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Encyclopedia > Durham Students' Union
Durham Students' Union
Image:DSU logo.jpg
Established 1899 as Durham Students Representative Council
Institution Durham University
President Alex Duncan
Other Sabbatical Officers Treasurer: Kieren Walters, Education and Welfare Officer: Claire Rasul, DUCK Officer: Natasha Evans
Location Dunelm House, Durham, England
Members c. 14,000
Affiliated to National Union of Students, National Union of Students Services Limited
Homepage DSU homepage
Durham Students' Union's building, Dunelm House

The Durham Students' Union is a body, set up as the Durham Colleges Students’ Representative Council in 1899 and renamed in 1969, with the intention of representing and providing welfare and services for the students of the University of Durham in Durham, England. The union is almost universally known by the initialism DSU. Image File history File links DSU_logo. ... Affiliations 1994 Group, European University Association, Association of MBAs, EQUIS, Universities UK, N8 Group, Association of Commonwealth Universities Website http://www. ... The Durham Students Union is a body, set up as the Durham Colleges Students’ Representative Council in 1899 and renamed in 1969, with the intention of representing and providing welfare and services for the students of the University of Durham in Durham, England. ... Durham (IPA: locally, in RP) is a small city and main settlement of the City of Durham district of County Durham in North East England. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total 130... The National Union of Students (NUS) is the main federation of students unions that exist inside the United Kingdom. ... NUS Services Ltd (NUSSL) is owned by over 180 Students Unions and the National Union of Students (NUS). ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Durham University is a university in England. ... Durham (IPA: locally, in RP) is a small city and main settlement of the City of Durham district of County Durham in North East England. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total 130... Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations formed from the initial letter or letters of words, such as NATO and XHTML, and are pronounced in a way that is distinct from the full pronunciation of what the letters stand for. ...

Contents

Location

DSU occupies and manages Dunelm House, a university-owned building in the centre of Durham where a wide variety of student activities take place. Designed by Architects Co-Partnership, the Brutalist, angular concrete building was completed in 1965 under the supervision of architect Sir Ove Arup, whose Kingsgate Bridge, adjacent, opened two years later. Built into the steeply sloping bank of the River Wear, Dunelm House is notable internally for the fact that the main staircase linking all five levels of the building runs in an entirely straight line. This was intended by the building's architects to create the feeling of an interior street.[1] Unité dHabitation, Marseille (Le Corbusier 1952) Brutalism is an architectural style that spawned from the modernist architectural movement and which flourished from the 1950s to the 1970s. ... Sir Ove Nyquist Arup CBE, MICE, MIStructE, (born at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1895 and died in 1988) was a leading Anglo-Danish engineer, the founder of the internationally important firm of Arup and generally considered the foremost engineer of his time. ... Kingsgate Bridge is a striking, modern reinforced concrete construction footbridge across the River Wear, in Durham, England. ... The River Wear (pronounced Wee-er) is a river in the North East of England. ...


In 1968 Dunelm House won a Civic Trust award,[2] though the architecture of Dunelm House is not generally well-liked in the city[citation needed]. On the other hand, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, the noted architecture historian, considered the building, "Brutalist by tradition but not brutal to the landscape ... the elements, though bold, [are] sensitively composed."[1] Durham City Council's Local Plan notes that the "powerful" building, together with Kingsgate Bridge, "provides an exhilarating pedestrian route ... out into open space over the river gorge".[3] The Civic Trust of England and Wales is a charitable organisation founded in 1957. ... Sir Nikolaus Pevsner CBE (January 30, 1902 – August 18, 1983) was a German-born British historian of art and, especially, architecture. ...


Ents and services

Welfare

The union provides a number of student welfare services, in addition to those provided by the University. To that end, it employs full-time trained advisors, runs the DSU Nightbus that ensures students can get home safely, and organises "associations" for specific minority groups of students whose interests are deemed to require additional non-collegiate provision. In the United Kingdom, a collegiate university is a university whose functions are divided between the central departments of the university and a number of colleges. ...


