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The spaceship traditions

Alumni reflect on the old Student Union

By Bryce Peters | Contributor

Many people in the Taylor community believe the myth that the old Student Union, or the “spaceship,” is a historical landmark. Unfortunately, it is nothing more than Taylor lore. The dome is just a uniquely built structure that has been around since 1958. Although it is not a landmark, it has historically been one of Taylor’s most interesting buildings.

The old Student Union in the process of blasting off to land on Taylor’s campus.

The old Student Union in the process of blasting off to land on Taylor’s campus.

The dome was originally the campus dining hall. Back when it was built, students were required to wear fancy attire. “We would all dress up (for every meal) in dresses and suits and then sit (arranged) boy then girl and so on,” Dara Peters (’64) said.

When the student population outgrew the limited space under the dome, the dining hall was moved to what we know today as the Hodson Dining Commons. The “spaceship” became Taylor’s Student Union. The bookstore, TSO office and Grille were the main attraction in the dome. According to Brian Peters (’88), “(The Union) was small, dark and wasn’t fun. It was used more for studying than social (gatherings).”

On the other hand, there was a little secret about the Student Union that most people didn’t know. Underneath the building, there are tunnels for the gas and water pipes, but some students used these tunnels for “personal reasons.” Students reportedly explored the tunnels and used them for literal underground parties.

Brent Peters (’93), was a reported attendee at the parties and said, “It was a fun adventure, and (we) had some fun down there. That’s all I’m going to say.”

The old Student Union is now only used for the campus bookstore. There is not a set plan for what the building will be at this point, but only some ideas of what it could be. Dara Peters wants it to be the dining commons again.

“I liked what it was. It is a very unique building and should be used for its original purpose,” Peters said.

Brian Peters thinks it should be used for offices and small conference rooms for meetings or group projects.

Students line up next to our beloved Union decades ago for graduation.

Students line up next to our beloved Union decades ago for graduation.

Junior Caleb Upton believes it should be turned into a giant hot tub.

“We don’t have one, and it would be fun to have a giant hot tub party,” Upton said.

There are many ideas for what the new building should be; some plausible and some not as much. Plans for the dome’s future are still being decided. They will be released to the public once they are finalized, according to Jim Garringer, director of media relations.

If your interested in the Student Union, other articles include:

A match for the Union and Old Union faces uncertain future.

 

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