Chair

2017-18: Callam Neville
2016-17: Claire Smith
2015-16: Lydia Worrall
2014-15: Charlotte Gower
2013-14: Sophie Collerton
2012-13: Dan Stanford
2011-12: Morven Hamilton
2010-11: Hannah Tomlin
2009-10: Jenny Draper
2008-09: Chris Armstrong
2007-08: Lauren Mathews
2006-07: Andy Lawson
2005-06: J Mark Pim
2004-05: Chris Charlton
2003-04: Alex Holland
2002-03: Grant Hoyle
2001-02: Douglas Johnson
2000-01: Tim Towers
1999-2000: Tim Towers
1998-99: Tim Towers
1997-98: Pippa Wills
1996-97: Mhairi Sheail
1995-96: Donna Sharp
1994-95: James Stuart-Bruges
1993-94: Natalie Hawkes
1992-93: Eleanor Wakely
1991-92: Chris Brennan
1990-91: Kate Currey
1989-90: Alison Hulford
1988-89: Daniel Jenkins
1987-88: Jo McAndrews
1986-87: Patrick Couzens
1985-86: Bridget Hicks
1984-85: Grant Sherwood
1983-84: Kate Hickman
1982-83: Cathy Linacre
1981-82: Nick Kent
1980-81: Janet Starkie
1979-80: Paul Fletcher
1978-79: Unknown
1977-78: Unknown
1976-77: Unknown
1975-76: Margaret Maclure
1974-75: Brian Kennedy
1973-74: Frank Banks
1972-73: Frank Banks

The Chair

The Chair is one of the executive positions of a society (along with the Treasurer and Secretary). As such, they MUST be a student of the University of York. It is, generally (and paradoxically) speaking the easiest and most difficult position to fill.

Responsibilities:

The chair of a society has several official responsibilities as laid down in the YUSU and society constitutions. Unofficially the chair can have as little or as much extra as they and/or the committee wants.

Represent the face of the Society

Officially, the Chair first point of contact for anyone contacting the society. The Chair represents the society as a whole (as opposed to the production iteslf or individual aspects of the society). This is extremely important and any Chair must be prepared to meet with YUSU or University staff to fight for the society when needed! Although these times are rare, it's important that a Chair is ready to do this.

Know your stuff

The Chair should know what is going on in the society! Although the chair doesn't need to know what followspots cost to the penny or what the integral dance moves of every number in the production they should be aware of everything. A chair should be passionate about doing the best for the society at large and act as an inspiration for the society. This is not always easy.

Lead the committee meetings

Each individual will have their own style of leadership and how to control committee meetings. Some will be very hands on and controlling, looking into every detail. Others will be more relaxed, only concerned that things get done and carefree with respect to how they are done. However, there are a few hints for leading committee meetings:

  • Have an agenda; this is good for organisation.
  • Keep the committee in line; either be so good and nice that people want to do as you say, or be nasty and evil so people are afraid to not obey. It's your choice.
  • Ask for A.O.B in advance; This lets people know that it's coming.
  • Similarly, briefly go over what should be discussed first; This lets people know what they have to discuss in such a short time.
  • Don't be afraid to do a lot of work outside the actual meeting and take initiative; there are emails, phones and facebook even! Sometimes speed is needed when responding to things, waiting until Sunday/Thursday to go over every detail can mean that important chances are missing.
  • Do not be afraid to tell them to shut up and move on! Some committees will take ages to discuss items that barely need a minute. Others will be easily distracted. While informal proceedings help make the committee work more comfortably and keep the stress down, business sometimes needs to be done and done quickly.

Look after the Archive
As it's the Chair's job to look after the Society's present and safeguard its future, it's only fitting that they should look after the past too. The Archive is three cardboard boxes containing everything about the history of the society that we know. They are passed down from Chair to Chair. Find out more on the archive page.

The guide 'Little Things The Chairman Should Know' was written by Paul Fletcher in 1980, which may explain the use of the now outdated word 'chairman', even though the society had already had at least one chairwoman, Margaret Maclure.

Relationship with the Secretary

A lot of the organisational aspect of being Chair can be shared (or in some cases monopolised) by the secretary, depending on what sort of Chair you want to be. A chair that intends to be very hands-on with the society should make it clear what duties need to be done so that the exec do not clash together and tread on each other.

Either way, good communication is clear!

Relationship with the Committee

The Chair needs to keep the committee in order and guide the committee forward. If clear decisions need to be made, the Chair will have to make them. Basically the Chair has two options for dealing with the committee: rule with an iron fist, or a wet haddock.

Relationship with the Society

Some chairs will be involved in the production, some may not. It is important that the Chair is available to all members of the society and introduces themselves in as friendly manner as possible. "I'm the big evil chair, OBEY ME!" will not help here.

Past Chairs

A complete list of past chairs can be found on the A Brief History Of The Society page.

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