Dundee University Students' Association

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Dundee University Students' Association
Institution University of Dundee
Location Airlie Place, Dundee, Scotland, UK
Established 1903
President Indre Urbanaviciute
Members c. 17,000
Affiliations Coalition of Higher Education Students in Scotland, National Postgraduate Committee, British University Sports Association
Website www.dusa.co.uk

Dundee University Students' Association (DUSA) is the students' association, legal representative and students' union for matriculated students of the University of Dundee. It is known locally as 'The Union'.

Membership of the body is automatic for all students of the University, although it is possible under statutes to renounce this membership at any time. The Dundee University Students' Association, as with its neighbours in the other ancient-organised universities in Scotland, is co-existent with the University's Students' Representative Council.

Facilities[edit]

The DUSA building is located in Airlie Place, in the centre of the University's Main Campus and caters as a private members' club offering bar, nightclub and refectory services for many students, particularly undergraduates. It is also responsible for the operation of a number of small shops throughout the university's campuses. In 2004, it underwent major refurbishment work. This included adding a new nightclub, and redesigning the interiors of the bars and recreational spaces. The building also contains the University's main swimming pool. DUSA also provides a number of other typical students' union services such as advocacy on behalf of its membership and assistance to individual students.

The largest of the buildings four bars is located on level three, and is known as The Liar. It takes its name from the novel of the same name written by former Rector Stephen Fry.

The building also contains a grocery shop of the Premier franchise, of which all profits are given to DUSA.

History of the Association[edit]

Ellenbank, former home of the Students' Association

The Students' Association was founded during the University of Dundee's period as a college of the University of St Andrews. The Dundee Students' Union, as it was known, was largely autonomous of the bodies set up at United College.

The Union gained its first accommodation by the renting of the Ellenbank building in 1905 with £4,000 raised from the University College Bazaar - a fairly regular event of official speakers, entertainments, live music, comedy and stalls - held in October 1903. The building itself was constructed as a villa in 1813 and had been acquired by the University College in more recent years.

Ellenbank was separated by levels, providing separate rooms for the male and female students - with the ladies entering up a flight of stairs to the rear and the gentlemen having sole use of the "handsome" entrance hall. Despite the segregation, this was probably the first Students' Union in the United Kingdom to admit both men and women to the same association and also to allow them use of the same building. Ellenbank later underwent extensive renovation in the 1920s, and was connected to the neighbouring (and similar) Union Mount building, which housed the College library. By 1969, it was decided that new and larger premises were necessary and a new building, named New Dines, was completed in 1974. New Dines was demolished in 1986 and the new Central Library and Students' Union building were constructed on the site thereafter. The Ellenbank building is now used by the university's School of Accountancy.

Student Media[edit]

Publications[edit]

The present publication issued by the Association is known as The Magdalen. From its beginnings in 2006, the magazine has undergone several transformations. Content is more politically focussed with issues addressing both domestic and international development. A free publication, the magazine is circulated within the DUSA building and associated buildings on the campus, as well as further afield in local cafes, pubs and shops.

The present Students' Association building (top centre) and the university's Airlie Place

There is a long history of student publications at Dundee - before 2006, The Magdalen was known as The Student Times and criticised for being bland and inoffensive.[1] This bucked the tradition of very political publications such as Annasach (Gaelic: Unusual, Unconventional) which was edited for a time by controversial ex-MI5 agent David Shayler, who was responsible for printing extracts from Peter Wright's Spycatcher - a book banned in the UK at the time.

Lord George Robertson was also a columnist for the newspaper in its early days.[2] Another former Labour MP, Brian Wilson, was also involved as an early Editor of Annasach. It was his experience as Editor that helped him found the West Highland Free Press in 1972.

Annasach survived from the University's independence in 1967 until 1994.[3] Prior to this, College was the publication in general circulation at Queen's College Dundee, which went on to become the university.

In 2006, The Student Times became The Magdalen.

As the 2006/07 term neared an end, a long term plan was drafted and The Magdalen received the financial backing required to regularly publish 8 issues throughout the student year.

The Magdalen's position is both an entertainment magazine and a tool for on-campus political commentary. A Memorandum of Understanding between DUSA and The Magdalen was established, ensuring the magazine would be supported financially, and that the Editor would be elected by the students, alongside the annual DUSA Executive elections.

DUSA Radio[edit]

DUSA Radio is Dundee's only student radio station. Funded and facilitated by DUSA, it provides entertainment to students and non-students alike. It is run by, and for, the students of Dundee and aims to help students get their first foot on the media industry ladder. In 2013/14, it was incorporated into DUSA Media.

DUSA TV[edit]

DUSA TV was formed in late 2009 and regularly produces content by students, for students, which are then published on DUSA TV's YouTube channel and the DUSA Media website. Content includes a weekly news programme, The Soc Adventures focusing on societies and sports clubs as well as sketches and longer pieces of fiction. In 2015 DUSA TV was named 'Best Broadcaster' at NaSTA. The current manager of DUSA TV is Jenny Thomas.

DUSA Media Website[edit]

In 2012 DUSA appointed its first Online Media Manager, Harrison Kelly, to coincide with the launch of a DUSA Media website. This website hosts articles from The Magdalen and others written specifically for online, as well as hosting DUSA TV's videos and a DUSA Radio live feed. The current manager is John Paterson.

Officers[edit]

There are five sabbatical officers of the Students' Association, and two non-sabbatical officers who form the Students' Association Executive. At present, the 2016/17 officers, who took up their positions on 1 July 2016 are:

  • President: Indrė Urbanavičiūtė
  • Deputy President: Kevin Burns
  • Vice President of Communications and Campaigns: Andrew Stewart
  • Vice President of Student Activities: Miriam Balfour
  • Vice President of Representation: Liam Graham
  • Vice President of Engagement: Vlad Ghita
  • Vice President of Student Welfare: Thara Packiahrajah
  • Vice President of Fundraising: Ana Ranceva

The DUSA Executive along with six external trustees form DUSA's Board of Trustees which meets on a regular basis along with DUSA's senior managers and the Executive Support Officer Anne Marie Bottoms.

Affiliations[edit]

DUSA is affiliated to the Coalition of Higher Education Students in Scotland (CHESS) and the National Postgraduate Committee. Unlike most students unions in the United Kingdom, DUSA is not affiliated to the National Union of Students. This stance was confirmed in a referendum held on the 1 and 2 April 2010 in which 1795 students voted against and 467 voted for NUS affiliation.

The Union has a collective purchasing and co-ordination agreement with a number of other students bodies through the Northern Services group [1].

The Sports Union is affiliated to British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). Unlike in many universities, the Sports Union is a separate body from the main Students' Union, instead it is officially part of the University's structure. DUSA and the Sports Union collaborate on many projects, and the Sports Union Executive officers used to be based in the main DUSA building. They are now based in the University's Institute of Sport and Exercise. The current Sports Union President is Dominic Marshall.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • www.dusa.co.uk - Official website of the Dundee University Students' Association.