Your University, One Photo at a Time

Queen Margaret Union

Queen Margaret Union

The Queen Margaret Union (or the QMU, or QM as many students call it), Glasgow University’s former women-only students’ union, dates from 1890. Originally a part of the Queen Margaret College in the West End, the QMU became Glasgow University’s women’s student union in 1892 when the College merged with Glasgow University. (In case you’ve ever wondered where the name Queen Margaret Union came from, there’s your answer.)

The current building, of which the entrance is shown in the photo above, dates from the University expansion of the 1960s (and it shows), having opened in 1968 at 22 University Gardens. Before this the union had been housed in several locations, including 1 University Gardens and in the John McIntyre Building after the GUU moved in 1932.

The QMU building, at the turning point of University Gardens, contains a large event venue, Qudos, a small cafe, a general store, a bar (Jim’s Bar) and a games room, a cafeteria and a cafe, as well as study rooms and even laundry facilities.

The QMU has in the last few decades become a popular live music venue, particularly so after bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, and Garbage played at Qudos in the early 1990s. Recently bands such as Biffy Clyro, Franz Ferdinand, The Temptations and even (a part of) B*Witched, the last two just in the past year.

I’ll admit this is not the most flattering of pictures of the QMU, just as yesterday’s shot of the GUU was taken from a weird angle and didn’t show a substantial part of the union building. The obscure angles and framing are unintentional, and these buildings will very likely be featured again in the future. Even so, it’s not what the buildings look like on the outside, it’s what they offer on the inside to better a student’s social life whilst at the University.

Students at the University of Glasgow are given the option to join one of the two main student unions at the University, the QMU or the GUU, right after their Freshers’ Week. I can’t tell you which one to join, as it’s a personal choice and both unions have their pros and cons.

Freshers’ Week gives new students the opportunity to get to know what both unions have to offer, and after a week of partying one will know a.) which union has the best parties and so on, and b.) which union most of your friends belong to.

The QMU website can be found at The QMU also has a Facebook page and a forum site called QMunity.

[Poll #2: What's your connection to Glasgow University?]
Click on the photo above for a larger version.
© 2009 All Rights Reserved.

2 responses

  1. a

    is it not possible to join both? :)

    June 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    • At the moment, no.

      They tried to pass a motion in both unions about 5 years ago to make membership automatic to both unions. The QMU passed the proposition, the GUU did not, and it hasn’t been brought up since, as far as I know.

      (There is apparently a way around this. A member of the Board of Management at the QMU told me that you can join the GUU first, and then join the QMU, as the QMU does not check if you’re already a member of the other union. No comment, and you didn’t hear this from me.)

      June 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm

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