Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Glasgow University Union
Glasgow University Union (GUU) is one of the student unions operating at the University of Glasgow. Unlike the other Scottish universities, Glasgow does not operate with a Students Association, and consequently has various bodies that co-ordinate different aspects of student life at the university. The GUU is unlike many other 'student unions' as it plays no representative role for students at the university (this role belonging to the Glasgow University Students' Representative Council (SRC)). Rather, the GUU plays a role in organising the social affairs for its members (also unlike most other universities, students have to opt-in to membership of one of the other unions, the other being the Queen Margaret Union (QMU) or choose not to be a member of either).
The GUU was formed as a gentleman's club for students at the university in 1885. It was not until 1890 that they managed to raise sufficient funds to build a residence for their activities. The union's formation was driven by a number of active bodies at the university, such as the debating society, medical society and athletic club.
The GUU is well known as being strong for the number of university debaters it has produced, and its Debates Society has won the World Universities Debating Championships five times. It is also well known for the number of high profile political figures who have been members. Both Donald Dewar and Charles Kennedy have been union presidents in the past, and figures such as John Smith, Menzies Campbell and Derry Irvine were active there too.
An interesting aspect of the GUU's history is that it was in fact the last student union in the world to have a policy of allowing only men to become members. In 1977 there was a referendum to mix the two Glasgow University unions, GUU and QMU (the former women's union) but this was defeated by a large majority. A mixing campaign got seriously under way in 1979, at one point the all-male "Beer Bar" was occupied by a large mixed group of students, then a general meeting of QMU voted overwhelmingly to admit men into membership, which subverted the whole structure of separate unions. Eventually in 1980 GUU decided to admit women into membership, under threat by the university court of losing the lease on the extension to its building.
By reputation the GUU is regarded as the "right wing" student union at Glasgow, while the QMU is the "left" or "progressive" union.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details