Traditional conceptions• student organisation found in most universities and colleges• often has it’s own building situated on campus• Many students unions are run by students, independent of the educational facility• The purpose of these organisations is to represent students both within the institution and externally, including on local and national issues• They are also responsible for providing a variety of services to students
Traditional conceptions• Students can get involved in the union by becoming active in a committee, by attending councils and general meetings, or by becoming an elected office• Student unions are a breeding ground for aspiring politicians• On a committee, most seats are decided by an electoral vote that takes places annually on campus• Campaigns are often very vigorous and unsporting given that for the most part, there is a lack of accountability for those involved within the election
The UK• The oldest students union in Britain is St Andrews founded in 1864• Students associations is a popular term in Scotland, as historically there were separate mens and womens unions focused on societies and entertainment with representation to the university (since merged)
Union life in the UK• A ‘home’ for students• Union buildings are usually full of bustling bars, a club, libraries, cafeterias, pool halls• A great place for meeting people, time in between classes,
Glasgow University• One of the oldest universities in the world• Has 2 unions (The GUU and QMU)• Originally the male and female unions (both founded in 1890)• Women allowed into GUU in 1980
GUU• The GUU is the biggest union of the two• Famous for its affiliation with the University sports clubs• The Hive• Long tradition of debates within the Debates Chamber too• Freshers Week• Daft Friday
Committee■President■Honorary Secretary■Assistant Honorary Secretary■Convenor of Debates■Convenor of Games■Convenor of Libraries■Convenor of Entertainments
Queen Margaret Union (QMU)• The early 1990s saw the QMU become an established live music venue.• Notably Nirvana, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole and Garbage all played on the Unions main stage.• This continued with bands such as Coldplay, Biffy Clyro and Franz Ferdinand playing on the same stage in the 00s.
• QMU Committees Events: The Events Committee assist the planning and running of all QM-run events that take place in the Unions venue Qudos.• Social: The Social Committee are concerned with the planning and execution of the (almost-daily) events that take place every day in Jims Bar - one of the Unions three bars - from pub quizzes and acoustic nights to comedy and new theatre drawn from the students of the University of Glasgow.• Publications: The Publications Committee are responsible for all Union publications, namely the production and distribution of “qmunicate” magazine, the Unions in-house news and views magazine.• Campaigns & Charities: The C&C Committee oversee all Union fundraising and campaigns. Fundraising for local charities and campaigning for wider causes has been an integral part of the Queen Margaret Union for many years. Committee meetings can be attended by any member of the Union.
• Year in year out each union finds themselves in financial difficulties• Both are non-profit organisations• University help to bail out the unions• In the recession though the future is more bleak