We can’t allow the University to disenfranchise us by barring sabbatical officers from their boardroom
Has anyone else noticed the changes currently challenging our otherwise comfy university existence? Whilst studying at York, one seems to be lured into a false sense of security; the only opposition to a happy experience being an ill-judged run-in with a maternal goose plus fleet of goslings. But if you look closer into the realm of ordinary University life, there are tremors rippling the surface of our placid lake.
That shudder is the reverberating footsteps of giant Brian Cantor and his University clan as they stamp upon all underfoot. I refer to their recent attempts at disenfranchising students by Brian Goliath.
The proposals for the new Student Services Committee and the suggestion that Cantor has tried blackmailing YUSU are rather serious issues. Trying to dissolve the right of both SU President, Rich Croker and Academic and Welfare Officer, Amy Foxton to vote on this newly created committee is a shocking tactic for the University to employ. No longer does it seem to bother itself with considering those who are supposed to be its main interest: the students.
Arguments aside about the role that YUSU actually plays in representing its members, the presence of the these two figures on the committee is one of great importance. The presentation of the student population with a voice is becoming increasingly necessary against the potentially tyrannical powers of the University. The fact that the new committee will only provide these officers with the option to participate in discussion, not to vote, bodes dismally for those studying here at York. The issues of accommodation and college bars, both controlled by the committee, aren’t those for which the University has the best reputation among students.
I know student apathy is regularly commented upon by campus media, yet it carries a massive amount of significance in this case. We complain that YUSU are too cliquey and disengaged with the true concerns of the students, thus promoting our lack of participation in student politics, but I imagine that levels of disinterest will remain high when the power of YUSU is stripped by the introduction of this committee. No longer will they be able to temper the decisions of those at the top of the shit pile which is this University’s hierarchy.
Even if we believe that YUSU do little for the student population, this is a moment when we should very much care about the University doing even less; the last year has seen numerous occasions — the porters, the kitchen crisis — when the needs of the students have been trampled on. We need to prove to this beast that that students won’t sleep through this one, and perhaps, for once, we should unite behind YUSU in demanding the rights of our elected representatives and, therefore, our own.
If we all got out of bed early for once, we might be able to prove to the University that in such cases as these, David always wins. The management should prepare themselves for the noise of the otherwise lazy students awakening from their apathetical slumber.