Hull University Union

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Hull University Union
InstitutionUniversity of Hull
LocationKingston upon Hull, England
PresidentOsaro Otobo[1]
WebsiteHull University Union website
Hull University Union

Hull University Union (HUU) is the students' union for the University of Hull in Kingston upon Hull, England. It is run as a completely separate entity to the university itself. There is a Union Executive Committee (UEC) chaired by the President, which consists of six full-time sabbatical officers, and the Chief Executive as an advisor to the Sabbatical Officers.

Union Council is the major scrutinizing body of Hull University Union, meeting every 3 weeks to scrutinize the decisions of the UEC.

HUU has a presence on both the Hull and Scarborough campuses.

On Tuesday 24 May 2016, Hull University Union announced its intention to disaffiliate from the National Union of Students following a referendum where 811 students voted to leave against 476 to stay.[2]

Structure of the Union Executive Committee[edit]

HUU is a registered charity and the supervisory body is the Charities Commission.

Some changes have already come into effect, for example, the trustee structure has already changed. There are now four student trustees, four external trustees and all six sabbatical officers are also trustees.

The Union Executive Committee structure changed as of 29 June 2010. There will be 6 full-time sabbatical officers. The new UEC is (* denotes trustee of Hull University Union)

The new Media & Volunteering position is a merger of the sabbatical duties of the HUSSO Chair and the VP (Media & Communications). The VP (Media & Communications) was the editor of Hullfire, but because the workload of the new role is greater, the editor has now become a student role. Societies were the responsibility of VP (Finance & Democracy), (now restored to the title of Union Secretary & Treasurer) but that has now become part of the remit of VP (Media & Volunteering).

Chair ISA was a position that already existed, but it was a student voluntary role. As of 07/08 it will still be a student position, but it will also be on the Union Executive Committee. It will be the same with Chair Campaigns. The Chair HUSSO became a part-time role, still with a place on the UEC.

Because of the nature of the cross campus elections for the Executive posts, it is in theory possible for any member of the Union to stand for any post, and thus in the past this was capable of creating the anomaly that the VP-S&L (Cross Campus election) could have been held by a separate person from the post of President of the Athletic Union (Internal AU election) and the VP-SCA could have been separate from Chair HUSSO. While changes to the constitution/standing orders have removed the possibility of this happening for Chair-HUSSO, it is still theoretically possible to have the posts of Vice President Scarborough held by a student who is neither a resident of the town, or undertaking a course at the campus. This happened in the elections of 2010 and 2011 when Matthew Jason Brown who graduated from Scarborough two years before, but was undertaking a course on the Hull campus was elected to the post and then reelected the subsequent year.

Over recent years (especially the last 10 years) there has been frequent changes in the roles and titles of a number of the Sabbatical officers, and an increase in their number from 5 to 8, until the recent reduction down to 6, which is still a high number in comparison to other Student Unions.


Like any student union, there are regulations governing the way it runs. The biggest recent issue regarding these was the change of the union's constitution so it complies with the Charities Act - a bill which expected to have royal assent either this year or the next. The new constitution came into force on 1 August 2007.[3] Alongside the constitution, there are also Bye-Laws, Standing Orders and Policies & Procedures. The Bye-Laws and Standing Orders are also going through a period of change.

For the likes of Standing Orders and other regulations, they must first pass through the Union Executive Committee (a regular meeting of all sabbatical officers) and then be discussed and/or ratified by Union Council. In the case of the constitution, it has to also go through University Senate and finally University Council.


