The GUU Board of Management took the decision to close the last ever Hive four hours earlier than marketed after concerns from the police about the safety of students if the event continued into the night.
The event, which had been granted a late license by to operate until 6am, ended at 2am after a decision by Board members on duty that it should not continue.
The decision was made after an ambulance was called for a students who were excessively drunk and after consultation with officers from Strathclyde Police.
It is understood that Strathclyde police advised GUU Board Members to shut the Union down for the night at 2am, citing potential safety risks of allowing the event to continue.
The crowded extension also struggled to deal with drunken revellers’ boozy goodbyes, leading to concerns about a lack of useable facilities in the building. Many of the toilets were so clogged they had to be closed. One toilet was blocked by a table after filling to the brim. A member of GUU security told a reporter from the Glasgow Guardian: “too many people are ripping the building apart… it’s health and safety hazard.”
Many students were reluctant to leave the final Hive, taking almost an hour for the stream of students to clear the building. Four vehicles and at least eight officers from Strathclyde police waited outside the Union as it emptied. A spokesperson for Strathclyde police confirmed that a 20 year old student had been arrested for allegedly assaulting a door man.
Morwenna Fellows, a second year English Literature student, expressed her disappointment at its premature closure: “I’m devastated we got kicked out early – I was prepping myself for a big night out. It was getting mental in there so it’s probably for the best.”
David Lockhart, President of the Union, was disappointed at the Hive’s early closure but stands by the decision, citing student safety. He said: “It was very disappointing to have to close the Hive prematurely last night despite having been granted a 6am licence, but I fully stand by the decision made. The safety of our members is our paramount concern and we felt that it was necessary to end the night at 2am in order to ensure this. The police arrived at 2am – after being informed by us in advance that we were hosting our last night in the Hive – and approved of our decision to close and said they would be submitting a positive report to the licensing board regarding our handling of the situation. Although not personally on duty last night, I believe the Board showed incredible levels of professionalism in handling what was a very complex situation.”
Despite some attendees of the event demanding a refund as the Hive was only open for six hours rather than the advertised 10, these demands will not be met. The 10-hour license was subject to approval, as all members were made aware of at the time of buying their tickets.
Lockhart continued: “Unfortunately we will not be issuing refunds for tickets. The tickets were sold on the basis of applying for a 6am licence – a 6am finish was never a guarantee. I admit it is upsetting that the actions of a minority may have affected what should have been a great night, but hopefully our members were still able to have a good night in the 6 hours the Extension was open.”
Update 01/02/13: David Lockhart’s comment has now been added following its initial absence due to the timescale.
Update 31/1/13: At the time of writing the Glasgow Guardian were unable to contact President of the Union, David Lockhart, or the Union’s Assistant Honorary Secretary, Robbie Warke, who was the senior board member on duty.
This piece originally stated that two ambulances were called to the GUU. It was only one.
Additional reporting by Marcus Peabody
Photograph by Dasha Miller