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The Queen Margaret Union is one of the two student unions at Glasgow University. There were originally two unions at Glasgow due to sex-segregation. The QM was the old woman’s union, and the Glasgow University Union was the old men’s union. Now you can join either when you enrol as a student at Glasgow, however, you can only join one. So what is at the QM union? Well there are a wide range of facilities on offer for students, both during the day, and at night; The Reception; There is a small reception in the Union, with an enquiries office – Where details of events are posted, and tickets for gigs etc. are sold. There are a few drinks / sweets machines in the corner, useful for a quick snack (they also take 1p & 2p pieces, which other machines don’t seem to). The reception is a good meeting place for catching up with your friends between lectures, and sheltering from the rain (as it does quite regularly). The Shop; There is a small shop in the union. During the day you can pick up most things here, from sweets, sandwiches and drinks, and newspapers, to folders, paper, disks and pens. Most of the stuff is fairly cheap – You won’t need much more than is on offer here. Later on in the evening the shop also has an off-sales facility for members. You can buy your booze cheaply up until 2am for consumption off the premises. You MUST be a member of the union to use the off-sales. Qudos; Qudos is the main hall in the union. It is used for most of the major events, hosting most of the featured music evenings, and gigs etc. It has a reasonable bar at one end, a section with tables and chairs down one side of the dance floor (towards the bar), and then a raised seating area at the back. The dance-floor is reasonably sized, and generally speaking has a staging area for bands to play on, or a DJ, or just as a raised dancing platform area. There is a DJ booth in the corner, and stairs up to a gallery of seats
overlooking the dance-floor. During the day there is also a small kitchen just outside Qudos which serves reasonable food. You can also sometimes pick up toasties there during the evenings. Just Outside Qudos; …Is the aforementioned kitchen, a cash-machine and the toilets. The cash machine is normally functional, and the toilets errr…aren’t great, but adequate. There was a sausage in the urinals the last time I was there (at least it breaks up the monotony of your toilet breaks). Jim’s Bar; Is quite a nice place to hang out. Reasonable decoration, and a good sized bar for the size of the room. Decent toilet facilities, a jukebox, and a door through to the Qudos gallery. There is a raised seating area at the back with tables and chairs, with the main bit nearer the bar being lower tables, sofas and stool-like chairs. Jim’s is alright, however, it sometimes does get a bit cramped, and the sofa’s and stools aren’t arranged in a great way – That said it’s a good way to start your evening if you’re out for a night there. There sometimes seems to be a difference in drinks prices between Qudos and Jim’s, and even a difference in price between who serves you. Check out at the start of the evening where to get your cheap drinks from, on the whole it’s generally Qudos. Pool & Games Room; I don’t go in here a lot, but there seems to be a reasonable selection of games to keep students entertained. There are occasionally pool competitions in which you can win beer! Food Factory; The food factory is quite a large space. It serves good food all day. You can get pizzas cooked for you quite cheaply, and your average selection of sandwiches, baked goods, sweets, tea & coffee. This is a good place for lunch, as it is large is doesn’t get too cramped, and you can have a good chat with your mates. Committee Rooms etc; Are upstairs – Where you find board
members, band dressing rooms (when gigs are played) etc. I haven’t been up here a lot, having no real need to. So that’s a brief description of what’s in the QM union, so what events do they hold there? Film Night; (Monday nights) Qudos becomes a cinema. There is a large video screen on which they play DVDs. Generally they play one older, or “artistic” film, finishing around 12ish, followed by a more recent film which finishes nearer 2am. The gallery at Qudos is fairly cinema like with the rows of seats, however, sometimes lighting rigs from the ceiling obscure some of the view. The seats down the bottom are a bit hard, so if you’re a sensitive person bring a cushion or something. The bar operates during the film, making your viewing experience a shade nicer. Revolution; (Tuesday nights) Rock, Metal, Hip-Hop, Alcohol… or something like that. Revolution is a great night. Combining