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The Royal Holloway Students' Union is a students' union for Royal Holloway, University of London, affiliated to the National Union of Students.[1] In the words of The Independent, it "has a reputation as one of the best unions in the London area",[2] and is responsible for much of the University's on-campus entertainment provision. It helps to fund and facilitate all of the University's Sport Clubs and special-interest Societies, as well as providing independent support and advisory services to its members.[3]

Royal Holloway Students' Union
InstitutionRoyal Holloway, University of London
LocationEgham, London, United Kingdom
PresidentClem Jones
Sabbatical officersJack O'Neill, Willow Wong, Holly Hughes, Dom Brown
MascotColossus (the Bear)



The Union is run by members from the student body, headed by a team of elected student officers, including four full-time salaried Sabbatical Officers, each elected for one year and eligible to run for a second term of office. The elected Officers' are held accountable by the legislative power of Councils and General Meetings.[3] The Sabbatical Officers are assisted by a number of Executive Officers, all of whom operate in a voluntary capacity.[4]

In 2013, Jamie Green and Ian Stewart became the first sabbatical officers to successfully run for and win re-election.[5]

In 2014, Sidonie Bertrand-Shelton became the first woman to be re-elected as a sabbatical officer.

The 2016-17 Sabbatical Team was the first in more than a decade to be all-female.

From the 2017 elections, the Sabbatical Team will expand to five elected student officers.[6]


In order to supervise the administration and commercial activities of the Union, 30 permanent members of staff are employed.[4]

The Union employs more than 250 student staff across its bars and retail outlet, and participates in the Royal Holloway Passport Award Scheme,[7] which accredits hours logged through paid and non-paid activities.[4]


The Union has a turnover of more than £2.6 million a year, with the University providing a so-called 'block grant'[8] in excess of £815,000 to help the running of the organisation.[9]


The Commercial Services team provides entertainment seven days a week during term time, with facilities including a 1,200 person capacity function hall, three bars and a cafe, all of which are located within the Union's main building.[3] The Students' Union controls two other student-run bars to the south east of the University's Campus: Medicine and The Stumble Out.[3] In 2015, the Union took over management of The Union Shop, which is currently housed in a temporary building opposite the Williamson halls of residence. This will relocated within the new Library and Student Services building, which is due to open in Autumn 2017.[10]

A number of high-profile acts have performed on Union Nights, including Lethal Bizzle, DJ Fresh, Jonas Blue, MNEK, Lawson, Coolio, The Hoosiers, N Dubz and Labrinth, alongside novelty acts such as The Cheeky Girls. Special guest appearances have been made by Made in Chelsea cast members Jamie Laing and Alex Mytton.

An annual Summer Ball is held at the Founder's Building at the year's end, with a breakfast for 'survivors' the following morning at 6 am. Headline acts have included Example, Professor Green, Nero, Rizzle Kicks, Stormzy and Katy B.[citation needed]

There are also weekly market days on Tuesday, where a variety of items are sold including fresh fruit, vegetables, books, and a range of oriental goods.

Student OpportunitiesEdit

Over 100 student societies and clubs, run by committees of students, have been ratified by and receive support from the Union.[4]


Societies cover a range of diverse interests, from performing arts to politics and ideology.

The oldest society on campus is the Savoy Opera Society which performs two to three comic operettas a year.

Sports ClubsEdit

The Union is responsible for administering all sports club, including rowing, ultimate frisbee and a competitive cheerleading squad. The highest ranked teams by BUCS points are women's basketball and fencing.


The main Royal Holloway Students' Union building houses the Insanity Radio station, which was established in 1998.[11] The station has twice won the Silver Award for Best Student Radio Station at BBC Radio 1's Student Radio Awards,[11] and has also won the Best Marketing and Promotions Award three times since 1999.[12]

Released monthly, Orbital is a student magazine published monthly, covering subjects from culture and arts to society and sport.[13] The magazine format was introduce in the early 1990s and was preceded by a newspaper called The Egham Sun.[13] The publication has a readership of 3,000,[11] and a print media budget of around £10,000.[14] Orbital was named runner-up at the 2000 Guardian Student Media Awards in the category of Student Magazine of the Year.[15] The magazine was named the Best Student Magazine at the 2006 National Student Journalism Awards,[14] as well as being nominated in two other categories: Best Student Critic and Best Student Photographer.[13] Judges from the media industry said of the magazine, it is "gritty, witty, relevant and coherent, packaged with good design and strong front covers."[14]

In the 2012-2013 academic year, rhubarbTV became the Union's third ratified media outlet. Originally a web-based news station, it was started in 2010 by Nicholas Stylianou,[16] who had previously served as Editor of the Orbital. The name is an acronym, standing for "Royal Holloway’s Unique Broadcasting and Recording Brand".[17] The outlet now has a team of directors, camera operators and editors who specialise in the production of live-event broadcasts, news updates, game shows and short documentaries, all of which are published on YouTube.[18]


Royal Holloway has a (RAG) unit which raises money for charity and acts as a mechanism for recording fundraising activities by Sports Clubs and Societies.

Fundraising events are held throughout the year, which include an annual pantomime, cake sales, music gigs, bar crawls, and rag raids.

In 2014, the Men's Rugby Club produced a naked calendar for Prostate Cancer UK, which raised in excess of £2,000.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Royal Holloway, University of London". The Independent. July 22, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Royal Holloway, University of London 2008 Undergraduate Prospectus, p. 16.
  4. ^ a b c d Royal Holloway, University of London 2008 Undergraduate Prospectus, p. 17.
  5. ^ "Royal Holloway Students' Union".
  6. ^ "SU Elections 2017". Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  7. ^ "Royal Holloway Passport Award". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  8. ^ "Getting the union funded: Setting up a students' union: Students' Unions:". Getting the Union Funded. National Union of Students. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  9. ^ "SURHUL 2014 Final Signed Accounts" (PDF). Students' Union of Royal Holloway. Retrieved 08/09/2016. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  10. ^ Tommy's Bar. Retrieved on 2008-08-29.
  11. ^ a b c The University of London Union. Retrieved on 2008-09-01.
  12. ^ College News. Royal Holloway, University of London, 2004-11-17. Retrieved on 2008-09-01.
  13. ^ a b c [1]. Retrieved on 2016-09-16.
  14. ^ a b c The Orbital wins Best Student Magazine 2006. Royal Holloway University of London, 2006-12-01. Retrieved on 2008-09-01.
  15. ^ Student media up for national awards. Royal Holloway, University of London, November 2001. Retrieved on 2008-09-01.
  16. ^ "rhubarbTV (2010-2011)". 2012-01-22. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  17. ^ "About | rhubarbTV". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  18. ^ "rhubarbTV". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-09-01.

External linksEdit