Disappointment with library services, transport issues and a communist utopia have all emerged as student priorities in the most recent feedback session from YUSU On The Move.
The initiative, which sends the YUSU Sabbatical Officers around campus to talk to students face to face, aims to gather information on the issues which matter to students.
The most frequently mentioned problems were with the library. Many students had suggestions on ways to improve the libraries, from creating a dedicated smoking area outside to opening the doors directly into the Harry Fairhurst building to cut down on commuting times.
Other suggestions were to increase the number of seats in the library, give students more print credits, provide heaters outside for the cold weather, get rid of the room booking system, and assign priority to third year students, or to those working on open exams.
A ball pit outside the library was also requested, resurrecting the motion submitted by Michael Walker suggesting the same thing in October 2013. YUSU did not vote on that matter.
After the library, the next most common complaints were about campus gyms. Students wanted more classes in the Heslington West gym, longer opening hours on Saturdays, and the ability to only pay for classes rather than purchasing membership.
Transport was also flagged up as a key issue. Numerous people complained about buses and suggested new routes or changes to the timetable, and there was also an interest demonstrated in a University version of London’s ‘Boris Bike’ scheme.
Other important ideas to improve student life ranged widely, from more ATMs, better student parking, more contact hours for Arts subjects, and water fountains on campus; to a more widely-promoted Refreshers Week, monitoring lecturer quality, and graduation ceremonies to be held at York Minster.
Not all the feedback YUSU received was so serious. Several students told the team that they should improve the weather, or took the chance to promote their societies to the officers. One student told YUSU that they should just “do something”, while another requested a communist utopia.
According to Dan Whitmore, YUSU Academic Officer, “there will most probably be things worth pursuing,” though YUSU’s position on a communist utopia has not been made clear.