Who We Are
The Students’ Association is the organisation that represents you, supports you, offers hundreds of co-curricular activities for you to explore your interests and talents, and works hard to make your time in Aberdeen as good as it can be. We’re a membership organisation of over 16,000 students from many countries and cultures, making your student experience amazing from your Welcome Week to the Grad Ball and everything in between. You run us – the work we do, we couldn’t do without you. Join in and make a difference today!
There are so many ways to get involved – whether you want to participate in student democracy, make friends, gain new skills, or compete in sport. We have over 12,000 of our members engaged in a variety of organised and ad hoc activities, ranging from Class and Programme Reps to Society members to our Dirty Weekenders, who volunteer for the local community. Interested in making the planet a better, healthier place to live? Not a problem – we have our very own, Climate Change Project which is supported and guided by a team of staff and student officers. There’s no limit to how involved you can become or what areas you can get involved in – our full time democratic roles are held by students, too!
Class and Programme Representatives work alongside School Convenors to represent you within your areas of study, but that’s just the beginning. Our whole organisation is democratically run; each month student representatives from all areas of our work (Welfare, Employability, Student Activities, and beyond) come together to help set the direction of the organisation. Each spring all our members have the opportunity to elect new student officers to our Executive. There are seven part-time/voluntary, and seven full-time/paid roles available. You don’t have to be final year students to run, either – some of our most active members are first years!
Student Advice Centre
SAC attempts to alleviate student hardship through the provision of its services. The AUSA Student Advice Centre is a service that offers free and impartial advice and support to all students. It is a safe place where respect and tolerance are key values and confidentiality is respected at all times. There are lots of reasons to pop into the AUSA Student Advice Centre; the staff can help with issues such as private accommodation, academic appeals and complaints, part-time employment, employability advice, money and health.
The AUSA Student Advice Centre provides a money advice service, which can help you manage your money and help keep you out of debt. It also provides a comprehensive resource of private accommodation which is also available online. AUSA is able to provide advice on contracts, landlords, and living on your own for the first time.
The AUSA Student Advice Centre also hosts a comprehensive overnight support service called Nightline, which is a confidential listening and information service run by trained volunteers. The Centre also runs a job search service to help you find part-time work and volunteering opportunities to enhance your CV.
Societies and Student Activities
We run over 100 societies, which fall into the following broad categories:
- Departmental Societies – where academia and fun come together
- Cultural Societies – dedicated to celebrating different world cultures
- Faith Societies – celebrating different world faiths
- Create Change Societies – dedicated to environment or political concerns
- Creative Arts Societies – who like to perform or create art
- General Interest Societies – who have a particular interest or hobby
During Welcome and Refresher Weeks, societies often run “Give it a Go” sessions for new students and prospective members to help them decide whether they want to join. All of our current societies hold regular events and socials which offer a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded students.
Our Sports Union is very proud of its sporting achievements, with many of its students actively participating in one of over 50 sports clubs. Successes have been achieved in a wide variety of sports: British University medals have been won in rowing, boxing, shooting, climbing and athletics; and in team events such as volleyball, golf, fencing, rugby, and tennis. The University has an excellent record in the Granite City challenge, where our students compete fiercely against our local rivals, the Robert Gordon University. This is the largest multi-sports event in Aberdeen, and is supported and enjoyed by the whole city. If you don't want to compete, AUSA organises a wide range of non-competitive clubs, intra-mural leagues and one-off sporting events.
The University of Aberdeen is one of the few UK institutions which operate a free fortnightly newspaper, called Gaudie. Gaudie is run by students, for students, and reports on news from the University and the wider world. The University also has its own radio station, called Aberdeen Student Radio, broadcasting online during term time. Both offer great opportunities for students to get involved in media production and hands-on experience.
Aberdeen Students' Charities Campaign
Aberdeen Students' Charities Campaign is a collection of students from across Aberdeen who raise huge amounts of money for local charities through a variety of events. Two of the largest events are the Student Show; and the Torcher Parade, the largest torch-lit parade in Europe involving around 2,000 students, 35 lorries and 50,000 spectators. The Charities' Campaign also hosts an annual Fashion Show, RAG week and lots of other events. The Charities campaign also provides a charitable second-hand bookshop in the Johnstone Hall called Bookends.
The Rector plays an important role in representing and supporting students. The current Rector is Maggie Chapman. The Rector is a well-respected role and sits on the University Court. This ensures that, combined with the President of the Students' Association and the Rector's Assessor (her representative within the University), there is effective student representation at Court. On a day-to-day level, the Rector holds regular surgeries for students who would like to raise a particular issue or concern. The Rector also spearheads wider campaigns, both within the University and nationally, to ensure that student life at Aberdeen continues to meet the needs of all students.
On a large scale, AUSA organise and host a variety of events each year including Welcome Week and the Graduation Ball. It also hosts smaller events and campaigns such as the infamous 'Superteams' sporting challenge and welfare campaigns which bring student issues to the forefront of campus life.