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The serious stuff: Support options on campus

Going to university is an extremely exciting part of anyone's life, but sometimes things do go wrong. Ellie Rice makes sure you know which way to turn, whether you're being affected by homesickness, bullying or drugs.

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Peter Iveson
Peter Iveson

There are a number of ways of getting help when things go wrong at uni, whether you miss home, or you've experiencing problems relating to drugs or sexual health. They are run by college, the union and the university and are all staffed by friendly people who can help you in complete confidence.


Provosts and college networks have been put in place by the University to protect you in the transition as you make York your home, they should be visible members of your college community and never be afraid to approach them - it's what they are being paid to do.

The welfare officer for YUSU is George Offer. Ex Halifaxer and general all round, good guy, George is on hand to support you with your problems whilst an undergraduate and direct you towards the relevant services and people. Contact him by emailing g.offer@yusu.org or tweeting @YUSU_welfare.


This is a student run, entirely confidential and accessible advice service, funded by YUSU and run entirely by volunteers out of a flat in Wentworth. It's great as a first port of call if you're struggling with any problem at all, nothing is too small or too big.

They offer a telephone service (01904 323735; daily 8pm-8am) and or you can email them at nightmail@yusu.org

Health clinic

Whilst having medic friends is really helpful for when the doctors feels like too much effort, I am glad I have registered at the campus doctors. The clinic certainly has its flaws, but it was still reassuring to know where I needed to go when I was ill. Don't wait until you're ill though, call them (01904 721 820) or pop in (8:30am-6pm Monday to Friday, your best bet is to go at 8:25am and wait it out to be seen)

Home sickness

Readers, I have a confession, I considered leaving university every few weeks for my first year, but in contrast this year I chose to spend the whole summer here. Making York my home was especially difficult and I'm sure plenty more will suffer the same issues, however there are ways to make it easier, and York is well worth trying for.

However, as soon as I fully immersed myself in campus life I was much happier, so perhaps joins a sports team or society, get a job in town in on campus and most importantly, do not isolate yourself or dedicate yourself entirely to your work.

Calling nightline can be helpful in this situation, but a more proactive approach to the issue definitely solved it for me and I would strongly advise anyone in a similar position to take the same route.

Drug and alcohol problems

These may seem like an uncommon and distant problem, unlikely to ever darken your doorstep. But it happens, and it could happen to you or someone you're close to.

If you need guidance or more formal advice on how to deal with any problems relating to this, Nightline, provost or a college tutor should be your next port of call, they have the tools to direct you to the appropriate person or, in the case of the provosts, the authority to step in and make the person more aware of the dangers they are in.

Financial support

Having to budget for yourself can be daunting, but just take the time to sit down and work it all out. Facing up to the problem before it gets out of control is the key to success here.

How much is your rent? Are you spending more than expected on food? Should you maybe curb your enthusiasm for The Willow?!

If you do find yourself with problems though, speak to your bank and see if they can extend your overdraft, let your mum and dad know (and not just in a nagging/hinting 'please give me some money' way!) and also discuss your options with student finance and the University. There are funds available for emergency loans, and SFE aren't all that bad so long as you have some patience. Check out our guide to student finance for a more detailed look at student money matters.

Harassment and bullying

We're all old enough to know better, but some people just can't seem to repress their inner playground bully. If someone is giving you trouble, depending on your relationship to them, turn to either YUSU's welfare officer, George Offer, the YUSU sports president, Cass Brown, your college provost, or someone within your department - such as your academic tutor.

YUSU's part time officers also provide a network of individuals who can be helpful in this area: LGBTQ Officers, Disabled Students Officer and Racial Equality Officers to name but a few. A full list of full and part time officers can be found here.

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