HUU provides a variety of events for all groups of people. One of the biggest events is the End of Year Ball. HUU also puts on a special event for all students who graduate in mid-July after graduation ceremonies.[citation needed] HUU also holds other regular events such as AU night, Tower on Wednesdays, and Brassick student night on Saturdays.[citation needed]


HUU is one of the few student unions in the country to have its own nightclub, Asylum, and is the Union's £3.6 million purpose built centre of entertainment. It holds events and tours that are also open to the public, and opens three nights a week during semester for NUS card holders and over 18s.[citation needed] When space in Asylum is exceeded, the adjoining John McCarthy Bar is used if available. Asylum was voted the best student venue by HullVibe.[4] It also won the 2008 Best Bar None awards, winning three gold awards as well as Safest Venue.[citation needed]


The union has three bars: the 'John McCarthy Bar', named after the journalist and Beirut Hostage; 'Sanctuary', which includes an outdoor decked area, the Keith Martin Terrace, and BBQ facilities; and 'Armstrong's', within Asylum, in memory of student Anne Armstrong.[citation needed] The Sanctuary Bar holds a Thursday night Karaoke.[5]

History - before the make over in the early 2000s

The Rez / Reznikov bar used to be the main union bar on the second floor. Before Asylum, the alternative was what can only be described as a school hall with a bar in what would now best be described as the bar in the back room of asylum.


There is a Waterstones Bookshop on the first floor of the University Union building. It stocks all the essential and required reading for courses running at the University as well as an extensive selection of more general books. As well as offering exclusive reading packs for some courses it also offers a year-round student discount. Any books not in stock can usually be obtained within a couple of days. They also buy and sell secondhand textbooks. There is also a click & collect service available at

In April 2010 a group of Hull students created a Facebook group in appreciation of the Keith Martin Terrace. Users of the terrace have also formed a social club.[citation needed]

The Athletic Union (A.U.)[edit]

The Athletic Union is a large part of HUU, which has roughly 50 sports clubs to which students can add by creating their own. It has its own executive committee, the president of which is also a sabbatical officer in the Union as the VP Sports & Leisure, and several of the teams compete in the National BUCS (formally BUSA) leagues. HUU is one of the few unions in the country to provide the sport - it is common for universities to offer it instead. There are recently created 3G football pitches, astroturf (known as Fort Inglemire) for hockey, two large sports halls, six squash courts which have been renovated in 2013 as it hosts an international tournament later in 2013 and a state of the art Sports Science facility. There is also a gym which has received heavy investment over the years and can cater for all students' needs.

Scarborough campus[edit]

Hull University also had a campus in Scarborough until 2017, which was part of Hull University Union. The Union building was on the ground floor of the Scarborough Campus.

HUUSC was run by an executive team, chaired by the VP Scarborough Campus, who was part of the HUU Union Executive Committee (UEC). This "exec", as it was known, was made up of five part-time volunteer student officers who were elected in week 5 of semester 2, alongside sabbatical officers. The roles were Scarborough Education Officer, Scarborough Sports Officer, Scarborough Welfare Officer, Scarborough Community Officer and Scarborough Campaigns Officer.

Each officer was responsible for a particular area of the Students' Union in Scarborough, and worked alongside their sabbatical colleagues from the Hull Campus to ensure that Scarborough Campus students had access to the same facilities, services and opportunities as their Hull based counterparts.

BassMent! Radio, Scarborough Campus's radio station, was a joint venture operated by HUUSC and Hull University's Creatitive Music Technology Department, housed across the road from the campus in the "Filey Road Studios" building.

The student magazine, Scarborough Tide, was run by students and edited by the Scarborough Tide Editor. Responsibility for the Scarborough Tide lays ultimately on the shoulders of VP Scarborough as Editor in Chief.

Volunteering in HUU[edit]

There are many areas that students of Hull University can get involved in. Each area has its own Sabbatical officer or part-time UEO. The responsibilities of the officers of these areas and student opportunities are mentioned below.

Academic Representation[edit]

The current set of responsibilities that the VP Education has are mainly the recruiting and guidance of:

  • Student Reps (of which there are over 450)
  • The Postgraduate Society
  • The Mature Students Committee.
  • Part-time Student Committee

This sabbatical officer also attends a large number of university committees so that the student voice can be heard. One of those committees is University Senate (one of the top committees in the University), of which, as well the VPE, the Union President, the VP ScaRBOROUGH AND VP Welfare and 6 elected Faculty Student Representatives and the Chair of the ISA attend to represent the Students to the top staff members of the University.

