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University College London Union

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Title: University College London Union  
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Subject: University College London, History of University College London, Pi (magazine), The Cheese Grater, UCL Law Society
Collection: Students' Unions in London, University College London
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

University College London Union

University College London Union
Institution University College London
Location Gordon Street, London
Established 1893
Affiliations Aldwych Group, National Union of Students
The Union's building on Gordon Street

University College London Union (UCLU), founded in 1893, has a credible claim to be England's oldest students' union. It was formed with the following objectives: "the promotion of social intercourse and of the means of recreation, physical and mental, of the students of University College, and the financial successes of students' clubs". UCL Union was the first of its kind as it was formed for both athletics clubs and social activities alike.

Since its formation, the Union has taken on responsibility for many aspects of student life. Events for example were seen as a key element hence the establishment of an Ents Committee. A student magazine known as the Gazette was formed a few years later and the Somers Town sports venue was also acquired.

UCL Union is affiliated to the National Union of Students.


  • Organisation 1
    • Charity Status 1.1
    • Clubs and societies 1.2
  • Events 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


UCL Union runs over 200 clubs and societies for its members. It runs commercial services including 3 bars, 4 cafés, two shops and a fitness centre. UCL students, through the Union have nine weeks free access to put on student shows and events in the UCL-owned professionally run Bloomsbury Theatre.

The Union's sports clubs have access to several different venues including Astor College Gym, Bloomsbury Fitness, the Somers Town Sports Centre and the 100-acre (0.40 km2) Shenley Sports grounds, which Watford Football Club rent for training purposes. Arsenal F. C. rented it as training grounds until 1998. In 1999 they opened the purpose built Arsenal Training Centre on a neighbouring 143 acres. On the other side is the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre.[1]

UCLU provides support to students through Jobshop and the Rights & Advice Centre, and has a highly active Volunteering Services Unit, providing volunteering opportunities for over 1400 students a year.

As well as the magazine "Pi", the Union's media output includes the radio station Rare FM, the "alternative" magazine The Cheese Grater and a number of smaller publications.

UCLU president's medallion

Charity Status

Operation of the Union lies mainly with elected full-time officers called sabbatical officers and appointed staff. The UCL Union is a registered charity in UK law, a status which requires it to have a trustee board. The board is composed of the elected UCLU sabbatical officers (6), six elected student trustees, and five appointed external trustees. Trustees are charged with responsibility for controlling the charity's work, management and administration on behalf of its members.

Clubs and societies

UCL has numerous clubs and societies which include, sports, film, drama, martial arts, politics and degree-subjects.

The UCLU Debating Society, founded in 1828, is the third oldest student debating society in the UK after the Oxford and Cambridge Unions.

UCL Union Conservative Society, founded in 1908, is the oldest student Conservative association in England, if not the whole UK.[2]

UCL Union Jewish Society is among the most active Jewish student groups in the UK, representing what constitutes the largest proportion of Jewish students on any campus in the UK. UCL Union Christian Union is one of the largest in the city, whilst the UCL Union Islamic Society is amongst the largest in the country.

Each year UCLU Music Society stages an opera, despite its lack of a music department. UCOpera receives considerable national press coverage.


In 2007, UCL Union increased the amount of events they hosted in external venues by creating their "VODPOP" brand @ Turnmills and later followed by "Club Neon" @ Heaven. Both have now moved Venue with Vodpop successfully relaunching itself at Pacha after a brief stint at Scala, and Club Neon currently poised to move to an exciting new Venue after a one off fling at the Arches. The Union also makes extensive use of external clubs for one off events such as the Winter Ball, and has to date held events in Egg, Scala, Ministry of Sound, Heaven, Turnmills, Koko and Pacha among others.


  1. ^
  2. ^

External links

  • UCL Union web site
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