Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)UB/GUILD/A/4
TitleUnion committee/Union Services committee
Extent28 volumes
DescriptionEarly minutes deal with recommendations made by the Union Commission, minutes of which are described at UB/GUILD/A/29, including the appointment of staff at the new building on the Edgbaston site and their hours or work and salaries. Staff contracts and salary reviews are pasted into volumes. There is also discussion of opening and closing times of the building, the food to be served, the hire of rooms for functions by university societies, and arrangements for the opening of the Union building in October 1930. Frequent topics for discussion during the 1930s included access conditions for visitors to the Union building and members fees, the formulation of Rules for use of the building, alterations to room use and the terms of the Guild licence for serving alcohol in particular rooms, consideration of applications from student societies for permission to hold functions in the Guild, the establishment of additional facilities including a Guild library, and staffing matters. Sub-committees at this time included the Kitchen Extension committee, the Refectories committee, the Wages sub-committee, and the Library sub-committee. There is an inventory of furniture in the Union buildings at both sites dated April 1935, and income and expenditure accounts are pasted in the volume from the 1934-1935 academic session, together with financial statements and comparative statements on the cost of running the Union building and the Union Branch at Edmund Street. There is also other information about the running of the Edmund Street branch, and evidence that the committee was involved in joint discussions with the Men's House committee and Women's House committee concerning the use of certain rooms at both Edgbaston and Edmund Street. It also appears that the Guild Club management body reported to the Union committee.

During the 1930s, reports of the Union committee were pasted in the Report Books described at UB/GUILD/C, with amendments recorded in the minute books. By the late 1940s, these annual reports to Guild Council are included in the Union committee minute books.

The minutes are a useful source of information about the Guild building as a physical entity and the services it provided, and give a sense of how students used the rooms and the activities that took place there. During the 1930s, for example, there was a tea room, stamp and cigarette machines, towel machines and bathrooms, billiard tables, ping pong tables, pianos, and separate common rooms for men and women students. Dances were popular but there was reluctance to allow late dances because of the need to pay staff overtime. Waitresses and stewards staffed the refectory , tea room and bar. Card playing was forbidden. Minutes for 1939 record preparations for the blackout of the Union building and details of other ARP precautions taken. It was decided in 1940 that students living in inadequate lodgings would be allowed to shelter in the Union building, and the purchase of a radio gramophone in April 1940 was agreed by the committee, in response to demand by members to have the ability to listen to the news in the Union.

There is greater reporting of disciplinary matters from the 1940s onwards, although concerns are expressed in the earlier minutes about cases of 'pilfering'. It appears that the Union committee was responsible for dealing with discipline and administering punishments before the establishment of the Disciplinary Board for Guild Executive was established in 1955. Minutes for meetings held in the late 1940s and early 1950s contain information about progress on construction of the new wing of the Union building which opened in 1951 as well as schedules of repairs and maintenance. There are also details about arrangements for closing down the Guild Club on Great Charles Street in 1960, prior to the move of the Arts and Law students to buildings on the Edgbaston site. Following the development of the committee's remit and its renaming as the Union Services committee, catering accounts are included, but in most respects the kinds of issues discussed are consistent over time. Comparative financial statements for income and expenditure are now included, and the primary focus is on the success or otherwise of social functions and entertainments organised in the Union building. Minutes for the 1970s include information about prices charged in the Guild shop, and there are details about the Guild reprographics service in minutes of meetings held during the 1980s as well as coverage of the process of refurbishing bars and catering facilities.

There are no minutes between 1963 and 1966 or 1983 and 1985.
ArrangementMinute books are listed in chronological order. Registers of attendance are listed at the end of the sequence
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistoryThe Union committee controlled the used of the Union buildings and facilities at Edgbaston, and rooms used by students at the Union branch, Edmund Street, which was used by women only, and at Great Charles Street, which was used by men only. The committee was established to take over this responsibility from the Guild of Undergraduates committee when the Guild constitution was revised in 1930, prior to the opening of the new Union building at Edgbaston. The committee was composed of representatives of the Guild, Council, teaching staff and the Guild of Graduates. It was a joint committee of the Guild, University Council, Academic Staff and Guild of Graduates. The Union committee included six representatives appointed by Guild Council and was a standing committee of the Guild, directly responsible to Guild Council. It was responsible for the administration of the Union and its branches, including the finances of the Union, subject to the approval of the Finance sub-committee of the Guild. The Union committee submitted a report for the Guild annual report. After the dissolution of the Guild Club committee, this report also contained a section on the running of the Guild Club in Edmund Street. Maintenance and general management of the Union facilities at Edmund Street was the responsibility of the Men's and Women's House committees. These committees were directly responsible to the Union committee. The President and Vice-President of the Guild were normally chairs of the Men's House committee and Women's House committee respectively.

For the 1950-1951 session, Guild Catering was removed from Union committee's responsibility and a new Catering committee formed as a standing committee directly responsible to Guild Council. See UB/GUILD/A12 for records of the Catering committee. During the same period, sub-committees ran the union library and gramophone library and reported to the Union Committee. Until the 1955-1956 session the Union committee produced a separate report on its activities for the Guild Annual Report.
From 1968-1969 the name of this committee was changed to the Union Services Committee, and its remit incorporated management of the Catering department. The Catering committee was dissolved. Union Services committee was listed as an Executive committee from 19679-1970. Its functions were probably merged with those of the Finance committee to form the Finance and Services committee by the early 1990s.


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