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New CUAB President Faces Union Renovation Challenges

Construction on the new Frank Porter Graham Student Union is just one of the issues Young will deal with in the coming months as president of the Carolina Union Activities Board.

Since being named president-elect in February by the Carolina Union Board of Directors, Young said she has been eagerly awaiting the creation of her new Cabinet and the chance to continue working on programs, such as art exhibits and performances, for the Union.

"I've been trying to recruit so that we have a diverse Cabinet," said Young, whose term begins officially next month. "In general, I'd like to increase communication between student organizations and employees of the Union, and I'm trying to get student groups to work together more."

She said the film, theater, art and speakers that CUAB orchestrates have a large impact. "(The Union) is really the only place to sit down and relax, and since we also have the Underground and movies and all the other programs, this is definitely something important to students," Young said. "It's in effect a home away from home."

But renovating that home could get messy, Young said, adding that construction could be as many as 90 days behind schedule. "We were supposed to be in the new temporary space by next fall, but it's looking like midsemester at the earliest."

The transition is just one of the efforts Young will coordinate. She said she is excited about next year's challenges and plans to begin preparations in earnest as soon as she chooses her Cabinet. "I've started brainstorming with (Union Director) Don Luse," she said.

CUAB applications are due today and are available at the Union Desk.

February's dancing and roller skating party in the Great Hall was one of many programs Young has spearheaded.

Fellow CUAB and CUBD member Bharath Parthasarathy said he was impressed by Young's ability to almost singlehandedly see the roller-skating party completion, especially in light of unusual difficulties. "She stuck with that roller-skating program through all the levels of bureaucracy, through all the lawyers and safety concerns of the University," Parthasarathy said. "I give her mad props for that."

Parthasarathy said he agrees with Young that construction will be a hurdle, but he remains optimistic.

"I think the positives completely outweigh the negatives," he said. "We're working to make sure that the transition from the old Union to the new Union is flawless."

Although Young ran unopposed for CUAB President, Parthasarathy said the board endorsed her without reservation. "I think it's everyone's opinion that she is supremely qualified for the job."

Carolina Union Program Advisor Tony Patterson agrees. "She has a fresh, more creative perspective on the job," he said.

"I think Kristi's going to be great."

The University Editor can be reached at

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