CANDIDATE INFORMATION PACK 1
CONTENTS Welcome 3 Exec Officer Roles
Union Council Roles
NUS Conference Delegates
Training & Support
Rules & Regulations
Welcome Do you want to get involved in the Students’ Union? Do you want to take a leadership role on an issue that you care about? Do you want to be part of a group that helps to change the lives of students on a daily basis? If you answered yes to any of these questions then running for election is for you.
vote and what to do if you want to stand.
The mission of the Students’ Union at Huddersfield is simple: to make student life better in every way possible. But to do this effectively we need positive and inspiring people to put themselves forward and represent over 20,000 students that study at our University.
(Exec candidates only) 5:30pm Monday 3rd March. (Floor 5 Student Central)
You may be wondering what you have to do to get one of these exciting roles. Because you’ll be representing fellow students, it’s students who you’ve got to win over. So in case you haven’t guessed by now, selection is decided on which candidate can get out there and win the most votes from students. If your initial reaction is ‘oh no, elections aren’t for me’, please don’t be put off. Elections are fun and engaging, and you will be supported by the Students’ Union throughout your campaign, from start to finish. Inside this guide we’ll talk you through the elections, how they work, how to
Key Dates Nominations open
9:00am Monday 3rd February.
4:00pm Friday 28th February.
Compulsory Candidate Briefing
10:00am Monday 17th March.
5:00pm Wednesday 19th March.
7:30pm Wednesday 19th March.
Key Contacts Your first point of contact for all enquiries should be the Student Representation Team. You can email them on email@example.com or come and see them at the Students’ Union Help Desk (floor 5 of Student Central). The Deputy Returning Officer is Dr Tom Flynn, who can be contacted through the Student Representation Team. The Returning Officer is Emma Powell from the National Union of Students.
Exec Officer Roles Hours of work: Monday to Friday (37 hours) Salary: circa £17,000 per annum
THIS IS A FULL TIME ROLE FOR 1 YEAR.
The Exec Team consists of the President and 4 Vice Presidents who each have their own areas of responsibility. Each have their own jobs to do but must also spend a lot of time working together as a team. Like any job, there are minimum requirements – a 37 hour working week will be expected of you, with occasional evenings and weekends, and as you will be an ambassador for the SU there will be times you need to dress smartly and ensure you behave appropriately. As Trustees, the Exec Team are responsible for setting the direction of the Union for the year they are in charge, and making day-to-day decisions about how the Union is run. If successfully elected to one of these roles you will have a budget to control and campaigns which you are responsible for. There can be lots of meetings to attend and reports to write, but don’t be put off by this – they are necessary formalities needed to put your ideas into action, and more than balanced out by the time you will spend talking to students.
Students’ Union President This is the figurehead job. The President is the face and voice of Huddersfield students, both locally and nationally. Confidence, diplomacy and vision are essential as the President is also line manager for the other Executive Officers, has an important role on all Union committees, speaks at Graduation ceremonies and may have to chew the fat over lunch with Patrick Stewart once in a while! In conjunction with the Chair of Trustees, the President also line manages the Chief Executive of the Union.
VP Communication & Democracy If you are interested in media then this is the job for you – you will be responsible for making sure the Union is communicating effectively with its members, with the university, and with the wider community. You will support the work of the Newspaper Editor and the Radio Station Manager to ensure that the views of the students and the Students’ Union are represented effectively. In addition to this it will be your responsibility to ensure that the democratic processes that the Union is built on are open and accessible to all students.
VP Wellbeing & Equalities This is quite a varied role, working closely with Students’ Union Advice Centre staff to support and represent students in lots of areas including health, finance and accommodation. A sympathetic ear, approachability, and a desire to make sure all students are given equal opportunities are important for this role. A major part of your role will also be to assist the portfolio reps on Union Council to discuss any issues that might be affecting them and lead on formulating ideas for events, campaigns and policy.
VP Education This very important role will give you responsibility for making sure any academic issues raised by students are addressed by the university, as well as making sure that areas of good practice are continued and built upon. You will need to communicate effectively with the network of Course Reps to make sure you know what’s happening on campus, and you will need to work closely with Union staff to develop training and support for student reps. The ability to develop and maintain good relationships with key university staff is crucial for this role, as well as the confidence to deliver training sessions and lead meetings.
VP Student Activities You don’t have to live in a pair of shorts for this role, even though past officers may have given that impression - however, an interest in extra-curricular activities would be beneficial! The Student Activities Officer starts the year by working closely with the permanent staff team in organising Freshers’ Festival, encouraging participation from all the Union’s clubs and societies. Over the year you will support the clubs and societies by delivering training, ensuring they are properly run and that their financial affairs are in order.
Union Council Roles Hours of work: suggested 4 hours per week Salary: honorarium of £400 per year Union Council is a group of students, who are elected each year, who come together to create policy, make change and campaign for a better student experience. The roles are all part-time commitments which you must take on alongside your studies (i.e. you must be a student here next year). Some have a specific focus, such as Women’s Rep, others have a more wide ranging portfolio of responsibilities. All the positions offer a level of responsibility and experience that you will find hard to match elsewhere, so if you are successfully elected you will be paid a £400 honorarium that you will receive in three installments across the academic year.
