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May 20, 2024

SEC Student Union Directors Meet at UH


The University of Houston Student Centers were excited to host staff from several Southeastern Conference (SEC) universities for a visit to campus May 19 – 21, 2024. The staff members in attendance mainly work in student centers and student unions, and get together annually to discuss best practices, relevant regional updates and have strategic conversations about addressing current & future issues in the field. Schools represented this year were: University of Arkansas, University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University, University of Missouri, University of South Carolina, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Texas and Texas A&M University.

“It was an honor to host colleagues from so many other schools and showcase all the wonderful things about the University of Houston,” said Eve Esch, executive director of UH Student Centers. The visitors stayed at the Hilton hotel on campus and met in the Student Center South. They also had the opportunity to enjoy some of Houston’s wonderful cuisine.

“The University of Houston staff were such great hosts to showcase their campus and city. We are so thankful for their time and support as we work collectively to identify ways to improve student success on our own campuses,” said Dwayne Isaacs, senior director of the Reitz Union at the University of Florida.

April 26, 2024

University of Houston Celebrates Earth Week


The University of Houston hosted several campus events to celebrate Earth Week (April 22 - 26). Several departments, including the Student Centers, came together to make this week a success. A new university goal is to improve awareness of sustainability and educate the community on efforts to use our resources more responsibly.  

Earth Week events included a plate waste audit, a lunch and learn, an e-waste drive, plus several others. Student, faculty, and staff participation was highly encouraged.

“I recognize sustainability in almost every part of our daily lives, and I am hoping our Earth Week Events reflected that,” said sustainability coordinator Beatrix Madersbacher Edie. “We partnered with student organizations and multiple staff partners to create events that students feel a connection to (Student Center, UH Dining, Center for Student Empowerment, UH Horticulture Society). Our office goal was to inform students of the university's efforts and invite them to participate with thoughts on what they find important and what we can potentially look at.”

During the plate waste audit, 204.9 pounds of food waste was collected in Cougar Woods Dining Commons over a 3-hour period. Zero Waste Houston, UH Dining Services’ compost provider, will turn the waste into 67 pounds of compost which will stop 530 pounds of CO2 from entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The e-waste drive called for old electronics and wires to be recycled. Two pallets of e-waste was collected.

The Sustainability Lunch and Learn on Monday, April 22, was the last of a semester-long program conducted by Eve Esch, the Student Centers executive director. These lunch and learns bring farmers, educators, and activists to the Multipurpose Room of the Student Center South for a presentation around their respective sustainability initiatives. For Earth Week, Esch invited a UH Downtown alumni to discuss the importance of microgreens.

“I enjoyed learning about the nutritional benefits of microgreens and the hydroponic systems they use for growing their greens,” said Bridget Portier, associate director of the Student Centers. “They grow all of the greens indoors in a controlled environment where they can use minimal water.  They also sell microgreen growing kits, which I am considering purchasing to grow my own microgreens in my kitchen.”

In addition to the Earth Week events, the University of Houston has an official Office of Sustainability and a Campus Sustainability Committee that works year-round. For more information on the Office of Sustainability, please contact Beatrix Madersbacher Eide at For more information on the Campus Sustainability Committee, please contact Eve Esch at

March 28, 2024

UH Student Recognized at Annual Conference 


Sarah Khan of Kolkata, India, a junior journalism major and marketing minor at University of Houston has been awarded the 2024 C. Richard Scott Memorial Scholarship by the ACUI Awards Committee.

"I’m so grateful to the Student Centers and the Center for Student Involvement for providing me such amazing opportunities to learn and grow in this field,” Kahn said. “From my first UH award at Campus Leaders Awards Ceremony to my first National award it’s been a long journey and none of it would have been possible without their love and support."

The C. Richard Scott Memorial Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students that take on leadership and involvement duties on their campus. Recipients will be able to participate in an ACUI-sponsored educational activity to network with mentors and peers, learn more about the profession, and take part in leadership and community development activities.

In addition to her studies at University of Houston, Khan serves as the director of the Council for Cultural Affairs and chair of the Student Center Policy Board.

After graduation from the University of Houston, Khan hopes to pursue a career in Student Affairs or her master’s degree in higher education.

For more information on this award and ACUI, contact Eve Esch, Executive Director of the Student Centers, at

February 7, 2024

I Heart My Student Centers


On February 7, the Student Centers welcomed over 290 students to the Ballroom for the annual I Heart My Student Centers celebration! Students enjoyed several Valentine's Day themed activities like make-your-own Valentine's Day cards designed by Creation Station, and personalized, heart-shaped keychains from the vendor Art and Fun. The Center for Student Media provided a DJ and there was dancing throughout the afternoon. Staff members came together with smiles on their faces to volunteer and provide a fun atmosphere for the event. 

For more information on Student Centers events, please contact Erin Woods, Assistant Director of Marketing, at

September 29, 2023

Sustainability Lunch and Learn


The Student Centers hosted their first Lunch and Learn of the semester on Thursday, September 28 in the Student Center South Multipurpose Room. The featured guest was Jessica Haney with the Cougar Cupboard, and a farm-to-table lunch from The Dish Society was provided.

