The ASUC Student Union, in partnership with the ASUC and GA, supports student learning, development, and community building by collaborating and engaging with students, campus partners, and the greater community. As a sustainable and inclusive organization, the ASUC Student Union enhances the co-curricular experience at UC Berkeley.
ASUC is founded. The Associated Students of the College of Letters and Sciences (later shortened to just ASUC) was officially founded by students on March 2, 1887 as a student government independent of the University.
The ASUC Student Union opens. The ASUC was heavily involved in developing the first real “Student Union” on campus, Stephens Hall, and the adjacent “Student Publications Building,” Eshleman Hall (now Moses Hall) south of the Campanile. ASUC funds also helped construct other buildings on campus, including Harmon Gymnasium and Edwards Field. Stephen’s has since been replaced with the MLK Jr. Student Union Building.
A new student union opens. By the mid- 1950’s it had become clear that the Stephens Hall/Eshleman Hall complex were too small and antiquated for the student body. The Alumni Association had undertaken a study which proposed a new Student Union complex at Bancroft and Telegraph and, in the late 1950’s construction has begun. By 1961 the ASUC Student Union buildings were designed and built by Vernon DeMars.
17 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s anti-Vietnam War speech on Sproul Plaza, we rename our main building the “Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union.” The renaming was proposed by undergraduate Ronald Stevenson. The namesake building stands both as a reminder of Dr. King’s courageous advocacy and as an inspiration for leadership within our community.
Graduate and undergraduate student leaders negotiate a groundbreaking agreement to rebuild the ASUC Student Union complex. It is agreed that revenue made in the MLK Jr. Building and in Eshleman Hall will is shared to support student programs directly. The pact, along with a ballot measure to increase student fees, makes the renovation possible.
The newly renovated MLK Jr. Building and Eshleman Hall open. The new buildings become the true heart of campus and provide a campus living room for students. Both integrate sustainable features including: natural cooling through automatic window movement, window coating to lessen glare and heat build up, a graywater system for irrigation and restroom facilities, solar energy provided by photovoltaics, a white roof to reduce heat island effect, and a rain garden to capture storm runoff. Both buildings obtain LEED Gold certification. The new Student Union complex is completely ADA compliant.