The University of York Students’ Union (YUSU) has refused to ratify a feminist society for the second time, in a move that has left some students frustrated at the lack of feminist representation among officially ratified YUSU societies.
YUSU defended itself by insisting that there is not ‘a unique need’ for a feminist society because there is a ‘duplication of efforts’ between FemSoc and the Women’s Committee, a branch of the Union and a Liberation and Welfare committee.
FemSoc claims to already have over 100 members, and if ratified would define itself as a political group that would meet weekly to discuss “feminism and feminist issues in a welcoming, informal and inclusive group.”
Helena Horton, a member of FemSoc, criticised YUSU, saying: “We have two
ratified campus newspapers, who cover the same stories and the same sports. Why
is this not counted as a 'duplication of interests' and our society is?
“There seems to be an ulterior motive at work here."
The Activities Officer for YUSU, Chris West, said: "The application for
Feminist Society was rejected on the grounds that the proposed society was not
"exclusive from other areas of the Union," in this case the Women's
Network, which is active and holds very similar aims and objectives. As a
Union, we have limited resources, and so it's important that we don't replicate
effort when it comes to student activities.”
FemSoc has pledged to continue fighting for validation from YUSU, with Horton
promising to keep campaigning and raising awareness until the Union finally
“I am here for at least two more years, and by the time I leave, our University will have a ratified FemSoc.”