Students have given their say on YUSU in the annual Impact Report published by the Union last week. 72 per cent of those asked said that YUSU “effectively represents” them, up from 67 per cent in the previous year despite the crystallisation of anti-YUSU feelings through the Re-Open Nominations campaign in February.
The report noted that the 2018 YUSU Elections were the largest turnout for the Union ever, and the seventh largest nationwide. 30 per cent of the student body voted.
The feedback for societies is more promising, with an 88 per cent satisfaction rate for YUSU societies. Student opportunities accounted for 13 per cent of the overall expenditure of the Union. RAG had a successful year, with £57 533 raised for Action for Children and IDAS. Give it a Go cost the Union £2641 for 167 sessions, with 2443 attendance. 100 per cent of student groups who took part saying that the Give it a Go session was better than average sessions. 91 per cent of students who took part rated the sessions four or five out of five.
Only 62 per cent of students noted their satisfaction towards the running of YUSU’s Summer Ball. In the wake of the event, many students took to anonymous posting platform “YorFess” to voice their frustration at the price of tickets and drinks at the event. Environment & Ethics Officer, Oscar Bentley, has submitted a policy proposal to explore alternative venue option to York Racecourse because attending a horse-racing venue compromises the “personal ethics” of some students.
The Student Media section of the report quoted from The Big Student Survey’s “very good”assessment of York’s student media, recounting the numerous nominations and award wins York media has acquired in the last year.
Despite this, YUSU made an error with Nouse’s SPA Best Design win listed as “Shortlisted” and SPA Best Sports Coverage shortlisting listed as “Won”.
Commercial Services accounted for the largest portion of expenditure at 50 per cent of the total whilst making 49 per cent of YUSU’s total income. YUSU brought £3 698 309 in and spent £3 699 585, a loss of only £1276.
Academic-related complaints rose 71 per cent year-on-year which the report attributed to industrial action in Spring Term. Reports of academic misconduct to YUSU’s Advice and Support Centre (ASC) rose 91 per cent over the academic year.
The close to the report acknowledged the challenges that YUSU encountered this year. The RON campaign was described as an “impressive” reforming movement and it was noted that officers and staff sat down with the students who ran the campaign to gather their ideas after RON’s electoral loss.
There was also an acknowledgement of the series of issues experienced in Working Class Officer referendum in Winter Term 2017/18, as reported in Nouse.
The closing of the YUSU shop at the end of the 2017/18 academic year had been due to “declining sales year on year” and the financial risk the shop posed with “high rental premiums, low margins and declining sales” threatening to affect other parts of the Union should they have kept the shop open.
YUSU also acknowledged that the 225.5-125.5 loss in Roses 2018 was “not the result [they] wanted” and that planning had started for this year’s home tournament with the intention to “claw back from last year’s disappointing result”.
The York Sport Union have announced that women’s sport will take a particular focus this Roses in this edition of Nouse.
On the release of the report Union President James Durcan said: “Our new impact report shows the huge breadth of what students do with their Union and the continual success of this. I found it really exciting to reflect on the achievements of last year and to think about the platform I have to work with students this year to achieve even more.”