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Aztec Student Union was "topped off" as 200 faculty, staff and students watched. Photo by Vic Ly, A.S. Aztec Student Union was "topped off" as 200 faculty, staff and students watched. Photo by Vic Ly, A.S.

Topped Off

Students, faculty, staff and alumni joined in celebrating the latest construction milestone for the student-funded Aztec Student Union.
By Lorena Nava Ruggero

More than 200 Aztecs watched the topping off of Aztec Student Union Thursday. Topping off is a traditional construction milestone. 
Project symbolism
Decorated with an American flag and a potted pine tree, a white beam signed by A.S. Council members, Aztec Student Union staff and others was hoisted high above the mesa at 11:30 a.m. According to iron workers, pine trees are attached to the beam lifted in a topping off ceremony; it symbolizes that “life goes on” after their work is done.
“In the past few weeks, it’s been exciting to see the building become a reality as it goes vertical,” said A.S. President Rob O’ Keefe during the ceremony. “This building is a symbol of Associated Students’ commitment to the campus community and an example of shared governance in action.”
Other speakers at the event included San Diego State University President Elliot Hirshman and Jamie Frye, senior project manager for Sundt construction.
Student-financed facility
Approved by students in 2010, Aztec Student Union is fully financed by student fees and uses no state funding. Built in conjunction with the SDSU Department of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction, the new student center will be maintained and managed by Associated Students of SDSU.
“Our campus has a tradition of building in challenging times,” Hirshman said. “In 1931, at the height of the Great Depression, the cornerstone for Hepner Hall was laid. Despite the challenges that California faces, our students are again moving us forward.”
Hirshman and O’ Keefe both praised students’ vision for the SDSU campus and for the facility itself. Not only will the new union be able to better serve future students, but it will be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum-certified student union in the California State University system. Platinum is the highest level of certification for sustainable building construction offered by the U.S. Green Building Council.
To stay up to date on Aztec Student Union, visit the website“like” the project on Facebook or follow it on Twitter.
About Associated Students
Associated Students of SDSU is an independent, student-directed, non-profit corporation that is one of the largest student governance organizations in the CSU system. As an affiliate of SDSU, the programs and facilities A.S. manages are enjoyed by students, faculty, staff and the San Diego community. 

Topped Off
Aztec Student Union topping off ceremony - Oct. 18, 2012