A motion was put forward at last week’s Union General Meeting (UGM) to propose the permanent addition of an International Students Committee to the York Student Union Council.
The creation of the new committee amends the YUSU constitution, to establish a new part-time position of International Students Officer as part of the Union. Speaking in favour of the proposal, YUSU Welfare Officer, Ben Humphrys, stated: “International students can face a specific range of difficulties at University.
“There is no cap on international fees, which could change substantially, and language barriers can often lead to serious teaching and learning issues.
“We need to focus on these problems and make real progress, otherwise we fundamentally fail to fully represent students at York.”
Should the motion pass, the responsibilities of the International Officer would include representing the views and interests of international students within the University, locally and nationally, encouraging and supporting cross cultural activities, in liaison with the Graduates students association (GSA), as well as organising a termly international students’ forum to identify issues affecting international students at York.
The committee would also include seven regional representatives covering each continent.
This proposal has been greeted with positive responses from most international students. Federica Maurizio, a first-year student from Italy, commented: “It’s nice to know, if I have an issues, there would be someone to support me and who could push for necessary changes in the Union and at the University as a whole.”
However, an unnamed second- year student stated: “It’s kind of unnecessary. It just creates more separation between international students and the rest of the University.”
Rui Huang, President of the GSA, who often work closely with the ISA, commented: “We believe it is vitally important to have an international students committee to increase representation across campus, and it will be supported and funded by the GSA.”
You can vote now on the motion at http://www.yusu.org/democracy/voting