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“It is an exciting

time as the Illini Union charts its future, continuing to be the premier college student union.”

Illini Union

The 2015-2016 Illini Union Annual Report provides insight into the activities and progress towards objectives during the past academic year. Our mission, vision, values, and goals have provided crucial direction to drive the organization’s work and focus its priorities. The Illini Union’s overall goal is to serve as the campus community center and to complement the academic mission of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is achieved by building an inclusive community and providing engaging programs, outstanding services, and state-of-the-art facilities. The Illini Union’s commitment to its mission, vision, and values is the cornerstone of our tradition of excellent performance. With nearly two and half million visitors annually, the Illini Union continues to thrive as a reflection of the vibrant and diverse student body of Illinois, and serves as the iconic student center of campus. We are working to guarantee that the Illini Union will remain a campus landmark well into the future. The Illini Union is engaging students and other campus and community stakeholders by encouraging them to participate in sessions that will allow us to develop a comprehensive plan that provides a well-maintained, state-ofthe-art facility offering inviting, comfortable, flexible spaces with cutting-edge programs for the next 30 years. As this work progresses, we continue to be innovative through the implementation of new programs and services that meet the campus community’s evolving wants and needs. The Illini Union provides growth and development opportunities through each of its programs and services. The Illini Union Board, Courtyard Café, Office of Volunteer Programs, and Rec Room hosted over 400 events with more than 70,000 participants this past year. Our Student Programs and Activities staff worked with 1,369 Registered Student Organizations and processed nearly 22,000 space requests last year, as well. The Parent and Family Programs Office partnered with New Student Programs to host an International Family Welcome. Nearly 150


Illini Union

family members attended, learning about the resources and services available to them as members of the Illinois family. The Office of Volunteer Programs collected 1,885 pounds of food, 300 toys, and distributed 221 Thanksgiving Baskets to those in need in our community. Our retail student employees served over one million customers across multiple operations. All of these co-curricular experiences help our students grow during their college years and prepare them for the future. The Illini Union welcomed new members to our operations team with the opening of Starbucks in the Courtyard Café and KoFusion in our food court. We also partnered with the College of Engineering to open an Einstein Bros. Bagels in Siebel Center; with the College of Engineering and University Libraries to open Espresso Royale in Grainger Library; and with the College of Veterinary Medicine to open Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Veterinary Medical Hospital. The Illini Union implemented all of these new services based on data collected from our annual assessment of our students, faculty, and staff. In conclusion, our success is only possible with the passion and commitment of the Illini Union staff and students. Their dedication and efforts, along with the contributions from Illini Union partners and volunteers defines our culture of excellence. It is an exciting time as the Illini Union charts its future, continuing to be the premier college student union.


Scott A. McCartney Interim Director


The Illini Union enriches our students’ academic experience by building an inclusive community and providing growth and development opportunities through engaging programs, outstanding services, purposeful employment, and state-of-the-art facilities.


The Illini Union will be the premiere college union. Spring Jam 2016


Our values serve as a compass and describe how we behave every day. • Community: We value community and continually work to strengthen our ties to the university and the surrounding community through active citizenship, service, traditions, teamwork, and collaboration. • Student Centeredness and Learning: We value students and their voice as they are central to our mission. Our work is guided by a commitment to their holistic development and learning. • Leadership: We value the opportunity to lead from every level of the organization and create innovative programs and services. We recognize that each employee has the ability to inspire and motivate others and serve as a catalyst for change.

We are accountable and take responsibility for our decisions and actions. • Excellence: We value pursuing and exceeding high expectations and developing distinctive and quality programs and services through origination and continuous improvement. • Diversity and Inclusion: We value the uniqueness of people and individual perspectives. We embrace and celebrate one another’s differences, talents, and abilities. We cultivate an inclusive environment by considering all dimensions of diversity, and we help prepare our campus community for life in a multicultural society.

