In the last 2 years there has been a significant structural shake-up in YUSU. I am running for President because I believe our Union, through lobbying and delivering practical services, can now focus on the overarching aim of enhancing our students’ EDUCATION, EMPLOYABILITY and student EXPERIENCE.
*Fees, where’s my change?*
With the introduction of £9000 fees it is vital that we make sure students get value for their money.
As well as campaigning at a national level through the NUS and at the local level by following through the campaign to reduce hidden costs, one of my key practical services would be to see our Union deliver an ACADEMIC MENTORING scheme. By providing more PART-TIME JOBS FOR POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS, often neglected by our Union, this scheme would offer small student ratio (e.g. 3 to 1) LESSONS FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS.
Employability of students is the most significant service that our Union and University fail to deliver in. The Guardian’s University league table ranks York 40th in the ‘Career after 6 months’ column. This is unacceptable. We must urgently lobby the University to REVIEW CAREERS SERVICES and coordinate efforts with the Alumni Office.
The University has limited funds dedicated to campus development. We should lobby the University not to neglect the need for further refurbishment of Heslington West before any further development of Heslington East.
*Champion for Colleges*
Colleges are integral.
Colleges find it challenging to organise events that are more varied than the standard nights out. There is pressure from the University to provide alternatives, however, the grants allocated for such events are inadequate. One of my key policies would be to lobby for an INCREASE IN COLLEGE WELFARE GRANTS BY AT LEAST 50%.
I would also install ‘HAVE YOUR SAY’ BOXES IN COMMON ROOMS as I believe communication with colleges is essential.
*Switched ON UniON*
As we come to the end of our current Union Strategic Plan, we must begin to think of where to invest next. Around 5 years ago the alternative decision to building the Courtyard was to acquire a venue/club in town. I would like the idea of acquiring a YUSU CLUB to be part of our next 3-year Strategic Plan.
We must also protect students, promote good standards in student housing and make sure that your rights are respected by landlords. Thus, we must lobby the City Council to uphold its LANDLORDS’ CODE OF BEST PRACTICE. We must also protect student areas from the application of discriminatory anti-HMO legislation that has recently been approved.
New Assemblies have been established and YUSU must fuel these with important debates to attract students and show them how they can determine Union outcomes.
We need better training and GREATER RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PART-TIME OFFICERS, who have often been undervalued.
Many of our fellow students are international; we therefore need a better coordinated and college based International Freshers’ Week. After Freshers, greater support in subsequent years for international students searching for private accommodation is needed.
Visit my Facebook page for more information!