Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm

Make a Change



Students can submit ideas for what would improve the Union, University and wider society for students at York. Those ideas are sent out for consultation by a group called the Policy Review Group (PRG), which looks at student feedback on ideas and decide whether there is consensus either way. In the Autumn 2018 policy cycle the PRG decided there was no clear consensus on an idea relating to Brexit. They decided to take the idea to campus-wide referendum.


The policy idea calls for YUSU to be mandated to campaign and devote publicity towards students taking political action in favour of a vote on the terms of the UK’s departure from the European Union - which must include a ‘Remain’ option.  It highlights the particular impact on students and the importance of their voice on this matter.



A campus referendum is where every student at York is given a vote on whether a policy idea should be passed. A referendum is called when student feedback on a specific idea does not come to a clear consensus in favour or against an idea.

Students will be asked to vote yes or no in response to the referendum question, which will be finalised by the PRG and the campaign teams this week.  


  • Monday 14th of January (Week 2) - Referendum announced.

  • Thursday 17th of January (Week 2) - Referendum rules agreed on by PRG and rules briefing takes place for campaign teams (see below on how to join a campaign team).

  • Wednesday 23rd January (Week 3) - Referendum Debate, from 17:00 pm (P/X/001)

  • Wednesday 23rd January (Week 3) - Voting Opens once the debate has concluded.

  • Wednesday 30th January (Week 4) - Voting Closes at 17:00 pm  



The Students’ Union remains neutral in the referendum. Our priority is to ensure a fair and robust debate, rooted in factual information, in which every York student that wishes to participate is able to do so. Student members, including elected officers are free to participate, but they do not represent an official YUSU view on the debate.  



Any student at the University can get involved with campaigning. This week we will be recruiting campaign teams for the ‘No’ and ‘Yes’ sides of the referendum. If you’re interested, please get in touch with YUSU’s Democracy & Campaign Coordinator, Jack Palmer, on

There will be a briefing for those interested in joining a campaign team on Thursday 17th of January at 16:00 pm in ATB/057 Lecture Room (Alcuin College), where we will explain the campaign rules. Email the Democracy & Campaign Coordinator if you’re interested.



Next week, voting will open on the YUSU website where you will be able to cast your vote.  There will be a debate and the campaign teams will attempt to persuade students to support their side throughout the week. All referendums need at least 5% of students to vote (for example, quorum in the 2017/18 referendum was 905 students). If the referendum passes quorum and has a simple majority in favour of the idea, it will pass and become active YUSU policy for 3 years. If there is a majority against the idea it will not become YUSU policy.

Submit An Idea

There are many ways you can transform your University, YUSU, or the community you live in. If you have an idea and want to spark a conversation, tell us it here.

Making change happen requires collaboration and common goals. So once you’ve submitted your idea, you will be invited to discuss how we can work together to turn your idea into action.

From simple suggestions to political campaigns, we welcome all ideas for change, big or small. Some things can be worked on straight away - e.g. getting menus translated in YUSU venues, whilst others require consultation with students - e.g. YUSU creating a new representative position.

Ideas for political, transformative and long-term change, could potentially become YUSU Policy.

Submit an idea

The Policy Review Group (PRG)

Referenda 2017

NSS Boycott 

The results for the referendum were as follows: 

Yes: 379

No: 568

Abstain: 11

Incorporation Referendum – changing YUSU’s legal status

The results for the referendum are as follows:

Yes: 1066

No: 150

Abstain: 76

Working Class and Social Mobility Officer Referendum

Yes: 495

No: 472

Abstain: 23