To the University of York: I’m so, so sorry

Why we were always going to vote for piracy, silliness and fancy dress.

I want to come clean. It’s all my fault and I’m sorry. I voted for Tom Scott, our pirate YUSU President.

At the age of 20, I have to learn to take full responsibility for my actions. To my friends, I’ve let you all down – I was never going to vote for the real candidates. You’ve now realised I am, at heart, a sociopath.

To Brian Cantor, my deepest apologies – the YUSU meetings are going to really test your patience and reserve. There’s no place for this sort of thing in YUSU, and you, our Vice-Chancellor, will be the first to suffer.

To the rest of the University, and the other presidential candidates, I can only say this: I have undermined the political system, which is there for my benefit. This fills me with remorse.

But, in my defence, it wasn’t just me. Scott was always going to win. Here are a few obvious reasons why:

1. York students like dressing up. Whether or not we care to admit it, all of us dress up (as chavs, tarts or golfers) around 20 times while we’re at York, possibly more. Scott did it convincingly well, too.

2. York students are sometimes a little bit silly. People don’t take YUSU seriously, and we like throwing the odd spanner into the works, if only to see what happens when it gets stuck. York students are often a little bit geeky – he appealed to a lot of us. I won’t try and define “geek”, but they’re everywhere. Didn’t you see Scott’s merry band of supporters? Wasn’t one of them in your seminar?

Here are four slightly less obvious reasons why Cap’n Scott won:

1. Scott’s campaign spread virally around the University campus, including on Facebook. By the time it came to voting, everyone had heard of the pirate. It was, unwittingly, a brilliant PR master-class.

2. Anne-Marie Canning’s campaign to get more people to vote. This was our downfall – we should have kept it small, quiet and sensible.

3. Third years voted him in because they are leaving and don’t care about YUSU. It was like a goodbye present. ‘Thanks, York, for all you’ve given me. And enjoy…click….this!’

4. Freshers voted him in because they were drunk (and don’t care about YUSU). Freshers, we all know, are here to enjoy their first year. They don’t know any better, and perhaps shouldn’t get to vote till second year.

So, for those reasons and a few others, I voted for Scott – I like to back winners, and he was always going to win.

The pirate presidency should be interesting. It might be funny or even surprise us all and be successful. It will certainly be talked about for years to come, and possibly emulated by future York students.

But no. We probably shouldn’t have voted for piracy (even if we did have a £10 bet with a Payne supporter). We will probably come to loathe the “mad Cap’n” as quickly as we came to love him, and next year, all things considered, may be more about damage control than anything else. Scott is, after all, just a post-grad who dressed up as a pirate. For a joke.


  1. I’d say it was a combination of these two:

    No one cares about YUSU. The few who do are very loud about it and make it seem as if everyone cares. No one cares.

    York is full of geeks. Geeks love pirates and sit at their computer a lot. Online voting + pirates = geek heaven.

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  2. I have to say that online voting and pirates will definitely appeal to geeks :P

    Though I say that first years aren’t necessarily more apathetic than other yeargroups, rofl

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  3. Anon –

    If you don’t care about YUSU, let me ask you two questions:

    (1) Why are you posting on a story about them?!!, and

    (2) Why are you posting on a website of a media outlet funded by them?

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  4. Tom –

    A fine example of someone making out that people care about YUSU using clever(ish) rhetoric. I find Nouse to be an interesting read, and I enjoy Will’s writing. How often have you been stood around not doing much and read a curry takeaway menu, or safety instructions, or something else equally inconsequential? Reading this article was in a similar vein to that (no offence to Will) – the actual dedication of time and effort was quite minimal.

    With regard to your second point – you assume some kind of ‘ethical buyer’-style policy with regard to how I choose to entertain myself. For your second point to hold valid, the following thought process would have to have occurred:

    ‘Hmmm there’s a link here to Nouse, I wonder what they’ve been up to’

    ‘This is all reasonably entertaining. Hang on I hope they’re not affiliated in any way with something I have very little interest in. I’d best find out.’

    ‘Oh dear, it looks like they’re funded by the ever-increasingly-irrelevant-seeming YUSU. Gosh I’d better stop reading their website.’

    I think not.

    In anticipation of a third point regarding why I should be bothered to reply – it’s 11:40 p.m., I have an alarming amount of work to do for a significantly urgent deadline, and I’m procrastinating.

    Also I would say that my level of interest in YUSU is actually higher than that of the norm, akin to that of a reality-TV viewer to ‘Big Brother’s Little Brother’ or the like.

    Good evening.

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  5. Oh yes and I posted because I thought I could add a fun little comment. Inconsequential. Don’t put unnecessary weight on silly little things.

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