Decision Day FAQs

Decision Day FAQs

Who we are?

What is the Students’ Union?

We’re an independent, charitable organisation here to support students and provide opportunities & activities whilst at University. Our mission is to empower students and encourage them to challenge and change the world around them. We play a major part in the life and transformation of students by being the central hub of social and representational activity and opportunity. We are inclusive, transformative, challenging, empowering, and fun.


What can the SU do for me?

We provide independent advice and services that help you succeed at university; we offer spaces and opportunities to enhance belonging and student communities; we engage with the University and the city to ensure that you get the best experience on campus and beyond; and we provide activities and opportunities that will aid you in gaining employability skills and to become an active citizen.


How is the Union run?

The SU comprises three teams of full-time staff who manage activities, opportunities, advice, events, and finance & governance. The student body elect three Sabbatical Officers – the President of the Students’ Union, the President of Education, and the President of Wellbeing and Diversity – who work to promote the interests of students and provide campaigns and services to support them. As a charity, the Union has a board of trustees, made up of the Sabbatical Officers, two Student Trustees, and five External Trustees.


How can I get involved in the Union?

There are tonnes of ways to get involved in the SU. You can join a club or society, represent us at a sports competition, come along to our events, and work or volunteer for and with us. One great way to get involved is to participate in our democratic structures. In the first few months of the year, we hold elections to fill our Student Council. This is the decision-making body of the Union which creates policies and discusses matters which affect how we operate. In February, we hold elections to fill our Sabbatical (paid, full-time) Officer roles, and our Chairs of School and Liberation Officer (voluntary, part-time) roles. You can also apply from time to time to become a Student Trustee and sit on our Trustee Board.




Is there well-being support available at the University?

Yes, the well-being team offer booked appointments and regular drop-ins for students. You can find more information here


Is there help available if I am struggling to settle in?

Yes, the University’s Wellbeing Team run drop-ins, appointments, and campaigns throughout the first few weeks of term to support students who might be homesick or who are struggling to settle in. We run similar events spearheaded by the President of Wellbeing and Diversity.


Do you offer advice services?

Yes, we operate an advice service to assist students with any academic concerns. We can help you prepare for case consultation meetings and can guide you through an appeals process if necessary. Find more information on what advice we’re able to provide here.




What events are on at the SU?

We have weekly events running throughout the year, from karaoke & pub quizzes to £1 a pint on a Saturday. Our famous Archie’s Day occurs on the last day of each semester, an all day event where drink prices go down by the hour! At the end of the year we crown our Annual Award winners at the Sports & Societies Dinners, a sell out event where students dress up and celebrate the best achievements of the year. It doesn’t stop there, we have many more events that take place throughout the year! 


Are there any non-drinking events?

From time to time we do host non-drinking events in the building, and these are done on an ad-hoc basis.


What do you have going on during Fresher’s week?

Fresher’s is our biggest and busiest time on campus! Our annual Fresher’s fair is your chance to find out everything you can get involved in, from sports & societies to local and national businesses. We’ve had everything from petting zoos, to fairground rides to make your Fresher’s week one to remember! Keep an eye on our website to grab your Fresher’s wristband for freebies, huge discounts and more!  


What’s the nightlife like in York?

There are lots of bars, pubs and clubs in York, specifically one for every day of the year! We have 3 official club nights a week that run throughout the semester that our Plan Safe Drink Safe Home Safe campaign runs alongside to keep students as safe as possible during nights out.


How do you ensure student safety on nights out?

In the first few weeks of term, we are especially conscious of people going on their first club nights, drinking, and being out late. As part of our Plan Safe Drink Safe Home Safe campaign, we run walking buses to and from our official club nights, encourage responsible drinking and provide contact numbers for taxi firms and emergencies, as well as maps and postcodes for University-managed accommodation.


What is there to do in York?

Did you know there are more attractions per square mile in York than other UK city? You’ll be spoilt for choice! Whether it’s eating & drinking by the river, shopping or exploring historical landmarks, we partner with local businesses to give students the best experience whilst living in the city. Check out our Culture Map below to see some of York St John students' favourite locations in York!




How many clubs do you have?

YSJ has 24 Sports Clubs currently on offer, ranging from American Football to Volleyball. A full list of all the clubs we currently offer can be found here.


When do they train?

Clubs normally train in the evenings during the week (after 5pm) with some at the weekends.Some sports, such as swimming and rowing, have morning training sessions.

