History of the UF Division of Student Affairs - Page 102

102 recreational programs and social activities such as dancing classes, radio listening parties, and freshman orientation. In 1951, the campus bookstore moved out and the Florida Union underwent a number of changes that included the addition of a photographic darkroom, music listening rooms, a browsing library, and an elevator. In addition, the first Student Organization Office was established to provide desks, filing cabinets, telephones, and typewriters for approved student organizations. A N e w U n i o n B u i l d i n g : J . W ay n e R e i t z U n i o n 1 9 6 7 As enrollment at UF continued to grow, the Florida Union was unable to adequately meet the growing needs of the campus community, which had exceeded 10,000 students. The Union’s meeting, dining, and recreational facilities were grossly inadequate. In 1951, a subcommittee of the Board of Managers was formed to explore the feasibility of a new Union building. As a result of this study, the student body voted to impose a fee of $1.50 per semester for a new Union building. In 1952, a New Union Planning Committee was formed. In 1958, more than 150 student organizations passed resolutions in support of the new Union. In 1959, Student Government unanimously passed an additional $10 per semester fee to support the new building pr oject. In 1962, $5 million was allocated from the Florida Development Commission (which was funded by student fees from Florida universities) to proceed with the construction of the new Union facility. Groundbreaking for the building occurred on May 9, 1964. The new 267,070 square feet facility, built at a cost of $5.7 million, was opened on May 1, 1967, to serve a student population of 19,000. On June 4, 1967, the facility was named the J. Wayne Reitz Union in honor of Dr. J. Wayne Reitz, UF President from 1955 to 1967. The Florida Union building was renamed Dauer Hall and serves today as an academic facility. The new Reitz Union offered multiple meeting rooms, a ballroom, student organization offices, a game room with bowling and billiards, expanded dining facilities, an arts and crafts center, a music listening room, and a browsing library. The original Reitz Union facility included the 460-seat Constans Theater; however, as use of the theater was mostly for programs coordinated by the Department of Speech (later renamed the Department of Theatre and Dance) and the Florida Players, it was later designated an Education and General building, and is no longer operated by the Reitz Union. Program activities were expanded to emphasize cultural enrichment and offered music, drama, H i s t o r y o f t h e UF D S A