Virtual Tour: The Union

With freshers week on the horizon, I thought I would take you on a virtual tour of the University of Dundee’s Student’s Union.

As far as I know, Dundee is home to the best Union in Scotland. I’m not just saying that because I’m from Dundee either. In 2009, Aberdeen Uni’s union closed cause it ran outta cash, and I’ve heard that not many people bother to go the Union in Glasgow since there’s hundreds of better-established clubs to head out to.

However, after a huge cash-injection, the union at Dundee is really all you could ever want from a union. 5 floors big, there’s plenty of areas to stumble around as you enjoy that ever so tasty £1.50 pint of Tennants you just treated yourself too.

We’ll start from the entrance.

As you walk from halls to the union, you’re greeted by areas of various areas of grass, often used for games of “jumpers for goalposts” football, ultimate frisbee, st. patricks day boozing and sun lounging between exams. This area also plays host to outdoor parts of the Graduation ball – something which may feel a long time away for some of you, but it’ll be there sooner than you might think, coming from experience! The grad ball is a huge event – 6pm until 6am party filled with artists, discos, rides and champagne breakfast! I went for the first time this year and saw Teds band from scrubs play, who were amazing, rode dodgems til 4am and then had a bacon roll and a glass of fizz before heading home! Great night.

Outside, there’s also the Union shop – here you can buy all sorts of stationary for studying, plus some groceries or booze and also some Dundee Hoodies etc. etc. The booze is quite expensive, but it saves you having to go very far at the 10pm rush to get alcohol before the shops can’t sell it anymore!

When you go into the union, you are on floor 2. Crazy, right? On your right as you go in is a swimming pool (“A swimming pool on the second floor?” I hear you ask. Yeah, I know!) It’s 20m long and 4 lanes wide (i.e. not very big) but this is where the water polo and swim team train as well as some other clubs. You can get a swim pass for the year which turns out pretty cheap – or it’s a fiver per person if you don’t get a membership. There’s also a sauna there which is quite nice.

Once you’ve passed the viewing window in the swimming pool, you can head downstairs to Mono. Mono is the main club of the union. It’s ironic, because it’s basically telling you which disease you’re likely to catch if you kiss too many people in there (being a student place and all that), but still, it’s a pretty good place to go out. The bouncers are pretty decent and only students from Uni of Dundee or Abertay can get in, making it probably the safest place to go in Dundee. In 1st year, this was the place we went to most of the time as some young friends were only 17 at the time, but were guaranteed to get in because they were students.

So, that was the 1st floor, now we’ll go up 2 floors to floor 3 – the liar. This is the kind of ‘pub’ bit of the union is, complete with big TVs for sports, lots of comfy seats for lounging. Some of the art work is pretty cool too, with the cover of Trainspotting going across one of the walls.

Up another set of stairs takes you to Air bar, a wee food place and the arcade. Air is the unions cocktail bar and often hosts karaoke nights, open mic nights and is also home to lots of comfy seats etc. There’s quite a choice of cocktails and shots to do here. I can say that some of the shots are pretty good fun, but I wouldn’t recommend them as your first drink, that’s for sure! The food place is handy here for a quick break from dancing. The arcade is HUGE. Literally about 30 pool tables, a jukebox and about 15 different arcade games mean that there’s always soemthing to do. Once you’ve got your food, you can play 50p for a game of pool while you eat it, then when you’re done, head down to mono again for the last few songs of the night. All in one place! Not bad.

Floor 5 is another club, but is more of a gig venue I would say. A band called frightened rabbit played here during my first freshers week and another wee band called The View played here once a while ago too! I haven’t spent much time here, but it’s a bit smaller than Mono and tends to play a bit more alternative music for those of you who are into that kind of thing.

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