Union Chair: Candidate profiles
The Yorker looks at the candidates for Union Chair in this year's YUSU elections.
Currently a member of the Union Democracy Committee, chair of Fishergate Planning Panel, and chairing the YUSU ‘Students in the Communities’ Representation Working Group as well as standing as a candidate in York local elections last May, second year history student Josh Allen believes he has the experience to fulfil the role well.
Allen told The Yorker his main policies are empowerment of students by making clear the workings of the Union and the university, and improving communication amongst officers as well as to ordinary members.
He also wants to engage with the student body to promote democracy at all levels and to establish less-official forums such as Campaign Networks.
Allen feels he stands out from the crowd not only because of his “distinctive cap” but also due to his “experience in developing representation and running elections”, “very good working knowledge of YUSU constitution and bylaws” and “experience at resolving conflict and chairing heated meetings”.
Interesting fact about Josh: “I fully completed Pokémon Silver. Definitely proudest achievement to date.”
Second year Archaeology student Nick Hall hopes to crown his previous JCRC and union activities by becoming Union Chair.
Chairman of the Darts Society Hall is currently a member on both the Democracy and Societies Committees and has served as Vanbrugh Equipment Rep and Male Welfare Rep.
Hall’s key policies include making democracy attractive to students, making the union more open and accountable, publicising union committees and campaign networks, and enforcing the keeping of minutes for all union members to access.
He added that he wishes to use campus and social media to increase attendance at assemblies, as well as introduce a fortnightly blog about officers’ actions in an attempt to hold them to account, and wants to set up an annual review of bylaws.
“I think that having the sheer amount of experience I have from the different things I’ve done really sets me apart from the other candidates,” said Hall.
Interesting fact about Nick: “When I was a young lad I played junior county level crown green bowls for greater Manchester.”
Second year Archaeology student Mark Taylor has been a course representative for two years, Arts & Humanities Faculty Co-ordinator and has sat on the Validation Panel for the approval of new masters courses.
He feels this experience has given him “a unique approach to the role, developed through a wealth of directly applicable experience” and said that he is “approachable in a one-to-one context as well as strong in larger assemblies”.
He addedd: “Union Chair is first and foremost in a facilitating role, therefore rather than policies the Chair should hold a set of ethics and principles which they should be responsible for."
Taylor wants to provide a structured and focused platform for discussion, leading to effective debate and appropriate action, hopes to increase awareness and participation in the democratic process of YUSU, not only from the officers but the whole student body, and ensure that officers are held accountable, blocking misconduct, and encouraging good practice.
Interesting fact about Mark: “I've been to four different countries volunteering with the visually impaired.”