More and more often, candidates for positions within student bodies, such as students’ unions, are asked for their views on freedom of speech, censorship, trigger warnings, safe spaces, Prevent and more. Often these questions are asked in the context of Junior Common Room Committee elections as well. Some students have remarked that they were not expecting to be asked for their views on these matters; despite this, more students are concerned about their representatives’ opinions on freedom of speech and related matters.
Since last year, York Liberty has distributed a short questionnaire to each candidate for the presidency of the University of York Students’ Union (YUSU). Following a discussion with the serving President, Millie Beach, we have elected to construct a glossary on political terms relevant to the candidates’ debates as well as student politics in general.
Below are our definitions of a number of important terms that we consider to be relevant to student politics and candidate elections at York. For each definition, York Liberty’s members have ensured that each explanation is neutral and non-partisan; some of these definitions include a balance of arguments for and against certain concepts, such as censorship or safe spaces.
You can access our glossary here.