You don’t have to be a Politics or PEP student to get involved in the campaigning and political societies at York. With plenty of societies available for those interested in politics and current affairs, you’re more likely to find a society for you whether you’re into party politics or a platform to discuss different views and opinions.
Amnesty International (UYAI)
A non-governmental organisation focussed on human rights, UYAI runs campaigns, hosts events and works with related groups to raise awareness of and support against human rights abuse.
Conservative and Unionist Association (York Tories)
The York Tories is the society for those who are members of or support the Conservative Party. Members of the society can meet like-minded people, campaign for candidates and participate in debates either within the the Conservative Party or against other parties.
With weekly debate training and frequent events, this society is perfect if you want to hone your arguments and presentation skills. Even if you didn’t debate at school, debaters of all skill levels are welcome to participate within a friendly environment.
English PEN Society (YorkPEN)
English PEN is a global literary network working to defend and promote the freedom of expression and to remove barriers to literature. Campaigns are held in various forms promoting the freedom of speech and the liberation of imprisoned writers and poets.
An outlet for Green Party supporters, the society engages with other political societies, campaigns on issues they find important and promotes the work of both the society and the Party itself.
International Development Society
The society is for those interested in international development and who are keen to make contributions in the field. The society hosts guest speakers, holds regular discussions and takes trips to relevant conferences to create a platform to exchange and promote ideas pertaining to international development.
The Labour Society subscribes to the party’s general aims and objectives. It gives a platform for those who wish to engage in discussion and the promotion of Labour policies and its ideology, and to assist in campaigning and canvassing for Labour candidates or campaigns.
For those who support the Liberal Democrat Party, akin to other political party societies, here is the opportunity to engage in discussion and campaigning. Perhaps the best society for punny socials, the Liberal Democrats society hosts events like the Liber-ale pub crawl and Liber-oke.
A society to foster greater awareness of poverty, injustice and other major global issues, the Oxfam Society, a branch of the national organisation, Oxfam, follows and supports campaigns and works on a local, regional and national level in assisting the goals of the organisation.
Palestinian Solidarity Society
A society that aims to raise awareness and support for Palestinians, particularly focussing on human rights and occupation. All interested students are welcome and the society serves as a platform to exchange dialogue between different campaigns and groups.
Socialist Society (UoY Student Socialist Society)
An activist network for students who identify with socialism, the society operates as a platform for discussion regarding socialism. The society provides a community for all those who support or are interested in the socialist agenda.
Think Tank (York Student Think Tank)
YSTT is dedicated to addressing policy issues and getting students involved in discussion and critique at all levels. A variety of roles and activities available, ranging from participating in the society’s consultations on concerns relating to university life to attending the society’s regular policy labs.
UKIP Association (York UKIP)
Representing the United Kingdom Independence Party, the society holds debates and discusses policy with respect to its own party’s policies and in relation other parties. The society’s aim is to build support and campaign for the party’s aims.
United Nations Association (UNA)
A society for raising awareness of the goals of the United Nations and international affairs, students can get involved with weekly debates, attend talks by guest speakers and participate in Model United Nations Conferences.
The York Union
The York Union is the largest and most active events society on campus. It has attracted notable guest speakers including Jon Snow, Shami Chakrabarti and Lord Robert Winston. Panel debates on a wide array of contentious topics have also been staged.