Alex Urquhart

YUSU PRESIDENT

WHAT DO I DO?

As President, I act as the key link to the University's Vice-Chancellor and executive management, as well as the NUS and other key stakeholders. I also oversee all major campaigns run by the union, coordinate the sabbatical (elected officer) team and focus on completing my manifesto pledges.

president@yusu.org

Alex Urquhart

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WHO AM I?

I’m Alex, I’m 21 and I’ve just graduated with a degree in Theatre. A quick bio... I grew up in a village called Datchet, in Berkshire, my A-levels were Maths, Chemistry and Biology, I have broken my left collarbone twice, and I have a cat called Alfie.

I came to York through Clearing, originally planning to do Medical Science at Leeds, but when I didn’t get the grades, I decided to pursue something I really enjoyed and I’ve absolutely loved my time here. I was in Derwent College and was elected as their Event Rep in my first year, then as the college’s Chair in my second. My course meant I was always involved with lots of theatre stuff, and I did everything from directing and acting to stage managing. Outside that, I’ve been involved in a lot of event management around campus, and have managed fashion shows, club nights, campus festivals and charity balls. I don’t play any musical instruments but I often sing without the permission of those around me. I can also speak the first few lines of my GCSE Spanish oral.

I ran for President because, though I have had a great time at York, meeting the right crowd and engaging in new experiences isn’t easy and can, for some students, feel impossible. I’ve been very lucky with a great group of mates and fun experiences, but that isn’t the case for everyone and as President I’d like to ensure that every student has the chance to meet like-minded people, explore new experiences and have a fulfilling and happy time at uni.

To do this my manifesto addresses four major areas of student life at York: Colleges, Campuses, Societies and Student Events.

 

View Manifesto

 

PROGRESS ON MANIFESTO

‘Digital System of Feedback’

  • Petition site format and workstream has been finalised

  • Consolidation of internal consultation almost finalised

  • Petition Site Launch around Week 5 / 6

 

‘Keeping Students in the Loop’

  • Totally revamped Sabb social media outlets with new group page. This can be handed over to the next team

  • Continuing with ‘Pool and a Pint with the Prez’, which allows students to bring issues to me but also just talk to me about my role, YUSU and their student experience. I update students on the conversations via my social media

 

‘Tie Up Loose Ends’

  • Student Noticeboard rebooted and fully operational. Partnered with Careers use the platform for their enterprise competition, launching late term 2. Struggling to get students to populate the site, but still pushing it.

  • Council confirmed that the project is still in progress. I have continued to apply pressure to confirm next steps.

 

‘Clarify Relationship between colleges and YUSU’

  • Produced and circulated pledge that was signed by all committees, outlining YUSU’s authority with finances and responsibilities of reps to fulfill duties as outlined in their constitutions.

  • Currently a key member of the College review panel, which is likely to have a huge impact on the future of colleges and where they and YUSU overlap and stay seperate.

 

‘Invest in Hes East Community’

  • This has been my most difficult pledge to fulfill to the degree I wanted to. The campus is being developed so rapidly, which is changing it’s atmosphere, and therefore it’s needs very quickly. This makes it difficult to assess what the campus’ students want most in the current climate.

  • I incorporated drop-ins with pool and a pint. Spend every other week in Glasshouse.

  • I eventually concluded that a Hes East Council isn’t the most effective way of getting Hes East Students heard. We are making plans to ensure Hes East are given a lot of attention during the Election time. We are also going to look at surveying life on Hes East after the new buildings are opened.

 

‘Booklet in Fresher Packs for Student-Led Events’

  • The formation of the opt-in event and society calendars meant that a better service will be available to students, which will keep up to date. I encourage students to opt-in to the additional calendars (which range from college and sports clubs to YUSU and university events) on their academic timetables.

 

EXTRA WORK OUTSIDE MANIFESTO

Together York

Together York is an agreement between students and the University, embedding community values of inclusion, scholarship and respect. The Together York projects aim to deliver a year-long project, tasked with delivering the agreements made in document. This is the first year these projects have have been attempted.

There are three agreed project areas this year, approved by Student Life Committee.

1. International Student Experience - Chaired by the University

2. Equity of Provision - Chaired by YUSU

3. Foundations for Study and Life at York - Chaired by the GSA

I am chairing the Equity of Provision project which is looking at addition costs incurred by students after they have start their degrees, and the difference of this cost between departments. We have had over 350 student contribute to our survey and will now look at ways we can save students money by getting rid of hidden costs.

 

Flat Floor and Storage Space Card

Created petition for the university to build more flat floor and storage space. Following up actions now. Looking at both how to make current space more efficient and how to ensure space is built in future.

 

International Student Network

Saul agreed to talk through International Committee papers and International Strategy with college international reps and the ISA once a term. The committee has some teething problems but it was a really effective platform for these students and I am really pleased with it’s progress.