Aberdeen University Students' Association

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Aberdeen University Students' Association
AUSA logo.jpg
Motto Make a Difference, Get Involved
Institution University of Aberdeen
Location Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
Established 1889 (as SRC)
President Emily Beever
Members 16,000
Affiliations National Union of Students, British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS)
Website www.ausa.org.uk

Aberdeen University Students' Association (often referred to as AUSA) is the students' association of the University of Aberdeen, an ancient university in the city of Aberdeen in north east Scotland. It organises recreational activities; provides welfare and employment services for students; promotes equality and diversity of students; advancement of education; and provide facilities and support for student societies.[1]


AUSA has 16,000 members.[2] AUSA organises its services over a number of sites alongside the co-ordination of fifty-eight sports clubs or ninety nine teams run by the AUSA Sports Union and one hundred and twenty affiliated student societies run by the AUSA Societies Union. It also runs events such as Freshers' Week, the Graduation ball, the annual Sports Blues Ball, Superteams, the largest university sports event in Scotland and the annual Torcher Parade, the largest student torch-lit parade in Europe. This parade is just one part of the annual Aberdeen Students' Charities Campaign. This campaign itself grew out of the Student Show, an annual theatrical and musical enterprise that began in Aberdeen in 1921 with the aim of raising money for charitable causes.

Structure and history[edit]

Representation is carried on, in common with the other ancient universities in Scotland, by a Students' Representative Council (SRC). While this remains the official name of the body created by the Universities (Scotland) Act 1889, the Students' Association has opted to generally use the term Students' Association Council to describe it.

This follows significant structural changes to the Students' Association which began in the late 1990s. Previously, within AUSA there were four bodies with distinct identities and management: the SRC (based at Luthuli House, located next to King's College, and supporting activities including educational support, welfare, political campaigning, and societies); the Students' Union (in the form of a prize-winning social venue at Broad Street in the city centre, including two bars, two night clubs, games facilities, shops, and offices); the Athletics Association (based at the Butchart Recreation Centre, Old Aberdeen); and Debater (the debating society, based with the SRC in Luthuli House).[3]

The Aberdeen Students' Charities Campaign – which also included the Robert Gordon University, Northern College (subsequently merged into Aberdeen University), and Aberdeen College – was also based in the SRC building at Luthuli House. Periodically the National Union of Students Scotland North of Scotland Area ("NUSNOS") office was also housed at the SRC building.

Current structure[edit]

To replace the former independent bodies, newly formed committees and structures with new names were created. The bodies all form part of the Students' Association Council.


The AUSA is primarily based at the Butchart Centre, the former sports centre and now a more general student space located in the Old Aberdeen "campus" area near King's College (and around the corner from the old SRC venue of Luthuli House). The AUSA Sports Union and the President for Sport, formerly based at Butchart, are now based in the Aberdeen Sports Village.

Due to financial pressures, AUSA's chief students' union building (located on Broad Street near Marischal College in the city centre) was forced to close in early 2004.[4][5] The Union Bar, a far smaller, single bar without nightclub facilities, was subsequently opened in nearby Littlejohn Street. This bar was itself forced to close due to financial pressures in November 2008 leaving the University without any Union nightlife facility.

In 2011, The Watering Hole, the bar in the Hillhead residences, was turned into the new Union Bar. Throughout the year, efforts were made to look for a new venue for the Union Bar, but to no avail.[citation needed]


The University's student newspaper, the Gaudie, is affiliated with the AUSA. Published fortnightly during the academic terms, it is recognised as one of the oldest student newspapers in Scotland.[6]

The SRC introduced one of the first ever student association websites in 1994.

Aberdeen Student Radio is also affiliated with AUSA. The internet-based broadcaster is Aberdeen's first student radio station in ten years.[7] Previously, short-term Restricted Service Licenses had been granted to the University's first student radio station, Slick FM, in the mid-1990s; this had enabled broadcasts to be made to the whole city over FM radio, but only for a few weeks each year.

Executive Committee[edit]

The executive positions within AUSA are one-year sabbatical positions for which any student may stand. An annual election takes place in April or May for the following year's committee. There are also a number of non-sabbatical positions, which are again students elected on a yearly basis, by a series of election campaigns. Questions are raised each year, about the environmental effect of the number of posters distributed around the campus.

Sabbatical Team 2014/15[edit]

AUSA has 7 sabbatical officer positions:[8]

  • Student President: Emily Beever
  • President for Education and Employability and Libraries: Rob Henthorn
  • President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities: Genna Clarke
  • President for Societies and Student Activities: Veronika Hoffman
  • President for Sport: Mark McCorkell
  • President for Charities and Community: Jenny Waters
  • President for Environment and Ethics: Dominic O'Hagan

Other Executive Committee Officers[edit]

  • VP for Education: Liam Fuller
  • VP for Employability: Jonathan Kerr
  • VP for Societies: Ernest Hoddo
  • VP for Charities: Vacant
  • VP for Environment and Ethics: Eva Nohe
  • VP for Equal Opportunities: Rory McFarlane
  • VP for Sport: Emma Lister
  • Foresterhill Convener: Vlad Costin Iliescu


  1. ^ Aberdeen University Students' Association. "Aberdeen University Students' Association Constitution (February 2012)" (PDF). Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Aberdeen University Students' Association". National Union of Students. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "History of AUSA". Aberdeen University Students' Association. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Students call time for Student Union". University of Aberdeen. 18 March 2004. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "It's last orders at Aberdeen". Times Higher Education (London). 26 March 2004. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Curtis, Polly (2003-05-16). "MPs debate future of Scotland's oldest student paper". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  7. ^ Media Releases - University of Aberdeen
  8. ^ "Representation: Your Sabbatical Officers". Aberdeen University Students' Association. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 

External links[edit]