Pres Blog | What I’ve been up to so far!
Hello YSJ! As you can tell, your Presidential Team have been extremely busy over the past 7 weeks since term started, and we thought it’d be a fantastic little thing just to keep you all updated (more so than we already do) by writing a blog or two about the adventure that is the past 7 weeks! SO, here is my little spread about what I’ve been doing as President of the Students’ Union to help YOU guys out:
Community has been a big topic on my agenda this year, ensuring that you as students are well represented in the York community, but also making sure we’re getting as much out of the local area as we possibly can. I’ve attended various meetings with local representatives of the York Wards (basically like the Vicar of Dibley council meetings, but northern), and it’s been really interesting listening to the feedback local residents have with YSJ and our students. I’ve created working partnerships with local groups, especially in the Groves, to provide volunteering opportunities our students can get involved with. Although, my main push this year is getting to know your neighbour; feeling as though you’re actually part of a bigger picture and community, and ensuring you guys are proactive in getting to know the people you live next to. In early November I will be launching the Know Your Neighbour campaign which will be targeted towards 2nd and 3rd years who are now living in their own houses outside of student halls. We’ve created FANTASTIC flyers that give you the opportunity to tell your neighbour who you are, what course you, where you’re from, but mainly it has a space where they can chat back to you. For instance, imagine your neighbour has an early start to work on a Tuesday, by chatting to them and you understanding that, you could maybe not make a lot of noise on a Monday night; then everyone’s happy. We’re here to help you by breaking down the walls that some students and local residents may struggle with. WATCH THIS SPACE, the flyers will be out very soon!!
Events and Entertainment is probably one of my favourite aspects of the role, closely working with Harriet (our epic Events Coordinator) in ensuring everything we put on within the SU is tailored to student engagement and most importantly, enjoyment. From Fresher’s Week many moons ago to having our building explode in a flurry of Halloween themed vomit, we’ve had fun in making sure you have a good time. We’ve got plans in place to make future events even better; for instance I’m working to make sure our Archie’s Days are as big as they can be, but also Old Johns; it’s a brilliant weekend but we need to make it more accessible to all of our present students and returning alumni.
Pres On Campus is a fantastic new project I’ve launched this year with exciting growth for the future. Pres On Campus is a play on words, and basically stands for Presence/Presidents On Campus – this is where we show you that the Students’ Union isn’t just a building, but rather an organisation and group of elected representatives whose main job is to support the student body and ensure you are having the best possible time at University. Each week we have a different topic, split down into simple questions that instantly impact your time at YSJ; one week could be about careers, whilst the other week could be around the events we put on at the Union. Without your feedback and input then we can’t grow as a Union, so please, if you see us around campus stop and talk to us. You never know, your feedback might impact the future of YSJ.
Finally, Sports and Societies have been a big focus of mine this year, making sure every student that partakes in extracurricular activities is having the best time imaginable, because at the end of the day, it’s EXTRACURRICULAR, if you are not having fun then we are doing something seriously wrong. At the very start of the academic year I ventured around various taster sessions, where every single one had some serious engagement; from extreme sporting talent to crowds upon crowds of musical and theatrical talent. Course based societies are on the rise which is riveting to see, as they are an essential base for extra support and socialising outside of academic study. Our annual Varsity against Sunderland University was YET AGAIN fantastic, with a demolishing victory from YSJ, of course. It got all the sports teams prepped and ready for the year ahead, and we’ve already seen positive results from all our teams in BUCS; this year is looking to be extremely promising. I’ve launched a new initiative called Question Time which gives me a chance to not only take a step outside the Union and engage with our students on their turf (quite literally in some cases), but it allows students to ask me questions, push forward any concerns or queries, and let them know that we are here to support them in every way. Sometimes approaching someone behind a desk in an office can be quite daunting, so by doing this I’ve pushed the barrier back. In the space of two weeks we’ve already seen positive results from requests and issues facing us, and I’m chasing various concerns, ensuring our students know I’m doing everything I can for them.
Alongside my work with the student body, I sit on various Governing Body meetings that range from our foundation as an institution, to the overarching Governing Body that make all the executive decisions for YSJ. It’s essential to have a student representative present, therefore being present on the board I can contribute valuable ideas to direct the board back to the priority, which is always you guys.
It’s been a busy 9 weeks, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of term brings. Cheers guys!