Frequently Asked Questions

The University Student Union (USU) is the epicenter of campus resources and services. As of fall 2021, Long Beach State University (LBSU) has the second-highest enrollment in the whole CSU system. And yet, the USU has not been significantly renovated or expanded since 1998! The needs of the student population have grown beyond the current union facility capacity. This is not the kind of students-first model that we strive to offer. The Future U project is ongoing, and we continue to consult students and evaluate the need for more meeting and study space, increased and enhanced food options, attention to accessibility demands and a more sustainable facility model. The USU is an inclusive gather space where all students can feel welcome, build community and find the resources they need to thrive. The Future U project will provide a better facility and increased program offerings to enhance this experience for all students.

Have you seen the lines at the food court? Have you tried to find a space to plug in your laptop and work? Have you tried looking for an available restroom? For a decade, LBSU students have needed more space, more options, and more accessibility in their union. Our primary concern is students’ on-campus experience, and right now we are not able to provide the level of service that we strive to offer because our facility is in desperate need of repairs, renovation and expansion. The Future U project will address many of these issues, concerns and more. 

Alternative consultation is an alternative to the referendum process to ensure appropriate and meaningful consultation from the campus community, particularly students, when adjusting a Category II mandatory fee, like the USU fee. Alternative consultation strategies are dependent on input from the student body association and the Student Fee Advisory Committee to ensure the process is transparent, and meaningful. 

The alternative consultation process is designed to 1) engage large portions of the student body; 2) educate students on the issues and components of the USU project; and 3) gather information that will shape the improvements to the USU. 

For additional information, read Executive Order 1102 and the CSU Fee Policy on Referendums and Alternative Consultation Processes.

We recognize there is a need to improve the union facility. We have done the studies, read the research, talked with students and the broader campus community, and we heard the concerns and the demands. Now, we want to know more! Alternative consultation means that we are committed to talking with as many students and stakeholders as possible. In the simplest terms, we are committed to listening to what students want, what students need, and how we can do that in the most responsible and transparent way. This is your campus, your community, and your Future U.

The USU is over 50 years old. Infrastructure and major systems are failing. Our incredible Facilities and Maintenance team have done a fantastic job of keeping the union’s aging and decaying infrastructure from becoming a noticeable part of your day-to-day campus experience. The building has only received temporary infrastructural upgrades to postpone the need for a facility improvement as long as possible. It is time that we invested in the future of this campus; it is time to create the Future U. 

The USU is funded through mandatory student fees (Category II fees) that every enrolled student contributes to maintain the existing building, provide programs and services, and pay off the mortgage/debt of the facility.  The USU fee is a part of the Student Body Center Fee which also goes to maintain and operate the Student Recreation & Wellness Center (SRWC).  Similar fees are at every CSU supporting their ASI and student facilities.  The last time the USU fee had a major increase was in 2010 when the SRWC was opened.  The fee has been incorporated with a Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase and is adjusted every 3 years. CPI is attached to most fees to ensure expenses can be covered due to inflationary increases.

The current USU fee is $220 per semester ($164 in the summer). 

The USU fee will increase by $255 with an anticipated start date in 2025.  The fee includes a mandatory inflationary increase based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) every 3 years.  The fee will support construction, renovation, programming, services and staffing.


This FAQ was updated May 19, 2023.  

This fee covers the cost of construction and operation of the USU and the SRWC. The USU is responsible for all the expenses of staffing and operating these facilities, as well as debt service, building improvements, and repairs. Staffing costs, and particularly student staff, represent a large portion of operating costs. It also funds programs, events and services within the facilities.

The increased fee will take effect 2025 


This FAQ was updated May 19, 2023. 

Yes, the USU fee is a mandatory student fee, and would factor into students’ total cost of education and impacts on estimated family contribution. Therefore, financial aid (including grants and loans) can be used to cover increases in these mandatory fees. Over 70% of students utilize financial aid at LBSU. Always defer to the financial aid office with any questions related to student fees and/or financial aid.

