History of the UF Division of Student Affairs - Page 101

101 rooms, offices for student organizations, a banquet and reception hall, lounge areas, an auditorium, a reading room, a game room, and a soda fountain. In a letter to President Tigert, Billy Matthews noted that the Florida Union served “to fulfill the needs of students that were in harmony with the University’s aim of education” and “to serve the University by cooperating in the field of conventions and public meetings that pertained to the general University program.” These purposes continue to be at the core of the Union mission to this day. In 1938, the YMCA donated the Camp Wauberg property, which it owned, to UF. Maintenance and operation of the 20 acre property was assigned to the Florida Union. In 1971, responsibility for Camp Wauberg was transferred to the Department of Intramurals (now the Department of Recreational Sports). Later, the spelling “Wauberg” was changed to “Wauburg.” In 1941, a 25,000 square feet addition was completed which nearly doubled the size of the Florida Union. The addition provided more meeting rooms, an arts & crafts center, auditorium, dining room, additional office space, and 15 guest rooms. Due to a lack of space in other parts of campus, some of the addition was used for other purposes such as faculty offices, classes and the campus bookstore for the next decade. In 1948, William E. “Bill” Rion was named Director of the Florida Union. Later that year, the Union Board for Student Activities was established to coordinate student run recreational and social activities and provide leadership opportunities for students. The board was made up of student volunteers who coordinated a wide range of activities including bridge and billiard tournaments, parties, dances, smokers, coffee hours, activities at Camp Wauberg, and picture shows (motion and slides). Following World War II, UF experienced a tremendous increase in its student population and many students were housed in temporary quarters at the nearby Alachua Army Airbase. In 1946, the Florida Union opened the Air Base Soda Shop to provide refreshments and recreational activities for students housed off campus. A soda fountain, daily newspapers, radio, piano, board games, cards, and dances were among the activities provided and designed to boost student morale and a feeling of loyalty to their Alma Mater. In 1947, the Florida Union expanded its footprint into a nearby temporary building to provide additional Depa rtment histor ies : Reitz un ion