Web Exclusives Freshers

York Student Union: Meet the Sabbs

The students union (YUSU) represents students in matters academic, sporting and welfare, as well as running all the clubs and societies on campus. Fiona Parker meets the five full-time officers who make it happen.

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Previously, you may have been offended by anybody stating that you looked like the back of a bus. Here in the land of geese such a statement could more likely than not suggest that you are destined for greatness. The YUSU sabbatical team dedicate a year (or sometimes even two) of their lives to ensuring that come the end of third term, you can make a toast to "a good one" with a glass of cold Pimms. The President oversees the four other officers, who stand for Welfare, Activities, Sport and Academia. You'll see them around and about as they come down from Mt. Olympus every once in a while to join the mortals in ridiculous sporting events, mortifying dance-offs, and any kind of activity involving free pizza. I caught up with them, as they prep for your arrival and the new year, to learn more about what made their uni careers tick.


Kallum Taylor, YUSU President

"Alright there, I'm Kallum, and I'm your Students' Union President!"

What was the highlight of your Fresher's year?

"The best thing about being a fresher for me was... I'm going to have to cop out a little here and just say everything. Coming from Widnes, to York; entering a melting pot of quality academics and thinkers and meeting so many interesting and fun people from all kinds of backgrounds, with all kinds of ambitions. It was properly enlightening - and great fun!"

What was the most surreal thing to happen to you while you were at uni?

"Haha, where to start? This last year's been strange enough. I'll go with when Kellogg's sent me 2 huge crates of Special K following my first YUSU election. That's what I'd call surreal. Nice though."

What was your uni anthem?

"My Uni Anthem was (and is)... This Is the Life, by Two Door Cinema Club."


George Offer, Welfare Officer

"I'm George your Welfare Officer for this year; in addition to working closely with liberation networks and college welfare teams to run campaigns and lobby the Uni for change. I'm always up for a chat if you see me about on campus. You can also pop into the student centre if you have any worries or queries.

"The best thing about being a fresher for me was... Being stuck last minute in Halifax in first year turned out to be fantastic, it was such a brilliant community with a great mix of students. It was never going to be my first choice, but looking back I wouldn't pick anywhere else.

"My most surreal university experience was... The croquet at the end of Roses has got to be up there. It was such a brilliantly weird event and after the match, Greg Dyke served us all cake."

"My Uni Anthem was (and is)... Twist and Shout by The Beatles - If that comes on come on in town it's straight to the dance floor!"


Anna McGivern, Student Activities

"Hi, I'm Anna, your Student Activities Officer. It's my job to make sure all things societies, RAG and volunteering run smoothly so you can enjoy doing the fun things outside of your lectures, labs and libraries. Please take advantage of these opportunities right on your doorstep, they are fantastic ways to meet great people and have fun during your time at Uni.

"The best thing about being a fresher for me was... Seems like a lifetime ago now but probably having Roses at home in my first year, and it was an awesome year but that was a brilliant event to be part of.

"My most surreal university experience was... Running my campaign was pretty surreal, but that might have been the lack of sleep or proper food for the duration of the election. I also went to Canada to deliver an academic paper at the end of my first year, I was pretty out of my depth then but I still had fun!"

"My Uni Anthem was (and is)...On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons - the whole song!"


Cassandra Brown, York Sport Union President

"Hey York! I'm Cassandra (or Cass) your York Sport Union president for the coming year. So, as you probably guessed I represent those sporting students at York at both a participation level and a performance level. I look after York's 62 amazing sports clubs and represent you and your needs when it comes to all things sport-related. You'll see me around in Welcome Week in a YUSU space I'm sure! When you do, please say hi and drop me a question about Sport/your Students' Union!

"The best thing about being a fresher for me was... Being able to play hundreds hours of sport a week. After first year, you have to spend far more time on your actual degree!

"My most surreal university experience was... Having a lecturer who once sang for the whole hour."

"My Uni Anthem was (and is)... Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush - anybody who has ever been to Willow will understand."


Dan Whitmore, Academic Officer

Hello! I'm Dan and I'm the Academic Officer this year. I'm pretty much your go-to guy if you have a problem involving the academic side of things while you are in York. I also sit at the top of the course rep system (which I would strongly encourage any of you to get involved in) to provide support and direction where needed. Pop into the student centre or drop in to see me whenever you feel like it!

"The best thing about being a fresher for me was... A whole stack of new people to meet and go a bit crazy with.

"My most surreal university experience was... The last night in halls we turned the corridor into a giant slip and slide. A very strange night...

"My Uni Anthem was (and still is)... Flux by Bloc Party. It was basically the theme of my first year."

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2 Comment

Fact check Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

"The President oversees the four other officers"

No. They really don't. They're all equal.


Hester Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

At last! Someone who undsaetrnds! Thanks for posting!


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