Following his time as Goodricke chair last year, Nacho Hernando is a name that will be familiar for a lot of people.
Hernando told Vision that he is running for President as “I believe our Union, through lobbying and delivering practical services, should focus on the overarching aim of enhancing our students’ education, employability and student experience.”
With regards to the first point, Hernando wants to see YUSU deliver an academic mentoring system, reducing student-staff ratios and providing part-time jobs for post-graduate students, and to review the university’s career service that he feels currently “fails to deliver.”
His most interesting policy for many will be the acquisition of a YUSU club as part of the Union’s latest three-year strategic plan. In his manifesto he states: “As we come to the end of our current Union Strategic Plan, we must begin to think of where to invest next,” citing an alternative to the building of the Courtyard five years ago being the option of acquiring a venue in the city centre.
As an ex-college chair, his manifesto shows a sympathy for the collegiate system, and particularly for the welfare systems of the colleges, for which he intends to lobby the university for an increase in grants of at least 50%. Furthermore, in a year where many students don’t even know where their Sabbatical Officers work from (check up the stairs in James College), Hernando aims to improve access to the union through the use of ‘Have Your Say’ boxes in college common rooms, and by attracting students to attend assemblies through important debates in order to “show them how they can determine Union outcomes,” and in order to improve accessibility and communication between colleges and YUSU.
Finally, he focuses upon the rights of students living in rented homes outside of the university, intending to “lobby the City Council to uphold its ‘Landlords’ Code of Best Practice'”, and to ensure that student areas are protected “from the application of discriminatory anti-HMO legislation”.
The Tipsters Odds: 3/1
With a strong manifesto, one of the largest colleges support behind him and as a recognisable face across both campuses, Hernando’s main threats will come from Kallum Taylor’s hold of the Heslington West vote and from James Carney who could sap away some of the Goodricke vote. One of the favourites.