Recent developments in this area include activities related to PDP, IT, the National Student Survey, improving representation on the Scarborough campus, mature students and eLearning.

In the past, this position was known as "VP Education and Representation" and "VP Education & Welfare". The Welfare responsibilities eventually separated from this role to become VP Welfare Support Services and later on, VP Welfare & Equality.


The sabbatical officer in charge of this area is responsible for:

  • hullfire Radio - The union-run student radio station broadcasts over the internet on (introduced in 2006–2007). It is a standing committee in the union and mixes mainstream shows with a large selection of specialist shows.
  • The Hullfire - In the past, The Hullfire has been in both magazine and newspaper form and is currently in the latter. Until 2007–2008 the VP Media & Communications was the Editor-In-Chief, however, due to increased responsibilities of the VP M&V, the editorial role has been taken over by an elected student volunteer along with a team of student sub-editors. The newspaper can now boast a circulation of 2000 per month and is generally considered to have improved year-on-year, most notably in 2012/13 after a major overhaul which was focused towards a higher quality of article and a more rounded presentation.

In the past VP Media & Volunteering has been known as VP Media & Communications, VP Marketing & Communications and VP Services.


The sabbatical officer in charge of this area is responsible for the Advice Centre, Job shop, LINKS (An operational unit of St John Ambulance), LGBT+ Committee, the Women's Officer, BAME Officer and Students with Disabilities officer.

VP Welfare also attends meetings of 'The Scheme' exec. The Scheme is a student accommodation setup in Hull to regulate landlords. However, the Union has recently noted that it will withdraw from 'The Scheme.'[6]

This set of responsibilities used to be part of the role 'VP Education & Welfare' - a position seen in many student unions. However, due to the size of the remit, it split into two sabbatical positions several years ago (the other being VP Education).


Hull University Social Services Organisation/Student Community Action, often shortened to HUSSO, was formerly a registered charity in its own right. However, HUSSO is now a part of the HUU charity in the Community zone. It allows students to participate in a variety of activities which benefit the wider community (kids, older people, people with disabilities). Currently, there are over 200 volunteers involved in HUSSO. The Chair of HUSSO was formerly a part-time member of the Union Executive Committee but now is part of the Community Zone.

Community volunteering[edit]

CV is a referral service for students wishing to volunteer for external community projects (unlike HUSSO where the projects are student-led). There is a wide range of projects available and CV will offer support and advice to all volunteers using its services throughout their volunteering. CV is based in the Union on both Hull and Scarborough campuses.


In March 2011 the union was re-audited by the Student Union Evaluation Initiative after receiving a silver in 2008. In June 2011 it was announced that HUU had become the third student union to be awarded a Gold award in the UK, joining Sheffield and Leeds. Shortly after this Bath were also awarded Gold.

In May 2012 the Union was shortlisted for NUS HE innovative student engagement award at the NUS HE awards held in Nottingham and received the award for its work in using innovative techniques to engage traditionally hard to reach groups, techniques based upon monitoring of online memberships and online ticket purchases.

In July 2012 the Union was shortlisted for two NUS awards, the Community Relations Award and the Higher Education Student Union of the Year Award for the community work, academic wins such as the refurbishment of the library and the successful campaigns for changes to the Access Agreement and the contniuation of lifelong learning. The Union received both awards at the awards night on 4 July at Exeter university.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hull University Union". Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Hull University Union becomes latest to disaffiliate from National Union of Students". The Independent. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Constitution of the Hull University Union". Archived from the original on 13 September 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
  4. ^ "Asylum Nightclub in Hull - Hullvibe". 17 February 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Hull University Union Karaoke". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2 August 2007.
  6. ^ "An important announcement for the attention of all students". Retrieved 2 August 2007.

External links[edit]