Commercial services

DSU also runs a number of commercial ventures, including shops, cafés, bars and events. Late night events include Planet of Sound and Revolver every Friday and Saturday; two new events are proposed for alternate Wednesday and Thursday nights.


All of DSU's commercial services are intended to make a profit which can be used to subsidise welfare, support student societies and other student services by DSU. Although DSU is also given a grant by the university, it is much lower than that received by most students unions in the UK.


Social events

During the late 1960s and the 1970s Dunelm House was a popular music venue, hosting bands including Pink Floyd and Procol Harum. According to their drummer Simon Kirke, Free's most popular song All Right Now was written by bassist Andy Fraser in their dressing room in Dunelm House, after a set of slower material had failed to excite the audience.[citation needed] Pink Floyd are an English rock band that earned recognition for their psychedelic rock music, and, as they evolved, for their avant-garde progressive rock music. ... Procol Harum are an English progressive rock band, formed in the 1960s. ... Free was a British R&B-style rock band which formed in London in 1968 best known for their popular song All Right Now. Lead singer Paul Rodgers went on to become lead singer of the rock band Bad Company along with Simon Kirke on drums, while lead guitarist Paul... Andy Fraser (born on 7 August 1952, in London) is an English musician, best known for his songwriting and bass playing with Free. ...


The current DSU often struggles to match the Durham colleges' abilities to organise 'ents' and socials. However, it runs the successful 'Planet of Sound' club night every Friday, which has become the biggest university-wide event in Durham. The DSU has had some success in the year 2006/07 with hosting events with promoters, including nights with acts such as Hed Kandi and Pendulum. In the United Kingdom, a collegiate university is a university whose functions are divided between the central departments of the university and a number of colleges. ... Hed Kandi is a UK-based record label and a music brand, established 1999, specialising in house music. ... Pendulum are an electronic group originally hailing from Perth, Australia. ...


DSU societies

DSU is notable for the high number of ratified societies it supports. There are usually between 120 and 150 DSU-ratified societies at any time. A full and up-to-date list of DSU's societies can be found on the DSU website. These societies do not include the University's assorted athletic- and sports-related clubs which are ratified by DSU's "sister" organisation, the Durham University Athletic Union (DUAU), or college-based societies. An Athletic Union or Athletics Union (AU) usually refers to the group of student sports clubs within a university or other institute of higher education, in the United Kingdom. ...


'DUCK'

Unlike many Students' Unions, DSU does not have "RAG week", but instead, DUCK - Durham University Charities' Kommittee - organises charitable events and activities throughout the year. It is rumoured that "RAG" was forced to disband after one week when several students broke into the nearby HMP Durham, and left a box of Cadbury's Milk Tray on the desk of the governor. DUCK rose, phœnix-like, from the ashes of Durham "RAG"[citation needed]. University Rag societies are student-run charitable fundraising organisations that are widespread in the United Kingdom and Ireland. ... HM Prison Durham is a prison located in Durham, County Durham, England. ...


A story recently discovered in the DSU archive relates that in 1978 DUCK held a competition to find the most unpopular student in Durham with the intention of throwing them in the river. At the time the story went to print the DSU sabbaticals were the front runners[citation needed].


Politics

DSU is designed to be truly democratic. To this end every student has a vote in the principal elections and in the sovereign body of DSU, the Union General Meeting - as in most students' unions. DSU holds two major elections a year, and has pioneered the use of electronic voting to increase participation. In the 2003 and 2004 Sabbatical elections it received the highest turnout of any student union in the UK, a fact used by some to show the continued relevance of DSU to the students of Durham.


DSU has succeeded in having a say in national student politics. In 2004 a campaign run by the Union appeared on BBC, ITV and Channel 4 News numerous times throughout the debate over variable tuition charges. A huge number of regional and local TV and radio appearances for Union officers were secured over that period. During this time, DSU won praise from politicians, many within NUS and other Unions in the North-East for its uncharacteristically high-profile impact on the national debate on University funding.