The Cougar Cupboard, in partnership with the Houston Food Bank, addresses the food needs of students and works to combat food insecurity by providing a service that acts like a grocery store. Enrolled students can receive up to 30 pounds of groceries every week. Good nutrition is an important key to academic success and the University of Houston wants students to be successful.

“I’m really glad there’s more awareness around food insecurity” said Jessica Haney, program manager of the Cougar Cupboard. “Having this program at the university helps students get their education and improve their financial station. There aren’t a lot of requirements or qualifications to join this program and that’s important to us because that can reduce access. Our only requirement is to be a current UH student and then enroll into the Cougar Cupboard program.”

Food distributions are every Friday this fall semester from 10:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. at the Student Center South Circle Drive, by appointment only. A new, larger space in the Lofts is anticipated to open in the spring and their hope is to provide daily services.

If you would like to donate to the Cougar Cupboard, please text "Cupboard" to 71-777. For more information, email and visit the Center for Student Advocacy and Community website at

The next Student Center Sustainability Lunch and Learn will be at noon on October 24 in the Multipurpose Room.

November 18, 2022

Exhibition of Sustainable Visual Arts


The Student Centers partnered with the UH Environmental Cougar Organization (ECO) to present a temporary exhibition of Visual Arts that reflects environmental consciousness, using repurposed materials. The exhibition was displayed in the UH Student Centers Legacy Lounge from November 11 – 18, 2022. ECO aims to preserve and promote recycling practices among the campus community, and the exhibition provided students the opportunity to showcase art work created from recycled materials.

UH Student Chloe Levy piece: “Climate Activist Dies After Setting Himself On Fire: An Interactive Zine.” Levy’s won first place with a cash prize of $1500. Second place was tie for the following pieces: “An Embedded Evil” by Ameera Faizal and “A Brown Earth” by Xochitl Haney. Finally, “Dream of Winter” by Emily Reijonen received third place.

Johanna Verghese, an HR Management & Marketing Student and President & founder of ECO, are leading the initiative demonstrating that Sustainability can take many forms.

March 3, 2022

Bottle Drive Competition


The UH Energy Institute and the Student Centers have paired up to work with Environmental Cougar Organization (ECO) to host a recycling competition. The bottle drive collection point will be to recycle your plastic bottles and cast your vote in any of the affiliated bottle recycling bins located in the Student Center South, next to Shasta’s Ice Cream Shop. Competition began February 14th and will continue through April 14th. Student Organizations compete for cash prizes up to $400 as they support our institution’s sustainability goals.

Dr. Krishnamoorti, University of Houston’s Chief Energy Officer, is supporting the new initiative. “UH Energy is delighted to partner with ARCA Continental, Coca Cola, and Environmental Cougar Organization for the plastic bottle recycling competition. This initiative shows that our students are future leaders in the circular economy. We hope that the competition will not only drive additional recycling efforts, but also prompt people to make environmentally aware consumer choices.”

Students, like Johanna Verghese, an HR Management & Marketing Student and President of Environmental Cougar Organization (ECO), are excited about the Bottle Drive Competition. “I’m a huge environmentalist, I started Environmental Cougar Organization last semester because I noticed a gap where I wanted education for environmentalism, so I just went ahead and started ECO. I could never imagine such a wide impact from this initiative for so many organization on campus. It is great to see so many of them wanting to participate in this recycling competition, which speaks volumes for our future.”

UH Energy Institute is supporting the program and ArcaContinental Coca Cola is sponsoring the prizes. Initiatives like the Bottle Drive Competition are a clear example of the University of Houston’s commitment to sustainability led by students.

Februrary 2, 2022

I ❤️ My Student Centers


I Heart My Student Center will take place on Tuesday, February 10th from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. in the Student Centers Plaza, with the Ballroom serving as the rain location. Students can show their love for the Student Center at an interactive photo booth, hear good music, enjoy free desserts, giveaways and more. Various departments and offices housed within the Student Centers will be promoting their resources for students, too. Be sure to bring a friend and join us at this year’s I Heart My Student Centers event!

January 28, 2022

CoogARCADE Grand Opening


Please join us as we celebrate the Grand Opening of the Student Centers CoogARCADE on Tuesday, February 1st from 3-5pm! CoogARCADE will be the latest addition to our Games Room and we are excited to show off our new equipment: 4 Nintendo Switches, 4 PS4’s, and tons of games. Use of the space is free to UH students, who can bring their own controllers or there is a small fee to rent a controller from us.

Students, like Fawzi Jasser, a Digital Media Student and President of Coog Gaming & Esports, are excited about the new edition. “I think CoogARCADE is a step in the right direction on campus. It allows students to create more of a gaming community at the student centers which is something we haven’t had in the past. I don’t think is the end of what we are doing, and it will expand even more.”

Student Success, Innovation & Fun are part of the Student Centers’ mission, vision & values, and this new addition will provide our students the opportunities in all three areas. CoogARCADE will be a place students can develop skills while creating community and will support the development of a new generation of student gamers who will guide initiatives and expand opportunities for our Student Centers and the University of Houston.