In March 1965, the student body voted to assess a fee each semester to construct, maintain and operate a student union building. The University Student Union (USU) opened its doors in 1972 and has served the campus continuously since then. In March 1995, the student body approved a $17 million improvement project. Completed in May 1998, the Project added a third floor and west wing to the facility.
The University Student Union is located in the center of campus, bridging the north and south campuses. It occupies approximately 180,000 square feet. With large interior patios, flexible multipurpose and meeting rooms, comfortable lounges and food service facilities, the USU is the community center of campus, and for many students their "home away from home". The USU offers weekly entertainment activities and numerous opportunities for engaging students' recreation and leisure time.
The first floor of the USU caters to recreational and leisure-time activities. The Games Center offers bowling lanes, a video arcade, billiards, table tennis, a television lounge, and an outdoor swimming pool. The first floor also houses the Beach Pride Center, the Alumni Association, the Interfaith Center, K-Beach Radio, College Beat Television, and the USU Program Council.
The second floor features food vendors, student conveniences, and student service providers. The USU Food Court features nationally-branded vendors such as Carl's Jr., Subway, Robek's Juice, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and El Pollo Loco. The Information Center allows for directional assistance and a place to purchase discount tickets for area theme parks. The Candy Corner provides a quick place to grab a snack or a soft drink. The Office of Student Life and Development provides advising for student organizations as well as mailboxes and organizational file space. The second floor is also home to the Associate Vice President for Student Services/Dean of Students. The USU Conference and Event Center is the central scheduling service for the USU and Soroptimist House. The ASI Business Office offers health insurance, money orders, notary public services, and banking services for student organizations. The Computer Center provides students with access to computers, while ASI Communications provides Associated Students and student organizations with the latest in graphic design, marketing and public relation services. Other services on this level include Elektric Hair and Nail Salon, the Union Weekly Newspaper, the Center for Scholarship Information, and the University Police substation.
The third floor houses the A.S. Government offices and offers students the opportunity to participate in campus governance activities. The Leadership Resource Center provides students with valuable leadership resources to enhance their college experience. The Robert C. Maxson Student Organization Center houses dozens of student organizations. The Greek Council Office and Office of Equity and Diversity are located on this floor. In addition, the USU Board of Trustees, the governing board of the USU, is housed on this floor.
Throughout the USU, there are many facilities available to students, student organizations and other groups for scheduling events. The Long Beach Ballrooms, meeting rooms, and the Beach Auditorium all provide a variety of amenities for meetings, conferences, speakers, films, concerts, luncheons, and banquets.