University of Aberdeen Takes you to the main page for this section

Media Release

New Media Releases | Media Releases Archive

Students call time for Student Union

The doors are set to close for the last time at the University of Aberdeen's Student Union in the Gallowgate.

The Students' Association has taken the decision to close the premises to student customers next Thursday (25 March) following a downturn in business levels within the bar, entertainment and catering operations.

A farewell weekend of music and partying has been organised for students on Friday and Saturday night this week, while a party will be held on Saturday, 27 March for past sabbaticals, Student Council members and staff of the Union, which first opened in the Gallowgate in 1939.

In December 2003, Union management agreed to open the Union only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, as this is when 80% of student customer activity took place. However, in consultation with students, the premises will now close earlier than originally planned because of the continuing downward trend.

"This decision has been taken based on financial reasons. If we continued into the third term it would have resulted in greater financial difficulty," said Leith Forsyth, General Manager. "The national student marketplace has seen a dramatic change over the past few years, and the Students' Association has taken stock of its provision to ensure it is providing what students want. The downturn is thought to be attributable to a number of factors affecting students including financial hardship, increased competition and higher expectations of social activities."

Meanwhile, university and student representatives are working to create a blueprint for new facilities. Earlier this year, the University joined forces with the Students' Association to look at the possibility of creating a 'one-stop shop' for students. The new facility, in the heart of the central campus, could see new social facilities come under the same roof as new Students' Association facilities, student welfare and support services, and a range of other activities.

"We are refurbishing the Central Refectory to create a multi-purpose facility that can accommodate events such as Freshers' Fayre, which will take place in September," said Mr Forsyth. "However, we will not be recreating the size and type of facilities that were available at the Gallowgate Union and we will ensure that these are open to extensive consultation with the university community, particularly with local residents."
"Many people have fond memories of their time at the University, particularly at the Gallowgate Union, but we need to create facilities that cater for current and future needs, and we are working closely together to do just that."


Issued by the Communications Office, External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272012 Fax: (01224) 272086. Contact: Jill Moir.

Ref: 1339studentunion
March 18, 2004