YUSU is making problems not solving them - for real change, vote Parry 4 Prez
Hi, I’m John, in my third year of dealing with YUSU as course rep, society secretary and biologist. At York, I’ve met students with problems from accommodation to nightlife to mental health, and while YUSU acknowledge these they won’t be bold about the solutions or let students hold them accountable for this; as your president, this is what I’d do.
So many clubs in the city have closed we have four nights in three clubs, with more going. YUSU should hold more on-campus nights, and advertise them and others in the same way as current nights to reduce York Parties’ monopoly.
On campus, accommodation is vastly overpriced. Current officers have won rent cuts for 20 bedroom houses - a good start to a campaign I’d continue by demanding a rent freeze for all on-campus accommodation. I would also work with the university to scrap and replace Circuit, and with the uni and city council to make sure students know their rights as tenants and can address any off-campus housing issues.
The university is good at advertising mindfulness but thinking this will cure mental health problems is a dangerous fantasy. For students seeking help the main option is the infamous Open Door, who don’t even know how their staff are trained. With the university and the Community & Wellbeing Officer, I would aim to reduce waiting times and ensure staff have proper and inclusive training, and work to replace Security as the emergency mental health contact with a trained specialist team.
Students working overnight shouldn’t be disadvantaged by having 9ams the next day, so with the Academic Officer I’d lobby the university to hold fewer 9ams.
YUSU claims it’s transparent and accessible, but when even the paid officers don’t know what to do it’s clearly failed. It’s not enough to explain roles and responsibilities only when they’re being elected, and it’s not acceptable that YUSU’s structure is never explained: these should always be clearly laid out so everyone can see who does what and where to take questions and ideas.
Students can’t currently hold officers to account if the officers don’t let them, since YUSU’s website suggests students choose between going to a meeting held once a year or reading reports from 2018, and their own rules on accountability are never enforced. Officers must be accessible and accountable to all students, so I would explore everything from drop-ins in departments to formal Q&A sessions to make sure officers are held to account and students know what YUSU is doing.
PARRY 4 PREZ: FOR THE MANY NOT THE SU