Student petitions for Tennent’s return [update]

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Katy Scott & Nathan Stilwell
News Editor, Deputy Editor-in-Chief

[Update 10/10/2016 20:00]
Glasgow University Union President, Fergus Grieg, said: “I understand that this is an important issue to students on campus and so will be straightforward in saying that there will be no Tennents in the Glasgow University Union for the next two years at least.

We at the GUU are excited for the year ahead to work with Molson Coors. As a company they are very excited to deliver some amazing deals across their wide range of products for students at Glasgow. We’re confident that over the coming year students will fall in love with the increased range we now offer.”

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Glasgow University student Sean Murphy recently launched a petition demanding the return of Tennent’s lager to the Glasgow University Union’s Beer Bar. At the time of publication, the petition has been signed by 180 supporters.

The decision not to stock Tennent’s Lager was made by the purchasing consortium Northern Services at their general meeting in June.

The GUU, Queen Margaret Union, Dundee University Students’ Association, Queens University Belfast and St Andrews University Students’ Association are part of Northern Services, a buying group catering to student unions.

Northern Services negotiate deals with drink suppliers at a general meeting before the beginning of the academic year, where suppliers are given the opportunity to display their goods at a trade fair and prices and terms are negotiated. Each union in the buying group sends representatives to attend both the trade fair and the general meeting, where a vote is held on suppliers. Votes are allocated to each member organisation in direct relation to that institution’s purchasing power.

Northern Services previously had a fixed supply deal with the C&C group, the owner of Tennent’s Lager.

A similar petition was launched by undergraduates at St. Andrews University three weeks ago. The petition currently stands at 251 supporters. Tennent’s responded to the petition by sending “emergency supplies” to the halls of residence a week later.

Sean Murphy told the Glasgow Guardian: “For many past and present GU students, a pint of Tennent’s in the Beer Bar is more than just a drink in a pub. Drinking what, to many of us, is the best lager in Scotland within the best student atmosphere known to us, is a key part of what being a GU student is all about.

The separation of the Beer Bar and Tennent’s is, we feel, drastic and unnecessary. The decisions has been taken in great haste and without proper consultation of the Union’s members.”