The University of London Union makes a comeback.
“It’s London!” “It won’t have a university feel!” “It isn’t a student city!” How often is the stated intention of studying in London met with one of these refrain? Your counter-riposte? The University of London Union (ULU).
Formed in 1921 and comprising 21 constituent colleges of the University of London, ULU is the focal point of student life in the capital. The task of satisfying 120,000 members is a tall order, and ULU has responded with a union like no other. Sports clubs? Societies? Check. The largest student-run newspaper in Europe? Check. Live events? Check. Club nights? Check. World-class leisure facilities? Check. Check. Check.
From capoeira to windsurfing and nearly everything in between, its sports clubs and societies offer a new dimension to the KCLSU experience, allowing for pan-London representation, co-operation, and yes, competition. As well as its own sports leagues, ULU provides leisure facilities such as a gym and swimming pool, plus social areas in which its societies can gather and host their events. These are all held in high regard by students, with membership rates for sports clubs and societies continuing to increase.
The nightlife, too, is outstanding. Its central feature, The Venue, has played host to some of the biggest names in music, including Coldplay and the Foo Fighters, and its bars are rarely empty. Students from across London frequent these locales, a great opportunity to meet new people in an accessible and inexpensive setting.
Possibly ULU’s richest offering is its long-running newspaper, London Student. Editorially independent from the union, it has a fearsome reputation for breaking stories, as well as an acclaimed culture section. Not only is the paper an exciting, refreshing and engaging source of news for students in London, it also offers a fantastic opportunity for any budding journalists, with new students routinely writing for the paper.
Another feature of ULU is the platform that it offers to campaigning groups. These focus largely on student-centred issues, such as affordable housing, but also extend further afield, recently securing a living wage for staff at the University of London. Similar student campaign networks have for a long time been an effective way of making a positive difference at home and abroad, and ULU is central to student political activity in the capital.
Not willing to rest on its laurels, ULU is set to transform further, improving its reach and engagement with a new pan-London students’ union. This process will take place throughout your time at KCL, a process directed by students. That for students, by students, ethos is at the forefront of ULU, providing a friendly atmosphere and allowing for the union to continue changing to satisfy new demands.
So choose KCL and choose ULU, you won’t regret it.