If you been to York for a visit day, or if you end up coming here, YUSU is a word you’ll hear bandied about rather a lot. While you would be forgiven for thinking a superfruit has taken over campus, YUSU actually stands for York University Student Union.
YUSU is run for, with, and by students at the University of York. What this means in practice is that it is made up of combination of elected students and support staff who aim to represent and support all students at York!
Some of YUSU’s main priorities are representation, opportunities, wellbeing and community:
YUSU aims to represent the views of the students here. One of the main ways it does this through the elected roles. These include the five main sabbatical officers: the President, the York Sport Union President, the Community and Wellbeing Officer, the Activities Officer and the Academic Officer.
There are also lots of part-time roles including everything from Women’s Officer, LBGTQ Officer, Disabled Students Officer, Academic Reps and more (here’s the full list from the YUSU website).
All of these people work with students and the University. They listen to problems, help create solutions and try to campaign for reform that is best for everyone.
It is currently election season on campus – there are flyers and cardboard signs EVERYWHERE. Facebook is full of random promotion videos and people sharing pages and groups to support students running for different offices. Often candidates (particularly those running for sabbatical roles) come up with a catchphrase. These run from the mildly amusing to the utterly tragic.
Any student can run for a position in YUSU, it doesn’t matter what year you are in or where you come from. It’s a great way to get involved and champion causes you care about!
YUSU provides and promotes a wide variety of opportunities for students. There are 66 sports clubs, from football and rugby to more obscure sports like fencing and archery. There are also over 200 societies. They include subject societies (eg, Physics), music and performance, arts, faith, politics, gaming, media and even special interest such as the Dr Who society (see the full list of societies). If there isn’t a society you like you can start one up!
There is also a wide range of charity events you can get involved in, including RAG (raising and giving) and volunteering. As well as all that, YUSU run events throughout the year. These include things like Global Week and Volunteering Week, but also big one-off events like ‘Live and Loud’ and sports events – most significantly Roses!
Wellbeing and community
YUSU offers a number of different services to try and help improve wellbeing, including an advice and support centre. You can go and chat to them about anything from personal and family issues to finances or academic problems. They also run workshops on different aspects of university life.
YUSU also works with the colleges to help promote community generally, but also with specific things such as the Junior Common Room Committees.
Food and drink (super important 😉 )
YUSU run various bars and cafes across campus. My favourite is the Courtyard in Derwent College! They do great hot and cold food, coffees, drinks deals and more! They also host events like the Disney Quiz Night and Marmite club nights!
YUSU runs a shop selling food and drink, tickets for events, stationery and University of York merch (including fabulously cosy hoodies). All the profits are put back into the Union to fund more stuff for students!
What it means for me
For me YUSU has been key in that it helps to fund and support so many different societies, particularly Dance Society! When I was trying to decide which university I wanted to go for, one of the most important factors was the opportunity for extracurricular activities. Without these I would not have had all the fantastic opportunities to be part of a team, to perform and be on a committee.
More info… This post has only scratched the surface of all the awesome stuff YUSU gets up to for more information please take a look at their website: http://www.yusu.org.