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Freshers 2019

The events not to miss all week.

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The day is finally here! You’re fully packed and raring to go! Your moving in day will be busy and most likely daunting but don’t panic – there’s about 2000 others in the same boat.

Once you’ve got your key, head to your accommodation and find one of our Welcome Helpers to assist you. They are there to help carry boxes, answer your questions and comfort your parents – remember they’ve all been through it!

Important bit! Make sure you familiarise yourself with parking at your site – not all sites have access to parking so be sure to plan ahead!

Feel at home with us after moving in!

After settling yourself in, grab your new housemates and head down to the Students’ Union. The Presidents will be here to welcome you with hot tips and funny anecdotes, all the while our delightful catering team will be serving up some yummy (free!) food for you to enjoy.

We’ve got music, games and even Dominos will be joining us on Sunday for even more fill you up!

On Sunday, York Parties will be here to take you into the city centre for the first time with the YSJ Freshers Block Party. Foam and UV Paint are waiting for you and your friends – be sure to check back soon to find out where you’ll be going!

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New Wardrobe? We’ve got you covered!

You’re moved in, and hopefully have made some friends. Now it’s time to dive head-first into a jam-packed week full of fun and festivities!

From 11am, York Does Vintage is in your SU Bar with a whole range of vintage clothing, retro accessories and decorations. Revamp your jeans collection, your sunglasses or your entire wardrobe – anything is possible!

Pyramid Posters will be in the building too – ready to deck your walls with posters galore, making your room feel more like yours!

The first Official YSJ club Night: Kuda!

Following on from a bit of retail therapy, we have the first of YSJ’s Official Club Nights! Our friends over at York Parties will safely escort you to KUDA York for a fun-filled night of antics! Have a peek at what’s in store from last year’s photos on our Facebook page!

Be sure to check out our President of Wellbeing and Diversity’s Plan Safe, Drink Safe, Home Safe campaign for tips on how to stay safe and have fun in the city centre!

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We reckon after your first ever KUDA Monday, you’ll need a bit of TLC. Tuesday is all about self-care, wellbeing and relaxing! We have Yoga and Pilates classes in the SU from 9-12 to ease you into the day – you can sign up for these classes here (limited spaces so be quick!) From 12pm, we are hosting not 1, not 2 but 3 Petting Zoos!

We have Sam’s Safaris bringing small animals in the bar; everything from insects to reptiles to fluffy bunnies! Just outside the Students’ Union, Ian’s Mobile Farm is bringing the farmyard to campus with goats, chickens and even donkeys! Further afield, outside the Dining Hall, Owl Adventures will be bringing a variety of birds of prey for you to pet, hold and feed!

Yeah, you got into uni, but can you beat our Big Pub Quiz?

With so many animals throughout the day, we thought a charity raffle and quiz raising money for RSPCA would be a perfect way to round off the day, as well as kick off one of our most popular weekly events! Our quizzes are notoriously difficult (unless you know the answers!) but relevant too! This night sells out fast, but it’s only on the door so head down in time for a 7pm start to secure your place! We accept teams of up to 8 so grab your house mates and head down!

If you’re not the pub quiz type, we have you covered! Warm up in the SU bar ready for an amazing night at the exclusive YSJ Freshers Party at Revolution York. York Parties will get you there safe and sound to enjoy the night of great music, dancing and fun with your new-found friends!

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Happy Hump Day! In traditional Freshers week style, Wednesday is all about sports, societies and freebies! Head to the Foss Sports Hall from 10am for YSJSU’s Freshers Fair!

We will have a variety of big brands, local businesses and university stalls for you to visit – plenty of freebies, and of course Dominos will be keeping you well-fed.

Our Sports Clubs and Societies will be there on the day to chat to you – joining a sport or society is the perfect way to immerse yourself in uni life, make new friends and take up a new hobby or interest. Come with an open mind and plenty of questions!

Bingo Night with a twist! | Your Official FRAT Party!

Long day visiting our Fair? Why not relax in the SU before getting ready for the second of our official YSJ club nights! FRAT is back for the launch of our Wednesday nights! Grab your red cup and head down for some Beer Pong and face-painting in the SU, before York Parties walk you into town.

