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Alex Russell is unimpressed by the confusing nature of YUSU bureaucracy.
Right, so here's the situation: a load of students hitch-hike from York to Morocco during the Easter break to raise money for charity. 'What a great idea!' I hear you cry, 'A fantastic opportunity to experience the wonders of world culture while raising money for a worthy cause.' That's exactly what I thought, anyway. Especially when I heard that over the years over two hundred thousand pounds has poured in for Link Community Development's (LCD) education projects in Africa.
But wait for it, here's the hitch to the hitch-hike. Good old YUSU have refused to ratify the society. Initially, I thought that maybe they had reasonable grounds to say no due to safety reasons and the dangers associated with hitch-hiking. But after some research I found out that, actually, LCD puts really sensible safety precautions on all of their hitch-hikes. For starters, they have a telephone hotline that all members of "hitch groups" must call every evening to make sure everyone's still safe and on track.
By now I was starting to get quite annoyed and my grandparents' voice came into my head; "it wasn't like this in the old days". Even if these safety precautions weren't in place, maybe we ought to have a bit of risk-taking in our lives. The world's become so obsessed with health and safety that it's increasingly difficult to do anything any more without considering all the worst case scenarios. I really do think that we're in danger of missing out on all the world has to offer because some organisation or other says it's too dangerous.
When I applied to come to university and did the usual open days, people kept banging on about how coming to university was a time for you to experience new things. You would be allowed your first flourish of adult freedom; set free from the bounds of teachers and parents telling what you can and can't do. For YUSU to then refuse to ratify the hitch to Morocco therefore completely contradicts my whole point of coming to York! The very people who are meant to make university a truly life-changing experience outside of your academic work are now trying to rein us in. It's not as if the hitch is going to massively impact on students' studies as it's during the Easter holidays, and besides we're all adults now so shouldn't we be allowed to decide what's best for us in our lives?
Upon speaking to Hitch to Morocco Soc, it seems that YUSU are allowing the hitch to go ahead anyway, even though they haven't ratified it. What a ridiculous situation! YUSU ratifying an event means that they agree with it taking place. If they have refused to ratify it, this should consequently mean that the hitch isn't allowed to happen. But it is, and they've said that's fine. So why not ratify it in the first placed? It would have been much easier, rather than allowing it to go on regardless. All I can say is that I'm glad the hitch to Morocco is still happening because it's a great idea. Everyone will have a fantastic experience that they will never forget, and hopefully looking forward to it will make the stress and strain of work this term more bearable. Will someone please save this university from the swamp of bureaucracy before we can't do anything at all?