• Integrity: We value being honest and ethical and exemplifying behavior that can be modeled by all. We maintain open and transparent decision-making at all levels of our organization. • Traditions: We value our position as the center of campus life—physically, socially, and culturally. We recognize that every member of our Illinois family has a Union story to tell. Through these stories, we help preserve the rich traditions and legacy that current and former Illini have created. • Collaboration: We value cooperating and partnering with others and strengthening our efforts to serve the university and our surrounding community.

2015-2016 Annual Report


ACCOMPLISHMENTS & HIGHLIGHTS The Illini Union had many achievements and milestones that stood out during the 2015-2016 academic year. We take pride in everything we do, as these successes illustrate.

Students at the grand opening of the Illini Union Courtyard Café Starbucks

FOSTER COLLABORATION, DISCOVERY AND INNOVATION • The second Starbucks store opened in Fall 2015 in the Illini Union Courtyard Café. This past year, nearly 445,000 customers were served at the two Starbuck’s locations (the first being located in the Illini Union Bookstore). • Retail Operations partnered with Housing and the ID Card Center to provide access to Illini Cash at all Illini Union retail operations. Students now have more options for buying from campus operations and supporting student events.


• Retail Operations partnered with the College of Engineering to open Einstein Bros. Bagels in Siebel Center; with the College of Engineering and University Libraries to open Espresso Royal in Grainger Library; and with the College of Veterinary Medicine to open Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Veterinary Medical Hospital. • KoFusion opened in the Illini Union Food Court in Spring 2016, which expanded food options in the building for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. KoFusion was identified by students as one of their top food choices through the annual Skyfactor survey. • Illini Union Student Programs and Activities received a Great Plays Grant of $20,000 awarded by MillerCoors to be used for alcohol-free programming. Programming for Courtyard Café, Illini Union Board Illinites, and Spring Jam 2016 all shared in funding from the grant. • Spring Jam 2016 received $8,000 from the Student Affairs Illinois Experience Fund grant. Spring Jam, now in its second year, is a collaborative effort between the Illini Union, State Farm Center, IUB, and Starcourse.

Illini Union

• The Illini Union Board (IUB) hosted 156 events during 2015-2016. More than 27,523 participants attended these events over the course of the year. • The Courtyard Café hosted 108 programs in 2015-2016, with more than 3,700 people attending the events. Each of the events was co-sponsored with at least one Registered Student Organization and/or academic unit. • The Office of Volunteer Programs (OVP) received a Student Affairs Strategic Initiative Grant (SIG) to help offset funding of the iENGAGE programs. The service weekend trips took 136 domestic and international students to four locations this year: St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati. • In Spring 2016, OVP worked with the Illini Union Marketing Department to develop the best way to set up a blog. The OVP graduate assistant then collaborated with student staff to begin publishing regular blog posts focused on both OVP programs and volunteer opportunities for students across campus. A total of ten blogs were published during the spring semester, and staff members developed a guide to continue the blog next school year. • Parent and Family Programs Office (PFPO), in collaboration with New Student Programs and the Illini Union Marketing Department, produced a welcome video that was emailed to incoming first-year families prior to Summer Registration, as an introduction to staff and to summer orientation. The email boosted pre-registration sign-ups for PFPO communications, and supported additional sign-ups during the days families were on campus for the program.

Registered Student Organization office

• Illini Union Marketing partnered with Campus Recreation Marketing to form a single marketing team offering enhanced services to all departments and capitalizing on economies of scale in terms of advertising, materials, staff, and systems. • The Illini Union Marketing Team created all design and marketing materials for the Illini Success program, a campus-wide program spearheaded by The Career Center and supported by the Provost’s Office, the Division of Management Information, the Office of the Registrar, the Institutional Review Board Office, the Council of Undergraduate Deans and all undergraduate colleges, the Career Services Council, and many more partners. The program provides grads with the opportunity to share their stories in order to give evidence of success after graduating from Illinois.

