The final list of candidates for the upcoming YUSU elections has been released exclusively to Nouse.
Two late changes to the list involve the Services and Finance Officer position, with second-year student Dan Taylor withdrawing his intentions to stand while James Thompson has announced his intention to run for the post against former James College Vice-Chair Nick Bradley and incumbment Matt Burton.
The nomination process, which closed on Friday 22 February, saw a total of 20 candidates announce their intention to run for the six available positions.
Laura Payne: A progressive candidate, Payne has promised an active union that will fight for student facilities on the current campus and on Heslington East. She has also called for closer coordination between YUSU and colleges. The current Women’s Officer, Payne goes into the presidential race following a successful but controversial UGM motion to open up Women’s Committee to men.
Nadeem Kunwar: The only traditional third year candidate in the presidential race, Kunwar has served as Ents Rep for both YUSU and Derwent. He has promised to bring his enthusiasm for events to the presidency, saying he will take campus events “to the next level”. A conservative thinker, Kunwar supports the takeover of Langwith bar and promises to campaign for a student venue on Heslington East.
Mad Cap’n Tom Scott: Describing himself as “an entirely serious candidate”, Scott is running on a ticket of cannons, ships and booty. The Mad Cap’n claims that the most pressing issues for the year are plundering Lancaster ahead of Roses and teaching YUSU officers how to swashbuckle. It remains unclear whether his plans to distribute cutlasses to students would get past Health and Safety.
Academic and Welfare
Matt Pallas: Pallas, currently LGBT officer, is keen to highlight the need for a greater focus on academic issues as he feels that this is an area that has previously been neglected by YUSU. Having been involved with college welfare, Pallas wants to focus YUSU’s efforts on supporting JCRC teams. Other particular aims include tackling the housing rush, security on campus and fixing the bridges.
Charlie Leyland: Leyland has called for a wider approach to the Academic and Welfare brief designed to cover all aspects of student life. A former Derwent Welfare Rep, Leyland looks to improve student communication with the Medical Centre and the Library. Her emphasis on healthier campus living includes working to improve food in outlets and organising a fitness week with the AU.
Alan Duffel: A Social Policy undergraduate, Duffel has served as Mature Students Officer for Halifax as well as working in industry before coming to university. He argues the Academic and Welfare Officer must respond to a wide range of issues affecting students, including those at a local and national government level. Duffel has emphasised the importance of student ‘wellbeing’ over just welfare.
Service and Finance
Matt Burton: After one year as Services and Finance Officer, Burton has made the rare move of seeking re-election. He is currently spearheading the attempt to takeover Langwith bar and would use a second term to complete his legacy and push for a central venue on Heslington East. Already a major figure in YUSU, Burton’s experience would put him in a dominant position going into next academic year.
James Thompson: A second-year Computer Science student, Thompson believes that his current role as New Generation Society Treasurer will give him the skills and experience necessary to run for this position. Describing YUSU as “petulant, squabbling children” in their dealings with the University, he has promised a more mature approach.
Nick Bradley: Bradley has been involved in the James College JCRC since his first year and is the former Vice-Chair. A strong supporter of college bars, Bradley believes campus investment and a focus on college spirit to be pivotal issues. Bradley is the only Services and Finance candidate to oppose the Union takeover of Langwith bar, saying the plan is “not financially feasible”.
Societies and Communications
Rory Shanks: A veteran of the YUSU Executive, Shanks is the current Ents Officer alongside Nadeem Kunwar. He has been instrumental in reinvigorating flagging Freshers Week events. A member of the Officer Training Corps, Shanks is known for his pragmatic approach to sensitive issues like ethical merchandise. Shanks has stressed the need for society training and Heslington East facilities.
Matt Harris: Harris, a former AU Treasurer, is keen to emphasize the importance of internet communications in promoting inclusivity for students living off campus, and the necessity to help relieve the financial pressure that many campus societies and media outlets are currently facing. Having made an attempt at AU vice-presidency last year, Harris looks to create space for societies on campus.
Charles Taylor: Taylor’s key initiative is transparency, and is keen to present himself as a clean slate who is “not part of the YUSU clique.” A member of DevSoc and former treasurer of DramaSoc, Taylor has pledged to reach out to all students as members of the union and to increase transparency by publishing the minutes of all committees and to raise the profile of YUSU on campus.
Student Development and Charities
Jamie Tyler: A popular former Derwent chair, Tyler has also been involved in Kids’ Camp as a group leader. Tyler believes it is important to raise the profile of University RAG and to get more students involved in Student Action. Tyler has said he would work to make both RAG and Student Action more open and to end the closed committee culture associated with the two organisations.
Fran Olley: The technical manager for DramaSoc and former MathsSoc secretary, Olley hopes to raise the profile of volunteering and extra-curricular activities on campus. She aims to make volunteering easier for students by developing more online facilities, and also hopes to increase the focus on graduate initiatives. Olley’s ultimate goal is for every student to leave York with extra-curricular experiences.
Sarah Witts: Fourth year French and Linguistics student Witts is passionate about youth volunteering and has a strong background in charity work. Having worked abroad with development project Tenteleni for two years, she has also volunteered in the Oxfam bookshop in York since her first year. Cooperation between campus volunteering and charity groups is her key initiative.
Policy and Campaigns
John Heritage & Chris Etheridge
Kate Evans & Emily Cousins
Lisa Clague & Laura Vitty
Tom Langrish & Michael Batula
Naomi Dodds & Ed Durkin
Sophie Harrison & Eilidh McIntosh
Sarah Fennell & Ben Humphrys
Nadia Aziz & John Apea
Iman Khabireh & Marat Omarov
Environment and Ethics
John Nicholls & Joe Thwaites
Tom Barnes & Ed Morrison
Rhianna Kinchin & Collette Kerrigan
Student Action Chair
NUS Annual Conference