What is policy?

Policy is the way in which you can change the union, the University or the world. Big or small, if you have an idea and what YUSU to do something about it, the policy process is the way to do it. 

Policy has been submitted on a whole range of subjects. These include:

  • YUSU’s approach to tackling sexual violence
  • Making YUSU a living wage employer
  • YUSU and the University providing Gender Neutral Toilets.

Submit your idea by emailing ideas@yusu.org

Any student or student group can suggest an Idea for change here at YUSU - some Ideas can be worked on straight away, whilst others will go out to our Officers, networks and colleges for consultation. Particularly difficult or controversial Ideas may even end up at a campus-wide referendum!


The Policy & Review Group, or PRG for short, is a body of 5 students responsible for reviewing and reporting on the policy process within YUSU. It ensures that students have the ability to submit Ideas and that policy is generated both transparently, accountably and fairly.

The group is headed by the Policy Coordinator, who is voted into the role during the annual YUSU Elections. The remaining members are chosen by a panel made up of representatives from the Liberation Networks.

They work with YUSU’s Democracy & Campaigns Coordinator to create Policy Briefings to ensure that consultation can be held on more divisive policy ideas and produce reports on the feedback given, and how they reached their decision.


The current PRG consists of Policy Coordinator Josh Mackenzie and 4 appointed volunteers;

  • Rory Hannon
  • Oliver Davies
  • Ellie Old
  • Greg Ineson

How it Works

Have a great Idea?

Let us know, email ideas@yusu.org

We collect your Ideas

Some can be worked on straight away, we call these ‘actions’. The Full Time Officer team will work with the Idea submitter to make change.

Some will be more complex or controversial, so need to be discussed.

We make a policy briefing, and send it out

This is a document explaining the ins and outs of the Ideas, and how they will affect YUSU and our members. We send it out to the Full Time Officers (who represent a whole host of students), Part Time Officers and all of the Colleges. See here for a fuller explanation of ‘Who Consults Who?’

We get student opinion, and see if you like an idea or not

You tell us what you think, and our Policy & Review Group look over all of the feedback & try to determine whether or not people were generally in favour of an Idea, (as well as whether the feedback we received is representative of enough of our members to make a decision).

  • If They Were → It’ll become Active Policy
  • If They Weren’t → It’ll get thrown out
  • No common consensus → Campus-wide referendum


A Referendum is basically an "all-student vote". Sometimes the Union has to decide what members think about a particularly important or difficult issue, for instance, one that would change the way we prioritise our activities or something national or international that you want us to take a stance on.

Get Involved

Three things happen during a Referendum, which you can take part in:

  • Campaigning: you can help to make the argument for one side or the other by campaigning in the Referendum.
  • Debating: there is the chance for everyone to have their say on the issue at a Referendum Debate, where you can make a short speech or ask questions of campaigners on either side.
  • Voting: Voting is online at yusu.org and the results will be published within 24 hours of the close of voting - keep an eye on the student media, our website and our Weekly Info for updates about what happens after that.



For details of the rules that apply when campaigning in a Referendum, click Campaign Rules.