Your Union

Our History

Your Union has been representing RCA Students for over 100 years! Learn more about our past here.
Your Union has been representing RCA Students for over 100 years! Learn more about our past here.




Hi, we are your Students’ Union, and we have been representing RCA students for over 100 years!

Although we are uncertain of the exact date the Union was founded, the College Archive contains meeting minutes dating back to pre-war (1909!)                                    

The SU, until about 1973, was called the JCR (Junior Common Room), and met in the form of the ‘Student Representative Council’. Like our current SU, there was a president and vice-president, as well as representatives for each programme.

Although our archival material is missing several decades, there is a rich history of records from the late 1960s onward. This includes records of public protest, dispute against College decisions, elections, events, and involvement in political movements.


 Some notable events from our past!

Over the years, past members and leaders of the Students' Union have been involved in disagreements with the College, participated in national disputes, and raised funds for social and political causes throughout the 20th Century. Below are some noteworthy examples:


-Film students write to their administration body with the threat of ‘rendering ineffectual these expulsions and the examination system’ after the expulsion of two first-year film students (July 1969)

-The Union support the National Day of Action Against Government Education Policy (undated, but between 1971-3)

-The Student Representative Council votes in favour of holding a General Meeting with a Mineworkers’ speaker, and raised £23, which is the equivalent of £259 in 2024, from the Departments/Schools along with £10.75 from a fundraiser disco (1972, year of the UK Miners Strike)

-The Union represenatives vote in favour of supporting the demand for an impartial inquiry into the events of Sunday 30th January 1972 in Derry, Northern Ireland, also known as 'Bloody Sunday'.

-RCA students occupy of the central administration offices in response to a College policy on grants cuts and international student fees. The RCA occupation was mentioned, alongside those of other universities, in the Guardian! (1977)

Photo Gallery

  • Below, you will
  • find some photos
  • of your Union
  • Sign-making in the ArtBar for a protest during the 2016 EU referendum
  • Save Our Art Schools protest outside the Kensington campus, 24th November 2010 (as a part of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts)

IWGB (Union) protest outside the College, 2015

The RCA football teams (2012)

An older RCAFC logo (undated)

Cafe Royale- the SU's old space in Battersea (undated, but estimated between 2015-2018)