Skip to main content


Union hacks often use words, phrases, initialisms, and acronyms that few other people understand. Here's a list to help you.


Affiliated: societies that have completed the Union affiliation process.

AGM: Annual General Meeting, something affiliated societies and subcommittees hold once a year to elect committee members.

AOCB: Any Other Competent Business, usually included at the end of meetings for the discussion of any other issues.

Association: see Students' Association.

Association Councils: the group of elected officers who represent students. Synonymous with Joint Councils. Often referred to as "Councils".

AU: Athletic Union. Part of Saints Sport, along with the University's Department of Sport and Exercise. Not quite the same as the Sports Centre.

AU Pres: Athletic Union President, one of the sabbs.


Barron: a student theatre on North Street, managed by the Union.

Badger: a drink available in Main Bar, involving Guinness and white VK.

Board: see SAB


Carve-up: to choose someone from within a group. Used within Councils to elect positions such as SRC Senior Officer. Compare with co-option.

Casual vacancy: a committee position which becomes available partway through its term. Reasons for this may include the resignation, disqualification, or death of the previous holder.

Chair: someone who convenes and leads a meeting.

Class Rep: a student elected to represent views of other students taking a module.

Club 601: the Union's nightclub.

Constitution: a document outlining the fundamental purpose and procedures of an organisation. The Union has a constitution, as do all affiliated groups.

Convenor: a student appointed to run a subcommittee through interview, rather than election. View the full list of officers.

Co-option ("co-opt"): to appoint someone to membership of a group, by invitation of the existing members. Used within Councils to fill positions that become vacant. Compare with carve-up.

Councillor: a student who sits on Councils, either through election or interview. View the full list of officers.

Councils: see Association Councils


DoEd: Director of Education, one of the sabbs.

DoES: Director of Events and Services, one of the sabbs.

DoSDA: Director of Student Development and Activities, one of the sabbs.

DoWell: Director of Wellbeing, one of the sabbs.


EDF: Education Discretionary Fund. Supports School Presidents and Class Reps in promoting academic representation.

EDI: Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.

EduCom: Education Committee.

EGM: Extraordinary General Meeting. Affiliated groups might call an EGM if they need to fill a committee position, and can't wait for their AGM.

Elections: in March each year, around 60 students are elected to represent the student population in St Andrews. Find more info at Elections.

Ents: a subcommittee of student volunteers, who organise tech for all events within the Union.

Exec: see SAEC.


FiEld: a grass area behind the Union.


GNS: Governance, Nominations, and Staffing. A group within SAB which discusses matters concerning how the Association functions.


HLM: Honorary Life Membership. Awarded to 50 students each year, for outstanding contribution to the student experience.


In camera: the part of a meeting which is only open to committee members.


JC: Joint Councils. The SRC and SAF together form JC. Joint Councils is responsible for voting on motions on behalf of the student population. Synonymous with Association Councils.


Laws: rules governing the operation of the Association.

Lay trustee: a member of SAB who is neither a sabb nor University staff.


Member: any member of the Students' Association. Usually interchangeable with "current students", but can apply to staff, life members, or reciprocal members. Find out more at Membership.

Motion: a document submitted to Councils, asking the Students' Association to address, support, or denounce an issue.


Officer: a student elected to Councils. View the full list of officers.


Pablo: two shots of vodka and a VK.

President: one of the sabbs, responsible for student representation, press, and the public image of the Students' Association. Not in charge of everything; title of "President" is misleading.

Proctor: University Vice-Principal, responsible for learning and teaching.

Provost: University Vice-Principal, responsible for postgraduate education and research.


Quaestor: University Vice-Principal, responsible for professional services such as IT Services, Estates, Legal, Sport, and Finance.


Rector: a member of University Court, elected by students.

RON: Re-Open Nominations. In any student election, you will have the option to vote for RON. If RON wins, the position will return to being advertised as open for nominations.


SAB: Students' Association Board (also known as "Board").

Sabb: sabbatical officer. A student, elected to take a year out working for students at the Union.

SAEC: Students' Association Executive Committee. A subset of Councils, responsible for deciding HLMs. Often referred to as "Exec".

SAF: Student Activities Forum. The section of Councils responsible for activities. Known as SSC until March 2021.

School President: a student elected to represent student views within their academic school.

Society: (sometimes plural "socs") a group of students with a shared interest. Affiliated societies are supported by the Union, and charge at least £3 per year membership. View the full list at all societies.

SRC: Students' Representative Council. The section of Councils responsible for representation.

SSC: (obsolete) Student Services Council. Renamed to SAF in March 2021. Before this, members had voting rights equal to SRC officers.

StAge: a venue in the Union, with retractable seating and a stage.

StAnd Together: a group focusing on student wellbeing and mutual support.

Standing orders: a set of rules governing the procedures of meetings of a group.

STAR: St Andrews Radio, a subcommittee of the Students' Association. Operates a broadcasting studio within the Union building.

Students' Association: the body responsible for representing students at the University of St Andrews.

STV: Single Transferable Vote, used in Union elections.

Subcommittee: a super society, receiving its funding directly from the Union. All current students are automatically members of all subcommittees. View the list of SRC subcommittees and SAF subcommittees.

SVS: St Andrews Voluntary Service. A subcommittee of the Union.


Trustee: a member of SAB.


Ultra vires: an act which requires legal authority but is done without it.

Union: usually refers to the Union building. Interchangeable with Students' Association in most contexts.

Union hack: you, reading this.

University: the University of St Andrews.


Zero Tolerance Policy: a policy to protect members, staff, and visitors to the Union from harassment and bullying.