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Students' Union (YUSU)

The University of York Students' Union, better known as YUSU, is here to help you make the most of your time at university. They represent student views and play a huge part in the vibrant student experience at York both on and off campus.

YUSU is run for, with and by students. It's led by a team of five elected full-time sabbatical officers, who are all York students or recent graduates. They're here to help you share ideas, create change, gain new skills and access support.

Top tip: If you're coming to York for an Open Day make sure to catch their popular student life talk.

Did you know? If you're joining us a postgraduate student, you'll also be part of the Graduate Students' Association.

Watch YUSU's Love York video to find out what they do which includes:

  • 200+ societies
  • 65+ sports clubs
  • 1 Summer Ball
  • 5 award ceremonies
  • And much more...


Watch on YouTube

Relive #UoYfreshers 2017 with our video highlights from YUSU's Freshers' Fair and Festival on campus.

Events and socials

Alongside colleges, YUSU plays a key role during Freshers' Week. Whether it be signing up for societies and sports teams at Freshers' Fair, or getting involved with the variety of events on offer, YUSU puts on something for everyone during the week.

All year round they run regular student nights in the city that cater for all musical tastes including cheesy pop and indie nights. And they put on a varied programme of festivals, balls, live music, performances, charity fundraisers and sporting events, including the historic Roses competition against Lancaster University.

Find YUSU on Facebook

Campaigning and representation

Meet YUSU's full-time sabbatical officers 2019/20

YUSU works with academic departments to elect student reps at course, department and faculty level. Reps take students' feedback and ideas to the right places.

There are also a number of specialist officers and groups who can help you get support and campaign for something you believe in:

"One of the main things we did was start up a maths tutoring scheme for first years. We realised that a lot of Politics, Economics and Philosophy students struggled with the maths modules if they hadn’t done maths A-Level and we thought we’d work together to do something about it. This year we’ve done a trial run and next year the director of the PPE departments wants all first years to have access to our scheme."

Selina and Beni, Academic representatives of the year 2014, Department of Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Societies and sports clubs

YUSU supports over 200 student-run societies and more than 65 sports clubs. You don't have to be a pro or an expert to join - it's all about new experiences, making friends and having fun.

  • Sport and fitness: from a casual kick-around to competitions there's something for everyone - from swimming to skydiving.
  • Student societies: indulge existing interests or try something new - we have societies dedicated to all sorts from Game of Thrones to Taylor Swift!
  • Student media: write, broadcast, direct or produce for award-winning student media.

"As a student you get the chance to do things you’ll never get to do again. Make sure you harness this opportunity. More and more employers look at what you’ve achieved in addition to your studies. Here at YUSU we want to give you every opportunity to learn new skills and develop yourself to take you further in your career whilst having a great time doing it."

Chris Wall, Student Activities Officer 2015/16

Celebrating success

YUSU loves to celebrate student and staff success:

  • the Love York Awards recognise and reward students and who have gone the extra mile to enhance the student experience at York
  • the Excellence Awards are where you get say thank you to your most inspirational lecturers
  • the Colours Ball Awards are the pinnacle of the sporting calendar, celebrating students achievements over the year
  • the STARs (Societies That Achieve Recognition) look to reward those societies who have excelled each year
  • the YUMAs (University of York Media Awards) award the best in student journalism that York has to offer.

"We held an event for World Mental Health Day and it was really popular, so we decided to create the University of York Mental Health Awareness Project. Since then we’ve run numerous events; Mind and Stereotype which was about the portrayal of mental health in the media and Mind and Politics, where we invited prospective parliamentary candidates from five major parties to discuss their mental health policies."

James, Kate and Naomi, Student group of the year 2014


YUSU can help you make a difference, whether you've got an hour or a whole week to spare.

RAG (Raising and Giving) is the charity wing of YUSU. Take part in fun activities on and off campus - all in aid of good causes. You can join the committee, or run your own fundraising events. If you fancy going further afield, you can take part in challenges like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or trekking the Inca Trail.

YUSU also coordinates volunteering projects where you can help people in need. For example, you could support people with dementia, organise a music festival, or help your fellow students get through tough times on the confidential listening service, Nightline.

Raising and Giving (RAG)

"This summer I was in Tanzania as I was part of group of students climbing Kilimanjaro. I did that instead of an internship this year because you’re only a student once - I’m going to be working for the rest of my life so I took advantage of the opportunity to do something different. We had to fundraise from Christmas to about June and then we flew out. We went to see a school that the charity supported when we were out there. It was great seeing the charity logos everywhere and seeing the impact that the fundraising had for the pupils."

Henry, Economics and Finance

Advice and welfare

You can access professional and independent advice on academic and welfare issues via YUSU's Advice and Support Centre.

If you're joining us as a postgraduate student, you can also seek academic and welfare advice from the Graduate Students' Association.

Eating and drinking

YUSU runs five venues on campus, including bars, eateries and a campus shop. Their ethos 'Not for profit, just for students' means every pound spent in these venues goes straight back into improving services for all students.

More information

This is only a snapshot of what YUSU offer. For full details visit the YUSU website.