Campaigns History

1895

A ‘canvassing sub-committee’ is formed in the Guild, the start of the Guild’s official lobbying activity.

1902

The Guild successfully campaigns for students to have Wednesday afternoons free of lectures for sports and other events - something the Guild still works on today!

Image - The Guild successfully campaigns for students to have Wednesday afternoons free of lectures for sports and other events

1968

The Guild publishes a report demanding student representation on university committees, which deal with academic complaints, university decision making and more. Negotiations between the Guild and University break down and more than 1000 students occupied the Great Hall in Aston Webb for a week, after which the university relented.

Image - The Guild protests Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech

1969

The Guild protests Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, just down the road in Edgbaston, which was criticised for encouraging racial hatred.

Image - The Guild organises a rent strike on campus to oppose rising rents.

1974

The Guild organises a rent strike on campus to oppose rising rents. Students pay their rent into a ‘rent strike fund’ rather than giving it to the university, and the Guild only hands over the money to the university when they guarantee to freeze rents.

Image - The Guild organises a rally on campus with President of the NUS to protest cuts to maintenance grants as part of ‘Grants Action Week’

1982

The Guild organises a rally on campus with President of the NUS to protest cuts to maintenance grants as part of ‘Grants Action Week’. The government eventually backs down from freezing grants.

Image - Chinese solidarity campaign 1989

1989

The Guild raises money for Chinese students fleeing the Tiananmen Square massacre, organises a vigil in Mermaid Square, and successfully lobbies the government to provide refuge to 33 Chinese students, now political refugees, in the UK.

Image - Guild Campaigns for trousers

1992

The Guild President and a group of women students campaign for women to be allowed to wear trousers, not just skirts, to graduation. The Guild organises 1,000 students to sign a petition and a large number of women wore trousers anyway. The rule was removed.

Image - 2010 - Browne Review protest

2010

The Guild’s Officer Team leads hundreds of students in a protest all around campus to oppose the ‘Browne Review’ – in which the Vice Chancellor had participated –which had recommended lifting the cap entirely on tuition fees. The government eventually gave up and capped fees at £9000.

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Every year, a team of Officers are elected by YOU to help you get the best out of Birmingham. Each officer leads a different part of the Union on your behalf – click on their faces below to find out what they do and how to get in touch…

Ellie Keiller - Guild President
Shannon Farmer - Activities & Development Full Time Officer
Adam Goldstone - Education Full Time Officer
Kris Ali - Housing & Community Full Time Officer
Rose Bennett - Postgraduate Full Time Officer
Jess Levy - Representation & Resources Full Time Officer
Helena Bailey - Sports Full Time Officer
Henny Green - Welfare Full Time Officer

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