York St John sports park at Haxby Road hosts many clubs training sessions. Some train in the sports hall on campus or other studio/hall spaces on campus. Some train at venues in the city.Full schedule for 2019/20 is available on our website.


What facilities do you have? 

Haxby Road there are the following facilities in which clubs train: sports hall (netball, volleyball, futsal), 2x 3G pitch (one Rugby and Football, one football), outdoor tennis courts, grass pitches for football and Rugby Union. There is a sports hall on campus (badminton, basketball, netball, climbing wall, cricket nets). Dance studio and other theatre spaces on campus. The following clubs train at venues in the city (not part of the university): Swimming (St Peter’s school and Yearsley Pool), Squash (York Sports Club), Snowsports (Snowzone, Castleford), Hockey (Energise leisure centre). You can find more information here


How much does it cost to join a club?

It varies from club to club depending on the number of members, and the nature of the activity which they take part in. Most BUCS team sports cost ~£110 to £160 for example for a year’s membership. Other clubs who do not compete are often cheaper.


What does membership cover?

It varies from club to club depending on the number of members, and the nature of the activity which they take part in. For most BUCS team sports, the membership will cover: BUCS team entry, BUCS affiliation, NGB affiliation, team playing kit, transport to away fixtures, match officials.


Do I get to play/compete?

Many clubs compete in BUCS. Several team sports compete in BUCS league and cup competitions on a Wednesday afternoon (or weekend in the cases of Futsal and American Football). York St John has 41 teams which compete in 12 different sports in team league and cup competitions. Other clubs have members who compete in BUCS individual competitions on a regional or national level at competitions throughout the year. Some clubs compete in competitions outside of BUCS against other universities, or other local clubs/teams.


What is BUCS?

BUCS is British Universities and Colleges Sport, the national governing body of inter-university competition in the UK. BUCS organises league and cup competitions for team sports as well as individual competitions regionally and nationally for individual sports.


Are the clubs too competitive, what if I am not good enough?

You don’t have to be the best in your sport to join. Often people join a club to try something new. Football and Netball have five teams each so you can play at the level which is most appropriate for you. Many clubs also offer the chance to join as a social, fitness or recreational member. So you can join, play for fun or learn a new sport as you choose. There is also the WellU programme (see further down) which is a fun and inclusive fitness and activity programme with a variety of sports and sessions.


What else can I do as part of a sport?

There are several events throughout the year which clubs are involved in. Kicking off the season with the Clash of the Minsters competition vs Sunderland university. And finishing the year with Varsity vs Leeds Trinity. There are also the club and society team photo days and end of year awards dinners at the end of the year to look forward to. Clubs organise their own socials, meals and charity events throughout the year to.




I want to do sport but don’t want to join a team, can I still get involved?

Yes! The WellU programme is a fun and inclusive fitness and activity programme with a variety of sports and sessions. There is something for everyone from fitness classes, turn up and play sport and intramural leagues.


Is WellU serious/competitive?

No. WellU is a great way to learn a new sport, keep fit, have a break from studies, meet new friends there are variety of sessions available to find what is best for you. The sports included in WellU currently are lead by a team of student activators who are there to make the sessions fun and engaging for all participants. If you are completely new and want to give something a try for the first time, the activators will help show you the basic skills you need to get started and improve your ability and confidence. The WellU programme also works in collaboration with YSJ Active giving you access to a number of select fitness classes as part of your membership. These are a great way to keep fit from Zumba to Circuits and female only gym sessions.


What is included in WellU?

The sports currently offered include Badminton, Table Tennis, Netball and 5 a side football which are all lead by a team of student activators. The current timetable can be found here.


How much does it cost to join?

WellU membership is £15 for the year and gives you access to all of the sports, activities and classes included on the timetable.


I don’t like sport, can I still do stuff at Uni?

Yes, take a look at our Societies page to see what you can get involved in. If there is something you like that we do not currently offer, fear not! You can get a group of friends or like-minded people together (five for a society, 10 for a sport club) and the SU will set you up with everything you need to get going!


What other ways are there to get involved with the SU apart from Sports & Societies?

We want to offer as many opportunities to students as we can. We have part time jobs available ranging from graphic designers & data analysts to bar & Info Point staff. We also have Academic Reps, Chairs of School and Liberation Officers who work with the Presidential team to represent the student voice.