Not for you? As part of our RAG programme, we’re putting the FUN into fundraising by launching the year off with a bang. RAG Bingo is coming to YSJ! The SU will be packed with your favourite songs, drinks and of course Bingo games! Head down and help raise money for RAG’s chosen charity with your mates – keep an eye out on our social media for prize announcements!

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Love Cake? Want Cake? Get Cake!

We are hosting our very own Saint John Bake Off! Enter by yourself, with your course mates or as a flat for your chance to win big and be dubbed “YSJ Star Baker!” Our sports clubs and societies will be hosting their very own bake sales for charity along with taste testing of entries. Vote for your favourite throughout the day – the top three voted in by you will then be put to the ultimate test of our judging panel.

Our very own CEO Donna Smith will be amongst the prestigious judges, ready to crown the winning sweet treat. Chefs’ hats at the ready!

On top of the competition, we will have our YSJ Sodexo catering team in the Coffee Lounge, talking you through how to stay healthy on a budget, the best to use a microwave and various cooking tips to keep both your tummy and parents happy with your diet!

Love a good house party?

We’re hosting our own! We’ll have live bands on from 7pm in the Bar to launch our monthly Unplugged night, acoustic acts in the Coffee Lounge to continue the chilled out vibe upstairs and over in Temple Hall, we will have bands galore from 7pm followed by a DJ until the early hours to work off that cake and keep you pumped all night long!

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Two Words: Street. Food.

We love food at YSJ and where better to celebrate local businesses than in the heart of York – famous for its local ingredients and various delicacies. We’ve teamed up with some local food traders to bring you the best of Yorkshire and beyond! There will be heaps of tasty treats and yummy snacks to fill you up good and proper. All over campus, you can enjoy just a light snack or why not a full three course meal on your doorstep!

While you’re at it, join in with National Doodle Day and send us your best doodle from York! It could be a landmark, your new favourite café, or a group photo of your flat – doodle on a paper, or scribble over your best mate’s face on snapchat (use our filter!) then post your pic on Instagram or Facebook with our #YSJSUDoodle to enter our prize draw. The top three best doodles will be handpicked by our Presidents – watch out on social media for prize announcements!

Join us in the jungle for the third Official YSJ night: UV Koh Samui!

And here it is… your third Official YSJ Club Night of the week. Grab your glowsticks and UV paint for Koh Samui – a beach party in the middle of York! Head to the SU for face painting and jungle themed madness – we have a photobooth to capture your memories, before heading into town.

Salvation are your host on Fridays, and as ever York Parties will be with you (literally) every step of the way to get you through the doors safely and on to the dance floor!

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Roll up, roll up for all the fun of the fair!

Your campus will be transformed into a Traditional Fun Fair – you can expect fairground rides, games, stalls and much more! You’ll be transported back to Victorian times to play on teacups; or why not have a throw at the Coconut Shy? Grab your friends and head down to campus – don’t forget your Freshers Wristbands for special offers throughout the day!

Popcorn, candy floss, hotdogs – you name it, we’ve got it. Even a Rodeo Bull to show off your skills.

Carousel not your thing? We’ll have live music and a bouncy castle too to keep you going!

We at YSJ care about the world we live in, that’s why, with the help of our President of Wellbeing and Diversity, we’ve signed up to take part in World Clean Up Day! We’ll be cleaning up and litter picking all over campus to make sure we do our bit. Join us, the local community and local businesses such as Lush and York Dungeons in cleaning up streets for our future!

You’ll always sing like an angel at £1 a pint Karaoke!

The FUN doesn’t stop there – Saturday nights are infamous here at York St John. Every week we have Karaoke in our bar along with the delightful £ a pint on selected drinks. Coke or Beer, come down and sing your heart out to Bohemian Rhapsody. No? What about Mamma Mia? Maybe Greenday instead – whatever you like, we have an extensive range of songs to keep the party going into the early hours!

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Your last day of Freshers - you made it!

But don’t worry, just because it’s the last day, doesn’t mean we’ll skip out on you just yet. During the day, get your GEEK on. Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo and more will be all over the SU for your to challenge your mates.

Who has the fastest reactions? Put them to the test in the inflatable laser quest! Prefer a bit of vintage? Pac Man will be paying a visit too!

Battle of the Halls awaits!

