By Zach Colick
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Summer Wildcat
The Student Union Memorial Center reopened in 2003 after a three-year renovation project. The SUMC is the largest student union without a hotel in the nation.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Between classes, students at the UA might grab a bite to eat, meet up with friends, study for a test or find a place to print out a research paper. Some might get a haircut, make flight reservations or take out cash from an ATM.
All of these things, and a lot more, can be done at the Student Union Memorial Center, in the heart of the UA campus.
The SUMC, first built in 1951, was reopened in 2003 after three years of renovations and expansions. Several restaurants and retail stores were added, including STA Travel and a Wells Fargo Bank branch.
For $3, UA students are able to watch new and old films at the Gallagher Theater, which was remodeled with modern theater seating as well as improved sound quality and projection facilities. Gallagher is also a forum for guest speakers and seminars throughout the year.
In addition to books for class and leisure, the UofA Bookstore in the SUMC houses a Clinique counter, a Hallmark-style greeting card area and an endless supply of UA athletic wear.
There is also a general information desk to help you find your way around, a post office for mailing a birthday card to mom and, for making those much-needed copies of your English 101 essays, a Fast Copy.
To impress that special someone or just to keep your hair looking fresh, get a haircut at Great Clips, where no appointment is necessary.
Moreover, the SUMC provides students with a wide variety of places to eat, socialize and relax.
Chillin' at the SUMC
Adam Rosenthal, a mathematics senior, lived on campus as a freshman and a sophomore, so meals outside of the SUMC were a rare occurrence.
Two years removed from campus life, he said he still often finds himself eating at the SUMC at McDonald's or the Sonora Café, given his demanding school and work schedule.
"It's cheap and it's good," Rosenthal said. "The union makes it convenient for me to grab food on the go, which is much-needed."
Rosenthal said he doesn't use many of the SUMC's amenities besides the eateries and the UofA Bookstore, but knows if he needs a haircut or needs to mail something home, the options are available to him.
"This place has really improved since I was a freshman. It's great to have so much of these amenities at my disposal," he said.
The Cactus Grill, located on the third level of the SUMC, is a full-fledged cafeteria that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the school year. The Grill also offers a soup and salad bar, wraps and a bakery, and is one of the few places you'll find Coca-Cola products on campus.
There are dozens of other restaurants to choose from, most of which are located on the second level. McDonald's, Panda Express and Domino's are some of the better-known restaurants, but several others now frequented by UA students have opened since the renovations two years ago.
Chick-Fil-A is a chicken sandwich joint that offers sandwiches, nuggets and waffle fries.
IQ Fresh offers students a smoothie fix and makes a wide variety of health-conscious wraps and salads.
The On Deck Deli offers made-to-order gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads and other healthy items.
There are several other restaurants, such as Café Sonora (Mexican), Redington Restaurant (all-you-can-eat buffet) and Three Cheeses & A Noodle (Italian).
Students can get coffee at Java Jive or the Canyon Cafe & Bistro, which also serves ice cream.
For students on the run, the U-Mart Convenience Store is the quickest place to grab groceries, sandwiches, drinks and other snacks.
Wilbur's Underground, located on the first level, has food in addition to a computer lab, games, billiards and a TV lounge.
After playing pool in the Underground, students can eat at the Cellar Restaurant & Lounge, which offers breakfast, burgers and fries and is a perfect place to grab an after-hours snack - it's open until 4 a.m.