CSUN students leave their mark on “The Heart of Campus”

April 6, 2023

By: Riley Sullivan

USU Experience the Heart of Campus Showcase

Northridge — The University Student Union (USU) at CSUN has launched a Heart of Campus showcase to launch its month-long Experience the Heart of Campus campaign.

Throughout April, the USU will survey students and host events to learn more about the wants and needs of students. Samantha Liu, associate director of operations and services, said she hopes that this initiative will teach students more about how their funds are spent and allow students to participate in deciding the resources they want to receive.

We’re not psychic. We don’t always know exactly what’s going on in the minds of students and so we want to hear what they have to say,” Liu said.

The University Student Union is the heart of campus life at CSUN, said Liu, and offers many resources to help students throughout their academic career. Students pay a semester fee to help fund the different centers and activities offered.

Students at the Experience the Heart of Campus ShowcaseStudents at the Experience the Heart of Campus Showcase

Jesus Gonzalez, a second-year political science major, said paying the fee means having a nice student hub on campus. He said he wishes there was a greater student presence on campus, but is optimistic about a future for the University Student Union and the community that the new spaces will help create.

In 2019, Matadors approved a referendum for a student union renovation and expansion project. By March 2020, project plans slowed at the onset of the COVID-19 shutdown. With an economic resurgence years later came a higher cost of goods and services that has the USU Board of Directors reimagining the project’s purpose and scope.

The showcase, open until April 28, features images and a brief history about the USU. There are interactive components that allow students to participate in designing the future of what is known as “The Heart of Campus.”

Kevin Villa Flores, a third-year business major, said that he hopes to become more active in the USU and that this showcase helped him visualize the future of the space.

“I think that the showcase is pretty awesome. I saw some interesting concepts of the layout and the study spaces,” Flores said.

Over the course of the month, students can participate in focus groups, visit interactive booths around the USU, and enjoy the USU Night Market on Friday, April 28. Feedback from these events will contribute to providing CSUN students with the amenities they most desire from the University Student Union.

Liu also hopes that students take this opportunity to learn more about the resources currently available. Where’s Matty? is an activity that prompts students to search locations within the USU to find hidden stickers of Matty the Matador, the CSUN mascot. The goal is to introduce students to new portions of the USU that they may have never visited or even known were available to them.

"To me, the University Student Union represents something that’s been built from the ground up,” said Gonzalez, “The USU has always been for the students, by the students and it’s one of the most influential ways for students to get involved on campus.”

Students at the Experience the Heart of Campus Showcase