Learn more about the inner workings of your Student Union – from its past to its present.

barn for siteThe Student Union’s roots stretch back to 1935 when the current UPEI campus was still occupied by St. Dunstan’s University. The building we currently know as the Chaplaincy Centre was built as the very first Student Centre. By 1970, students at the recently renamed University of Prince Edward Island had outgrown their cozy little building. Yearning for more space to increase our offered services, the University gave the old cow barn (located beside the current CARI complex) to the SU as a temporary Student Centre. It quickly became known simply as “The Barn.”

The Barn was home to the Panther Lounge and hosted many “Pig n’ Whistles.” It was also home to a student cafeteria, a games room where Pacman took over in popularity, a bookstore, and UPEI’s first daycare.

Twenty years later in 1990, the Student Union decided they had finally outgrown their temporary location and began the planning of a new student centre. In 1997, the current site of the National Research Centre was proposed by the University and accepted by the SU as the new location. Building plans and budgets were rolling right along for a very, very different student centre along the back of campus until 1999.

In this year, UPEI approved fundraising for the new Student Centre and wondered why in the world we were willing to be stuck at the back of campus when we should be front and centre? Under President McLauchlan’s leadership, University amenities such as: Student Services (now Student Affairs), the bookstore, the Co-op Program, the Health Centre and the International Office were included in the Student Centre planning and the SU was offered the old Alumni Gym site on which our building currently sits.

Eager to do their part, the province of PEI generously contributed $1 million to the almost $2 million raised by students, faculty, staff and alumni of UPEI.

By 2002, the W.A. Murphy Student Centre was ready to open its doors to all of UPEI and continues to do so today.

Contact: General Manager, gm@upeisu.ca or (902) 566-0530

Phone: 902.566.0530
Fax: 902.566.0530
W. A. Murphy Student Centre
550 University Avenue