Every year the four student bodies of Glasgow University (SRC, GUU, QMU, GUSA) gather in Bute Hall in the main building for the Freshers’ Address, and this was no different. The day started off with a lot of friendly chanting (and not-so-friendly chanting) between the four bodies, and the freshers appeared to be terrified by how energetic the students were. The address included speeches from SRC VP Scott Kirby, our Rector Aamer Anwar, our chaplain Reverend Stuart D MacQuarrie, and the presidents of the four student bodies. Here is Mata’s, president of QMU, speech:
Hello everyone! My name is Mata and as Scott has so kindly explained, I am the president of Queen Margaret Union, one of the two student unions here at the University of Glasgow. You are all lucky enough to attend one of the best universities, not only in the UK, but in the world, and hopefully you’ll all leave here in a few years with an incredible degree. You’ve just heard about what the SRC can do for you, as well as the GUU, and you can probably guess that I’m here to tell you a little bit about the QMU and why you should get involved.
The unions – both us and the GUU – are essentially your social hubs on campus, but that’s not all we do; yes, you can come relax after lectures, or take a quick break before your next seminar. You can meet up with your pals for pints, or chill in the café solo with a steamy mug. We have bars, food outlets and a café for you to use, but we’re also here to make your university experience even better for you, starting with this very Freshers Week.
Starting our week off tonight with our Beach Party featuring the Mac Twins, and continuing on tomorrow with Honeyblood, throughout the week we’ve also got Masseoke, an ‘80s party (where dressing up is strongly encouraged) and finally our paint party. And that’s not even getting into what’s on during the day! We’ve got something for everyone, so check out what’s on every day and pop on down!
At the Queen Margaret Union, we pride ourselves on the fact that everything we do is for students, by students. If you come up with an event that we should be doing, or if you think of a way to improve something we already do, then you can make it happen. The easiest way to get involved with the union is to join one of our five committees that take place Monday to Thursday.
On Mondays, we have our Campaigns and Charities Committee – you will see some our Helpers during the week with glowsticks, face paint and glitter, doing their best to fundraise for our Freshers Week charity. Our C+C Committee do this all year round. From afternoon teas and bake sales, to bungee jumping and marathon running, we do everything in order to raise as much money as we can for worthy causes, and that’s not even mentioning our annual Red Ribbon Ball – a huge event in aid of Terrence Higgins Trust. If you have a cause that’s close to your heart and would like to fundraise for them, let us know and get involved!
On Tuesdays, we have our Tech Team meetings, and our Events Committee. Together, they are responsible for all our big events. From film festivals to gigs, we’ve done it all. If you want organise events the entire student body can enjoy, then Events Committee where it’s at. If taking a behind-the-scenes approach is more your speed, then Tech Team is perfect for you. No experience is necessary, as we’ll teach you everything you need to know – from simple lighting and sound, to running an entire club night or gig. Our former tech team members have gone on to some amazing things – from working at the Edinburgh Fringe to even starting their own club nights!
On Wednesdays, we have our Publications Committee, where you can write articles and reviews for our award winning magazine, qmunicate. In the past, we have interviewed the likes of Nicola Sturgeon, Kristian Nairn (otherwise known as Hodor), and even Al Pacino, and reviewed everything from Shakespeare to Studio Ghibli. Even if writing isn’t your passion, we’re always looking for photographers, graphic designers and anyone who’s interested in being a part of our magazine.
On Thursday, our Social Committee takes place, and they are responsible for our regular weekly events. Our karaoke nights, our quizzes, and our slam poetry nights are all run by them, as well as many, many other events. If hosting quizzes or karaoke interests you, or you’d really like your favourite film series screened in Qudos, then Social is the place for you.
If you want to get even more involved, then you can run to be a member of our Board of Management. The Board are the group of students who are in charge of absolutely everything that the QMU does, from what’s on the menu in Scran to funding campaigns like our free sanitary product service – it’s a fantastic way to meet some amazing people, as well as helping make uni even better for everyone here.
Previous board members have done all sorts, from getting chicken bites as a permanent item on our menu, to establishing the first gender neutral toilets on campus. You can meet some of our board members and find out more about the positions available on Tuesday 2pm in our Café. You can also find out more information about all our committees during our QMU Fayre on Wednesday!
To join committees, or to run for board, all you need to do is become a member. Membership is completely free, and once you sign up, you’ll be a member until you graduate! Membership also comes with a whole bunch of perks, like cheaper entry into events, and food and drink discounts – it only takes a couple of minutes to sign up and it’s definitely worth it.
This year, we celebrated 50 years in our building at 22 University Gardens – that’s 50 years of quizzes, karaoke and gigs. 50 years of fundraising and campaigning for great causes. 50 years of offering students just like you some amazing opportunities to not only enhance your CV and your skills, but to lead you to places you never dreamed you go and people you never dreamed you meet. I never thought that signing up to be a member in my first year would lead me down the road I’ve led, and I don’t regret a single second of it.
I honestly hope every single one of you has a fantastic week, as well as a fantastic time here in Glasgow – whether you’re here for a semester, a year, or four. Feel free to say hi if you see me at all around campus, and please remember that the exec office door is always open for you. Thank you.