The 60 second manifestos were recorded and produced by YSTV.
I’ll advertise the Policy Review Group at freshers fair and throughout first term, as well as bi-termly advertising for policy suggestions.
During the Governance and Democracy review, students said there should be a body to oversee YUSUs work and policy process - but there already is! Many students don’t know about the PRG, and I this is something I will work hard to change.
Already working within YUSUs structures, I’ve proposed several policies and worked with other groups to do so. I really do feel that the role of a union is to work for its members - and will campaign for students to have a better understanding of the policy process and how they can get involved.
I’ll hold termly and on-demand policy workshops, and make it easier to submit ideas - allowing students who want to get involved to get advice on their suggestions. These workshops will help students to write policy and understand what will happen when its submitted.
Not knowing how to write an idea can be off putting, you might be worried that it will get rejected because of formatting, or you might be scared of going to a referendum campaign. But those issues should never put anyone off! The PRG should work to develop even the vaguest of policy suggestions, and work with students to help their ideas be realised. Most suggestions do not go to referendum - most of the work happens behind the scenes, and I want to make this more transparent and accessible for students. As someone who’s been involved in the YUSU policy process since my first term at York, I know how motions should be written. I’ve worked through the NUS and YUSU Liberation structures to draft motions for other people and help them get truly great ideas into writing, and in a form which our union can act on.
I’ll put liberation at the heart of YUSU, and work with liberation networks, societies, and colleges to encourage policy suggestions and engagement.
Currently the Part Time Officers and their networks form part of the policy review process, which can approve or deny policy suggestions. By working with these networks more directly, as well as societies and colleges, I hope to encourage more policy suggestions from the student body, as well as more debate around what becomes active policy.
I come from a liberation background, and have a strong history of representing minority groups on a campus and national level. I’m coming into this election as someone who’s been on society committees, college committees, and PTO committees. I know these groups and I know that the ideas are there, so please let me help them come forwards!
I’ll lobby for an increase to the democracy and campaigns budget, allowing more publicity of the policy process and advertising how students can become a part of their union.
As mentioned above, there is a massive disconnect between the student body and our union, but it shouldn’t be that way. By increasing spending on engaging students, I hope that YUSU members will finally feel that YUSU really does represent them in clear ways, and how they can have their voice heard.
I’ll remind students that YUSU works for us, and that we control its activity, in order to see students and groups encouraged to take part in shaping our union.
The policy process as it stands is quite simple, but so misunderstood. Students who don’t feel they have a voice within our union make the whole student movement weaker, and so by making sure everyone can have their say in the easiest and most accessible ways, I hope to see not just a more accountable YUSU, but a stronger organisation to fight for students.
The experience that I’ve had of YUSU and other unions has been largely positive because of my active involvement, and I know not every student has had the chance to experience that. I really am passionate about the great work YUSU does, and I want to share that enthusiasm with the student body to give back control to all of our members.
I’ll hold termly accountability sessions for YUSU Officers, including myself, allowing students to question our work and get an insight into what we’ve been doing.
The sabbs this year have been great at making “what I’m doing” posts on social media - but not every student is engaged with Facebook and this offers little room for genuine accountability. I will make sure students feel empowered to ask our officers questions, tell them their views, and remind officers that they are accountable to the student who elect them.