Lance Memorial Student Union
2125 State Avenue
First erected in 1957, the Lance Memorial Student Union takes its name from Josephine Lance, the first female President of the University, who served from 1944 until her death in 1954. It's been upgraded and expanded twice since its initial construction; once in 1979, and again in the summer of 2004, when the new theatre was added to the building. Today, it is the true center of Greyson's campus, a vast community and entertainment center with a great deal to offer the residents of the main campus and the students of Greyson at large. The building, though fairly prosaic on the exterior, features wide corridors, warm lighting, tasteful decor and sufficient amenities to cater to nearly every student's every need. The Student Union is fully accessible to the physically impaired, and currently stands at a full five stories above ground in the main wing, with a basement and two subbasement levels below ground. Currently, the structure houses all of the following facilities:
- Turner Dining Hall - The main student dining room is located on the second floor of the Student Union and affords a lovely view of the North Sports Center, athletic fields and open lawns to the south and east of the student center. The hall is capable of seating up to 2500 students at the same time, though the serving areas can become decidedly crowded during peak hours.
- The Rathskeller - A snack bar and café that sells assorted beverages, snacks and fast food items, the Rathskeller is located on the basement level of the Student Union, and consists of two counter service ordering and serving areas and a seating area capable of accomodating up to 300 people comfortably. Though most students only come into the Rathskeller for takeout, more than a few linger to chat with friends or meet with study groups, and the Rathskeller even hosts a few special events every month. Its monthly karaoke month - generally held on the third Sunday - is particuliarly infamous, featuring decidedly subpar secondhand equipment and (more often than not) singers who make William Shatner look like Johnny Cash.
- Fairgrounds - One of the more recent additions to the Student Union, Fairgrounds is the main student coffee shop, a smaller, more intimate venue with a faintly faux-bohemian flair, offering a variety of hot beverages, organic sodas and juices, pastries and a limited selection of sandwiches. First opened in 1997, Fairgrounds was the first dining location on campus to deal entirely in fair-trade items and to procure as many of its ingredients and supplies as possible from smaller businesses rather than large corporations. The menu is filled with the best that New England has to offer, and includes a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan items. The walls are painted in warm, dark colors, the windows are just large enough to allow those sitting beside them to gaze outside without disturbing the patrons who prefer dimmer surroundings, and student artwork is proudly displayed on the walls on a rotating basis. Fairgrounds seats up to 150 people at a time, and frequently hosts open mike nights, poetry slams, and similar events. The coffeehouse is located on the very top floor of the Student Union.
- The Main Kitchens - Operated by a large corporation that handles student dining in a variety of schools across the country, the kitchens at the Student Union - located in the second subbasement - serve nearly the entire main campus, preparing all meals for the various dining halls and catering just about every event hosted at Greyson. Only Fairgrounds is entirely free of their influence; even the Rathskeller is run by staff from the kitchens, and many of its supplies and foodstuffs are stored down there with everything else. The kitchens are a maze of stoves, microwave ovens, freezers, fridges and assorted appliances of varying obscurity, some of which have an almost sinister appearance; and most students agree that many of those who work down there - student and salaried staff alike - aren't quite right in the head. Fortunately, there have yet to be any serious incidents, only a pervasive aura of creepiness.
- The Campus Mail and Shipping Center - Located on the first floor, this area of the building contains all student mailboxes as well as a service counter staffed by failed would-be postmasters who are ready and eager to slap on some stamps and hand any packages or parcels off to paid employees of the USPS and varying shipping services who actually know how to do their jobs. Most of the workers are students, often inept students at that, and while most student mail gets to its destination, some of it has been known to get lost or damaged along the way, and there always seem to be one or two major screw-ups a year. These last range from reasonably simple yet vexing errors (or pranks) such as the mass-mailing at the end of one particular pledge season that led to every student on campus (yes, even the men) receiving notification of acceptance to Beta Alpha Rho; to the true WTF moments, such as the time one especially eager mail worker thought it would be a brilliant idea to try and jam a set of skis shipped to one particular student directly into his mailbox. Of course, no one is quite sure why the student in question was taking delivery of new skis at school to begin with, but such questions are considered largely irrelevant in the face of the Mail Center's royal screw-ups.
- The Okuda Computing Center - The Okuda Center is a spacious third-floor computer lab offering access to a large number of public terminals and network printers. In recognition of the odd hours kept by many students, and the occasional necessity of the all-nighter, the lab remains open at all hours of the day and night, with at least one member of the IT team and one security guard on watch during all shifts to keep an eye on things.