PROVIDE TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCES • The Illini Union Hotel established a new internship through the Hospitality Management Program in the College of ACES. The first intern began in May 2016. • Student Programs and Activities staff hosted an undergraduate student intern from the RST program this past spring. The intern was supervised by the Rec Room, but also supported the Courtyard Café and Registered Organizations Office. • Student Programs and Activities staff compiled Registered Student Organization (RSO) officer GPAs for fall and spring semesters. Overall, RSO presidents and treasurers again maintained a higher GPA than that of the overall campus. • Learning outcomes were created for student employees throughout the organization with assistance from the Illini Union Human Resources. Student positions are developed strategically to offer intentional learning opportunities that will serve students throughout their collegiate career and beyond graduation, giving them an advantage over peers.

• OVP expanded its service weekend trips that allowed students to engage together in service on six trips in four different locations: St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee and Cincinnati. Student Group leaders helped staff members facilitate the programs as participants got to know each other and take part in service projects in the respective cities. In total, 136 students were able to participate.



• Human Resources developed and implemented a Student Exit Interview that is available electronically for student convenience, and provides valuable feedback to managers that they will use to strengthen the organization’s student employment program. • Illini Union Marketing hired four students who are part of the newly created social media team, with one student specializing in videography. This enhances the services offered to internal and external clients while offering students a broader array of opportunities to develop new skills and to build their professional portfolio. 2015-2016 Annual Report

MAKE A SIGNIFICANT AND VISIBLE SOCIETAL AND COMMUNITY IMPACT • Eight Elkay bottle-filler/water fountain units were installed throughout the main building in collaboration with the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC). In addition to reducing the amount of waste going into landfills, the units list their effectiveness with digital bottle refill count displays and provide free, cool, filtered water to visitors. • The 2015-2016 academic year ended with 1,369 active registered organizations. In comparison, 2014-2015 ended with 1,124 active registered organizations, an increase of 18 percent. • The Office of Registered Organizations approved 21,782 RSO space requests to take place on university premises and facilities. This represents an 8 percent overall increase over 20,372 approved events during 2014-2015.

• The Student Organization Resource Fee (SORF) received $1,505,517.10 in funding requests, and awarded funding of $366,973.07 for 599 applications. • OVP’s annual donation drives received the following: • Cans Around the Quad – 1,885 pounds of food (donated to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank) • Thanksgiving Basket Drive – 221 baskets • Holiday Toy Drive – 300 toys • PFPO added “Going to College” and Summer Registration information to the website to better prepare families coming to campus for Summer Registration.

members attended and were treated to refreshments and breakfast while learning about the resources and services available to their students and to themselves as members of the Illinois family. • During Moms and Dads Weekends, the PFPO partnered with The Career Center to offer the Career Closet program. New and gently used business attire items were donated for use by students on campus who are interviewing and may not be able to afford to buy new clothing. The number of donations far exceeded expectations of all staff involved.

• PFPO partnered with New Student Programs to host an International Family Welcome in August 2015. Nearly 150 family


Registered Organizations AT A GLANCE

Top: Illini Union Rec Room Bottom: Taste of the Union event





STEWARD CURRENT RESOURCES AND GENERATE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR STRATEGIC INVESTMENT • A collaboration of the RSO, Event Services Office, Marketing, and IT resulted in a new online space request form for Illini Union reservations. The improved process decreases the number of steps students must take to reserve space for their events and programs, and streamlines work for staff. • The SORF Board went through the renewal of the student fee referendum that takes place every four years. The fee was renewed with 86 percent YES from those that voted in the election process, indicating overwhelming support for the fee.

• Illini Union Facilities staff collaborated with Cannon Design and Facilities & Services on a complete Facility Condition Audit of the current infrastructure of the Illini Union building and the projected costs to renovate and replace existing systems. The resulting cost estimation database will be the basis for future infrastructure and long-range facility planning for the organization.



