Edinburgh University Students’ Association

Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) is the students’ union at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. The Association’s aim is the advancement of education of Edinburgh students by representing and supporting them, and by promoting their interests, health and welfare within the community.[5] It is led by a team of five elected student sabbatical officers.

Edinburgh University Students’ Association
Institution University of Edinburgh
Location The Potterrow, Bristo Square, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Established 1884 – Students’ Representative Council

1889 – Edinburgh University Union
1905 – Edinburgh University Women’s Union

1931 – King’s Buildings Union

President Ellen MacRae
CEO Stephen Hubbard
Vice presidents
Activities & Services
Rachel Irwin
Amanda Scully
Fizzy Abou Jawad
Niamh McCrossan

(2020/21)[1][needs update]

Members around 41,300 [2][needs update]
Affiliations National Union of Students[3]

National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts[3]
Right to Education Campaign/Friends of Birzeit University[3]
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland[3]
Votes at 16[3]

As of 2019[update]

Income £12.7m (2018/19)[4][needs update]
Website www.eusa.ed.ac.uk

Due to the evolution of student unionism at Edinburgh, student sports are not part of the main university union, and are overseen by a separate organisation, Edinburgh University Sports Union (EUSU), which has its own representative and organisational structure. EUSU works closely with the University’s Centre for Sport and Exercise.

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An Edinburgh students’ representative council (SRC) was founded in 1884 by student Robert Fitzroy Bell, bringing together students from the University’s clubs & societies.[6] Shortly afterwards, the SRC voted to establish a union (the Edinburgh University Union (EUU)), to provide social space and recreational facilities for students. The SRC established a campaign of public fundraising, with prominent figures in the city and the general public donating £5,000, and a fancy fair held at the Waverly Market raised £10,000. The Town Council and Senatus Academicus donated £100 and £500 respectively to the cause.[7][8][9] This £15,600 (£2,000,000 in 2019 money) was used to hire an architect, Sydney Mitchell, and begin construction of the Union building adjacent to the Medical School and the Reid Concert Hall. Teviot Row House was officially opened on 19 October 1889, and is the oldest purpose-built student union in the world. EUU was constituted as an autonomous organisation, and did not admit women until 1971.

The Edinburgh University Women’s Union was founded in October 1905, later moving to premises at 16 Chambers Street and renaming itself to the Chambers Street Union in 1964. The King’s Buildings Union was established in 1931 in huts formerly used by the Geology department, before moving into a custom building in 1939.[10]

On 1 July 1973 the SRC, the EUU and the Chambers Street Union merged to form Edinburgh University Students’ Association.[11] Due to reference in the Universities (Scotland) Act 1889, the SRC could not be dissolved at the time of merger. Through the SRC, EUSA is the oldest students’ union in the UK.[12] In 1994 the University forced the merger of the King’s Buildings Union and EUSA, although the members of KB Union voted against the proposed merger.[13]

Due to the University merging with other organisations, since 1994, EUSA has merged with the Moray House Institute of Education Union and the Edinburgh College of Art Union.

In 1976 EUSA disaffiliated from the National Union of Students (NUS),[14] a decision that was reversed in 2004.[15] In 2005 EUSA formally twinned with Birzeit University Student Council, West Bank, with each union hosting delegations from the other.[16][17][18]

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