the drinks offer of Jack Daniels and Coke for £1 and some great rocking tracks it’s a good laugh. Revolution is fairly well attended – Heating up after 12 (as most QM events do). Crazy dancing, loud noise, flowing drinks, it’s all here. You get a fair selection of people too – From metallers and Goths (trying to show off at how “alternative” they are, ooooh aren’t they hardcore, they wear makeup and shun people who wear trainers!), you get your rock chicks and blokes, people who like a bit of metal, stick on a pair of baggy jeans and a t-shirt and jump around a little, and some people who could be dressed for a casual club; Its this type of person that makes Revolution so good – A selection of regular people who aren’t afraid to dance – But haven’t got the bad “attitude” of hate etc. that you so regularly find in some rock clubs. Great night, give it a try. Quiz Night; (Wednesday nights) The Quiz is held in Jim’s Bar. I happened
to be in Jims once whilst a quiz was on. It was useless. There was a gig on at the time in Qudos, and the walls were vibrating behind the person asking the questions. No one took part, misery was felt all round. Apparently they’ve improved it a little, but still, its not really the most exhilarating thing you could be doing with your Wednesday nights (hey, you should be studying if you’re a student, right?) Velocity; (Thursday nights) Appealing to the indie fans. This night has offers on double vodka, at about £1.50 with mixer – It plays a selection of easy-going rock and indie, venturing through the likes of Oasis, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Stone Roses etc. I don’t go a lot – It seems alright, however, there is a distinct lack of people on the nights that I have been. If you’re just looking for a quiet drink, with a bit of good background music, and you aren’t afraid of dancing alone then Velocity might be for you. Cheesy-Pop! (= Fridays); A great night out with DJ Toast (cheese on toast….get it, oh well). Maybe not the cheapest drinks on offer (those are to be found in the 50p vodkas at the GU), however, a much better and friendlier atmosphere than lots of other places. Good people, good music, a good drink, a good laugh. Put on a shirt and a smarter pair of jeans and get down there. It generally fills up after 11-11:30pm. Don’t be afraid to get on the dance floor – Bring your friends. Fun to be had by all. Saturdays don’t have a specific format each week. Every other week you have Cheesy Pop Gold, a poorly attended, but still fun, retro / classic pop evening. Other weekends there is “Bedlam”, a Goth / industrial night – I’ve never been, but I hear that it’s scary. Most nights you can get into for £1 if you are a member, and £2 if you’re not. You’ll need to bring photo ID with you, and expect to get searched. Security is fair
ly tight at the union – Friendly, but ensuring that nothing dodgy like knifes etc. get in to ruin someone’s evening. So what else is there locally that may interest your average student? Well there is the Glasgow University Union (the GU). Generally this is more of a hangout for the tarted up birds, and lout-lads (not to say there aren’t some fine people down there). It sometimes has a harsher atmosphere on the dance-floor in the Hive (aka. The Dive). Altitude is a nice bar for hanging out in, a shade nicer than Jims, however, when it comes to the end of the evening when you’re drunk enough to strut you’re funky stuff the QM far outclasses the GU. The other thing to remember is that it is cheaper to get into the QM if you’re a member, but free to get into the GU for everybody, so it makes more financial sense to be a member of the QM. You may also want to go into the city to a real club. Prices may be a tad more expensive – You may have to queue longer to get it. There are some nice places, there are some awful places. I suppose you have to have a change now and again, but for regular nights out the QM is a fairly reasonable bet. Just make sure you’ve got one or two mates and a good attitude with you… Jamie
Jim's Bar the bar in the QM. Who would have believed that a bar with hard wooden chairs in a, quite honestly, hideous building could be such a comfortable place. The selection of real ales isn't what it is in the GUU but then the company seems more convivial. The chairs may be hard and wooden but who can fault a Captains Chair when it comes to hooking your shoulder blades over the back of it and spending an afternoon in beer and idle chatter. Go there, relax and if you really must have a drink. All this and the reassuring knowledge that in the liberated days when the Queen Margaret Union first moved to the building a hair salon nestled fragrantly where Jim now serves the beer.