Taking the best we can from a bad situation

Anyone got a spare ten grand? YUSU haven’t, having handed it over in return for an Organisation and Governance Review, all in the name of telling YUSU whether it’s doing its job properly. The usual suspects who seize every opportunity to criticise the union have had a field day. But have they actually stopped to consider that the review might be beneficial for struggling students such as themselves in the long run?

Student unions across the UK have a vital role to play in representing the interests of the student body. Therefore, if there’s any way that our union here at York can be made better, we should surely grasp such an opportunity. The findings of the review are not revolutionary, but they have given YUSU a clear outline of the changes that need to be made for the future. In particular, the review highlights the need to prepare for Heslington East and the increased YUSU income it could generate.

I have become increasingly aware of the animosity that exists between students and their union. This bad-feeling between us and our representatives is all wrong; we should be working together. This is one of the things picked up on in the review. It holds the importance of sabbatical officers developing greater interaction with students and making sure that they are aware of what we need and want. At the end of the day, YUSU is here to serve us. If we hate them and they grow increasingly agitated by us, there’s no hope for York getting any better.

Ideally, YUSU would have been perfectly aware of the changes that need to be made, but sometimes a fresh perspective is best to identify what needs to be done. This way, the officers can continue to focus on doing their jobs. Some of the changes are relatively small, while others are much bigger. Splitting the Academic and Welfare Officer’s role into two posts is a notable example. But all of these improvements will come together to make a better, more efficient YUSU.

Let’s, for once, stop moaning and start encouraging. Ten grand’s not that much if it’ll make more through actual efficiency in the future.

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