Back in July’s Termly Report, I promised a reformed society which would work hard to enrich the degrees of Politics students at the University of York.
This term, we have without doubt lived up to that promise.
We begun this term announcing our inaugural trip abroad to Amsterdam. Having spent the Summer co-ordinating with Invasion - our partners in organising this trip - I was delighted that this trip costing £153, for two nights, three days, has been received so well. A prime example of how far the society has come, we have been overwhelmed with the fanfare this trip has created, so we cannot wait for the event to come to fruition from the 9-12th March.
We followed this announcement with the hosting of three external speakers - Tom Brake MP, Dr. Tania Mathias and Gisela Stuart - all in the space of a week. Be it from a passioned speech on remaining in the European Union from Brake, or passion for quite the opposite from Stuart, each speaker walked in and gave the audience something so different and that’s what this society is about - giving variety to the variety which exists here at York. With all of our events, the speakers commented on our professionalism and their general enjoyment, which is utterly fulfilling for us on Committee who tirelessly work behind the scenes.
We continued these successes with a variety of socials, be it Pub Quizzes or evenings out to Revs. Further, we continued our involvement with the Department, hosting many university speakers and panels on a variety of topics, whilst we also hosted a variety of external guests in our new Cheese Wine evenings. In all, of these events benefited from a newly energised Committee, now consisting of nineteen positions. We saw the term to an end with our Winter Ball, in the theme of James Bond, which was a highly successful event. With seventy in attendance, it was a truly great evening, and the thanks must go to Lindsay Christison, our Vice President, for all her hard work on this. Throughout all of this, the YPD under Danni Boxall and Jack Rewcroft has gone from strengths to strengths, each episode being as informative and hilarious as the previous, whilst the York Politics Review has published a variety of articles - with more to look forward to in the future.
Looking into the future, we have a raft of new and exciting events to look forward to. As mentioned, we have our first trip abroad, an event we have put huge amounts of energy into - including a whole new social media platform. Further, we have many speakers to look forward to - one of which I can exclusively announce as Mary Creagh MP, the former Labour leadership candidate, who will be coming to speak at York in late January. Further excitement surrounds our new panel events on a plethora of new and exciting issues and questions of which are first will focus on the topic; “Madame President: would the world have been better or worse under Hilary Clinton?”, more recurring Cheese & Wine evenings, as well our AGM - the Annual General Meeting. In an AGM, all on Committee have to relinquish their positions and run again, giving a chance for new individuals to get into the Committee and have a chance of joining this truly great society.
In the previous Termly Report, I promised that this society would be delivering events “which you will not get at any other university”, and over and over, we have shown this promise to be true. Therefore, the nomination for PSA’s “Politics Society of the Year” is further vindication that at York, things are being done differently; this society is truly something special.
I cannot thank all those enough who have supported the York Politics Society throughout the year, and I wish you all a Happy New Year.
All the best,
President of the York Politics Society
July 2017 Review
Since February 2017, the York Politics Society has undertaken a revitalised effort to enhance your degree. Under our newly elected committee, we have renewed our focus to deliver a society which enhances all those who take Politics and combined courses at the University of York. This document therefore aims to open up the accountability of the Committee to you - our members - to provide you with an insight into the dramatic changes we have produced.
Receiving the baton from Sean Fullerton in February, I, the new President, alongside our Vice-President Lindsay Christison and the committee, have reset the society’s commitment to accelerate the enriching of your degree. Actions do however speaker louder than words, thus, between the period of March to June, we have overseen an increase of almost threefold when compared with the same period from the previous committee, proving, and reinforcing our words. During this period this notably included the appearance of Douglas Carswell, as part of our “An Evening With…” series, which was seen by over 150 members of our society - our largest attended speaker event yet. Other events included the Summer BBQ, our myriad of UK Election events, where in one members were interviewed by BBC Radio York, as well as a variety of Informal Seminars, with topics from the European far-right, to Dan Keith’s acclaimed book.
However, the future is even more exciting. In an exclusive announcement, I can confirm that Gisela Stuart, the former MP and Head of the Vote Leave campaign, is to appear as our next speaker. Stuart will appear on the Friday of Week 2; a week which will also include two further speaker events, with Tom Brake MP, in a further exclusive, confirmed to appear. With confirmed speaker events continuing into the first term, alongside our acclaimed Winter Ball, increasingly diverse Informal Seminars, and a social trip outside of the university, the future of being a Politics student at the University of York is truly exciting, this university being one of a very few which has such a dedicated and committed society in place to ultimately benefit your time here at York.
To enrich your degree we need to represent you in committee, thus the introduction of an Officer for Postgraduates is a brilliant move towards this, with this, a role for a satirical cartoon illustrator, a Youtube Channel developer, and two Freshers Officers all being roles up for taking in our upcoming By-Election in October. Furthering the opportunities for our varied membership, our journal The York Politics Review - under the helm of Joe Keenan - heads into the first term seeking fresh, new editors, whilst our new radio show The York Politics Digest is going from strength to strength under the leadership of Danni Boxall and Jack Rewcroft.
The most visual illustration of our renewed focus can be seen through our rebrand. With new logos, cover photos, banners and an upcoming new website, we hope these new design highlights our long term commitment as a society in achieving the set aims we have. With a Politics Department now far more in tune with the society, largely through the introduction of a Departmental Officer, we as a society head forwards in a position of utter strength.
However, this can only occur if you are with us. The more popular and well attended events are, the more events we can deliver. If we can, week on week, show the Department that interest is there, then we can deliver events to the scale we have planned, with details of some truly exciting opportunities - ones which you will not get at any other university - coming soon. In conclusion and on a personal note, I cannot disguise my excitement for some of the events planned. Had it not been for the membership of this society’s enthusiasm and dedication in the last six months, many of these upcoming events would not be a reality, so I do truly thank-you.
I will see you for our first all year event on Monday 2nd October, for a free and relaxed pizza and Pub Quiz night, with a plethora of prizes available that you actually want to win.
President of the York Politics Society