These are some of the major proposed program ideas which may be included in the 50,000 square feet renovation and expansion of the USU:

  • Expanded food service and seating   
  • Increased informal student lounge space   
  • Additional study space with group study rooms   
  • Student organization office and meeting space
  • Increased wellness center including nap stations and wellness programs
  • Career Center drop-in services
  • Expanded Beach Pantry and Basic Needs wing
  • Improved conference, ballroom and meeting facilities   
  • An upgraded Beach Auditorium    
  • Technological improvements   
  • An improved games center and E-sports arena
  • Infrastructure renovation including HVAC and MEP systems
  • Increased ADA access
  • Potential Cultural Resource Centers space

In terms of size, the proposed expansion and renovation will encompass the space of the current USU, plus approximately 50,000 square feet (roughly the size of the current footprint of the University Dining Plaza and the Nugget). The specific elements of the renovation will be determined based on student feedback and future demand.  

 This FAQ was updated May 19, 2023. 

The proposed program for the facility calls for approximately 50,000 renovated square feet. It will expand to the current footprint of the University Dining Plaza (UDP) & Nugget space. This information was gathered from student feedback and future demand.  This would include increased:

  • Food service  
  • Ballroom facilities  
  • Conference and meeting rooms   
  • Other retail services  
  • Theater and auditorium space  
  • Outdoor active social areas
  • Lounge space/group study

The final “design” of the facility will be decided through shared governance with student leaders and feedback from you. We will include the involvement of students and the campus community in many elements of the design process. The conceptual floor plans are an artistic rendition of what the facility could look like based on the needs students have expressed through the needs assessments over the years.

The earliest construction would begin on the project would be summer 2026 with construction estimated to last approximately two years depending on any phasing of the facility improvements. 


This FAQ was updated May 19, 2023. 

No. The USU building will close during construction. The USU is committed to reducing as much disruption as possible and will continue to offer dining, programs and services to students in alternate locations throughout campus. 


This FAQ was updated May 19, 2023. 

The USU and SRWC currently employ on average more than 350 students. This improved student union offers opportunities for additional student jobs.


This FAQ was updated on May 19, 2023. 

On average, CSU Union/Student Center fees are between $121 to $460 per semester (as of the 2022 – 2023 academic year). LBSU’s current Union/Student Center fees are $220 per semester (or $440 per year). Even though we have the second-largest enrollment in the entire CSU system (23 campuses), we are ranked 15th as far as Union/Student Center fees. That means that 14 other CSUs charge students more than we do. For total mandatory fees, we are ranked 20th. Again, that means that 19 CSUs charge more than we do, and yet we have the second-highest enrollment in the entire system. 

CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU San Marcos, CSU Bakersfield, CSU Fullerton, CSU San Bernardino, Cal Poly Pomona, Sacramento State, Stanislaus State and San Diego State. 

CSU Executive Order EO 1102 states the following about mandatory fees such as this fee (Category II):  

“The campus president shall provide to the fee advisory committee a report of all fees in Categories II, III, IV and V. New fees, fee increases, total revenue and unexpended balances should be included.

Each campus shall report annually to the chancellor, for the most recently completed fiscal year, a complete inventory of all fees in categories II, III, IV and V, including current year fee rates, the total revenue collected in the past year for each fee, and the remaining balance for each fee. The Category II fee report shall be presented to the board by the chancellor to allow the board to consider the level and range of campus mandatory fees charged to students.”

Not only is our university mandated to report out on the use of this fee, as the organization led by students for students, ASI will ensure that the increased USU fee is going towards programs and services that were deemed of importance during the alternative consultation process. 

Student body center fees can only be used for student-led organizations like the Associated Students, Inc. ASI only has legal authority over the facilities, programs and services we run and operate. Academic facilities must be funded by the State of California and the CSU.

Student input is critical in this process to shape the Future U through the alternative consultation process and beyond.  Students guide the operations and direction of the USU and SWRC through the USU Board of Trustees who are elected by the student body.  It is anticipated that this group, other stakeholder groups, and general student participation will occur throughout the programming and design process.