USU

  • USU Banner Image (Sol Center Exterior 1)

About Us

The University Student Union (USU) at California State University, Northridge is a student centered non-profit organization that works to expand the college experience through various programs, services, employment, and involvement opportunities.

The USU first opened its doors in November 1977 and is located on East University Drive. The facility was designed to enhance the total university experience through volunteer and job opportunities, events, and various services such as food, study areas, computer labs, and TV lounges.

The USU is committed to providing inclusion, diversity and personal growth to students, as well as food, study areas, computer labs, TV lounges, events and entertainment.

Completed in fall 2006, the USU underwent a $15 million renovation that included the new Sol Center and various upgrades throughout the facilities. In spring 2012, the USU opened the 138,000 square foot Student Recreation Center facility for exercise and leisure activity that promotes lifelong health and wellness.

Mission

The mission of the University Student Union is to foster the achievement of students’ educational goals by facilitating a strong connection between students and their campus community.

We are an engaging and energetic campus program that develops students through inclusive activities, meaningful employment opportunities, leadership experiences and innovative technologies, facilities, and services.

Values

  • Accountability
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Fun
  • Integrity
  • Learning
  • Respect
  • Service

Goals

Business, Operational Practices and Facilities

Support the design, development and remodel of the USU facilities to develop a wellness center that uses an integrated holistic approach to developing students’ commitment to well-being that positively impacts impediments to academic success.

Support and develop additional usable programmatic spaces and services in the USU that assist students in connection to the campus community.

Examine the feasibility of and need to renovate the interior of Building C to add meeting space, offices, more effective storage and to maximize available usable space. Adding meeting rooms will effectively increase the total inventory of programmable rooms allowing the USU to increase revenues needed to offset future fee increases, and to be able to create a sustainable, state-of-the-art conference and meeting center.

Enrollment Management, Retention and Advocacy

Examine, plan and publish corporate-wide assessments as part of the creation of a culture of evidence that strategically plans assessments, establishes transparency for stakeholders, and produces evidence that specific USU programs, services, and/or facilities enhance students’ capacity for personal achievement.

Conduct the Student Affairs Program review process for the USU in order to assess compliance with the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) and continually improve USU operations, services and programs.

Develop a comprehensive campus recreation program that contributes to the increase of fitness levels, health and overall wellness of the campus community and contributes to student persistence to graduation.

Maximize Financial Resources

Review the long-term financial plan to determine whether there are sufficient net assets to provide funding for current operations and future initiatives.

Determine the best uses of the Satellite Student Union in order to maximize use of organizational financial resources.

Staff Development and Well-Being

Implement an ongoing employee training and development program for supervisors that enhances skills and increases positive performance.

Support the Board of Directors student representatives and the USU student employees in discovering, strengthening and using their natural talents via the StrengthsQuest® program in order to help them achieve their educational goals.

Technology Advancement

Examine the need for an Innovative Technology Lounge in the former Computer Lab space to assist students in achieving their educational goals by providing the appropriate environment and technology.

Create an efficient recruitment and application tracking system that will streamline the manual-based recruitment process to an electronic-based recruitment process.

Strategic Priorities

Management Staff

Debra L. HammondDebra L. Hammond
Executive Director

(818) 677-2390
debra.hammond@csun.edu

Debra Hammond has served as the Executive Director of the USU for over 20 years, beginning her tenure in November, 1993. She is responsible for the overall strategic direction and vision for the USU including serving as the executive secretary of the Board of Directors of our non-profit corporation. She also provides guidance and direction to the following major areas of the organization:  Finance and Business Services, Marketing and Programs, Operations and Services, Student Recreation Center, Human Resources, and Administration and Governance. Debra also serves as a part-time faculty member in the Michael D. Eisner College of Education in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling  (student services/college counseling program). Debra is passionate about the development of students and staff and is committed to creating spaces, facilities, programs, services and opportunities that enrich and enhance the lives of students. She is an advocate for deepening the connection between students and the CSUN campus in order to promote student success and persistence to graduation. Debra received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Rutgers University and her master’s degree in educational administration from California State University, Los Angeles. Debra served as a past president of the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), which is the association that helps to develop college unions and community on college campuses throughout the United States and abroad.  In 2006, she received the Butts-Whiting Award which is bestowed upon those who have made significant and lasting impacts on the association and the profession.

Joe IlluminateJoseph C. Illuminate
Associate Director, Finance & Business Services

(818) 677-6492
joe.illuminate@csun.edu

Joseph Illuminate has served as the Associate Director, Finance & Business Services since February 2004. He provides leadership and direction for the USU Finance & Business Services department. Joseph is focused on being a steward of student fees to ensure there are sufficient resources to fund programs and services for students at the highest level. He earned his master’s degree in Public Administration and graduate certificate in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge. Joseph also holds a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration with a specialization in accounting from California State University, Los Angeles. 

Shannon Krajewski

Shannon M. Krajewski
Associate Director, Marketing & Programs

(818) 677-6494
shannon.krajewski@csun.edu

Shannon Krajewski has served as the Associate Director of Marketing and Programs since December 2007. She provides leadership and direction for USU Events, Marketing, Pride Center, Veterans Resource Center, Commercial Services, Games Room, Sunny Days Camp and the training and development of the Board of Directors. Throughout her career in student affairs, Shannon has focused on her passion for developing student leaders and helping them to discover and leverage their natural strengths. Shannon earned her master’s degree in Education from Ohio University where she studied College Student Personnel while working as a graduate associate in the Baker Student Center.  

Jack Raab

Jack Raab
Associate Director, Operations & Services

(818) 677-6579
jack.raab@csun.edu

Jack Raab has served Associate Director of Operations and Services for the USU since January 2013, providing oversight and leadership of  daily operations for Facilities and Maintenance, Reservations and Event Services, Computer Labs, Technology Support Services and Guest Services. He is also responsible for all USU construction and renovation projects. Prior to joining the USU, Jack’s career was in the technical and operational side of campus events and activities at UCLA for more than 25 years.

Jimmy FrancisJimmy Francis
Director, Student Recreation Center

(818) 677-2629
jimmy.francis@csun.edu

Jimmy Francis started with the University Student Union in February 2011, and has served as the Director, Student Recreation Center since October 2012. He provides leadership and direction for SRC Membership Services, Fitness and Wellness, Facility Operations, Intramurals and Aquatics. His passion is to help students achieve their educational goals while providing valuable employment experience, and healthy alternatives outside the classroom to help develop lifelong wellness habits. Jimmy earned his master of arts degree in Sports and Exercise Management from The Ohio State University and his bachelor of arts degree in Physical Education from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Contact Us

University Student Union

18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8272
(818) 677-2491
usu@csun.edu

Student Recreation Center

18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330-8449
(818) 677-5434
src@csun.edu

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