Coffman Memorial Union, 1948, Photograph Courtesy of University Archives, University of Minnesota
By the time Coffman memorial Union was opened in 1940, discussions of a new union facility for the St. Paul campus were already underway, and continued to gain momentum over the years. But before a new student union facility was built on the St. Paul campus proper, a third student union opened on the Twin Cities campus, at University Village. University Village was a group of temporary housing and mobile home/trailers established to accommodate the influx of GI's attending the University of WWII, and their families. The University Village Union opened shortly thereafter to serve the needs of the unique student population. The University Village Union had its own governing board, and specialized in programs geared toward young married couples and their children. (The University Village Union closed sometime after 1967). The new St. Paul Student Center finally opened in 1959.
St. Paul Student Center, 1959, Photography Courtesy of University Archives, University of Minnesota
With the construction of the West Bank Campus in 1962 came the establishment of the West Bank Union. The West Bank Union was administered independently, and had its own Board of Governors, like the other three existing student unions. The West Bank Union was a decentralized union which developed in conjunction with the rest of the West Bank campus. The construction of a dedicated union facility on the West Bank was discussed, but never carried out.
Written by Jeremiah L. Mason