King’s College London university has celebrated the 150th birthday of its student union – the oldest in the UK.

The King’s College London Student Union (KCLSU) was founded in 1873 and today hosts over 350 student groups and societies and more than 70 sports clubs. Undergraduates, alumni, professors and university mascot Reggie celebrated the milestone on Guy’s Campus. 

Syed Hassan, Vice President for Welfare and Communities at KCLSU, said: “We were the first student union in the country and it reflects how far we’ve come.

“There’s much more freedom of expression on campus now and the union has done so much for the students in representing the students’ voice.” The anniversary coincided with the start of KCL freshers’ week, which will see thousands of undergraduates meet their peers and discover the opportunities on offer. 

One of those was Medicine student Asma Korey. She said: “I want to join a lot of societies. I want to join ISOC (Islamic Society) to meet people there and I just want to get to know my religion a little bit more.” Victoria Chu, also a Medicine student said: “In London, there’s so much you can do.

“Even getting involved in sports societies – there are inter-uni activities – so yeah really looking forward to extra-curriculars.” As well as supporting over 50,000 students, KCLSU’s commercial outlets perform well, paying out £556,000 in student staff wages last year. 

Senior Vice President (Academic) at KCL, Rachel Mills, said: “I love the fact we’ve got the oldest student union in the country and I think that shows that that King’s ethos of putting our community first was there right at the start.”