a computer lab and free popcorn.
The Pride Center offers multiple resources for students of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and for anyone who would want to validate more information about sexuality.
“We make students feel safe and provide a space to hangout, in a place where they can say anything and be open about their sexuality,” said Pride Center employee and student Nancy Matias.
The Student Leadership and Development office focuses on developing student’s leadership skills and personal growth.
The purpose of the program is to increase graduation rates with the resources they provide.
The Title IX & Gender Equity office, located in room 103, is an information resource for sexual violence, gender and sexual harassment awareness and more.
The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is a place where all women at CSUSB are acclaimed and encouraged to succeed to their fullest potential by promoting woman empowerment.
According to WRC’s mission statement, “Our purpose is to encourage women by providing services and programs which will enhance their college experience and help them actualize their fullest potential. The WRC is committed to addressing sexism and discrimination in all its forms in order to create a more just environment for all.”
The SMSU also has multiple dining areas for students to eat, and mingle with friends.
The Blue Coyote Pub and Eatery offers a different setting from all the other restaurants in the SMSU and has a variety of food options along with a student favorite, beer.
“I like to go to the pub and hangout with friends after a long day at school and just relax,” said student Kilder Hernandez.
The Pub is the dining area open the latest in the SMSU, closing at 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7 p.m. on Fridays.
Other restaurants in the food court include Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Starbucks.
There are a significant amount of additional activities offered, like the Gamers’ Lounge for those who are video game fanatics.
Many students have agreed the SMSU provides a quiet and relaxing environment which is beneficial on hectic days.
Jose De La Cruz, a third year business major said, “It has benefited me in ways of providing food and a place where I have been able to just relax and socialize.”
Essentially the SMSU is a home away from home to many of our CSUSB students.
To stay updated the SMSU offers daily information on events going on around campus through their Instagram page @csusb_smsu.