Following an unprecedented period, the 2022-2023 academic year reinvigorated University Unions. With a robust programming and event schedule, students and community members reignited an energy within our spaces. Shown in record high traffic numbers and the addition of several new initiatives, we reflect on an exciting year of growth and momentum.

The daily work of our units does not go unnoticed. From assisting the campus community with resources to developing student organization leaders, our services and programs continue to align with our mission in being a catalyst for connection and learning that cultivates community and belonging at the University of Michigan and beyond.

An exciting year of new programs, events and services, we continue to find ways to best serve our students, campus partners and community members.

Resource Navigators, a peer-to-peer service designed to assist students in learning campus and its resources, officially launched this year following a pilot program. New staff was hired, training developed and scheduling tools were implemented. During the year, 33 appointments were completed.

Conference and Event Services immersed themselves into a high volume year with 14,238 events - over 1800 more events than 2021-22. Setting a new record of 39 new summer camps and conferences, the team excelled at providing spaces for in-person and hybrid gatherings which resulted in a 20% increase in events across all University Union buildings compared to the previous year.

Launched following the Michigan Union renovation in 2020, the IdeaHub reached new heights in traffic. Seeing a 56% increase over the previous year, student organizations are finding new ways to collaborate, innovate and discover. On average, 1200 people are visiting the IdeaHub each day.

After seeing a need to better serve students on North Campus, the Center for Campus Involvement hosted a number of events at Pierpont Commons. One of the largest of these events, Winterfest, drove the highest traffic numbers for the month of January within the building with over 4500 students entering the space.

The Student Life Impact Report of undergraduate students indicates Center for Campus Involvement programs through the Unions contribute significantly to students’ community building, reducing stress levels, meeting new people, and socializing at the University of Michigan.

More than 10,000 students per quarter participated in University Activities Center programs - our campus programming board.

UU Weekly, an afternoon program by CCI, yielded a 60% increase in student participation in 2022-23; some events doubled or tripled in attendance from similarly placed events last year. The increase in attendance was driven by the choices of varied and engaging themes and increasing desire from students to connect. Events were carefully choreographed, taking advantage of seasonal hallmarks/holidays, cultural awareness, and the right mix of crafts to keep student attendees on site and fulfilled.

UMix Late Night is the University of Michigan's premier late night tradition filled with fun attractions and engaging activities for all U-M students to connect and create community. Student participation increased more than 25% compared to last year. Assessment shows that first year students believed attending UMix helped them meet new people.

From Welcome to Michigan to commencement, University Unions are energetic places to be on campus. Over the past year, over 3 million entered the doors of the Michigan Union, Michigan League, and Pierpont Commons. From departments to students to community members, the University Unions spaces serve as social hubs, event venues, meeting points, resource hubs and alumni points of interest across campus.

A campus-wide series of 100 events led by the Center for Campus Involvement and Office of New Student Programs was designed to address the needs of new students. Welcome to Michigan involved many Student Life and campus units helping students become familiar with and feel connected to the campus as a learning environment through its curricular and co-curricular opportunities. Over 500 University of Michigan employees volunteered. The Center for Campus Involvement hosted signature Welcome events for students, such as Escapade: introducing students to their University Unions; Go Blue Mix: a large social event after the first home football game; and the Go North Block Party: introducing students to North Campus social opportunities. These events demonstrated students’ University Unions buildings, spaces, and services available.

During commencement season in the spring, University Unions spaces are utilized for commencement celebrations, department events, and iconic photo locations for students. It is also the primary ticketing hub for commencement. The Michigan Union Ticket Office (MUTO) coordinated 63,000 spring commencement tickets.

University Unions had the unique opportunity to provide planning leadership to several notable campus events this year including the induction of U-M's President Santa Ono and Vice President Kamala Harris's visit with Secretary Jennifer Granholm. These events were a true testament to our partnerships within UU and across campus, and our ability to coordinate high profile events.

Fall 2022 was a Michigan gubernatorial election, among other key political races in the state. A non-University organization, called Our Future Is Now, hosted an event with Bernie Sanders in Rackham Auditorium. Additionally, the College Democrats at U-M hosted an outdoor rally on the Diag with Governor Whitmer, some of her Cabinet members, and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. The facilities were also focal points of democratic engagement by serving as election day polling sites for the election.

The Center for Campus Involvement, in partnership with the Dean of Students’ Office, activated Student Life’s Protests, Demonstrations, and Potentially Controversial Events Planning and Response Protocol when needed to provide institutional support for student activism. These protocols allowed for regular dialogue with and support for student protestors, knowledge-sharing with campus partners, and supported campus-level decision-making. This support and guidance assisted in helping students share their voices through activism, vigils, and demonstrations, including a candlelight vigil to honor the Michigan State community, and Graduate Employee Organization protests and demonstrations.

Accolades and recognition of our units' work does not go unnoticed. We are pleased to remain at the forefront of many initiatives and offerings in our community, state and nation.

MLEAD: The Excellence in Student Training Program Award (ACUI)

The Excellence in Student Training Programs Award is given to an institution during the ACUI (Association of College Unions International) Annual Conference. This year, M-LEAD's Impact Initiative: Empowering Student Staff through Leadership & Career Development received the 2023 award. Criteria for the ACUI Excellence in Student Training Programs Award include "demonstrating the use of practices that exemplify outstanding creativity or introduce new approaches beyond what is standard."

Conference & Event Services & The Michigan League: Best of Weddings 2022 (The Knot)

Conference & Event Service was awarded the Best of Weddings 2022 from The Knot for the Michigan League. This recognition is given to professionals who have received at least five positive reviews on The Knot within the year. Having been awarded this designation four times, the venue is now in The Knot “Hall of Fame”.

University Unions' Student Employee & Staff Awards

Student Employee Awards: Above & Beyond Award (Ikalanni Jahi), Maize Cranium Award (Evan Fassett), Michigan Difference Award (Ellie Rogers & Olivia O'Connell), New Wolverine Award (Jo Petrotta & Maren Blanchard), True Blue Award (Taylor Mendendorp & Allister Ho)

Staff Awards: Partnership Award (Jaime Jackson: Student Life Facilities), Impact Award (Katie Massa: Conference and Events Services), Cultivating Community Award (Devon Vaughn: Center for Campus Involvement), M-Power Award (Fred Mooney: Palmer Commons & Mike Decker: Union Operations), Excellence Award (Jane Lloyd: Conference & Event Services)

Milestones: 5 years (Dr. Amy Barnhart, Caroline Clark and Devon Vaughn), 10 years (Jane Llyod), 15 years (Melanie Pizzulo), 20 years (Kathi Compton)

University Unions Employees Play Critical Roles at Conferences

Susan Pile, Senior Director of University Unions and Auxiliary Services, served as Conference Chair for the ACUI annual conference in Boston.

Employees: Linsey Scriven, Kaila Sell, Jeri Preston, Dr. Nicholas Smith, Kelly Dunlop and Stephanie Beld-Steichen, also presented sessions during the ACUI conference.

Rigo Gutierrez, Program Manager for the Center for Campus Involvement, was elected as the conference chairperson for the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) in February.

IdeaHub Conference Room Officially Named McCarty-Bishop Room

Following a generous gift from Dr. Melina J. McCarty and Mr. John C. Bishop VII, the McCarty-Bishop room was officially named in their honor on October 28, 2022. Their children joined them for the celebration. The McCarty-Bishop room is heavily used by student organizations as part of the IdeaHub. Thank you to the McCarty-Bishop family!