Quad Day




REQUESTED FUNDED 2015-2016 Annual Report



BY THE NUM 2,481,692



Number of visitors through the doors of the Illini Union

Illini Union Bookstore customers through registers

Number of guests served at the Illini Union Hotel




Number of rooms rented at the Illini Union Hotel

Illini Union Event Services room reservations

Games of bowling played in the Illini Union Rec Room




Hours of billiards played in the Illini Union Rec Room

Illinois families connected through Illini Union Parent and Family Programs

Number of Starbucks customers through registers




Programming events coordinated by the Illini Union Board

Student attendance at Illini Union Board events

RSO co-sponsored events in Illini Union Courtyard CafĂŠ

Illini Union

MBERS 7,230



Illini Union Courtyard CafĂŠ scheduled events attendance

Illini Union Multimedia Dept. equipment rentals

Illini Union Bookstore textbook reservations placed




Number of SORF applications awarded $366,973 collectively

Number of RSO space requests approved by Illini Union ROO

Number of repairs by Illini Union Tech Zone’s service dept.







Page views of

Pounds of food collected by Illini Union OVP during Cans Across the Quad

Unique page views of

Toys collected by the Illini Union OVP Holiday Toy Drive

New user visits of

Number of baskets collected during Illini Union OVP Thanksgiving Basket Drive

2015-2016 Annual Report

GOALS FOR 2016-2017 The Illini Union had a remarkable year, but that does not mean our work is complete. We have exciting plans for the 2016-2017 academic year and look forward to seeing the success that will come from our dedicated efforts.





• Develop two new opportunities to engage Illinois parents and families, focused on international and other underserved populations, designed to increase parental engagement and support.

• The Illini Union Board will increase engagement with international students both in terms of board membership as well as in attendance at events. During the 2016-2017 academic year, IUB will engage no less than 20 percent of the international student population on campus.

• The shared marketing team collaboration between Campus Recreation and Illini Union will result in efficiencies and savings across both organizations and will provide comprehensive marketing services and resources to Student Affairs units. • The Illini Union Board will increase collaborations with registered student organizations, academic, and non-academic departments by 10 percent in the 2016-2017 academic year.

• The Illini Union Bookstore will open a satellite operation in the College of Law building in summer of 2016. • Student programming will increase attendance overall to 75,000 participants in all events during academic year 2016-2017, an increase from 70,000 in 2015-2016. • One new internship will be filled in fall of 2016. The Marketing internship will provide opportunities to learn new, transferable skills while fulfilling program requirements. • Illini Union Student Programs and Activities will assess program participants to demonstrate the impact that the Illini Union has on their leadership and personal development.

MAKE A SIGNIFICANT AND VISIBLE SOCIETAL AND COMMUNITY IMPACT • Develop an employee wellness program that will benefit staff throughout the organization who choose to participate. • The Illini Union Feasibility Study that will lay the groundwork for future building and programmatic upgrades and renovations will be completed in December 2016. Students studying in the South Lounge

Illini Union

Illini Union Bookstore

• Key Illini Union staff and student leaders will work with Student Affairs Advancement to develop the Building Renovation and Upgrade Fundraising campaign that will be introduced at the 75th Anniversary Celebration event in Spring 2017. • The South Lounge will be refurnished in Fall 2016. • The Rec Room in the Lower Level will upgrade carpeting and furniture in the lounge and gaming areas in Spring 2017.


• The third Starbucks store on Oregon Avenue in Urbana will open in August 2016.

• The Amazon Pickup Store will be implemented in the Illini Union Bookstore in Fall 2016.

• Illini Union Retail Units will increase the number of customers served to more than 1.2 million in fiscal year 2017.

• A Feasibility Study will be conducted in order to lay the groundwork for implementing a Document Services location in the Illini Union that will include shipping, receiving, and printing services with a target date of Fall 2016.

• Digital controls will be installed on all exhaust fans to reduce utility expenses and improve performance.

• Auntie Anne’s will open on the Main Level of the Illini Union in Fall 2016.

• Aging electrical systems in the south building will be replaced to provide more reliable and efficient electrical service.

