50 Students who shaped the year: 40-31
The Yorker introduces our fifty students who shaped the academic year 2011-2012. The students on this list have made it for a variety of reasons: some have been the focus of the news over the last twelve months (both positive and negative!), some have done extraordinary things and others have just done something small but had a big impact on someone else’s life.
Regardless of their reasons for being on this list, The Yorker feels it represents the breadth and depth of the interests and passions of our student body and highlights those who shaped the year.
Disagree with who we've picked? Think we've missed someone important? Then don't hesitate to leave a comment below to get involved with the debate.
40 - University of York Brass Band Society
The Brass Band Society made this list for their triumph in the Oldham and Saddleworth Whit Friday Brass Band contests.
In the popular event, which pulls brass bands from as far as Sweden, Germany and Switzerland, they finished top of all the university entrants, and 22nd overall.
The competition was the first of its kind for percussionist Natalie Edwards, who commented: “'I've never been before and it definitely lived up to the build-up it received.
“There was a great atmosphere and we were playing against some of the best bands in the brass banding world.”
39 – University of York Pant Soc
Pant Soc won YUSU Society of the Year 2012 – and it’s easy to see why. With a fantastic cast of students putting together everything from the scripts, performances, staging, sets, music and lighting, there is nothing these dedicated members don’t do.
And the performances themselves have been fantastic, notably Aladdin in the Spring Term and Hercules in the Summer. With jokes and puns to keep the audience entertained, fabulous singing voices and wonderful group dance routines, Aladdin was a hugely popular and successful production.
Likewise, Hercules proved just as spectacular – and the idea to perform outside in the Vanbrugh Bowl was a wonderful touch.
38 - Martin Spurr
Nouse editor Martin Spurr enters this list with a NUS Student Media Special Commendation for his publication this year.
Spurr has often been at the forefront of the broadsheet’s biggest stories, including articles about the controversy surrounding Yusuf Chambers, the discovery of an unexploded bomb on Hull Road and the controversial comments by YUSU Racial Equality Officer, Lawrence Bintie.
But perhaps his greatest achievement was the publication of the YUSU accounts, revealing how students’ money is being spent in YUSU.
Spurr’s continued dedication to student journalism at York deservedly wins him a place on our list.
37 – Lucy Watson
In the height of exam season, when students were spending all waking hours in the library, struggling to find a seat and panicking about where to do their long day of revision, Lucy Watson came to their rescue.
In a simple yet clever move, she set up a library dedicated Twitter account from which to let students know whenever a seat became available in the library.
The genius idea has helped many a frustrated student find a seat since it started operating on May 14 and has gained almost 300 followers so far.
36 – Chris Unsworth
As 'Be a Champion’ ambassador for the University of York, Chris Unsworth was responsible for bringing Olympic Spirit to campus – which he did in style with the Roses Torch.
This once-in-a-life-time opportunity for students to design and carry the torch was made possible by Chris, who has given time and hard work selflessly for his position.
Chris also held the role of Development officer on the York Sport committee for the last year and was the Swimming Club’s men’s captain, helping the team set personal records and club records throughout the year and achieve one of their best results in BUCS.
35 - Josh Allen
Allen's stock has been gradually rising this year, particularly with his involvement in YUSU's Democracy Committee and Community Assembly.
The former council candidate has shown impressive dedication, particularly to events such as 'Celebrate York' in Hull Road Park, aimed at improving the reputation of students in York.
In addition he has been a leading force in the creation of neighbourhood reps, an innovative idea to get students out working in their local community and trying to play down negative stereotypes.
Despite losing out on Union Chair by just 19 votes to Nick Hall, he is going to be Community Assembly chair next year. Another one to watch.
34 - Tom Marlow
One of the most popular men on campus, Vanbrugh music student Tom Marlow was an easy choice for this list.
His activities within a variety of groups, such as the Central Hall Musical Society, University Chamber Orchestra and Pantomime Society have ensured he is also one of York's most notable and diverse musical performers.
Without a doubt one of the highlights of the year was Marlow's performance as Zeus in PantSoc's Hercules, which was representative of the talent and enthusasism of the entire cast.
It is testament to Marlow's character that he is held in almost universal high-esteem by students at York.
33 - Oliver Todd
York Vision editor Oliver Todd has by all accounts had a successful year. With the tabloid nominated for Student Media of the Year at the NUS awards and Todd getting a special commendation for his work as a journalist, he will be able to look back on his year with pride.
Todd is widely recognised for his achievements in developing the organisation of the tabloid, particularly around the production process.
One nominator told The Yorker: “An amazing editor, the best this university has ever churned out in terms of student media, but still a hilarious man who made the whole team feel great every production week!”
32 - Nick Hall
Nick Hall has been at the forefront of campus life over several years, and his hard-work and commitment has been equally as apparent this year.
Chairman of the Darts Society Hall is known for being a man who gets things done, without any expectation of reward of recognition.
Yet he received possibly the best recognition for his work possible when he won the election for YUSU Union Chair in March.
Since then Hall has been an important cog in the YUSU machine, and there has been a rapid improvement in transparency and openness since the Vanbrugh man took charge.
31 – Abir Ahmed and Tom Stuart Taylor
When students turned up to YUSU Elections Hustings, little did they expect seven candidates for president – even more of a surprise was the approach of two of these, Abir Ahmed and Tom Stuart Taylor.
Their light-hearted policies and aims, coupled with their comedic speeches, helped to bring some relief to an election process controlled by strict rules and determined student politicians.
Ahmed pleased students with his promises of a moon base and construction of a rocket silo under the lake, while Comedy Society member Taylor delighted with his ‘geese police’ suggestions and jokes throughout.
While neither candidate was elected as president for next year, they both helped make the elections a more enjoyable and attractive process – well done and thank you!