University Center is student-centered, student-focused, funded by students, financed by students, and managed by students. It is a place for students to get involved. Many events happen inside and outside of the building and there are many clubs and organizations for students.
Dining services, including retail dining establishments, are a major part of the building. There is also banking, a bookstore, the information desk, an entertainment complex, game room, lounge areas, meeting rooms, and a copy center.
The University Center is on the site of the demolished Ames Teacher Education Building. Parts of the Ames building were incorporated into the lower entry area, including the cornerstone from the building and its distinctive arched entry supports.