“We want to make a contribution to the intellectual life of the university and the city of York,” co-founder Adam Seldon said. The project has been created out of Nouse Events, which last year hosted speakers from Jeremy Paxman and Lord Adonis to MP Rachel Reeves, after being created by fellow Union founder Harry Lambert.
Though not a YUSU ratified society and independent of YUSU, Seldon emphasises that the two bodies are on good terms: “I’ve spoken to YUSU President Kallum Taylor and YUSU Activities Officer Anna-Therese McGivern, who have both been very accommodating and think the Union is a positive step”.
This term, the Union is running a series of debates and talks. The inaugural event, taking place on Tuesday 15th October, is a debate on the motion “This House Believes religion is irrational and today’s society would be better off without it.” Four external speakers are sitting on the panel. Other events this term include talks by former Downing Street Chief of Staff Jonathan Powell, Sky‘s Political Editor Adam Boulton and Front Row‘s Mark Lawson of Radio 4. A panel discussion on feminism, a debate on neoliberalism and an event with Channel 4‘s Jon Snow are set for 2014.
Seldon said: “We hope to bring together students from different perspectives and backgrounds to listen to engaging speakers and to discuss the issues of the day, as well as ‘the big questions’ of life.” More ambitiously, the Union hopes to make a humble indent into ‘The Golden Triangle’ – London, Oxford and Cambridge – having a monopoly on the best speakers in the country.
To book tickets (which are free) for next Tuesday’s debate, follow this link.
The York Union Facebook page can be found here.