BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Plemmons Student Union has won the Excellence in Student Training Award from the Association of College Unions International (ACUI).
The ACUI presents this award each year to a campus for its innovative approach and commitment to effectively preparing students with the skills and leadership to staff a college union facility. According to the ACUI website, Appalachian received the award for its nine-day comprehensive training seminar for student leadership that focuses on operations and personal development.
The nine-day training seminar is held for students comprising the union’s Leadership Team, which manages and mentors other student employees at the union.
“Not all other schools have an additional layer of student leaders like our Leadership Team, which provides an awesome leadership opportunity for these students,” said Jenny Koehn, associate director of student programs.
Plemmons Student Union’s core values include community building, inclusiveness, student empowerment, diversity, collaboration and teamwork, and servant leadership.
“Our emphasis in this large group training is our overall mission and core values, education about the building, work station training, employee policies and safety training, team building and customer service,” Koehn said.
The student union employs more than 150 students in positions that include operations and office assistants, game room and lounge attendants, films staff, Legends night club events staff, audio visual technicians and reception staff.
In 2000, the ACUI named the Plemmons Student Union one of the 17 best student unions in the world. Since then, the Solarium was added in 2004. Another addition was built in 2012 which added about 10 new meeting rooms and a ballroom, and enhanced the building’s sustainable features, earning it an LEED Gold Certification. Additional renovations occur regularly.
“Our philosophy is that working in the Student Union is not just a job for students. They can choose to look at this as a ‘learning lab’ for real life job skills and grow in so many ways,” Koehn said.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.