Cal State San Bernardino will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, March 17, to celebrate the official grand opening of the Santos Manuel Student Union North, the three-story, 120,000-square-foot, $90 million expansion of the Santos Manuel Student Union.

The celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the SMSU North.

The SMSU North includes a multi-purpose ballroom, which is twice the size of the existing SMSU Conference Center formerly known as the Events Center, an eight-lane bowling alley and game room, a pub, food service and retail space, collaborative spaces for student organizations and support centers, and the Coyote Bookstore.

The overall SMSU, which consists of three buildings – SMSU North, SMSU South and SMSU East – is one of the largest building complexes in the 23-campus California State University system named for an indigenous leader, Santos Manuel (Paakuma’ Tawinat), Kiika’ of the Serrano Indians, Yuhaaviatam Clan, who in 1866 led his people to safety following a 32-day campaign of genocide against Native Americans in San Bernardino County. The namesake of the San Manuel Indian Reservation, he is recognized as a community builder who worked to secure lasting peace while defending the sovereignty of his Tribe during a tumultuous period of California’s history.

The SMSU is a 501(c)3 and is funded by student fees.

To start the program, there will be an aboriginal land acknowledgement and traditional songs shared by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians followed by a welcome from CSUSB student Julia Ruiz, who serves on the Santos Manuel Student Union Board of Directors.

Ruiz will then introduce CSUSB President Tomás Morales, who will also give welcoming remarks. The president will then introduce San Manuel Chairman Ken Ramirez, who will also speak. Ramirez is a great-great grandson of Santos Manuel.

Other speakers include Daisy Ramos, CSUSB Associated Students Inc. president; Douglas Freer, vice president of administration and finance; Paz Olivérez, vice president for student affairs; and closing remarks from Ruiz. The unveiling of Coyote statues and the ribbon-cutting to the SMSU North will conclude the ceremony, which will be followed by food, live music, tours of the building, games, free bowling and other activities for attendees.

For more information, call (909) 537-5940 and visit the Santos Manuel Student Union North webpage.