Collection RU 173 - Dundee University Students' Association

Identity area

Reference code

RU 173


Dundee University Students' Association


  • c 1960-1980 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

15 lever arch files, 4 books, 5 boxes, one envelope and 1 roll.

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

DUSA is the legal representative and students' union for matriculated students of the University of Dundee. The Students' Association was founded by the merger in 1969 of the Students' Union and students' representative council (SRC). Both bodies had existed since the University of Dundee's period as a college of the University of St Andrews. The Dundee Students' Union was mainly responsible for meeting the physical needs of students, and ran a bar, shop, and launderette. There were two restaurants: Old Dines, located in the Ellenbank building, and New Dines, built in 1963. The SRC handled other aspects of student welfare, including negotiation with the University authorities (from 1967) and with the college authorities during Dindee's period as a constituent of the University of St Andrews.

The Union gained its first accommodation by the renting of the Ellenbank building in 1905 with £4,000 raised from the University College Bazaar - a fairly regular event of official speakers, entertainments, live music, comedy and stalls - held in October 1903. The building itself had been constructed as a villa in 1813 and had been acquired by the University College in more recent years.

Ellenbank was initially separated by levels, providing separate rooms for the male and female students - with the ladies entering up a flight of stairs to the rear and the gentlemen having sole use of the "handsome" entrance hall. Despite the segregation, this was probably the first Students' Union in the United Kingdom to admit both men and women to the same association and also to allow them use of the same building. Ellenbank later underwent extensive renovation in the 1920s, and was connected to the neighbouring (and similar) Union Mount building, which housed the College library. By 1969, it was decided that new and larger premises were necessary and a new building was completed in 1974. New Dines was demolished in 1986.
DUSA is affiliated to the Coalition of Higher Education Students in Scotland (CHESS) and the National Postgraduate Committee. Unlike most students unions in the United Kingdom, DUSA is not affiliated to the National Union of Students.

DUSA was part of the Scottish Union of Students which became part of the NUS in 1971. But in 1980 DUSA disaffiliated from the NUS, only to re-affiliate again in the mid-1980s until 1994 when it left once more.[5][6] This stance was confirmed in a referendum held on 1 and 2 April 2010 in which 1,795 students voted against and 467 voted for NUS affiliation.[7]

The Union has a collective purchasing and co-ordination agreement with a number of other Scottish students bodies through the Northern Services group.[8]

The Sports Union is affiliated to British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). Unlike in many universities, the Sports Union is a separate body from the main Students' Union, instead, it is officially part of the University's structure. DUSA and the Sports Union collaborate on many projects, and the Sports Union Executive officers used to be based in the main DUSA building. They are now based in the University's Institute of Sport and Exercise.
Source: accessed 6/5/2022

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Dundee University Students' Association:
/1 - 55 Minutes, correspondence, posters, c 1960-1980
/56 Students Union Membership Register, 1963 - 1969


Not expected

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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act (2018), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, 2018) and any other relevant legislation or restrictions. Clinical information is closed for 100 years.

Conditions governing reproduction

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges may be made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply; please check with the Duty Archivist.

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Description control area

Description identifier

RU 173

Rules and/or conventions used

Description compiled in line with the following standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) General International Standard Archival Description; International Council on Archives, ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families; National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997



Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English



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