2015-2016 Annual Report




• The Illini Union completed the fourth annual EBI survey, now known as Skyfactor Benchworks. This assessment tool monitors overall performance of twelve key factors, in addition to institution specific questions that are submitted. Factors include: 1) publicizes the Union and promotes campus; 2) College Union has a positive environment; 3) College Union is student-oriented; 4) College Union is a source of entertainment; 5) College Union enhances life and leadership; 6) Union food variety, quality and price; 7) aspects of dining service; 8) Bookstore staff performance; 9) Bookstore items variety and price;10) Union cleanliness; 11) Union staff performance; and 12) overall program effectiveness. The final report also provides comparison analysis against 6 peer institutions. See Appendix 1 for detailed information and results.



• Keith Restad, assigned F&S Carpenter, was once again advanced for consideration to the final round of the Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Service Award. While Keith was not selected for the final award, it is a credit to his dedicated service to be recognized by the selection committee.


• Volunteer Illini Projects (VIP) alumnus Randy Schmidt made a financial commitment to donate $25,000 over 5 years to help support the OVP Service Weekend Immersion Trips and iENGAGE program.


• Rotimi Ariyo, IUB Program Advisor, was named the Student Affairs Outstanding New Staff Award recipient 2015-2016. • Jared Eakins, IUB Program Advisor, served on the National Association for Campus Activities Mid-America Educational Sessions Review Committee. • Jared Eakins, IUB Program Advisor, served as the Association for College Unions International Region V Web & Social Media Coordinator.

Illini Union

• The Illini Union participated in the Campus Activities and Student Involvement Benchmark Survey. This survey was created by NASPA, a leading association for student affairs professionals, and was administered through the Campus Labs Software System. Its purpose was to assess undergraduate students on their levels of campus involvement and their outcomes as a result of said involvement. In addition, the survey allowed respondents to give feedback on their preferred means to be informed about campus activities and reasons that they chose not to participate in activities.

• Melissa Kisubika, SORF Program Advisor, served as a Leadershape Cluster Facilitator at the University of Illinois in January 2016. • Melissa Kisubika, SORF Program Advisor, served as the NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Communication Coordinator for the Assessment, Evaluation and Research Knowledge Community. In addition, Melissa regularly contributes to the Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge community blog. • Donna Wargo, Rec Room Manager, served as the ACUI Community of Practice Leader for On-Campus Bowling Centers for 2015-2016. In addition, she hosted the COP meeting at the International ACUI conference in New Orleans, LA in March 2016. • Despite decreasing staff by 14 percent, Campus Mail metered an additional 280,000 pieces of outgoing mail, an increase of 25 percent over FY15. Library book deliveries also saw an increase in volume delivered of 5.4 percent.

South Lounge

• Document Services won three Production Awards from the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP): First Place Wide Format for the “life-size” newspaper for the Alma Mater to hold on Newspaper Engagement Day; Honorable Mention Specialty Printed Products for a Windmill-produced greeting card; and Honorable Mention Digital Multiple Piece for the Center for POETS (Power of Electro-Thermal Systems) campaign. • The Illini Union Marketing Department was recognized by ACUI’s Steal This Idea Award competition. Winners included: Student Designer Kelly Pisanko ‘15 who received first place for the Rec Room Brochure (Student Publications category); Stephanie Swift who received second place for the 2015 Annual Report (Publications category); and Lisa Watkins who received Honorable Mention for the 2015-2016 I-Book (Calendar and Schedule category).

Document Services staff

2015-2016 Annual Report



Sophie Ruiz-Gehrt, President Susana Sosa, Vice President for Policy Isabel Kadiri, Vice President for Programs Yuka Wada, Vice President for Finance Alexxis Franklin, Vice President for Internal Affairs Yun Hin (Jeffrey) Tsai, Director of Arts Chamira Sankey, Director of Cultural Events Bitanya Gebrekristos, Director of Enriching Programs Kellen Dempsey, Director of Illinites Vicari Sharkey, Director of Marketing Greg Mueller, Director of Musicals & Drama Amanda Awayda, Director of Traditional Programs Nia McLin, Director of Special Events Lowa Mwilambwe, Director of Illini Union (Ex-Officio) Laurel Reed Rosch, Associate Director of Student Programs & Activities (Ex-Officio) Clint Harper, Staff Advisory Council Representative


