Loughborough Students' Union

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Loughborough Students' Union
LSU Logo
motto = The driving force behind the UK's best student experience
Institution Loughborough University,
Loughborough College,
RNIB College Loughborough
Location Ashby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK
Established 1975
Members 20,000
Affiliations NUS, BUCS
Website www.lsu.co.uk

Loughborough Students' Union (otherwise known as LSU) is the students' union serving members from Loughborough University, Loughborough College and the RNIB College Loughborough.

The Union is unique amongst British universities, in that its premises are owned by the students themselves.[1] The union building sits in the North-Eastern corner of the campus, and consists of two floors.

LSU employs 300 students, out of a staff of 400, and has an annual budget of around £2 million, around half of which results from the Union's commercial services. The Union is managed on a day to day basis by the Executive, with scrutiny from Union Council.


The union has somewhat unusual origins. Dr Hebert Schofield (q.v.), Principal of Loughborough College from 1915 to 1950, was closely associated with the Students’ Association, even serving as its President despite being the College Principal. He was far-seeing and accumulated land to the East of Loughborough for the College. However, when he could not persuade Leicestershire County Council to pay for the land, he used student monies. Thus, land became vested in the name of the Union of Loughborough Colleges. In the early 1970s, The Union of Loughborough Colleges was relatively asset rich, whereas it had low income. Conversely, Loughborough University of Technology Students’ Union had relatively high capitation fees and income, but few assets. Both unions wanted to develop student facilities on the campus, but there was a dispute as to how best to do this. A scheme was devised whereby the University bought most of the land from Union of Loughborough Colleges and agreed a land swap so the students would own an area of land adjacent to the Ashby Road on which a new student building was subsequently built. Both student groupings agreed to this and voted to adopt a new joint constitution. Elections were held in March and Loughborough Students’ Union was founded on 1 August 1975. Its founder President was David S Dixon, who held the position in 1975-76.

The Union of Loughborough Colleges[edit]

Established as an umbrella body to represent the students of Loughborough College of Technology, Loughborough College of Education, Loughborough Training College and Loughborough College of Art and Design, The Union of Loughborough Colleges operated from Rutland Lodge. Over the first half of the 20th century the ULC acquired land which has continued to place its successor unions in a unique position.[2]

Loughborough University of Technology Students Union[edit]

With the splitting of Loughborough College in 1965, and the College of Technology's subsequent application for University status, LUTSU was created to represent the students of the University. At the time the legislation which enabled the creation of the University was understood to require an autonomous Union. LUTSU was created with the approval of Loughborough University of Technology's Royal Charter by the Privy Council in 1966.[2]

LUTSU operated from the Edward Herbert Building (EHB) at the centre of the campus, and hosted concerts with artists such as the Rolling Stones.[2] During the first 3 years of the new institutional arrangements there were various disputes over who owned the land acquired by ULC, which the continuing ULC wanted to sell to fund their own new building. Negotiations led by the University resolved the dispute in August 1975, when LUTSU and ULC merged to form Loughborough Students' Union.

Loughborough Students' Union[edit]

Following the merger the construction of a new students' union building began, although this project was placed in jeopardy by the liquidation of the building firm employed, almost leaving the building unfinished, however the building was completed and opened by Terry Jones and Michael Palin on 20 February 1979


Student Department Committees[edit]

Loughborough Students' Union has established student run committees in all of Loughborough University's academic departments. The role of these committees is to aid academic-student liaison, enhance academic feedback, increase course involvement and to enhance the Loughborough experience within the departments.

Sections and Student Involvement[edit]

The students' union is a centre of activity during the daytime. Along with Loughborough University's numerous sports clubs the union hosts and organises many other activities, clubs and societies catering for a wide range of interests. At the beginning of each academic year the Union Bazaar is held to allow students, especially new arrivals, to talk to existing members of these clubs and societies and to provide an early opportunity to sign up.

Loughborough Students' Athletic Union[edit]

See also Loughborough Students RUFC, Loughborough Students' Men's Hockey Club.

Loughborough Students Athletic Union is steeped in history and has a tradition of sporting excellence, exhibiting a history of dominance across a number of specific sports such as rugby union. Loughborough has dominated the University sport for 30 years and having won the Men's British Universities and Colleges Sport championships for the last 26 years, and the women's competition for the last 28 years.[3]

This success is celebrated through a number of channels, not least the weekly Wednesday Hey Ewe event and Lufbra WOW (Walk On Water) which is a monthly sports publication documents Loughborough's sporting success. The Athletic Union has four full-time staff members and one sabbatical officer, the Athletic Union President for 2013-14 this is Jennie Cooper.