DSU and the colleges

The University of Durham is a collegiate university and therefore the role of the central students' union is different to most other universities. Each of Durham's colleges has its own student representative body, known in most colleges as the Junior Common Room, which provides services and organises events within the college; while most decisions within the central Students' Union are made by JCR representatives. This gives DSU an avenue for encouraging involvement not available to Unions in most universities; but also limits participation, as many people choose to get involved with their JCR, which deals with many of the issues with immediate effects on their lives, instead of the central Union. Durham University is a university in England. ... The term Junior Combination Room or Junior Common Room (JCR) is used in many British universities (as well as at Harvard College in the United States) to refer to the collective of students (similar to a students union) at a constituent part of a university, typically a college or a...


DSU's future

The announcement in early 2005 that DSU has been operating with a large annual loss has prompted serious debate on the future of the organisation and the building in which it is currently based. According to Durham's student newspaper, Palatinate, DSU's debt to the bank and its parent institution stood at £303,000 in June 2005. Restructuring of the organisation followed and resulted in a small surplus being posted for the year 2005/06.


On a number of occasions, some have suggested have that DSU might disaffiliate from the NUS [4], however none of those against affiliation have yet pushed the issue to a full student debate and vote. This is largely because regardless of the political arguments of affiliation, DSU and the JCRs make a significant financial savings from being able to purchase alcohol and other products through NUS Services Ltd. The National Union of Students (NUS) is the main federation of students unions that exist inside the United Kingdom. ...


Notable former officers

A number of notable figures have been involved in DSU in the past. These include:

  • the late Mo Mowlam, former Deputy President (Education and Welfare)
  • Jeremy Vine, former Deputy President (Education and Welfare)
  • George Alagiah, former Deputy President (Education and Welfare)
  • Alex Standish, former Deputy President (Education and Welfare)

The Right Honourable Marjorie Mo Mowlam (September 18, 1949 - August 19, 2005) was a British politician, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Labour MP. Her personal charisma, reputation for plain speaking and successful fight against a brain tumour led her to be perceived by many as one of... Jeremy Vine (born May 17, 1965, Epsom, Surrey) is an English current affairs presenter on BBC radio and television. ... George Alagiah photographed in April 2005. ... Alex Standish (1963 - ) is an intelligence analyst and military expert. ...

References

  1. ^ a b Pevsner, Nikolaus, The Buildings of England: County Durham (2nd ed. 1983, revised by Elizabeth Williamson), Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd, pp.233-234
  2. ^ Architects Co-Partnership, "Awards and Commendations", accessed 28 October 2006
  3. ^ Durham City Council, City of Durham Local Plan, accessed 5 November 2006
  4. ^ Hannah Costigan, "Durham to pull out of NUS", Palatinate, accessed 28 October 2006

Sir Nikolaus Pevsner CBE (January 30, 1902 – August 18, 1983) was a German-born British historian of art and, especially, architecture. ... Harmondsworth is a place in the London Borough of Hillingdon nearby to London Heathrow Airport. ... The Middlesex Guildhall at Westminster Middlesex is one of the 39 historic counties of England and was the second smallest (after Rutland). ... Penguin Books is a British publisher founded in 1935 by Allen Lane. ... October 28 is the 301st day of the year (302nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 64 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... November 5 is the 309th day of the year (310th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 56 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... October 28 is the 301st day of the year (302nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 64 days remaining. ...

External links

  • Durham Students' Union
  • DUCK Home page
  • Photograph of Dunelm House in 1965 from Architects Co-Partnership
Durham University
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Research Institutes:
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School for Health · Wolfson Research Institute
Student Life: Athletic Union · Durham College Rowing · Durham UCCE · Palatinate Newspaper · Durham21
Purple Radio · Students' Union · Durham Union Society (debating) · University Boat Race
Miscellaneous: Academic Dress · People · Botanic Gardens · Images of Durham · University Library

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