Nicholas Reinberg, Illinois Lacrosse, Chair Keren Garcia, Phi Sigma Theta National Honors Society, Vice Chair Greg Arend, Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, William Crusey, Interfraternity Council Victoria Lim, Japan Intercultural Network Timothy Parrish, University Accounting (Ex-Officio) Dementro Powell, Assistant Director of Student Programs & Activities (Ex-Officio) Andy Sprague, Illini Union Jeff Yacup, Illinois Leadership Center

Illini Union


Anita Mixon, Graduate Student Member & Chair Elizabeth Diamond, Undergraduate Student Member & Vice-Chair Brianne Lang, Undergraduate Student Member Alicia Robinson, Graduate Student Member Kat Rains, Undergraduate Student Member Robyn Lee, Undergraduate Student Member Fikunayo Masha, Undergraduate Student Member Paige Lee, Undergraduate Student Member Demetrius Wade, Undergraduate Student Member Oluseun Arowolaju, Undergraduate Student Member Dionne Gatling, Undergraduate Student Member Eric Engler, Staff Appointee Terry Free, Staff Appointee Matt Myrick, Staff Appointee Timothy Parrish, University Accounting (Ex-Officio) Gina Seghetti, SORF Board Secretary Vanessa Wang, SORF Board Webmaster

VOLUNTEER ILLINI PROJECTS BOARD OF DIRECTORS Suana Thakrar, Chair Keomal Jaffrini & Ngan (Junnie) Kieu, Vice Chairs Kyle Kuntsman, Treasurer Frankie Fridman, External Affairs Chair Sigi Wu, Animal Allies Yue (Echo) Qui, Arts Outreach Lauren Nidea (Lara), Blood Zack Panos, Community Justice Linna Jia, Daycare Paige Richardson, Environmental Kevin Cheng, Health Needs Diba Tannazi, Hunger & Homelessness

Kinan Sawar, Recreation Sydney Handspike Ford, Senior Citizens Vishnu Chavva, Tutoring Tim Brown & Tony Guo (Guo Xudong), Public Relations


Christine Lach, President Marisa Winkler, Vice President of Parent Outreach/Membership Merydith Brostoff, Vice President of External Communication Diana Lin, Vice President of Internal Communication/Secretary Brenda Nelson, Vice President of Scholarships & Awards Erin Bline, Treasurer Timbolin Holmes, Past-President (Ex-Officio) Directors Patty Boland Marie Iordanov Angela Joy Barbara Yong


Phil Schaefer, President Joe Gainer, Vice President & Chair of Dad’s Weekend Greg Allen, Treasurer Bob Behle, Secretary Mike Muscatella, King Dad Chair Todd Probasco, Past-President Directors Mike Booke Jeff Coffland Steve Cox Larry Dechter Perry Haynes Mario Karayannis Gary Longfellow Tom Rizzo Bill Stratman


Lisa Hinchliffe, Faculty, Chair Maria Bonn, Faculty Liora Bresler, Faculty Franne Davis, Bookstore Staff (Ex-Officio) Gregory Davis, Faculty Elvira de Mejia, Faculty Peg Grossman, Faculty Ruth Hoffman, Faculty Deborah Kraybill, Staff Laurie Matheson, Staff Scott McCartney, Sr. Associate Director for Retail (Ex-Officio) Bruce Michelson, Faculty Lowa Mwilambwe, Director of Illini Union (Ex-Officio) Tod Petrie, Director of Illini Union Bookstore (Ex-Officio) Susie Sosa, Student Dave Tewksbury, Faculty Julia Witvliet, Student Top: Illini Union Bookstore Bottom: Anniversary Plaza

2015-2016 Annual Report


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1401 West Green Street Urbana, Illinois 61801 (217) 333-0160 IlliniUnion




This annual report may be obtained in alternative formats upon request. Please contact Erik Riha at or 217-244-3415.

Illini Union 2015-16 Annual Report  

Annual Report details for the Illini Union at the University of Illinois.

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