Image Credit: Luke Snell
Details have already been released surrounding YUSU’s impact report, which is due to be fully unveiled at the end of the month. The report will detail YUSU’s successes throughout the year, and evaluate the Union’s strategy going forward. The impact report is a key evaluation of YUSU’s charity output. YUSU’s low fund-ing (compared to others student unions representing comparable numbers of students,) is perhaps one reason why the Union struggles with student perceptions of transparency and communication.
A key figure from the report details the Union’s satisfaction with turnout in its own elections last academic year. 6,140 votes were cast by the student populace for sabb and part-time officer positions, making it a record year for election engagement, in spite of the poor turnout for the referendum on supporting a so-called ‘people’s vote.’
YUSU will also claim that the newly-implemented access grants were a success, citing the distribution of £1,650 to students to allow them to participate in activities across campus including the 200 societies on offer: undoubtedly one of the University’s strengths. Furthermore, the report mentions the £121,365.70 raised by its Raising and Giving (RAG) efforts this year.
The amount was collected by colleges, networks, 19 sports teams, five volunteering projects, and 13 societies across the York community. This will be distributed amongst local charities in due course.
Sporting success will also be mentioned: York sent 403 students to Durham for its relatively successful Varsity in February of last academic year. Allegedly, students also spent over 427 hours volunteering at Roses, although Nouse suspect this figure is far, far higher if the rate of coverage by the previous crop of student media sports reporters is anything to go by.
Finally, YUSU will mention its alleged high satisfaction rates for training programmes. In an encouraging sign for York’s deaf community, satisfaction with British Sign Language courses was 100 per cent (presumably only amongst course-takers who were polled), and the newly-launched online training modules were reportedly accessed 2,600 times: a relatively impressive number, although not, one might argue, an indicator of their popularity or success.
In response to a request for comment, YUSU President Samara Jones said: “Every year, we are required to publish an ‘Impact Report’ for our primary funders (in our case the university) as part of being a registered charity. This demonstrates some of our key achievements and impact. It’s an important way to show the University that, despite YUSU having a much smaller amount of funding than other Russell Group universities provide their students’ unions, we do our best to invest that money in hundreds of student societies, sports teams, volunteering, and RAG activity as well as an independent student advice service to support those most vulnerable, democratic elections, academic reps in every department and a range of student life venues and events. It is also a great chance to showcase how much York students achieve through engaging with YUSU.”