Candidate: Alex Urquhart

YSTV 60 Second Manifestos

The 60 second manifestos were recorded and produced by YSTV.


Presidential Manifesto
Alex Urquhart
The University of York’s community is a diverse one. From societies and colleges to sports teams and campuses, each community has their own priorities, goals and plans for the future. I believe it is YUSU’s responsibility to understand the ambitions of each group and respond accordingly.
This manifesto aims to identify, support and advance York’s communities, big and small, with achievable policy. Given York’s expansion, nurturing these smaller communities will only lead to a stronger identity in the future, allowing students to fulfil their potential.
1. For You

1.1 Develop the relationship between Students, YUSU and The University. I’d like the students to trust that their voice is being heard in the board rooms of YUSU and the University, by addressing the current systems of feedback between the three parties. One idea I have to do this is:

i) ClickVote, a digtal system of feedback. ClickVote’s aim is to generate usable data, based on simple questions, to create a dialogue between the students and those making decisions. The app will disseminate the plans of the YUSU and the University to the students when they are still in the planning stages, allowing students to give informed and influential feedback.

1.2) Keep students in the loop. Inform students about the future plans regarding accommodation prices, development and funding plans.

1.3) Tie up loose ends. I’d like to finish the projects, voted for by students, and started by previous presidents that are yet to be completed. These include:

  • The Student Noticeboard. Facilitate the use of this website, allowing students to share resources and gain experience.
2. For Colleges and Campuses

2.1 Clarify the relationship between YUSU and colleges. Communication of YUSU’s management of college funds to ensure colleges and the union compliment each other's goals.

2.2 Encourage "College Interns/Officers". These would be positions that every college, can chose to adopt, whereby students are selected for skills-based jobs (e.g. college Photographers, Webmasters, Tech officers and Comms) based on their experience and skill set, rather than being elected by popular vote. This aims to allow students that don’t necessarily want to be voted, but have the experience do contribute to college life.

2.3 Invest in the Hes East Community. It is the job of the student union to ensure that the energy and interest of the environment on Hes East develop alongside its physical expansion. Campus identity will build from ensuring that current students have an active role in this process. I will ensure this by:

i) Introducing a Hes East Council. This will encourage collaboration between the Hes-East colleges, specifically focusing on Hes East-specific events.

ii) President Drop-ins. I will be on Hes East at least once every two weeks to speak to students about their experiences and feedback about student life. No formal agenda, just conversations.

iii) Hes-East specific events during freshers week 2017 and refreshers week 2018

iv) Ensuring facilities (e.g. printers) are being serviced regularly

v) Support printed media circulation on Hes East

3. For Student Events

3.1 Empower Student-led events
Events bring people together, encourage networking and enhance the student experience. YUSU should facilitate a broad range of student-led events wherever possible, even if they’re not directly linked to YUSU.

i) Free advertising for all student led club nights, both college and independent (e.g. Blackbox, Drop., Tremor, etc.) on digital and physical platforms throughout university.

ii) A booklet in fresher packs, advertising weekly society-led events (e.g. DramaSoc shows, Student Cinema, Dance Classes, Qudditch etc.), aimed to encourage increased membership and attendance.

iii) Student influence in the growth of York’s event infrastructure. With new colleges on the way, York’s club facilities will need to expand. I would like to begin the conversations about this development, giving college chairs/ presidents and independant event directors a voice in the formation of a plan.

iv) Introduce YUSU event feedback forms. Present a formal platform for students to reflect on YUSU’s involvement with their event.

4. For Societies

4.1 Extend Support to non-ratified societies. This could be done by making the criteria for societies more flexible, allowing societies with less conventional leadership selection access to YUSU’s network of support.

4.2 Introduce Society President Socials. Create opportunities for society presidents to meet and collaborate.

4.3 Attending Society, Sports, JCRC and CSA socials throughout the year. Going to these socials without an agenda; there simply to meet and speak to a broad range of students, hoping to get a genuine impression of their York, and ensure YUSU does whatever it can to make it the best it can be.

See also, 3.1.i

Everything on this manifesto can be achieved in 12 months, and each policy aims to nurture student communities, whether strongly entwined with YUSU, or not. If you have any questions or want more detail, please feel free to message me on Facebook or email: jau503@york.ac.uk
Thank you.