Political and campaigning societies at York


Nouse talks to some of the many political and campaigning societies York has to offer

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Image by Patrick Hook-Willers

By James Fraser-Abbott

With such a diverse collection of societies on campus, Politics editor James Abbot speaks to some of the many student groups that make up student politics and campaigning at York. From political organisations to student led-charities and groups, here are some of the many societies worth checking out at YUSU Fairs this week.

University of York Green Party
This student political community each year has gone from strength to strength. If you are interested in supporting the values of the Green Party and taking them to the picket line, this is the society for you. If there is any chance in reversing the current climate crisis, then get stuck in with one of York's fastest growing political movements!
“We are a group who support and are interested in green politics. We are passionate about tackling the climate crisis, however we also stand for so much more, such as striving for equality and ending poverty. We take part in hustings, debates, and campaigns, and we are also in contact with the Green Party on local and national level. Alongside that we have fortnightly meetings which involve socials and guest speakers. We are committed to providing social and climate justice and welcome anyone who wants to join.”
Contact us
Email: greenparty@yusu.org
Facebook: University of York Green Party
Twitter: @UoYGreenParty

UoY Labour Club
The University of York has hosted and honed some of Labours most influential back-benchers and members of the opposition. Be a part of the movement's future and make some meaningful change!
“UYLC is the best society on campus for those who share the values of tolerance, respect, and economic justice. We fight for equality both on- and off-campus in our famous campaigns, feature guest speakers from the British & international political stage, and host a variety of legendary and inclusive socials. Have a pint with a trade union head, attend our acclaimed What’s Left conference, and join the fight for a better life for all. From the casual voter, to the seasoned door-knocker, to the “never-kiss-a-Tory” of your flat, we look forward to meeting you!”

York Union
In the York Union you will see some of the nation's greatest intellectuals and political thinkers go head-to-head in rigorous debate, tackling only the most contentious and divisive questions. For an evening jam-packed with insightful, thought-provoking and often heated conversation, I couldn't recommend it more!

“The York Union, founded in 2013, is a student-run organisation that hosts engaging talks, interviews and debates that contribute to the intellectual life of the University of York. The events we run are open to all-members and non-members, and they are free to attend. We invite the best and most influential speakers to the North of England, competing with events typically held by the ‘golden triangle’ institutions. Past speakers have included: Dr Ha-Joon Chang, Sir Vince Cable, Grace Blakeley, Alastair Campbell, Peter Hitchens, Trevor Phillips, and Jon Snow. For more information email us at yorkunion@yusu.org or find us on Facebook.”

UoY Liberal Democrats
Those who advocate for a stronger economy and a fairer society, or simply want to know more about the values of the Liberal Democrats, this is the society for you!

"The UoY Liberal Democrats are an inclusive group of likeminded students. As a politically minded society our members take part in a range of progressive campaigns; but our main focus is to provide a welcoming atmosphere for everyone to make friends and have a good time. Throughout the year we run events including Liberal Drinks, speaker events, and pizza nights. Despite government restrictions we have some exciting events coming up such as talks with Sir Vince Cable, Alistair Carmichael MP, and other big names. For more info follow us on Facebook (University of York Liberal Democrats), Instagram, or Twitter (@uoylibdems)."

British Heart Foundation Society
Ever thought of being a part of something bigger than yourself? With the British Heart Foundation, you can take part in their mission to save lives by campaigning to bring communities together, promoting awareness of cardiac arrest and raising donations to increase the number of people trained in CPR.

“The British Heart Foundation Society aims to raise awareness and money for the charity. We look to deliver information on important issues of heart and circulatory diseases to students. At least 12 young people die every week from an undiagnosed heart condition. The society wants to make students aware of these and promote heart health”.

York Tories
Founded in 1963, the York Tories are the largest political society on campus, and one of the biggest and most active Conservative societies in the UK.

“We stand here as a society to represent the national Conservative movement whose values embody delivering a strong national economy, preserving cultural values and providing equality of opportunity to all.

