Class often goes unspoken, whether that be middle or working class. We will to work to perpetuate a sense of pride in whatever background you come from. Our policies are there to benefit everyone; there needs to be an intersectional approach taken.
As members of the Student Expert Panel for Widening Access and Participation, we are in the ideal position to take these goals forward. Lucy is a representative at APMEG meetings, bringing us face to face with the people who shape policies at the university, including representatives from finance and careers.
We will reduce the cost of living for students. The #CutTheRent campaign has proved to be a success and therefore their hard work can continue with our solidarity. There has to be a limit to rising rents, both on and off campus. By continuing to voice our disapproval with high costs and dodgy landlords, we hope to put a stop to these changes. #BUStice is a campaign that needs pushing further in order to make real change to the service. Continuing the conversation with First Bus will help to improve the service, with discussions about price, and efficiency between campuses. The York Bursary is £1,100 for second and third year students. This isn’t enough. We want to increase this number in accordance with your rent prices, so no one is left struggling.
By expanding campus jobs and paid internships with the university we aim to put #MoreMoneyInYourPockets, including YuCall, the university’s fundraising initiative which provides money for scholarships such as York Futures and York Opportunities. We will make you aware of these opportunities, and expand them. York Bursary has a rigid cut off point, leaving anyone just outside this range dry - we want to put in place an application process for those within 10% of the cut off, so no one in need has to go without.
There is a stigma around class issues. The conversation around class and finance needs to be improved, both with the university and YUSU. Previous conferences, York Has Class 2018 and the Successes and Struggles of Working Class Women’s event in 2019, proved to be a success and we will replicate this again. The acceptance of BTECs as entry grades and introducing contextual offers would encourage this, and we pledge to fight to change this as one of our long-term goals.
‘Social purpose’ is part of the university’s slogan; it needs to be pushed as far as possible. They have a responsibility to give us the best student experience, and provide opportunities to everyone, without the barriers class provides.
It could be a struggle to achieve these changes. But we are willing to put the work, with our existing contacts and the potential to create new ones. It will be with your input and a vote for us that this can become a reality.