Loughborough Students' Action[edit]

Action is the main volunteering section of the Union and is a vital in improving the relationships with the local community. Approximately there are 2,000 active volunteers a year, undertaking a wide range of activities, such as going away to a Kids Camp for a week, assisting in special needs schools, running one day sports events for 200 children and helping conserve Outwoods, the local forest, by chopping down trees. The Chairperson, a sabbatical position, is elected in a campus wide ballot, with the VP Action 2015/16 being Rosie Harvey.


LSU runs numerous clubs and societies catering for many different tastes including hot air ballooning, Computer Society, SCOGUI (Scout and Guide club, affiliated to SSAGO) and Labour Students. In 2007, Sabrina Johnson, the first Sabbatical Officer with overall responsibility for this section, was elected.

Since then, Societies has been set up, which is the collective group of societies, similar in nature to what the AU is to Loughborough Sport.

Loughborough Students' Rag[edit]

The Rag office is responsible for organising, encouraging and supporting charity fund-raising amongst the union's members, and is the largest of such organisations in Europe, raising just over £974,000 for local and national charities in the academic year 2008/09. The Chairperson of the organisation is elected via a campus-wide ballot as part of LSU's Spring Term exec elections. He or she is tasked with co-ordinating the busy Rag calendar, which includes Rag Raids, Annual Events and Challenge Events; activities every weekend. The Chair for 2013/14 is Paul Nanson.

In June 2010 it was revealed that the total for the year's fundraising was £1,042,126, once again breaking the previous years total.[4] This prompted a question from Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan to David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions on 14 July asking:

The Big Society is a flagship policy of the Conservative Party which makes the question a 'plant' for the Prime Minister who took the opportunity presented by his backbencher to highlight the policy and its objectives; as well as congratulating the students involved:

Loughborough Students' Media[edit]

The students' union has its own purpose-built multi-media centre, opened in 1999, it is home to union's media activities which are coordinated by an annually elected sabbatical officer, this year (2013/14); Head of Media, Helen Crossley. Previously to this £1.4m development media was spread in various locations, including LCR which was for almost 30 years based in a small set of studios in the Student Village. The Media section provides a number of services for the students on the campus and gives volunteers the chance to experience media work. Since the role's creation in 2007 the Head of Media's responsibilities are aiding the station managers of LSUTV and LCR and being Editor in Chief of Label. The four production outlets are:

Loop Recording Studios

Label Magazine is the magazine of Loughborough Students' Union. Evolving from a previous newspaper format inventively titled The Newspaper, Label was launched in 1997 and is distributed around campus and town with 2,500 copies printed each issue. Previously a weekly publication, since 2007 it has been fortnightly, when the role of editor changed from a paid sabbatical officer to a student volunteering position.
The magazine launched its website in 2010 at [www.lsu.co.uk/label].

Loughborough Campus Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day during term time on its website [radio.lsu.co.uk]. One of the oldest student radio stations in the UK, LCR started as pirate radio broadcasts from a suitcase in Hazelrigg Hall of residence, during Rag Week 1970. Known as Radio Mule - a small station with a kick it had become so popular after 3 years that the students voted to turn it into a legitimate station, over a student magazine. URL (University Radio Loughborough) was born, and went live on-air in 1973, the name was changed to LCR in 1983. Initially broadcast through induction loops on the roofs of each hall of residence, it was one of the first UK student stations to move to the new free radiating low-powered AM licence in October 1999, with webcasting starting later the same academic year. In 2007 the AM transmitter was severely damaged in a fire, and LCR have continued to be a solely internet station since. At the 2010 Student Radio Awards, LCR picked up the Silver award in the Best Student Station Category. 2010/11 saw LCR have some fantastic shows, notably, The Official Start to the Weekend, BUCS Live, The Saturday Sports Show and Bedtimes with Ben and Friends. 2011/12 saw The J-3-O Show take the prestigious Best Entertainment Show award. Dick Heath's The Alternative Alternative Show (ALT2), has been broadcast since the mid 80's, making it the longest run show on UK student radio - its monthly jazz chart is published in the Jazzwise magazine. Famous voices that once used to be a regular feature on the LCR airwaves include Ore Oduba and Jules Purnell.

