Patrick’s promises to you in 2020/21


Hi there, I'm Patrick, your YUSU President!

I took up my role in July and have spent my first month working with my sabbatical officer team Carly (Community and Wellbeing), Brian (Activities), Matt (Academic) and Maddi (Sport) to get the students’ union and the University ready for the new academic year. I can't wait to welcome back thousands of both new and returning students to our campus, and I thought it might help to set out to you my commitments to you for the year ahead!

I will help you meet new people and (hopefully!) have a great time.

I’ve spent the last month securing funding to ensure we can put on a huge range of outdoor events in both new and existing venues across campus, with space for everything from society socials to quiz nights - our plans are some of the most exciting and ambitious of any UK university!

We’ve purchased a large marquee that will sit on Campus East alongside the Glasshouse and we’re also installing a permanent canopy outside the Courtyard on Campus West making sure that we can hang out at some of our best-loved venues (while staying warm and dry)! To top it all off, we’re building a 500+ capacity outdoor venue, ‘The Forest’ by Vanbrugh College. We’ll offer a range of canopies, tents and yurts with a wide range of activities and events and pop-up bars!

  • We’re also working with the University who are developing additional outside spaces for Halifax College, the Piazza on Campus East and a new ‘campus gateway’ to liven up Market Square.

  • In addition to these venue spaces, Brian and Maddi are working with our huge portfolio of sports clubs, societies, volunteering groups and Carly is working with our range of liberation networks to help them adjust to the new environment. 

  • YUSU’s brand new student groups fund is now live which enables societies, student groups and College committees to bid for up to £1000 so they can put on activities and events safely (even if they need a bit of a change!)

I will help our student community to stay safe and well
  • We know that students will be adjusting to a really complicated world. The disruption over the last few months has understandably left some of our community anxious and concerned. I want to make sure that we don’t leave anyone behind.

  • Students should have access to great information, advice and support. The YUSU and GSA independent advice services, the College welfare tutors and College committees and welcome teams, the University student support hub will all be working hard to try to help you navigate your way through the year ahead staying safe and well. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch - they’re here to support you!

  • Our work to adjust venues, student activities and events will make sure that we go above and beyond the government guidance. We want to prove to some of those who think students don’t care about the pandemic or aren’t socially responsible, that students can have fun while looking after themselves and their City. 

  • Carly is leading on a program of work with colleagues from the University and the City that will help us all understand what we need to do to keep ourselves, our friends and our wider community safe. This builds on the launch of Together All – an online platform that helps students look after their health and wellbeing and the launch by our friends and partners at Student Minds of Student Space – an online mental health resource specifically for helping students though the pandemic.

  • Matt has been working with the University to explore how our learning, teaching and assessment adjusts to the new world, to ensure that current events don’t stop you from enjoying world class learning and attain everything you are capable of.

I will work with you to represent you and make the world a better place
  • The core purpose of a students’ union is to represent its students. It’s my job to amplify your voices, share your ideas and ambitions and we do that in discussions with the University, across the City and more broadly looking to influence the world we all live in. In my role as YUSU President, I’ll work to find new ways for students to share their ideas and concerns and work with us to develop and design solutions.

  • Whether it's working with Matt and the academic reps, joining Maddi and the York Sport Committee, working with a liberation officer on a campaign or coming and joining me at a meeting with the University management we want students to work with us to positively influence their world. By working together we can improve not just our own experiences and lives but the opportunities for all.

If you’ve got any questions for me, email me ([email protected]) or message me on Facebook (facebook.com/YUSUUnionPresident). I look forward to seeing you all in September!