Freshers should join to be part of an active and inclusive community, with a variety of weekly events including speaker events with MPs (recent guests include J.Hunt, A.Leadsom, S.Baker), Port and Policy, Ginda curry nights, socials and campaigning. This term we are delighted to be holding talks with former Conservative leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP and Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace MP. Everyone is welcome to join and attend our events. We hope to see you soon”

Anti-Trafficking Society
“We are a slavery abolitionist group tackling trafficking in York and the UK. We campaign and run events to raise awareness of the signs of trafficking. We also run fundraising projects throughout the year in collaboration with anti - slavery charities such as Unseen and the local authorities. A small weekly commitment provides you an opportunity to make a real change towards ending this human rights injustice. Join our abolition group today!”
Weekly Online Meetings: Wednesday, 5 PM
Instagram: @uoyats
Facebook: UoY Anti-Trafficking Society

Feminist Society
There is no society on campus that is more relevant and organised in the cause of women's rights. At the forefront of intersectional feminist thought on campus, it is great contributer towards the betterment of mental health for everyone at the university.

“This term, FemSoc is aiming to truly engage with the activist side of our society's identity. Along with our weekly events this term, we will be running a campaign around Consent and Rape Culture at universities and what Universities can do to combat it. We kicked this off this week via social media (@uoyfemsoc), and hope to grow across term. We will also be discussing issues of misogynoir within the black and feminist communities during the upcoming Black History Month, drawing attention to issues such as the over-sexualisation of black women, historically and contemporarily. Later on in the term, we are hoping to also engage in charity work with Movember around International Men’s Day on 19 November, when we’ll be holding talks on positive masculinity and the importance of discussions around Men’s Mental Health.”

UoY Amnesty International
A collaborative society that has no problem in tackling a wide array of issues focusing on human rights.
“Amnesty International Society is a close-knit community of student activists dedicated to human rights activism and education. York is the first Human Rights City in the UK, and home to the Applied Centre of Human Rights so perfectly situated to get more involved in a global human rights movement. Our campaign focus this term will be on criminal justice and racism, but we will also be running sessions on LGBTQAI+ issues, Stop Killer Robots and continuing involvement with the York Students for Climate Action! We aim to keep our content as engaging and empowering as possible despite social distancing measures.”

Socialist Students Society
The Socialist Students Society is a constructive, educational, and inclusive community for both socialists and anyone who is interested in learning more about the ideological aspirations of socialism.
 “Our aims and objectives are multifaceted, We work to improve the world around us through the philosophical tenets of socialism: mutual aid, solidarity, and intersectionality. The society intends to promote awareness and support for socialist causes around the world, as well as general humanistic ones. The Socialist Students Society aims to educate all those involved, hosting regular discussions about both the theory of socialism and it in practice through the ages. Surrounding the ideology there are many wider policy issues which can be approached from a socialistic perspective, such as climate change, healthcare, and education. We host specialist speakers semi-regularly to enhance the usefulness of our community as a whole and promote new perspectives and experiences.”

United Nations Association
No greater opportunity is there to practise drafting policy and influencing decision makers at the highest levels of the international political system. In a simulated environment, that is! Exercise your skills in diplomacy in this interactive and fast-paced society.

“United Nations Association York exists to raise awareness of the ongoing goals and operations of the United Nations. We regularly host speakers from across all policy fields to discuss a diverse range of topics from climate security to the UK and peacekeeping. Alongside this, we train members for participation in Model United Nations conferences where delegates engage in a simulation of UN committee debates. Attending the most prestigious conferences across the UK and Europe, members discuss everything from space armament to rainforest degradation and have the opportunity to hone their public speaking, improve their confidence and enjoy fantastic socials!”

“At UNICEF On Campus, we support UNICEF in raising vital funds that will help provide children with life-saving food, vaccines and clean water, as well as protecting them from violence, exploitation and abuse. We also campaign to push decision-makers to protect children’s rights in the UK and across the world.”