"It Starts With Us," October 20–22 at the University of Florida!

The University of Florida is home to the J. Wayne Reitz Union, host site of the ACUI Region III Conference, a newly renovated facility boasting 350,000+ square feet of space, including 126,000 square feet of new space and 90,000 square feet of renovated space. 

The Conference Planning Team has been hard at work developing a schedule that “Starts With Us” to maximize your potential, with educational sessions that not only explore the role of the college union but also encompass the Association’s core competencies.


Friday, October 20
  • 11 a.m. — Conference Registration Opens
  • Noon — Campus Tours
  • Noon — Reitz Union Extended Tours Begin (run every hour)
  • Noon — Preconference Tours Begin (Campus and Facilities)
  • 2–4 p.m. — Senior Professional Experience
  • 2 p.m. — Career Center Opens
  • 3 p.m. — Hotel Checkin Begins at Holiday Inn-University Center
  • 4:30–5 p.m. — Newcomers Welcome and Student Welcome
  • 5 p.m. — Career Center Closes
  • 5:15–6 p.m. — Conference Opening Ceremony and Welcome
  • 6–7 p.m. — Networking Reception
  • 7–9 p.m. — Opening Dinner
  • 9 p.m. — Gatornights
  • 9 p.m. — Visit Gainesville

    *Shuttle Running Between Reitz Union, Downtown Stop, and Conference Hotel*
Saturday, October 21
  • 8 a.m. — Conference Registration Opens
  • 8 a.m. — Career Center Opens
  • 8 a.m. — Mentor/Mentee Coffee
  • 9–9:45 a.m. — Educational Session Block 1
  • 10–10:45 a.m. — Educational Session Block 2
  • 10–10:45 a.m. — Union Director Meeting
  • 11 a.m.–Noon —  Keynote: Justin Jones
  • Noon–1 p.m. — Lunch
  • 1–1:45 p.m. — Educational Session Block3
  • 2–2:45 p.m. — Educational Session Block4
  • 3–4 p.m. — Advancing Campus Community Keynote: Food Pantry
  • 4–5 p.m. — Ice Cream Social
  • 4–5 p.m. — Showcase vendors
  • 4–5 p.m. — Steal this Idea
  • 4–5 p.m. — I-LEAD® Reunion
  • 7–8:30 p.m. — Night of the Stars Awards Dinner
  • 7–8:30 p.m. — Wish Makers Live Auction
  • 8:30–10:30 p.m. — Arts & Crafts
  • 8:30–10:30 p.m. — Bowling & Pool
Sunday, October 22
  • 8–8:45 a.m. — Q&A: University of Florida and Reitz Union Staff
  • 8–8:45 a.m. — Q&A: Volunteering with the Region
  • 8–8:45 a.m. — Student Senate
  • 9–10 a.m. — Senior Professional Session
  • 9–9:45 a.m. — Educational Session Block 5
  • 10–10:30 a.m. — Flash Sessions
  • 10:45 am - 12:30 p.m. — Closing Brunch Program (Sunday with Dr. David Parott and 2018 Conference Reveal)


(through September 7)
(September 8–28)
(September 29–October 8)
Professional Member$220$245$295
Graduate or Undergraduate Student Member$200$200$200
Professional Nonmember$280$305$355
Graduate or Undergraduate Student Nonmember$260$260$260




Justin Jones

In 2015, Justin Jones was voted as a “HOT ACT” by Campus Activities Magazine, and in 2008, he was named one of Ebony Magazine’s “30 Young Leaders Under 30 On the Rise.” He is the author of two books—the most recent focusing on values-based success—an award-winning entrepreneur, and a professional speaker. 

While in college, Jones was a fraternity leader, president of three campus organizations, and served on the SGA Executive Board. He has earned his MBA focused on leadership and organizational learning and is passionate about combining high-energy, humor, and practical content in all of his presentations to help students reach their goals, achieve better results, and become better leaders.

Justin Jones
Dr. David Parrott

Dr. Dave Parrott is the vice president for student affairs at the University of Florida. He joined the Gator Nation from Texas A&M, where he served as executive associate vice president and chief of staff for student affairs in addition to teaching in the Department of Educational Administration. Prior to his arrival at Texas A&M, Parrott was the associate dean of students and later the assistant vice president for student affairs at Western Michigan University.

He has a doctorate in educational psychology with an emphasis in student affairs administration from the University of Louisville. Additionally, he holds a master's degree in college student personnel and a bachelor's degree in business management from Western Kentucky University. Parrott is married to Dr. Kelli Peck Parrott, and they have two sons, Jackson (11) and Jason (9).