LSUTV was established in 2001 as an expansion of the Media Centre, broadcasting online and via SUBtv plasma screens. It works at a professional level and as an independent production company, and produces news, sport and documentaries alongside what The Independent describes as one of the best student programmes, Totty TV.[6] LSUTV has been extremely successful on a national level at the NaSTA Awards. In recent years, Ore Oduba and Sam Darcy have collected Best On-Screen Male, Loughborough Gold has scooped Best Sport and Best Title Sequence and LSUTV's coverage of the Real Varsity in 2008 picked up Best Live. In 2011, LSUTV was the host station for NaSTA. Held in the Piazza area of Loughborough Students' Union, LSUTV scooped Best Sport Programme for a second year, for Loughborough Gold and their coverage of the Dan James Memorial Match in May 2010 won Best Live Programme.

Facilities and events[edit]

Freefest 2006

There are a range of retail outlets in and around the Student Union building. The first floor incorporates the Administrative parts of the Student's Union. The ground floor of the Union building consists of three bars.

Free Fest[edit]

Free Fest is an annual free-to-attend outdoor music concert originally organised by the Union's Musicians Society (known as Musoc), which takes place all day on the May Day bank holiday weekend. Originally conceived in 1996 by the then editor of the student magazine Label, Emily Dubberley, as a simple May Day music festival with professional acts, it was enhanced in 1997 when Musoc began to use it as a showcase for student bands. It is now organised by the Technical Department's student production crew.

Competition for inclusion in Free Fest is always high, as such it has become necessary to hold Auditions and a Fringe Festival has been added to encompass more acts, this takes place during the penultimate weekend before the main Free Fest. In 2006 around 10 bands performed at Free Fest, including the only non-student act Carlton Cole (who has become something of an institution at FreeFest) and guitarist Dave Rogers. In 2006 Post Fest, an alternative music club night held in Room 1 following the bands, which was originally conceived and run by LSU Rocksoc, was taken over as an official part of the event and featured a wide variety of music from one of LSU's resident DJ's.

Past Freefest Headliners:
2000: Splitscreen
2001: Gentlemen's Relish
2002: Magenta
2003: Disinformation
2004: Love Ends Disaster!
2005: Threadbear
2006: Dual Decay
2007: Gonzo Long[7]
2008: Dead Slow[8]
2009: Apache Outlaw[9]
2010: Snakeskin!
2011: The Alice Band

From 2009 FreeFest, now a considerable venture, became a two-day event starting on the Sunday, the 2009 event was also the first FreeFest to restrict attendees to drinks purchased from the Union. However in 2011, due to a desire to save money, the event was toned down, back to being more like the original stage-on-the-back-of-a-lorry event as well as only being held on the one day.

March 2007 shooting[edit]

On 11 March 2007 a shooting incident occurred at around 2.45am following a performance by Pretty Ricky at the university. A 21-year-old student at the university, who was employed as security staff at the event, received gunshot wounds to his abdomen and was taken to hospital where his condition was not believed to be life threatening. Six others were also injured during what was described as a scuffle that broke out after CS gas was sprayed following the event.[10]

At the conclusion of the case at Leicester Crown Court in April 2008 Jermaine Carty was convicted of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and sentenced to 14 years in Prison. The court also heard that Carty was a leading member of the Johnson Crew.[11] Carty was not a student at the University.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/may/01/universityguide.highereducation71 Loughborough University | Education | Education Guardian [Accessed 26 July 2008]
  2. ^ a b c http://lufbra.net/clubs_RenderPage.asp?clubid=4844&pageid=18087 Loughborough Students' Union, President's pages, A bit of history!!, accessed 20 June 2006
  3. ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/sunday_times_university_guide/article2496178.ece Loughborough University - Times Online [Accessed 26 July 2008]
  4. ^ http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/news/Record-breaking-students-collect-163-1m-charities/article-2329840-detail/article.html Record-breaking students collect £1m for charities
  5. ^ HC Deb 14 July 2010 vol 513 c941 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100714/debtext/100714-0001.htm#10071434000010
  6. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/analysis-university-tv-stations-467819.html Analysis: University TV Stations - Media, News - The Independent [Accessed 22 July 2008]
  7. ^ http://www.lborosu.org.uk/media/index.php?section=lsutv&id=57
  8. ^ http://www.lborosu.org.uk/media/index.php?section=lsutv&id=137
  9. ^ http://www.myebook.com/ebook_viewer.php?ebookId=7088
  10. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicestershire/6438939.stm BBC NEWS | England | Leicestershire | Man shot in stomach at university [Accessed 26 July 2008]
  11. ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article3792601.ece Prison for gangster who shot student doorman in argument at concert [Accessed 26 July 2008]

External links[edit]