State of the Union (Print 1957 GLASGOW UNIVERSITY)
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A TRAM trundles past Glasgow University Union in this image from 1957. Founded in 1885, the GUU was established by students who wished to promote interaction between different groups on campus. It had been documented that the union was the scene of Scotland’s last ever duel in 1899, as two students drew their swords in an argument about who should become the university rector.
Unfortunately for those who enjoyed the folklore, it came to light in 2004 that there was no official record of the duel and it was likely to have been the work of an over-imaginative student. In 1931 the union moved to the building seen here, No 32 University Avenue, while the women of the Queen Margaret Union took over their former home. The two unions were kept separate after the GUU originally only permitted men to join, and the women of the university decided to establish their own. The GUU resisted allowing women members, even following a referendum of members on the issue after the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975. By the time it voted to admit female members in 1980, the GUU was the last student union in the UK to have single-sex membership. The building had a £13 million extension added in 2014, giving today’s GUU members a gym, cafe and nightclub: although there is no longer a tram link to get them there.
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