Edinburgh University Women's Union

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Edinburgh University Women's Union opened in October 1905. A University Union had existed for male students since 1889, but its constitution forbade the admission of women. Premises were obtained at 53 Lothian Street but these soon proved too small, as female student numbers rose dramatically in the first decades of the 20th century. In 1919 new temporary accommodation was obtained in George Square, and eventually in 1927 the Women's Union moved into the ground floor and basement of 54 George Square. When this building was demolished as part of the university redevelopment in 1964, the Women's Union moved to 16 Chambers Street and renamed itself the Chambers Street Union.

The Chambers Street Union voted to admit male students shortly before Edinburgh University Union finally voted to admit women on 5 February 1971. On 1 July 1973 Chambers Street Union merged with the Students' Representative Council and Edinburgh University Union to form Edinburgh University Students' Association. Under the terms of the merger, the Representative Council and University Union continued to exist as discrete bodies. The Chambers Street Union, conversely, was dissolved and became part of the University Union.


  • Iain Catto (ed.), 'No spirits and precious few women': Edinburgh University Union 1889-1989 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Union and Iain Catto, 1989)