- The Gryphon Shop - A much smaller satellite of the main Shadowgard Center location, the Gryphon Shop at the main campus sells basic necessities of college life (everything from notebooks and pens to energy bars and caffeine pills to tissues and tampons) as well as the required textbooks for every class in the current semester. There are also usually a few items of Gryphon merchandise available - t-shirts in the fall and spring, sweatshirts in winter, the ubiquitious plush gryphons, etc. - but most of the novelties and souvenirs are exclusive to the main location off-campus, as are those textbooks recommended (but not required) by various professors and assorted other lower-priority items. The main campus Gryphon Shop is located on the first floor of the Student Union, and staffed primarily by work-study students, with at least one salaried manager on duty during each shift. It's generally open from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm whenever school is in session.
- The University Information Offices - These include the main campus information desk and information hotline, as well as the Office of Prospective Student relations, which sets up tours, overnight stays and classroom visits; and the Office of Alumni Relations, which organizes bulletins, helps with fundraising, and generally makes nice with Greyson's distinguished graduates. All of these operations are run jointly by university administrators and student staff members, and all are headquartered on the first floor of the Student Union.
- The Student News Offices - These basement offices are home to both the Greyson Herald and the Greyson Report - the weekly student newspaper and quarterly newsmagazine, respectively. The publications share office space and much of their staff, and both are edited and laid out on the premises, though the actual printing work is farmed out to a firm in Shadowgard - the school does not have its own printing press.
- The Royal Blue - Greyson's official yearbook is also assembled in the basement of the Student Union, compiled slowly throughout the course of nearly the entire academic year, so the offices are pretty much open whenever school is in session.
- Whispers - The university's literary magazine is published twice per year, in November and in May, and each issue features art, photographs, poetry, fiction, essays and more, all created by current students. The offices of the magazine are generally open throughout the fall and spring semesters, as the staff work diligently to assemble each term's issue.
- Large Meeting Rooms - The Student Union has three large meeting spaces set aside for various organizations and offices and sometimes (though rarely) used for classroom space. The Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Rooms, all located on the third floor, are each capable of holding up to 200 people comfortably.
- Midsized Meeting Rooms - The Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Galway and Kilkenny Rooms are each capable of accomodating up to 75 people comfortably, and used for much the same purposes as the large meeting rooms (though they're somewhat more frequently borrowed for class meetings). The Cork, Galway and Kilkenny rooms are located on the fourth floor, while the Dublin and Belfast Rooms are located on the fifth floor.
- Small Meeting Rooms - There are eight of these, each capable of holding up to 40 people comfortably: the Alcott, Emerson, Jefferson, King, Lincoln, Paine, Thoreau and Truth Rooms. Of these, the Alcott, Emerson, Thoreau and Truth Rooms are located on the fifth floor; the Jefferson, Lincoln and Paine Rooms are located on the fourth floor; and the King room is located on the second floor.
- Conference Rooms - There are also four small conference rooms in the Student Union, each designed to accomodate perhaps 10 to 20 people, all unnamed and all located on the fourth floor.
- Art Galleries - Four art galleries are housed within the Lance Memorial Student Union, each of them generally used to showcase students' artwork, but occasionally used to house traveling exhibits or pieces from the university's closed collections. The Waterhouse Gallery (the largest of these) is located on the first floor, the Rosetti Gallery is located on the second floor, and the Hughes and Leighton Galleries are located on the fifth floor.
- Storage Lockers - Located on both the first and second subbasement levels, these reasonably secure lockups are each assigned to a different university office or student organization, and only authorized representatives from the group that holds any given locker are given keys. It's not impossible to break into the storage lockers, of course; it's not even that hard, but there's rarely anything of import stored therein.
- The Argyle Theatre - Last but not least, the most recent addition to the Student Union, only just completed in the summer of 2004, is the Argyle Theatre, a 1000-seat auditorium that has been placed in its own distinct, sparkling new wing. The theatre is already renowned throughout the state for its excellent acoustics and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, and hosts every play sponsored by the Department of Dramatic and Performance Arts, as well as a number of less formal student productions. The theatre also hosts Greyson's free movie night every Saturday when there are no mainstage productions. This wing of the building also houses the Greyson University Box Office, which sells tickets to all school plays, sporting events and other events open to the public.