Complete YUSU Election candidate list

The final list of candidates for the upcoming YUSU elections has been released exclusively to Nouse.

Two late changes to the list involve the Services and Finance Officer position, with second-year student Dan Taylor withdrawing his intentions to stand while James Thompson has announced his intention to run for the post against former James College Vice-Chair Nick Bradley and incumbment Matt Burton.

The nomination process, which closed on Friday 22 February, saw a total of 20 candidates announce their intention to run for the six available positions.


Laura Payne

Laura Payne: A progressive candidate, Payne has promised an active union that will fight for student facilities on the current campus and on Heslington East. She has also called for closer coordination between YUSU and colleges. The current Women’s Officer, Payne goes into the presidential race following a successful but controversial UGM motion to open up Women’s Committee to men.

Nadeem Kunwar

Nadeem Kunwar: The only traditional third year candidate in the presidential race, Kunwar has served as Ents Rep for both YUSU and Derwent. He has promised to bring his enthusiasm for events to the presidency, saying he will take campus events “to the next level”. A conservative thinker, Kunwar supports the takeover of Langwith bar and promises to campaign for a student venue on Heslington East.

Tom Scott

Mad Cap’n Tom Scott: Describing himself as “an entirely serious candidate”, Scott is running on a ticket of cannons, ships and booty. The Mad Cap’n claims that the most pressing issues for the year are plundering Lancaster ahead of Roses and teaching YUSU officers how to swashbuckle. It remains unclear whether his plans to distribute cutlasses to students would get past Health and Safety.

Academic and Welfare

Matt Pallas

Matt Pallas: Pallas, currently LGBT officer, is keen to highlight the need for a greater focus on academic issues as he feels that this is an area that has previously been neglected by YUSU. Having been involved with college welfare, Pallas wants to focus YUSU’s efforts on supporting JCRC teams. Other particular aims include tackling the housing rush, security on campus and fixing the bridges.

Charlie Leyland

Charlie Leyland: Leyland has called for a wider approach to the Academic and Welfare brief designed to cover all aspects of student life. A former Derwent Welfare Rep, Leyland looks to improve student communication with the Medical Centre and the Library. Her emphasis on healthier campus living includes working to improve food in outlets and organising a fitness week with the AU.

Alan Duffel

Alan Duffel: A Social Policy undergraduate, Duffel has served as Mature Students Officer for Halifax as well as working in industry before coming to university. He argues the Academic and Welfare Officer must respond to a wide range of issues affecting students, including those at a local and national government level. Duffel has emphasised the importance of student ‘wellbeing’ over just welfare.

Service and Finance

Matt Burton

Matt Burton: After one year as Services and Finance Officer, Burton has made the rare move of seeking re-election. He is currently spearheading the attempt to takeover Langwith bar and would use a second term to complete his legacy and push for a central venue on Heslington East. Already a major figure in YUSU, Burton’s experience would put him in a dominant position going into next academic year.

James Thompson

James Thompson: A second-year Computer Science student, Thompson believes that his current role as New Generation Society Treasurer will give him the skills and experience necessary to run for this position. Describing YUSU as “petulant, squabbling children” in their dealings with the University, he has promised a more mature approach.

Nick Bradley

Nick Bradley: Bradley has been involved in the James College JCRC since his first year and is the former Vice-Chair. A strong supporter of college bars, Bradley believes campus investment and a focus on college spirit to be pivotal issues. Bradley is the only Services and Finance candidate to oppose the Union takeover of Langwith bar, saying the plan is “not financially feasible”.

Societies and Communications

Rory Shanks

Rory Shanks: A veteran of the YUSU Executive, Shanks is the current Ents Officer alongside Nadeem Kunwar. He has been instrumental in reinvigorating flagging Freshers Week events. A member of the Officer Training Corps, Shanks is known for his pragmatic approach to sensitive issues like ethical merchandise. Shanks has stressed the need for society training and Heslington East facilities.

Matt Harris

Matt Harris: Harris, a former AU Treasurer, is keen to emphasize the importance of internet communications in promoting inclusivity for students living off campus, and the necessity to help relieve the financial pressure that many campus societies and media outlets are currently facing. Having made an attempt at AU vice-presidency last year, Harris looks to create space for societies on campus.

Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor: Taylor’s key initiative is transparency, and is keen to present himself as a clean slate who is “not part of the YUSU clique.” A member of DevSoc and former treasurer of DramaSoc, Taylor has pledged to reach out to all students as members of the union and to increase transparency by publishing the minutes of all committees and to raise the profile of YUSU on campus.

Student Development and Charities

Jamie Tyler

Jamie Tyler: A popular former Derwent chair, Tyler has also been involved in Kids’ Camp as a group leader. Tyler believes it is important to raise the profile of University RAG and to g­et more students involved in Student Action. Tyler has said he would work to make both RAG and Student Action more open and to end the closed committee culture associated with the two organisations.

Fran Olley

Fran Olley: The technical manager for DramaSoc and former MathsSoc secretary, Olley hopes to raise the profile of volunteering and extra-curricular activities on campus. She aims to make volunteering easier for students by developing more online facilities, and also hopes to increase the focus on graduate initiatives. Olley’s ultimate goal is for every student to leave York with extra-curricular experiences.

Sarah Witts

Sarah Witts: Fourth year French and Linguistics student Witts is passionate about youth volunteering and has a strong background in charity work. Having worked abroad with development project Tenteleni for two years, she has also volunteered in the Oxfam bookshop in York since her first year. Cooperation between campus volunteering and charity groups is her key initiative.

AU President

Alex Lacy
Jack Kennedy
Aimee Gamble
Chris Collinson
Max Coney

Policy and Campaigns

John Heritage & Chris Etheridge
Kate Evans & Emily Cousins
Lisa Clague & Laura Vitty
Tom Langrish & Michael Batula


Naomi Dodds & Ed Durkin

Sophie Harrison & Eilidh McIntosh


Sarah Fennell & Ben Humphrys

Racial Equality

Nadia Aziz & John Apea
Iman Khabireh & Marat Omarov

Environment and Ethics

John Nicholls & Joe Thwaites
Lena Jeha
Tom Barnes & Ed Morrison


Rhianna Kinchin & Collette Kerrigan

RAG President

Alexander Fink
Helen Adam

Student Action Chair

Adam Wiles

NUS Annual Conference

Michael Wood
Laura Payne
Matthew Pallas
Andy Dixon
Matt Burton
David Levene
Sam Bayley
Tom Langrish


  1. 25 Feb ’08 at 5:15 pm

    James Thompson fan

    That is not James Thompson


  2. Why the picture of Grace Fletcher-Hackwood??


  3. What picture of GFH?


  4. Why have you decided not to stand, Dan?


  5. Maybe because he realised that the whole University sees him as a jumped up hypocrite for even thinking of standing for something he disagrees with so much?


  6. I believe you’re most probably right. That and most of the university don’t even like the chap. Regardless of the GFH situation, he’s still a nasty piece of work.


  7. LOL

    Anywho, seems to have all been fixed >.>

    Who is Dan going to vote for? :p


  8. 27 Feb ’08 at 4:50 pm

    John Heritage

    As far as i know dan was only standing because matt burton was running unopposed, when it became clear others were standing that reason was gone.

    Also if you’re going to openly slag someone off you might at least have the decency to do it with your name at the bottom.


  9. Well that’s not a great reason, is it? If it had been another position where someone was standing unopposed, such as welfare or societies, would Dan have stood for that, irrespective of experience or interest in the role? If so then that’s pretty contemptuous of students and their need to have officers who are actually able and dedicated. If not then it seems like he just has a personal vendetta against Matt Burton.

    Also, I don’t really see how it matters whether people put their names. What matters is what is said, not the identity of the person who says it.


  10. “The final list of candidates for the upcoming YUSU elections has been released exclusively to Nouse”

    Then I think you should publish it.

    What you currently have is only information about candidates for sabbatical officer positions.


  11. John,

    My name actually is Jack Sparrow….

    And I agree with David. Why should someone have to put their name at the bottom? What difference does it make?