Meet the new team of Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers at the University of York

Here are York’s officers for 2024-25

In case you’ve somehow missed all the posters on campus, York’s Student Union elections took place just before Easter. Voting was open from Monday 18th to Thursday 21st March, with the results being announced via YSTV on Friday 22nd.

This year’s elections were unique as there were three new roles introduced: Union affairs, union development and equality and inclusion. The seven newly elected officers will hold their positions until next year and represent the voice of the student body, both undergraduate and postgraduate. So here they are: Your YUSU sabbatical officers for 24/25.

Union affairs officer: Lewis Parrey

This role is similar to that of YUSU president, as Lewis will act as head of the union and chair of the trustee board, working alongside Charlie Jeffrey and university staff. In his campaign Lewis proposed ideas to help combat the cost of living crisis, ways to improve campus life and to further democratise the Students’ Union, improving support for all students. Also, the many campaign TikToks were a green flag in my eyes.

Union development officer: Gen Andrews

Image via YouTube

Union development officer is a new role for this year, and will be in charge of leading events and fundraising activities as well as ensuring the student community is socially responsible. With a memorable campaign (the Barbie posters were 10/10, no notes), Gen is the first to take on this role. Her pledges include a focus on campus potential, a commitment to sustainable practices, and more support for student leaders.

Image via YouTube

Academic officer: Fenella Johnson

Next up is academic officer, representing the academic interests of students and working alongside hundreds of academic reps across both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Fenella is certainly experienced in the Students’ Union, as the current GSA chair. Her manifesto pledges include a “transition and orientation programme” for students with disabilities, more time dedicated to the concerns of postgrad students and distance learners, and increased connection between alumni and current students.

Sports officer: Tanisha Jain

Image via @onlywaytj

The current York Sport Union president, Tanisha Jain, successfully re-ran for her sabbatical position. Sports Officer is an important role, working to coordinate all the sports at the university, increase opportunities for students and run events like Roses.

In her manifesto, TJ pledged to create an inclusive, diverse and empowering sports community, collaboration with nearby universities and to maximise the use of uni facilities.

Equality and inclusion officer: Ezreal Xie

Image via YouTube

Another new sabb role for 24/25, equality and inclusion officer will advocate for underrepresented communities and ensure that Union policies are intersectional and inclusive. Ezreal will also act as chair of the equalities committee.

In his campaign he pledged increased welfare policies for international students, more activities and training on LGBTQ+ topics and increased facilities for students with disabilities.

Community and wellbeing officer: Freddy Russell

Image via @ready4_freddy

Current comedy society president, Freddy Russel, was elected as the YUSU’s new community and wellbeing officer. The main responsibility of the role is to advocate for the mental health and welfare of students, and involves collaboration with university support services as well as local and national external partners.

Freddy’s manifesto focused on fostering a supportive student community, improved student support services and proposed policies to combat the current housing crisis, advocating a freeze on accommodation prices.

Activities officer: Kaitlyn Beattie-Zarb

Image via YouTube

Finally we have the Activities Officer, who represents the 200+ societies here at York as well as volunteer programs and student media, making sure student groups remain inclusive and have the voices heard. As the current co-editor of student paper York Vision, Kaitlyn told Uni Radio York and York Student Television (both societies she is also a member of!) that she has been heavily involved in activities at York including Model UN and student cinema.

Kaitlyn pledged to tackle issues surrounding accessibility, methods to ensure society longevity and to provide training and credit for student activity leaders, fostering a more enjoyable university community for all.

The seven new sabbatical officers will hold their positions from 1st July 2024 until 30th June 2025, representing students voices, interests and concerns for the 2024-25 academic year.

Featured image via @yorkunisu

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