Mixed bag for YUSU in freshers’ survey

Image: Wikimedia Commons

YUSU has published the findings of its recent survey into freshers’ first impressions of the University of York. The results showed that first year undergraduates were attracted to York predominantly because of its academic reputation and how quickly they felt that they were part of a college.

However, only 40 per cent of freshers felt that they were part of a Students’ Union. Evidently YUSU weren’t too perturbed by this, with a total of 80 per cent of students saying that they were satisfied with the Students’ Union.

More middling results were found for the welcome bag, with a disappointing 61 per cent rating the YUSU welcome bag as ‘excellent or good’. It is unclear how opinion was distributed among more sceptical response options. With regard to freshers’ week, 52 per cent of first years described themselves as satisfied or very satisfied with their freshers’ week experiences. Those with less rosy perceptions cited a lack of daytime and non-drinking events, and late event cancellations.

Derwent college came out on top in terms of freshers’ satisfaction. But it is clear that freshers of all colleges come to York with very positive perceptions of what awaits them: a whopping 97 per cent said that the most important reason they came to York is to make ‘a better life for myself in the future’. Equally, 97 per cent of respondents said that ‘learning more’ about their ‘chosen subject’ was important in their decision to come to York.

Social life was also found to be a key decision in leading undergraduates to York, with 81 per cent saying that it was either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ important in their decision making.

AccommOdation and STYCing both received similarly positive feedback, with 79 and 78 per cent approval ratings respectively. Freshers’ fair, viking raid and comedy night were the most well-received events, with 96, 92 and 92 per cent of respondents declaring themselves satisfied. The survey was compiled by YUSU sending an email out to all freshers on 12 October. It is unclear how many responded to the survey.

In response to the survey results, Nouse asked its own freshers about their experiences with the SU. “I actually feel positive about YUSU,” one commented. “It’s all about sport for me. I’ve been able to join three new sports societies just by looking at their website.”

Another of our freshers took a different view: “I still have no idea what YUSU does or how they affect me. The only meaningful contact I’ve had with YUSU is via the committee of a small society. I’ve found that, unless you already have a big presence, it’s difficult to open a dialogue.”