Want to know exactly what is happening in Freshers’ Week? Check out the official Freshers’ Week Events Calendar!
Students at Glasgow are spoilt for choice during Freshers’ Week due to the University’s unique position of having not one, but four student-led unions; all of which are extremely active in providing services to students, albeit in different ways.
There is the Students’ Representative Council (SRC), concerned with student welfare, volunteering and representing students to the University. The Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) oversees the sports clubs and recreation activities. Then there are the Queen Margaret Union (QMU) and the Glasgow University Union (GUU), two entertainment / social unions with unique heritages who offer their own take on a similar range of services to students, such as a relaxed place to eat, drink and socialise, club nights and places to study when the library gets too packed.
As you can imagine, having four separate student bodies means that there is a healthy amount of cross-campus rivalry, which reaches a climax during Freshers’ Week. Over the five days, the unions and their helpers go above and beyond to serve up special events and souped-up versions of their regular weekly fayre to try and top their campus rivals and tempt you to become part of their community. On top of this, you have over a 200 student societies, 49 sports clubs and seven student media groups all looking for you to join their gang.
The Freshers’ Pass allows you full access to everything these groups have on offer. Not every event will require you to present it, particularly some of those that take place during the day, but for all of the big night-time parties the pass is a must. See it as your meal-ticket to an all you can eat buffet: use it wisely and fill your plate.
Students’ Representative Council
The SRC is unique on campus, it exists to represent and protect the rights of students at Glasgow and to that end sits on over 50 university committees. Your time here at Glasgow will be hugely improved by getting involved in activities outside your course. The SRC offers many valuable volunteering opportunities, whether that be hosting a radio show with Subcity or “buddying a granny” in the elderly befriending scheme or choosing from more than 200 clubs and societies. On top of all that, it operates the minibuses between halls and campus, the late-night Freshers’ Week busses taking you home after a night out in one of the unions, the cheapest photocopying around and a second hand academic bookshop.
The SRC’s flagship event during Freshers’ Week is the two day Freshers’ Fair which sees the majestic Bute Hall packed full of clubs, societies and local businesses.
A couple of trips are recommended, if for nothing but the free goody bags.
The Gilchrist Postgraduate Club, just through the Main Gate, is jointly run by the SRC and the University giving postgraduates a social space with the only barista coffee on campus, alcoholic drinks as well as food. The space will be open all week for you to come in and have a look around. For more information check them out below!
The SRC Freshers’ Helpers are in blue t-shirts and are the crew to ask about all of the above and any events in the University’s historic Quadrangles.
Glasgow University Sports Association
GUSA is the University’s (well toned) sports body. The gym, swimming pool and activity halls can be found in the Stevenson Building (the Stevie) on Oakfield Avenue behind the GUU. Gym membership is among the cheapest in the UK and there is free access for all students during Freshers’ Week.
The 49 clubs that constitute GUSA offer everything from Aikido to Volleyball. Almost all clubs offer taster sessions during Freshers’ Week giving you the chance to try out a new sport and meet your future teammates. Some sessions are held at the Garscube Campus and free minibuses will shuttle you from the Main Gates of the Uni to and from the sessions.
Tuesday and Wednesday of Freshers’ Week sees all GUSA clubs set up stalls in the main hall of the Stevie giving you the chance to chat to their members, see demonstrations of their sports and scribble your email address down to stay in touch.
GUSA helpers will be wearing pink t-shirts – they’ll let you know the schedule of taster sessions or answer any questions you have on sport at Uni. Wednesday evening sees the annual GUSA party, a night of fancy dress and themed decorations as the helpers lose their pink t-shirts and flaunt their athleticism on the dance floor.
Glasgow University Union
The GUU is one of two social unions on campus. Based in the grand old building at the bottom of University Avenue, they provide social, catering and entertainment facilities for students throughout the year.
