November Update on your Single Students’ Union

November Update on your Single Students’ Union

Written by Pierrick Roger and Mardan Nasier

8th November 2023

During the 2022/23 academic year, we have been hard at work planning a single, unified students’ union that combines the best of YUSU and the GSA. Our goal in this is simple: to provide you with a better student experience by offering the best of existing and a range of enhanced activities, representation, and services.

We’re here with an update on what this actually means, based on what you’ve told us you wanted to see from a Single Students’ Union at York:


Strengthened Postgraduate Support
You want specialised support for postgraduates, especially in areas like advice and representation. We agree!  We have committed to retaining specialisms in key areas including our advice team.  Additionally, we have assured existing Graduate Student Association permanent staff that there will be no compulsory job losses meaning we hope to retain the expertise of the GSA staff, within the new, better-resourced union.


Representative Officer Teams
You want an Officer team that is representative of York’s demographics and students’ unique needs.

We’ve asked the University to establish a policy to ensure postgraduate research and postgraduate taught students are offered Sabbatical options similar to that of undergraduates for a term of office that would start at the beginning of August each year.
We have also committed to reimbursing full visa fees to help international students stand for office at our next elections.
We recently created a new Part-Time Officer role to represent the needs of commuting students.
Finally, we’re looking at how our Full-Time Officer roles can be more representative of the needs of all York students.
Clear Communication and Identity
You told us that you love the variety of events, sports, volunteering projects, societies, and liberation activities both unions currently provide – but you also want it to be easier to navigate all of this through better communication and a unified identity. We’re working on a clear communication plan and a single brand for the new union that better captures the essence of what we do.


Stronger Representation
You want strong representation for all types of students at York, from undergraduates to research postgraduates and international students. We are making sure all student representatives have access to training, resources, and networks, and have commissioned work to review the university committee structure to consider how we provide high-quality and consistent but enhanced representation of students across University decision-making.


More Diverse Events
You want a mix of large campus-wide events, and activities designed for specific groups, like postgraduates, international students, and more. We’re committed to expanding our range of events, with a focus on catering for international and postgraduate students in particular.


Have your Say
You want a say on how the Single Students’ Union will work!

Next Semester, you’ll be asked to vote to establish new governance rules and elect a new team of Sabbatical Officers.

Finally, we want to say a big thank you to all who have been part of this exciting process. We value your input, and we’re still committed to listening to and involving you in shaping the new Union, including through upcoming elections and work on our new constitution. Your contributions are making the Students’ Union at the University of York even better.

Got any burning questions about the merger?
Or perhaps new ideas you would like to share with us for our new Union? Let us know your thoughts here or feel free to get in touch with us directly at and!

Pierrick Roger

Union President

University of York Students’ Union (YUSU)

Mardan Nasier


York Graduate Students’ Association (GSA)

8th November 2023