YUSU’s By-laws

Our by-laws are the documents which explain in more detail how we are run, how we make decisions, how students can get involved as representatives, to propose ideas or how to form student groups. See below for a summary of these by-laws:


1. Membership 

This By-law lays out the different types of membership, their entitlements and the process for
opting-out of Union membership. See full explanation here.

2. Trustees 

This By-law sets out the role of a Union Trustee and the meetings, composition and
responsibilities of the Board of Trustees.  See full explanation here.

3. Officer Groups 


This By-law sets out the composition, scope and powers of the Officer Group. Each year,
members of the Union elect five full-time and nine part-time officers to lead the Union for terms of twelve months. Elections are run online and anyone can get involved, either by standing for office or voting for the best candidate. The officers who are elected, together form the Officer Group, with the full-time officers being employed by the Union in paid positions, supported by the part-time officers who hold the position alongside their academic work. See full explanation here.

4. Policy & Review Group 


This By-law sets out the role and powers of the Policy & Review Group, who are responsible for overseeing and reviewing the Policy Process and ensuring Officers are held to account and fulfil their commitments. See full explanation here.

5. Campaign Networks 

This By-law sets out the role and purpose of Campaign Networks. A Campaign Network is an extended group of students who take an interest in an area on which the Union campaign, in particular issues of equality and social justice such as women’s liberation or environmental sustainability. See full explanation here.


6. Coordination Committees 

This By-law sets out the role and purpose of Coordination Committees. These committees are responsible for specific areas of Union activity, such as Sport or Campaigns, and carry out the Union’s vision for these activities. See full explanation here.

7. Elections 

This By-law sets out how elections to a variety of positions within the Union should be conducted. This includes provision for cross-campus elections to be conducted online and guidance for other elections to be held within Union meetings. Provision is made for a Returning Officer to oversee elections and for by-elections and co-options in those cases where positions remain unfilled following an election. See full explanation here.

8. Referenda 

This By-law sets out the process for conducting a cross-campus vote to determine the views of members on an issue of Union Policy. It explains how often Referenda must take place, how to hold an Extraordinary Referendum and the process for submitting, amending and campaigning on a Referendum motion. See full explanation here.

9. Creating Policy 

This By-law sets out the main way in which members can have their suggestion for the Union acted upon: by submitting an Idea. Ideas are a statement of what the member would like to happen, which may or may not include supporting facts or opinions. If it proposes changing the Union's stance on something or influencing Officers' actions in broader matters, an idea may become a Policy. See full explanation here.


10. Student Opportunities 

This By-law sets out the principles for establishing and running student activity groups that are constituted and supported as part of the Students’ Union. Student Activities broadly covers Societies, Sports, Volunteering and RAG. See full explanation here.

11. Accountability 

This By-law sets out provisions for accountability within the Union. It sets out the oversight responsibility of the Accountability and Scrutiny Chair to ensure that these requirements are fulfilled and the options for members to scrutinise the activities of elected representatives and hold Officers to account. See full explanation here.

12. Code of Conduct 

This By-law sets out the personal conduct expected from all members of the Union when on Union property, taking part in activities organised by the Union or representing the Union within or beyond the University. It covers the process by which complaints may be lodged with the Union, the scope and nature of disciplinary procedures in cases of misconduct, and provisions for appeals against rulings by the disciplinary panel. See full explanation here.

13. Union Representatives 

This By-law sets out the various ways in which Union members have their views represented
externally within the University of York and within the National Union of Students. This includes details of how representatives to NUS events are chosen and which University committees, Officers and other representatives attend and how they report on them within the Union. See full explanation here.

14. Conduct of Meetings 

This By-law sets out a set of guidelines for the conduct of Union meetings, in particular meetings of committees and Referenda Debate Meetings. Other committees may use these as an example of good practice though they are free to conduct their business as the chair sees fit, subject to requirements about transparency set out in other By-laws. See full explanation here.


Appendix A: Union Representatives on University Committees
Appendix B: YUSU Media Charter
Appendix C: Composition of Coordination Committees
Appendix D: Ratification of clubs & societies and network terms of reference/constitutions