YUSU Officer Profiles: Dom Smithies, Community and Wellbeing Officer

Degree: Philosophy BA

Image: YUSU

Image: YUSU

What does your role entail?

My remit as Community & Well-being Officer covers all things community, well-being and liberation. So that involves working with the local council, liberation networks and college welfare teams. And I’ll be working on improving mental health support provision, developing community relationships by piloting a community reps scheme and empowering students to get involved in liberation and politics with activism training.

What advice do you have for freshers?

Take complete charge of your own student experience so that you can be sure to get exactly what you want out of it! Throw yourself in the deep end, get involved in anything and everything that interests you! There’s something here for everyone, be it societies, volunteering, RAG, liberation networks, sports or college activities. Stand for elections in committees, join lots of groups and meet lots of people.

There is a diverse wealth of opportunity here at York where you’ll be able to be playing Quidditch one day, then representing your course mates on your Board of Studies, doing some craftivism the next day while in a onesie with a bucket fundraising and then you’re off volunteering in Nepal a week later. Make the most of your time here, it’s going to be the best few years of your life!

What is your favourite thing about York?

The Colleges. You’re instantly given a family, a community and an identity and I think that’s huge. The STYC system is phenomenal – it’s something that puts us leaps and bounds in front of other Universities in terms of welcoming students and bridging the year gaps. From the micro-communities of your flats & blocks to the macro-community of York, the colleges contribute to enhance the wealth & diversity of events and activities that are put on.

When should people come to see you?

Whenever! Pop into the office, catch me around campus, message me on Facebook, tweet me (I communicate mostly in GIFs on Twitter, just a heads up), drop me an email or send a duck! Feel free to ask to arrange some time for us to talk about whatever it is you want to – campaign ideas, policy suggestions, got an event in mind, whatever – and do just holla if you fancy a natter.

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