Election Week on Campus, what this means and how it can help.

To begin I would like to say a little bit about my degree and some of the opportunities the department has opened for me so far this term. I am a third year Criminology student in the Sociology Department, and currently beginning my dissertation on Prisoner Education. A couple of weeks ago I attended a public lecture hosted by the department at the university called ‘the need to forgive criminals’ by the Howard League for Penal Reform. This is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. This is just one area of my department in which I love, these FREE lectures that are extremely interesting, of a wide array of topics and organisations. They give a great inside to the field in which I am greatly interested in, and help direct the line of employment I wish to pursue!

This week elections have started within Vanbrugh College at the University of York, how exciting!! As York is a collegiate University it has nine colleges across campus, and Vanbrugh is one of them, the one I am heavily involved in. As a student at Vanbrugh I feel colleges are a great way to feel part of a community, which is a great feeling when university can be quite a daunting experience for new students.

To personally get involved in Vanbrugh College I ran in last years elections to become the Vice Chair of Welfare for the JCRC (Junior Common Room Committee). This is a committee ran by students to provide many activities within the college ranging from small weekly events such as Wind Down Wednesdays as a de-stress activity, to charity events such as sleep outs, and also planning Vanbrugh fresher’s week!

Our upcoming event which we are currently working on is Vanbrugh’s Winter ball which will be held at the National Railway Museum in York. This will be a fantastic opportunity for all members of the college to get dressed up and enjoy the venue whilst having a three course meal with friends to celebrate the end of a great first term back at York. This will also be an end to my position as Vice Chair of Welfare. This only means one thing, their will be a new committee!

This week across the University all colleges have their JCRC elections happening which is great fun. First, second and third years come together to campaign, to gain votes to win their elected positions. It is a great opportunity to gain personal confidence, enhance speaking skills, make new friends but most of all feel the heathy competition (this makes it much more fun).

Tonight (Tuesday) we have Vanbrugh Hustings, this is a chance for the nominees to do a speech as to why members and students of the college should vote them for their elected positions! It is a fun event for all, however nerves can often have a big part for those who run. Furthermore this is a great opportunity to enhance public speaking. A crucial skill to have in any career, which will stay with you long after university! The picture below shows the candidates running for the Chair position on the JCRC.

As you can see this is just one way in which students can get involved in extra activities whilst as university, and there are many more opportunities that may interest you alongside your academic studies. These extra activities can help expand your CV, knowledge, skills, experiences and personal development. They are completely what employers look for when recruiting, as they make you stand out from the crowd and give you so many things to talk about as well as your academic achievements. Such activities also contribute toward the York Award.

The York Award is highly valued by graduate employers. It is an employability certificate of the university, awarded alongside your degree.  Everything you do during your time at York, which involves developing employability skills, counts towards the York Award. I am currently undergoing applying for the York Award and attended a careers talk about it yesterday! See the selfie below of Vanbrugh JCRC Chair on the left and myself on the right.



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I am Alex and I am a third year Criminology student at The University Of York. I am currently a member of Vanbrugh College and a member of the JCRC (junior common room committee) as the Vice Chair of Welfare until Christmas.