There will be no pressure for college Junior Common Room Committees (JCRC) to change to College Student Associations (CSA), candidates for the role of YUSU president signaled last night.
Contenders Dan Whitmore, Sam Maguire, Josie Field, Fred Isaac and Dylan Chambers all signaled that the referendum outcome should not place pressure on colleges to adopt the model.
Speaking at the Glasshouse at the Heslington East hustings, current Academic Officer Dan Whitmore said: “It’s not our job to tell the colleges what to do. We answer to you.
“Personally, I think the referendum on CSAs didn’t go very well. There were college chairs who didn’t even know what the model was and that has to change with more communication.”
Third-year management contender Sam Maguire added: “I have to agree with Dan. I think YUSU should not dictate, they should not direct, they should collaborate, they should ask, and they should respect the individuality of each college.”
Third-year English literature candidate Josie Field said: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I just don’t think it’s a good idea.”
Third-year chemistry contender Fred Isaac added: “I think all officers should listen to what the students have to say. If the students are saying no, which seems to be the case, then do what they want.”
Third-year maths and finance candidate Dylan Chambers said: “I think JCRC opinions should be taken into account by YUSU, with more events where JCRCs can come forward and tell YUSU their ideas. We also need more available resources such as petition schemes.”
749 students backed turning University colleges into College Student Associations last October in a referendum.
YUSU said that despite the result, they would still give colleges the power to decide whether or not they would switch to the model.
Current Wentworth GCRC chair Joshua Henning was the first college chair to confirm his college would not be adopting the proposal, writing in an open letter to YUSU President Kallum Taylor that he felt the current system “better suits” the needs of Wentworth.
Under the YUSU model, no colleges are currently CSAs; however, Halifax College has adopted a similar system which operates under the CSA title.
The speeches by the candidates took place at the Glasshouse at the second event of the campaigning week before voters go to the polls during Week 8 to decide their YUSU team for 2014.
YUSU presidential candidates Jack Coy, Andy Lake, Tom Armston-Clarke and Danny Nolan did not turn up to the Heslington East hustings.
You can view the candidates and the positions by clicking here.