UNLV students have always needed a place to study, organize student events, and house Student Life's administrative offices. So in the 1960s, students got together and, for a $27-per-semester fee decided to fund their own union. Named after UNLV's second president, Donald C. Moyer, the Moyer Student Union (MSU) opened in 1968.
Students walking across the quad in front of the 1970s Union
Through the Years
The MSU played host to celebrities, including Carrot Top and Margaret Cho, world-renowned artists such as Denny Dent, and national dignitaries such as Ralph Nader and Barack Obama. At times, the building was a center of political controversy — the year the union opened, students hung Gov. Paul Laxalt in effigy when he announced a budget that didn't accommodate the growth of the fledgling university. In 1983, Las Vegas' first gay-pride celebration kicked off at the MSU.
UNLV had 5,000 students to fill the more than 77,000-square-foot building when it was first built. That's too small to accommodate UNLV's current student population of nearly 28,000. In fact, if all of our current students were squeezed into the old union, there would be less than 3 square feet for each person to move.
Making it Happen
Original plans called for a renovation and expansion of the Moyer Student Union. Upon further research, we discovered it would be much more effective to build a new building than to renovate the old facility. So, we tore down the building and worked from the ground up, and on July 23, 2007, the new student union opened its doors, meeting the needs of the UNLV community.
This facility is made available by the $173/semester fee paid by students. This fee allows for fun and recreation within the union, as well as the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.