Freshers’ Week sees the GUU transformed into a hub of activity. In previous years events such as Al-Fresco Open Mic, the Big All-Day Games Event, live stand-up comedy and tours of the historic building have lit-up the daytime schedule, while some renowned names in live music have taken to the stage at night. Admiral Fallow were last year’s headliners, following on from an impressive lineup that has included Two Door Cinema Club, Pendulum and the Futureheads in the not-too-distant past. If clubbing is your thing, then BBC Radio 1 DJs Tim Westwood, the Cut-Up Boys and Reggie Yates have all graced the decks of the Grand Old Union in recent years.
There’s more to the GUU though than music, games and partying. The Union is perhaps even more famous for its debating history, with previous speakers including MPs Charles Kennedy, Sir Ming Campbell and Liam Fox, who all cut their teeth in the impressive Debates Chamber. From that very room Glasgow has gone on to win more world debating championships than any other university. The GUU hosts an annual Freshers’ Week Debate, which has counted Lembit Opik, Hazel Blears and Andrew Neil among the leading figures in British public life who have spoken alongside the GUU’s finest in recent times. This is, quite simply, a must-see event.
Donning yellow t-shirts the GUU helpers will be hard to miss should you have any questions, or just want someone to play snooker against in the billiards room.
Queen Margaret Union
The QMU is, at a mere 123 years old, the slightly younger of the two student unions on campus and located on University Gardens in the shadow of the Boyd Orr. It has a rich live music heritage which goes back decades - the likes of Nirvana, Snow Patrol, Franz Ferdinand and Biffy Clyro and more recently by Twin Atlantic have shaken the union’s 850 capacity venue, Qudos.
Last year’s Freshers’ Week line-up included Funeral for a Friend and Jakwob. This year promises once more to be something special with headliners playing during the week as well as the Unplugged showcase, featuring a selection of local bands.
The flip side to the QMU’s respectable musical history is also shown during Freshers’ Week, with a special edition of their now legendary weekly club night: Snap, Crackle and Pop. Built on shameless pop classics, guilty pleasures and an awful lot of fun, it’s been a stalwart of Glasgow student life for the past 20 years.
As well as club nights and top live music sets, Freshers’ Week at the QMU will be the venue for quizes, céilidhs, the Freshers’ Ball, a paint party… you get the idea.
The QMU helpers in bright red t-shirts are difficult to miss. Chat with them to get the low down on the latest happenings at their Union.
The Gilchrist Postgraduate ClubThe SRC’s Gilchrist Postgraduate Club is a dedicated space for all postgraduate students at the University of Glasgow- a first of its kind in Scotland. The club provides ample social and study space for postgraduates and staff of the University, allowing both to engage with one another in a comfortable and relaxing environment.
The club also features a bookable seminar room which can be hired out by postgraduates for academic and social events; from conferences and workshops or for practicing presentations or group meetings, as well as reading groups or film screenings- the list is endless. Not only that, but it is also free for postgraduates to book the seminar room out.
The Gilchrist also has large study booths which have integrated TV screens with AV connections, allowing students to link-up their laptops and watch presentations or videos through the large screen so everyone around the booth can see- perfect for group study sessions before or after a seminar.
The Gilchrist hosts numerous events throughout the year, with a great mix of PG relevant workshops and conferences, everything from ‘Presenting with Impact’ to PGT ‘Dissertation Creation’ Classes. Not only is their numerous academic focused events held to help make your degree as diverse and as fascinating as possible, the club also hosts a variety of fun and interesting social events, including cultural events such as a Burns Supper and Chinese New Year, as well as quizzes and film nights. The club is also home for many Postgraduate networks and groups which are great to get involved with.
The club has its own unique cafe which serves the “best coffee on campus” with our Barista tea and coffee making facilities. There is also a wide selection of hot and cold foods, including paninis and nachos that are only available at The Gilchrist. We also have our very own Gilchrist bar with a wide selection of alcoholic beverages, including bottled beers, ciders, wines and spirits.