University Of Edinburgh Union
Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) is the students’ union at the University of Edinburgh.
As a students’ union EUSA is an autonomous, student-led, campaigning organisation, which provides services, representation and welfare support on behalf of its members – the University’s students.
Edinburgh University Sports Union (EUSU) is not part of EUSA, having its own representative and organisational structure
An Edinburgh Students’ Representative Council (SRC) was founded in 1884 by student Robert Fitzroy Bell. Shortly afterwards, the SRC voted to establish a union (the Edinburgh University Union (EUU)), to be housed in the building now known as Teviot Row House. The Edinburgh University Women’s Union was founded in 1906, becoming the Chambers Street Union in 1964. On 1 July 1973 the SRC, the EUU and the Chambers Street Union merged to form Edinburgh University Students’ Association. Through the SRC, EUSA is the oldest students’ union in the UK. In 1994 the University forced the merger of the King’s Buildings Union and EUSA, despite the KB Union voting against the proposal.
In 1976 EUSA disaffiliated from the National Union of Students (NUS),a decision that was reversed in 2004.In 2005 EUSA formally twinned with Birzeit University Student Council, West Bank, with each union annually hosting delegations from the other.
Following a student consultation process and plebiscite a new constitution was established in 2012.
EUSA was criticised in 2013 after acting using the Court of Session to “censor” The Student as it “was due to publish details of the suspension of Max Crema, vice-president of services at the union”. President James McAsh defended the action, claiming it was taken “to protect the rights of our employees”.
In 2013, EUSA made the decision to ban the playing of Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke in its venues, attracting some attention in national media. The song was deemed to promote “an unhealthy attitude towards sex and consent”, and for being in breach of EUSA’s ‘End Rape Culture and Lad Banter on Campus’ policy, designed to tackle ‘myths and stereotypes around sexual violence’ and stop the sexual objectification of female students.
In 2014, EUSA was threatened with legal proceedings by the National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), Charlie Kimber, following a motion put forward banning the SWP from the Edinburgh campus due to the ‘Comrade Delta’ rape scandal. EUSA eventually withdrew the motion. This also resulted in the editors of The Student newspaper, a EUSA society, manually ripping pages out of their own newspapers to avoid personal legal liability, as the story about the motion had already been printed before it was withdrawn.
In 2016 EUSA became the first students union in the UK to affiliate to Students for Cooperation as an affiliated supporter in order to promote and support student led cooperatives. EUSA also submitted policy to NUS Scotland to affiliate themselves with Students for Cooperation and the proposal was accepted.
Also in 2016, EUSA sabbatical officers and management submitted a referendum to the student membership over whether to change the Association’s name to “University of Edinburgh Students’ Union”, alongside a number of internal administrative changes. The name change was rejected by 69.9% of students. However, EUSA continued with a major rebranding programme, changing the logo and encouraging the organisation to be referred to as “the Association”, or “your Students’ Association” instead of “EUSA