Over the last three years, Oregon State University has developed it strategic plan for the university’s future. The multi-page document lays out plans and goals for how OSU will contribute to the advancement of society. The strategic plan has been simplified into the three healthies: Healthy People, Healthy Economy and Healthy Planet. At the Memorial Union, we have lived these goals for years.
The foundation of the student union was to provide a place for students to build community, unwind and have fun. All of which add to a healthier person. The union also has worked to provide good food to nourish students while on campus. The Memorial Union Retail Food Services unit (MURFS) provides vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options at most of its locations. The Daily Barometer had a nice article last week on one of the MURFS locations: “Pangea Offers Healthier, More Accessible Options”.
The Memorial Union employs over 300 students between its three divisions, Student Leadership and Involvement, Student Media and the Union. This not only provides for a healthier economy for the students employed, but also provides valuable out of the classroom experience for students to put into practice what they have leaned. It could be writing experience at the Barometer, restaurant management at MURFS, solving engineering problems with MU Building Services or marketing and graphic design practice with student lead programs. All the units at the Memorial Union have leaning outcomes for their student employees. Past students have indicated that their work experience at the MU gave them advantage in getting a position after graduation and made the transition from student to full time employee much easier.
The MU Building Services unit has been on forefront of “living green” on the OSU campus providing for a healthy planet. The Memorial Union was the first department on campus to switch to completely environmentally friendly cleaning supplies 10 years ago. Every year they are auditing energy use and continue to find ways to reduce energy costs. The MU building has traditional had the lowest percent of increase in energy use on campus each year. Over the last six years, inflation has gone up 13%; tuition has gone up 33% but student fees, which are used to run the Memorial Union has dropped by 3%.
At the OSU Memorial Union we are doing our part to live the University’s strategic plan.