We spoke to the York students behind the ‘Vote RON for YUSU President’ campaign

Voting in the YUSU elections opens today and closes on Friday

YUSU is "undemocratic, under-representative and over-bureaucratic."

These are the claims being made by 'Vote Reopen Nominations for YUSU 2018', who are campaigning for fellow students to vote to reopen nominations (RON) in the YUSU elections.

They claim voting RON would result in a second election, which would then result in a vote not on who would be YUSU President, but on how students could completely restructure YUSU.

Their manifesto explains: "The incumbent president received support from a mere 8 per cent of the electorate, that means 75 per cent of people did not vote."

Their campaign video claims that reopening nominations will change YUSU forever. They argue they want to change the structure of YUSU, so members are no longer constrained by the system. They claim voting RON will guarantee the individual will be heard, and that there will be another ballot.

Reopen Nominations Manifesto

Here is our campaign video for Reopen Nominations. YUSU is failing to represent its students, and this is how we can make our voices heard. #RONYUSU

Posted by Vote Reopen Nominations for YUSU 2018 on Thursday, February 15, 2018

Oscar Jefferson, a member of the presidential ballot urging you to vote RON, joined University of York Radio on Tuesday to discuss the campaign.

URY Interview Night – Reopen Nominations Campaign

In case you missed it earlier, here is the full URY interview with Oscar Jefferson who eloquently articulated our campaign message. Many thanks to University Radio York for the footage and coverage.

Posted by Vote Reopen Nominations for YUSU 2018 on Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Jefferson offered alternatives to the YUSU system, suggesting collegiate systems, streamlining the university structure or a student parliament model. He stresses the necessity of debate and consultation, saying the campaign stems from discussion with members of YUSU and the student body and that it is a call for students to create the agenda.

Speaking to The Tab, Jefferson said: “I’m only running to get the coverage…I’m technically running, but I don’t want people to vote for me”. He highlights that the campaign is a “positive message” rather than an “angry protest”.

The feedback that Jefferson, and others behind the campaign, have received has been “more positive than we expected”, especially online. However, there is an issue with some people “misinterpreting the message”, and others “not willing to publicly endorse it” as they are “worried about consequences”.

“We don’t want to destroy YUSU. We want to change it, remould it, make it work for the students again.

“Let’s give them a platform, let’s have a debate. A transparent, open discussion where YUSU is laid bare to let us see exactly how it works, exactly how it doesn’t work.

“The system as it is, is unclear. Let’s get it right”.

Voting opened this morning at 9am and ends on Friday.

YUSU have been contacted for comment.