15 Reasons to join the York Student Think Tank

  1. We’re regular students- not experts. You don’t have to know anything about the subject before you show up to an event. There is no expectation on you to be an expert in a topic, feel free to turn up, listen to some great presentations, a few stimulating discussions and when you’re ready, join the discussion.

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2. Our events, research and consultations are driven by our members. Last year we had students present on whistleblowing, the situation in Egypt, the Hong Kong protests and ethical medical procurement in the NHS. In addition, if there is something that you want to research, then just tell us! We can provide teams, assistance and other resources to help you research your topic.

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3. We won society of the year award in June, in recognition of our very busy and very successful year. So come along and be a part of “The Society of the Year” (possibly decade…).

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York Student Think Tank: Consultation into Mental Health Services & Attitudes on campus

This year, we worked on a consultation exploring the Mental Health services and attitudes on campus. Our consultation team surveyed 359 students, conducted a series focus groups and interviewed key figures on campus. For further information or queries, please contact thinktank@yusu.org

cropped-ystt111.jpgExecutive Summary:

  • 59.94% of survey respondents felt they had suffered from a mental health problem
  • 37% of survey respondents felt that the university does not do a good job at dealing with mental health issues
  • Over half of Nightline, The Student Support Hub, York Mind and Walk-in Centres users felt they had not benefited from the service
  • Around 75% of survey respondents felt that they knew the symptoms for depression, OCD and anxiety but only 40% knew the symptoms for body dysmorphic disorder
  • 101 responded to the question about which services they had used – 83 had used the Open Door Team, 60 had used the University Health Centre and 22 had used Nightline. Many had used multiple services.
  • 30.79% of survey respondents had made use of university mental health services
  • The majority of people surveyed or participating in focus groups believed that there is a stigma attached to mental health
  • Problems with waiting times for Open Door Team were revealed in our survey, with 31.1% (a majority) of respondents having to wait 2 weeks for appointments as well as comments in the survey, focus groups and interviews
  • 68.72% of survey respondents disagreed with the statement that they knew the university’s mental health policies
  • 35.09% of survey respondents disagreed with the statement that they would know where to go if they needed help for their mental health issues during term time
  • The problem of after-care was brought out throughout the survey
  • Many participants in our survey and focus groups felt that academic staff were not able to support them sufficiently

Recommendations:

  • Increased Education: Educate students and staff on how to identify problems and where to seek help from
  • Open Door Team Recommendations: A new comprehensive website which enables students to find centralised information about what the service is for
  • More Centralised system: Services should be advertised from a central point, in order to enable students to find the most appropriate service
  • Pop-up safe place on campus: enable students to talk to professionals in a safe, informal setting
  • Complaint Mechanism: Students should be able to provide feedback on services, in order to aid the university in improving services
  • Supervisor Training: Supervisors and key academic staff should be trained in how to signpost students to the appropriate services

Consultation team:

Team Leader: Hannah King Team Members: James Humpish, Kris Kim, Maddy Tickell Editor: Siobhan Lyons Head of Consultations: Zain Mahmood You can find the full report here: Mental Health Report For a Press release, featuring graphs and quotes click here: MH Press-Release

York Student Think Tank Sexual Harassment Consultation Report

This year, we worked on a consultation exploring the prevalence of Sexual Harassment on Campus. Our consultation team surveyed more than 200 students, conducted four focus groups and interviewed key figures on campus. For further information or queries, please contact thinktank@yusu.org YSTT11

 Executive Summary

  • 51.62% of students and 37.14% of staff stated that they have experienced sexual harassment according to the definition we worked with
  • Female students were disproportionately affected given that 64.19% of female student respondents and 21.57% of male student respondents stated they experienced sexual harassment.
  • Half of female staff respondents stated that they experienced sexual harassment, whereas 2/10 of male staff respondents said that they had experienced sexual harassment.
  • 85.26% of the aggressors were identified as male by students, while only 12.18% were identified as female.
  • The most common type of sexual harassment, according to students, are “unwanted physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct of a sexual nature”, which was experienced by  65.58% of respondents. Staff members stated “unwanted conduct on the ground of their sex” as the most common type of sexual harassment, experienced by 58.33% of respondents.
  • Out of 116 student respondents, only 2 stated that they had reported sexual harassment incidents, and out of 10 staff members, 2 have reported it.
  • 84.34% of students who had suffered from sexual harassment responded stating they had experienced cases of sexual harassment during student nights out in town, while 50% of the staff members who had experienced it stated it happened on campus during daytime.
  • 72.02% of student respondents and 78.57% of staff members who responded stated that they did not know whether the university is efficient in dealing with cases of sexual harassment, which highlights the lack of awareness and information on the matter.

Recommendations:

  • Centralised Database: the university should compile and centralise data and statistics on sexual harassment.
  • Education and Awareness:  the university populace needs educating on the university’s definition, policies, and procedures on sexual harassment.
  • Raising the profile of harassment advisor’s:
  • Introduction of harassment diaries
  • Expanding the key contacts scheme

Consultation team:

Team Leader: Adela Alexandra Iacobov Team Members: Maisie Cook, Francesca Pieczarka, Clara Riegler, Brandon Shaw, Gobind Singh, Grace Eleanor Stamate Editor: Siobhan Lyons Head of Consultations: Zain Mahmood You can find the full report here: Sexual Harassment Report For a Press release, featuring graphs and quotes click here: SH press release