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San Diego State University

@State - the SDSU Student Newsletter

Welcome Home, Aztecs!

photo: Aztec Student Union courtyard

San Diego State University comes alive again this week, with a buzz of excitement, anticipation and a healthy dose of nerves filling every corner of campus as students settle in for a new semester.

While solace during these first few weeks is usually found at a favorite familiar campus niche—whether it’s a grassy hill near the koi pond or that lucky patio table at East Commons—this semester, the opening of the new Aztec Student Union means more opportunities to find that special place on campus to call your own.

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or where you’re going. The new Aztec Student Union was designed to serve a diverse student population, from those looking to flex their leadership and networking muscles to others who just want a quiet moment to reflect, and everything in between.

By now, you’ve marveled at the building’s tall tower and welcoming archways, but unless you’ve ventured up to the second floor, you haven’t yet experienced what makes the Aztec Student Union truly remarkable.

Student organization offices, the Commuter Student Resource Area, the Center for Leadership and Community Service, the Center for Intercultural Relations and the Mind, Body and Spirit Center are all new occupants on the Aztec Student Union’s second floor. The simple list of departments and offices may sound less than impressive until you consider that it’s more than 17,000 square feet (think the size of P. Diddy’s sprawling New Jersey estate) solely dedicated to helping students build meaningful connections, gain crucial leadership experience and delve into valuable new learning opportunities.

Tag along on a tour of the union and take part in other grand opening events during the first week back to school to get an inside look at your student union, the new campus living room, from the ground floor up.

Chew On This

Of course, no living room is complete without a space to kick back and get your nosh on. While you were rejuvenating after an intense fall semester, a mouth-watering group of eateries was gearing up for their debut in the union. Whereas Starbucks and Chipotle are welcomed returns, The Habit Burger and Oggi’s Pizza Express are brand new to the SDSU campus and thrilled to make your acquaintance.

But when you’re in a time crunch and settling in for a nice long comfort food session just isn’t possible, Aztec Market and Shake Smart are stepping up to bat. Founded in 2011 by two SDSU students, Shake Smart has grown from a small entrepreneurial startup on an SDSU sidewalk to a Southern California chain complete with a feature in Forbes Magazine. The alumni success story returns to its roots this week with a permanent place in the union from which to serve up its popular protein shakes.

A Grandiose Semester

This week may mark the grand opening of the Aztec Student Union, but don’t confuse all the events with Grand Dedication Week, which begins March 3. Along with the official ribbon cutting on March 7, Grand Dedication Week will feature open houses and themed days highlighting various features of the building and SDSU in general, from food and culture to fitness and sustainability.

The celebration of the new building doesn’t end with the snipping of the ribbon, however. Since 2010, SDSU students, faculty and staff have had to make do without a central hub for hosting events such as conferences and awards ceremonies, which is no small feat for a campus 34,000 large. That changes with the Aztec Student Union’s grand opening semester. Explore SDSU, the Leadership Summit, a Faculty Lecture Series and the Student Research Symposium are just a few of the events that will be held throughout the semester in the union.