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Societies feedback on their day at Freshers' Fair

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Image: James Dix


Responses to the Freshers' Fair survey have revealed a varying level of satisfaction with this year's event. All four responses recorded from ratified student media groups claim that they were dissatisfied with the location. Media were this year moved to The Vanbrugh Arms, a new location available due to YUSU taking on its license early this summer. One response bemoaned that the physical architecture of the space was poor, and that due to their position, right at the back of Vanbrugh Arms, they had far fewer signups than last year. The same respondent also asked YUSU to "tell the Tab to fuck off more".

Societies, however, seemed to have a different response, with every society saying that they felt well-in-formed by the prior briefing. Almost all societies who responded felt that the location was either right or appropriate, however, there was a split on whether they felt that the space was too small or not. Latin Soc in particular were pleased with their location, responding to the survey that their space was very nice with a "superb" atmosphere.

This year's Freshers' Fair also saw an introduction of tighter data rules due to the new GDPR regulations. One student group responded to the survey that "more detail on GDPR would have been useful", as they are only allowed to keep non-members on the mailing list for up to three weeks. Another society also told Nouse that they had been informed by a member of YUSU staff that they were no longer allowed to use Mail Chimp to send their weekly newsletters, a software that many groups use.

Other responses to the survey also noted that the Freshers' Fair briefing was overly long, with parts of it being "very self-explanatory", and that they already knew how to do most of the things outlined, while information about timings of the fair and where groups would be located was wanted earlier. Groups only discovered their location on Wednesday, three days before the fair. The sports teams briefing also faced criticism, with one survey re-sponse saying that they received very little information before the event, such as stall location and demo times, which resulted in having fewer people manning the stall or involved in the demo. Another sport team, however, stated that "Zac [Sheppard, York Sport Union President] did a great job".

History Society also informed Nouse that they were forgotten off the Freshers' Fair map despite booking months in advance, and checking into the briefing. They initially complained of being placed onto the end of a row of stalls, although also expressed that they were quite happy with their final location as they were able to engage with lots of freshers as they made their way into the hall.

One society president, who was based in Vanbrugh Dining Hall in the Campaigning and Political Societies zone, told Nouse that: "The location was about as good as last year, although it was obvious that many freshers were quite overwhelmed by the density of stalls. We got plenty of interest in the society, though, and managed to keep our laptop running throughout the day despite the few accessible power sockets. It was a fantastic opportunity to tell students about the society as well as to perfect the art of bribery; one sweet for a like on Facebook!"

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