Dave Parrott

Conference Experiences

The Conference Planning Team is excited to announce an enhanced conference experience to meet the needs of students and professionals at all levels of their career. Check out some of the great opportunities this conference will feature.

State Pride Challenge

Region III is encouraging friendly competition this conference through the State Pride Challenge, because who doesn’t love a little competition with their conference experience?

The State Pride Challenge is an opportunity for institutions to score points for their home state.

Earning Points
Points are earned based on their involvement in conference activities.

  • Volunteering (can we do a link to the volunteer subpage here?)
  • Silent and live auction donations
  • Participation
  • Registration
  • Presentations
  • And more!

New attendees and students receive double points toward their state when they register. Participants traveling long distances will receive more points as well.

Things to Bring

  • Money for penny wars
  • Canned food or toiletry items to donate to the UF Field and Fork Pantry (there is a Publix grocery store walking distance from the hotel)
  • Auction items

Winners Receive

  • Bragging rights
  • Website recognition
  • Conference swag
Career Center and Networking Lounge

For the first time at a Region III Conference, there will be a Career Center and Networking Lounge. This space will be dedicated for job postings, networking chats, resume and interview tips, and will offer professional headshots for conference delegates!

Senior Professional Experience
Senior-level professionals can engage in a preconference session, share a meal with Keynote Speaker Justin Jones, and have dedicated time to network with each other. Make sure to add the Senior Professional Experience when you register. 

  • Preconference Session: Friday, October 20, 2 p.m.
    Roundtable with ACUI President-Elect Mike Coleman: What Can ACUI Do for You?
  • Luncheon: Saturday, October 21, Noon
    Lunch with Keynote Speaker Justin Jones
  • Sunday, October 22, 9 a.m.
    Campus Activism with Brandon Bowden, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Florida State University
Student Region III Information Session

Conferences can be overwhelming for first-time student attendees. Register your students who are attending to participate in one of the two webinars, where members of the Conference Planning Team will break down what to expect from the Region III Conference. Dates to be announced later.

Community Service Keynote Speaker and Food Drive

This year’s community service project will feature a keynote speaker from Field and Fork Campus Food Program at the University of Florida to talk about students who experience food insecurity and ways to help. They will be collecting items for the pantry so either bring your non-perishables with you or shop at the Publix that is conveniently located next to the conference hotel.

I-LEAD® Reunion

Many students and staff in the region have participated in ACUI’s premier student program, I-LEAD®. We have dedicated time at the conference for past attendees to network and share experiences.

To promote financial and environmental sustainability, we are encouraging individuals and institutions to share a ride to Gainesville, Florida. Go here to post available seats in your vehicle or find a ride.
Mentor Program

Students will be paired with professional mentors at the conference. Mentors and mentees can sign up during the online registration process. Contact information for mentors and mentees will be sent out prior to the conference.

Exciting Performances
The University of Florida student dance groups will be kicking off the conference with performances to showcase each individual style of dance.
Steal this Idea
This ACUI tradition annually seeks the year's best marketing and promotional ideas throughout the region and presents them at the conference. This is an excellent opportunity to show off both the talent of our region's staff and student graphic designers, as well as share ideas for other campuses to "steal" (respectfully, of course).

Awards are given at the regional conference to both student and staff designers with the strongest pieces in each category. Winners will be announced during the conference at Sunday’s brunch.  If you have questions, please contact Amy Stehman (astehman@gsu.edu).

Entry details and more may be found on the entry form.
Volunteer at Conference

From helping at the registration table to critiquing resumes at the Career Center to being a live auction monitor, there are a number of opportunities to volunteer at this year’s conference.

Region III uses signup.com to organize our available conference volunteer spots. Here's how it works in three easy steps:

  1. Go to signup.com/go/BqGkcaq.
  2. Review the options listed, and choose the spot(s) you like.
  3. Sign up! No need to register an account.

Lodging and Local Area


Accommodations will be available at the Holiday Inn Gainesville—University Center. Find a roommate here.

Online Booking
You can book online using this link. On the booking screen, enter arrival and departure dates. Then under "More Options," ensure the group code is listed (ACU). 

You may call the hotel directly and book via telephone at 352.376.1661. Ask for the booking code "ACU."


Want to carpool? Post seats in your car or find a ride here. Additionally, you may find directions from the Gainesville Regional Airport to the conference hotel here

Visit Gainesville and Local Attractions 

The conference hotel is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and boutiques and sits in the heart of Gainesville. Local attractions include Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park, and the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail. Find out more about what Gainesville has to offer at visitgainesville.com. Region III extends a special thank you to visitgainesville.com for their support.