You know those T-shirts everyone has been raving about all week? Well it’s finally here – Battle of the Halls! Meet at the SU at 8pm for the best York has to offer in an Official YSJ Bar Crawl. You will end up in Salvation after visiting pubs and bars along the way – what better way to discover your new favourite hangout (other than the SU of course!).

A trip to movies with our OpenAir Cinema!

We get it, it’s the end of a VERY long week and you're absolutely done in. That’s cool, stay and chill on campus with our OUTDOOR cinema!

Grab a blanket, a bucket of popcorn and find a spot for a night in front of the big screen. We’ll be taking over the courtyard around the Cordukes area so there’ll be plenty of space to choose from! We’ll be revealing a poll on our Instagram soon – so be sure to follow us @YSJSU to have your say on your Freshers Movie!

Freshers Wristbands

The key to your Freshers Week is here! Grab your wristband to unlock deals all week long around York! We have two options for you to choose from - Standard or Premium!
*Please note all offers are only valid for Freshers Week unless stated otherwise. (Freshers Week is 14th-22nd September 2019)

And don’t forget the prize-draws!

We have tons of fabulous prizes to be won – all you need to do to enter is buy either of our wristbands before the dates below and you’ll automatically be entered!
Winners will be announced on our social media for the following:

26th August: Amazon Prime Membership for the year!
2nd September: £50 online shop voucher for a supermarket of your choice!
5th September: 4 x vouchers to Energi Trampoline park for a free bounce!
9th September: £40 print credit at University – trust us, it’ll go a long way!

13th September: Netflix Membership for the year!
18th September: 10 x Food vouchers to be won behind the SU Bar!
20th September: 4 x Nandos vouchers for a Combo Meal & Soft Drink for 2!

The average value for all of these is over £50 – it’s just too good to miss!


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Jenny Marchant

  • President of Education
  • Hi, I am Jenny and I will be your President of Education for the year. I oversee the representation within your academic life, so I will be focusing on making sure students feel represented and heard all across the university!
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Tim Holmes

  • President of Students' Union
  • Hi, I’m Tim and as your Student Union President I’m here to represent the student voice and help provide you with the best possible student experience, from day one to graduation. I love this university, and I'm here to help you love your time here too.
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Kirsten Jolley

  • President of Wellbeing & Diversity
  • Hello, I’m Kirsten and I will be your President of Wellbeing and Diversity for 2019-2020 and my job is to make sure all students are happy and feel represented at York St John.


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Donna Smith

  • CEO
  • Hi I’m Donna, and I am the CEO of the Students’ Union. My role is manage the day to day operations of the SU, including the management of the staff team and all services and activities. I am responsible for governance, legal compliance and policy and act as the main adviser to the Officer Team.
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David Green

  • Finance and Resources Manager
  • Hi I'm Dave and I look after all the finances at YSJSU, from managing the budgets to helping with clubs and societies!
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Marie Judge

  • Finance Assistant
  • Hi I'm Marie! I oversee the day to day finances that operate around the SU and can help answer questions with budgeting and much more!
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David Tait

  • Operations and Business Development Manager
  • Hi, I'm Dave, I oversee the Operations & Business Development Team, this includes, the Bar, Events, Retail, Marketing, Communications and Digital operations for the Students’ Union.
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Harriet Stainton

  • Senior Marketing and Events Coordinator
  • Hi, I’m Harriet! I oversee all marketing and communications that go through the Students’ Union, from social media messages to brand identity to commercial diversification!
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Aidan Laycock

  • Digital Development Coordinator
  • Hi I'm Aidan! I oversee everything digital, from the website to our internal management systems and everything in between.
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Paul Murtough

  • Student Opportunities Manager
  • Hello there! I’m Paul, the Student Opportunities Manager at the SU. I work with a team of people to make sure that you have a chance to get involved with everything we do at the SU, from Sports and Societies, to volunteering and fundraising.
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Ben Francis

  • Sports Coordinator
  • Hi I'm Ben! I’m the sports coordinator and I work with and support YSJ’s Sports Clubs with everything from BUCS to new kit!

Have any questions or Queries?


Supporting York St John students to grow, succeed, and have a great time whilst at University

Our Contacts

York St. John Students' Union
Lord Mayor's Walk
York, YO31 7EX

01904 629 816