The University of Southampton Students' Union (also known as SUSU) is over 100 years old, having represented the students of Southampton's premier academic institution since its creation in 1903. The opening of the Hartley Institute in 1862 by Lord Palmerstone was the first step towards the creation of our successful modern university. However, before 1903, the students that studied technology at the High Street-situated Institute had no formal representative body. Its incorporation into the University of London in 1902 led to the creation of the Hartley University College at Southampton, which housed 171 students, spawning the Students' Union.

The origins of this body were very different from the democratic structure that exists today. Self-government was not permitted until 1921 when one male and one female from each faculty were elected to form a Students Council. This provoked an explosion in student activities, through the early clubs and societies, as well as the creation of the Wessex Scene newspaper in 1936 and the West Building, which housed the Students Union. On the 29th April 1952 a young Queen Elizabeth II granted the college a charter for university status. This allowed Southampton to emerge from London's shadow and hand out its own degrees.

To celebrate this occasion the first bar was built in the old Games Room in 1953, selling several beers and wines. Both of these events were to give rise to Southampton's great success in the second half of the twentieth century through the combination of academic excellence with a great social scene. In 1967 the current Union building was opened with many more facilities than that of the West Building. For the first time the University had catering, shopping, socialising, indoor sports and a debating chamber under one roof. The administration of the Students Union was also given an overhaul, as sabbatical posts were designated for those elected for Union control, such as the President. The Union Building, designed by Sir Basil Spence, has undergone a number of renovations, the greatest of which was completed just before Christmas 2002 incorporating the Cube nightclub, the Union Cinema and four bars.

The Students' Union is today as vibrant and innovative as ever. We may have swapped our debating chamber for a nightclub, but Southampton still holds its head high. On the national stage it is one of the leading students unions in the country. Our voice is heard on political issues as diverse as housing, fees, and international student visas. Your Union represents you not just to the university but to the country and occasionally even further.

Students' Union Presidents

The current Union President is Olivia Reed

A number of former Union Presidents have gone on to have political careers, with several of them currently serving as MPs in Parliament. Before the 1960's the President was a volunteer role and not a full-time sabbatical role, hence the number of resignations

Emily Harrison

2019-2020

Emily Dawes (Resigned)

2018-2019

Flora Noble

2017-2018

Alex Hovden

2016-2017

Ben Franklin

2015-2016

David Mendoza-Wolfson

2014-2015

David Gilani

2013-2014

Sam Ling

2012-2013

Sam Ling

2011-2012

Billy FitzJohn

2010-2011

Steve O'Reilly

2009-2010

Alex Tanfield

2008-2009

Sarah Moore

2007-2008

Ben Rogers

2006-2007

Andrew Wilson

2005-2006

Andrew Wilson

2004-2005

Ben Hudson

2003-2004

Tim Rowlandson

2002-2003

Stephen Edwards

2001-2002

Marie Heracleous

2000-2001

Graham Poole

1999-2000

Alex Bols

1998-1999

Matt Mowlem

1997-1998

Simon Coningsby

1996-1997

Nigel Impey

1995-1997

Hannah Barton

1994-1995

Kevin Craig

1993-1994

Stephen Knight

1992-1993

A Wootton

1991-1992

Steve Lathrope

1990-1991

E Grant

1989-1990

Richard J P G Chavasse

1988-1989

Joceline K Tran

1987-1988

Ian Geddes

1986-1987

M Parchment

1985-1986

D Taylor-Smith

1984-1985

S J Williams

1983-1984

Stuart J Maister

1982-1983

Jon B Sopel

1981-1982

J K Dent

1980-1981

Peter K Emery

1979-1980

Jon L Craig

1978-1979

David M P Page

1977-1978

John Denham

1976-1977

David Hughes

1975-1976

C Rushton

1974-1975

S Evett (Recalled), G Strong

1973-1974

M Unwin

1972-1973

Alan Whitehead

1971-1972

Glyn Davies

1970-1971

David F Walker

1969-1970

J R Alexander

1968-1969

K I Kirby

1967-1968

J Royle

1966-1967

P E Moorman

1965-1966

W Stuart Humby

1964-1965

M J Durham

1963-1964

J E MacFarlane

1962-1963

R C Smith

1961-1962

R (Balch) Barden

1960-1961

H Denys Barron

1959-1960

Anthony J Gardner

1958-1959

J E Ffowkes Williams

1957-1958

Derek A Schofield

1956-1957

Peter R G Hornsby

1955-1956

Peter H May

1954-1955

Stuart S Bampton

1953-1954

R J Barry

1952-1953

John Dascombe

1951-1952

Frank Bird

1950-1951

Jeffrey W Wilkinson

1949-1950

Michael Holland

1948-1949

Jack F Archard (Resigned), Ron Hewish

1947-1948

Alan (Chas) Dean

1946-1947

J A Attwood

1945-1946

J A Attwood (Resigned), F Stillwell

1944-1945

B Warner

1943-1944

S Fletcher

1942-1943

A Smith

1941-1942

A G Derbyshire

1940-1941

L M Moore

1939-1940

J Counsell

1938-1939

P G Wickens

1937-1938

A R Brown

1936-1937

J Goss

1935-1936

G G Whitebread

1934-1935

D Miller

1933-1934

S V Ward (Resigned), F W K Brumby

1932-1933

F Knibbs

1931-1932

E Palmer

1930-1931

L Nichols

1929-1930

L H Shave

1928-1929

L A Poole

1927-1928

J A Smith

1926-1927

G A F Grindle

1925-1926

L J Russell

1924-1925

S H Wiltshire

1923-1924