Arkansas Union Ranked One of Nation's Best

Arkansas Union.
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Arkansas Union.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Best College Reviews has released its list of the “25 Most Amazing University Student Unions” and the University of Arkansas has made the list.

The Arkansas Union is ranked 17th in the nation according to Best College Reviews’ rating, which include factors such as architectural nobility and student satisfaction. The building, which turned 40 years old on Sept. 26 this year, was praised for the approximately 205,315 square feet devoted entirely to student support, including 25 different departments, the retail stores, the Union Market Food Court and a 1,500-square-foot exercise room. The union provides what Best College Reviews, an online publication, referred to as “some of the best views of the campus,” with Donald W. Reynolds Stadium nestled at the foot of the hill.

“American universities have been on a building and renovation spree in the past decade, producing some truly awe-inspiring student unions,” said James Arney, chief author and researcher for the list. “College students today have it as good as they ever have when it comes to facilities, and this list amply illustrates that fact.”

The Arkansas Union has also undergone its own building and renovation work in the last few years with the creation of the Student Technology Center, the fitness facility and most recently, the South Terrace which will provide a more casual, semi-private outdoor dining and studying area for students. This terrace space will be opened with a ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at noon.

“Our goal is to educate and inspire students outside of the classroom,” said Sue Donohue Smith, associate director of the Arkansas Student Union. “So of course it’s nice to be recognized on a national level for all the effort put in by everyone who works in the Union to achieve that goal.”    

Along with the architecture and the remodeled space devoted to increasing student happiness, the Union boasts some of the biggest sustainability initiatives on the U of A campus. The union green team is a unit consisting of individuals from 18 different departments housed within the Union who work to find ways to decrease waste in the building. They’ve already established recycling stations, placed a new dishwasher in the food court that cuts down the amount of water used by 50 percent, while the South Terrace is built with environmentally sustainable wood and seats created out of recycled milk jugs. More sustainability renovations are scheduled through the beginning of the spring semester in the hopes of turning the most used building on campus into the most sustainable one.

The Arkansas Union is one of only two in the SEC to make the top 25.


Scott Flanagin, director of communications
Division of Student Affairs

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations


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