Pick A Side: Become A Campaign Coordinator In YUSU’S Working-Class & Social Mobility Officer Referendum

Students with a burning passion in improving social mobility and working class representation within YUSU, or a talent for semantic pedantry and wording of policy motions, can apply to lead campaigns for or against the University of York Students’ Union’s forthcoming Working-Class & Social Mobility Officer referendum this month.

YUSU Policy Coordinator, Jack Harvey, has called for Campaign Coordinators to participate in YUSU’s official referendum debate and to manage their campaigns and teams according to the Union’s referendum rules – ensuring that their teams campaign respectfully and within the budget allotted to them.

Last year, the Policy & Review Group felt that there were very strong arguments both for and against the idea reflected in the feedback for the establishment of a Working-Class & Social Mobility Officer position. Therefore, the PRG concluded that the best course of action would be to put the idea to the student body by holding a campus-wide referendum.

The Policy Coordinator commented:

Looking at the feedback the PRG received last term, I anticipate an exciting and thorough discussion on whether our union should create this new position. Regardless of the success or failure of the motion, I hope that this discussion will raise awareness of the financial and social obstacles that some students face during their time at university.

Following the policy proposal, announced in March – students heatedly debated whether YUSU should have a Working-Class & Social Mobility Officer in York Vision.

Michaela Tharby,Women’s Officer, said of the position:

We cannot continue to ignore the role of class and the alienation students from a lower socioeconomic class face. A social mobility & working class officer would not solve the problem – but it would be a step in the right direction. It would make university life so much better for the students who need it and the representation comes at the expense of no one. York has always led by example, and it is time we do so for working class students.

Where as Former Halifax Tutor, Joshua Salisbury, told Vision:

An officer specifically for working class students singles them out. The working class students’ officer also wouldn’t do justice to the breadth of opinion among students who are working class. The very fact that working class students can’t even agree on whether there ought to be an officer in YUSU for them shows that.

Students who are interested in leading the campaigns should contact returningofficer@yusu.org. The deadline to apply to lead a campaign is Wednesday 25th October (Week 5).

The feedback on the policy proposals of the last policy process is publicly available and can be found on the union website.

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