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Glasgow University Union
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Glasgow University Union

Glasgow University Union (GUU) is one of the students 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 or 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 gentlemans 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 5 world debating championships. 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.

In 1977 there was a referendum to merge the two Glasgow unions, GUU and QMU, but this was defeated by an overwhelming majority. 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, admitting women to membership only in 1980, and then only under threat of having its funding removed by the university court.

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