Getting your GUU fix

Duncan Henderson, G-You’s politics editor, crowns the GUU’s most ICONIC event.

Written by: Duncan Henderson

It’s now been two months since the GUU closed its doors as a result of coronavirus, sadly putting a pause on some of the iconic events that happen within its walls. In lieu of the classic post-exam pint in Beer Bar, here’s the rundown of some of the most iconic events the Union has to offer.

Of course, the first mention must go to the staple events of the Union that have made it the social hub on campus. Week in, week out, the Union and its committees host a diverse range of events that give us all a way to relax, socialise, and make friends. From the era before zoom pub quizzes, the Beer Bar Quiz paired with a pint of fun was a staple way to spend many an evening in the Union. Our debates chamber has produced some of the most notable politicians for generations, and Open Mic – of both the regular and slam poetry variety – is always a nice, chilled way to start the weekend. While staples of the Union, these are far from all the Union is – with the events detailed in this article adding to the GUU’s appeal to GU students.

For most of us the first time we stepped into the GUU would have been Freshers’ Week. Year after year, freshers fill-up the Union to check out the events offered by our committees, to have their first pint in Beer Bar, and to head to their first HIVE. With such a good time on offer, it’s no surprise that students apply in their hundreds to become a Freshers’ Helper in the subsequent years of their degree, eager to relive the experience and help the next generation have the best start possible to their time at University. 

Sadly cancelled this year – but hopefully back next year is the day of green and Guinness – St Patrick’s Day certainly has its place in the hearts of many. Always hitting capacity early in the day, St. Patrick’s Day is definitely a highlight of the Union’s calendar. Of course, it’s an iconic event around the world, but it’s a highlight of the GUU year when the building is filled with people clad in green with either a green pint of fun or a pint of Guinness in their hand. Falling near to the end of the semester too, it’s definitely a good way to take a break after a busy semester and enjoy a day of drinking with friends. 

Swap the green for Hawaiian shirts and the celebration of Ireland for the celebration of summer, and you’ve got the Beach Party! Falling right at the end of Semester 2 exams, there’s a great atmosphere as people come together to celebrate another year of uni being done and the start of summer. Compared to St. Patrick’s Day, the Beach Party is a more uniquely GUU event and also forms a key part of our social calendar. 

Despite their differences, St. Patrick’s Day and Beach Party both end up in the place we all know and love as an iconic GUU event in its own right – HIVE. Whether it’s slapping the ceiling in Beer Bar, chilling in the old building, or dancing the night away in Well or in HIVE itself, on a Thursday night the GUU is the place to be! I’m sure we’re all craving a pint of fun at HIVE right now – I know I am…

These events all have their own charm and offer something different, but there is one last iconic GUU event – the most iconic of them all, and one which needs no introduction – Daft Friday. Simply put, what other student-ran event sees hundreds of people queuing up outside in the early hours of the morning – with deckchairs and sleeping bags –  just to get a ticket for it? 

The scale of it has to be admired – for a semester, a team of builders and painters work hard to get everything in place to transform the GUU into the chosen theme for the night. Likewise, it is a night with a countless number of different events taking place all across the building – be that live music in debates, laser tag, a ceilidh, or HIVE in black tie, it’s certainly a night where it’s hard to run out of things to do. Officially a celebration for the President of the Union and an end of exams party for all of us at the end of Semester 1, Daft Friday has been held for 111 years and has gone from strength to strength. It’s a truly iconic part of the Union’s calendar and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the next one. 

We can’t wait to see you again GUU!

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