The Union Chair (1 place) Far more than simply chairing Union meetings, the role of the Union Chair is actually one of the most important in the organisation. As Chair, it will be your job to lead and develop Union Council, which is where discussion
and debate about student ideas and Union policy take place. As the name suggests, you do have to chair these meetings as well - your role is to ensure that they run smoothly and correctly, and to promote involvement in the meetings to the student population. The other key responsibility of the Union Chair is to make sure that students are given the opportunity to scrutinise the work of all elected officers.
Union Council Open Places (5 places)
To an extent, your role in this position really is what you make of it. There is the basic requirement to turn up to Union Council meetings, but ideally you will come brimming with ideas that have come about from speaking to students – you are there to voice their concerns and put forward their ideas. You will also be expected to ask other elected officers questions about their work to ensure they are working for students and fulfilling their objectives.
School Reps (1 place per School)
The main purpose of these roles is to provide a link between the SU and the School that delivers your course. You will do this mainly by staying in regular contact with the network of course reps in your school and finding out what their university experience is like, good and bad. You will then communicate this to the SU so that we are aware of any areas of concern or examples of good practice. You will also meet regularly with the Dean of School and have some involvement with helping course reps rectify issues. Only students from your school may vote for you in this election.
LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Rep
Only students who self-define as LGBT may stand for this position.
Students with Disabilities Rep (1 place)
As the Students with Disabilities Rep you will have the opportunity to represent students at the University who define themselves as having a disability. Your role is what you make of it but ideally you will come brimming with ideas that have come about from speaking to students â€“ you are there to voice their concerns and put forward their ideas. You will also have the opportunity to campaign on issues that are felt strongly by students with disabilities. Only students who self-define as having a disability may stand for this position.
As the LGBT Rep you will have the opportunity to represent students at the University who define themselves as LGBT. Your role is what you make of it but ideally you will come brimming with ideas that have come about from speaking to students â€“ you are there to voice their concerns and put forward their ideas. You will also have the opportunity to campaign on issues that are felt strongly by LGBT students.
Part-Time Students Rep (1 place)
As the Part-Time Students Rep you will have the opportunity to represent students at the University who study part-time. Your role is what you make of it but ideally you will come brimming with ideas that have come about from speaking to students – you are there to voice their concerns and put forward their ideas. You will also have the opportunity to campaign on issues that are felt strongly by part-time students. Only students registered as part-time may stand for this position.
International Students Rep (1 place)
As the International Students Rep you will have the opportunity to represent students at the University who come from across the world. Your role is what you make of it but ideally you will come brimming with ideas that have come about from speaking to students – you are there to voice their concerns and put forward their ideas. You will also have the opportunity to campaign on issues that are felt strongly by international students. Only students who are registered as EU or International may stand for this position.
Women’s Rep (1 place)
As the Women’s Rep you will have the opportunity to represent students at the University who define themselves as women. Your role is what you make of it but ideally you will come brimming with ideas that have come about from speaking to students – you are there to voice their concerns and put forward their ideas. You will also have the opportunity to campaign on issues that are felt strongly by women students. Only students who self-define as a woman may stand for this position.
BME (Black Minority Ethnic) Rep (1 place)
As the BME Rep you will have the opportunity to represent students at the University who define themselves as BME. Your role is what you make of it but ideally you will come brimming with ideas that have come about from speaking to students – you are there to voice their concerns and put forward their ideas. You will also have the opportunity to campaign on issues that are felt strongly by BME students. Only students who self-define as BME may stand for this position.
Students with Dependents Rep (1 place)
As the Students with Dependents Rep you will have the opportunity to represent students at the University who have dependents. Your role is what you make of it but ideally you will come brimming with ideas that have come about from speaking to students – you are there to voice their concerns and put forward their ideas. You will also have the opportunity to campaign on issues that are felt strongly by students with dependents.
Postgraduate Research (PGR) Rep (1 place) As the Postgraduate Research Rep you will have the opportunity to represent Research students at the University. Your role is what you make of it but ideally you will come brimming with ideas that have come about from speaking to students – you are there to voice their concerns and put forward their ideas. You will also have the opportunity to campaign on issues that are felt strongly by PGR students.
Only students with dependents may stand for this position.
Only students who are registered on a PGR course may stand for this position.
Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Rep
Mature Students Rep
(1 place) As the Postgraduate Taught Rep you will have the opportunity to represent students at the University who are studying Postgraduate Taught courses. Your role is what you make of it but ideally you will come brimming with ideas that have come about from speaking to students – you are there to voice their concerns and put forward their ideas. You will also have the opportunity to campaign on issues that are felt strongly by PGT students. Only students who are registered on a PGT course may stand for this position.
(1 place) As the Mature Students Rep you will have the opportunity to represent mature students at the University. Your role is what you make of it but ideally you will come brimming with ideas that have come about from speaking to students – you are there to voice their concerns and put forward their ideas. You will also have the opportunity to campaign on issues that are felt strongly by mature students. Only students over the age of 21 may stand for this position.
NUS Conference Delegates Please note there are 5 positions available The NUS (National Union of Students) is much more than just a discount card – they are the national body that the vast majority of Students’ Unions around the country affiliate to. NUS’ annual conference takes place in April each year. Vibrant, diverse, and often highly political, the conference determines the policy of the NUS by debating motions, ratifying decisions taken at campaign conferences, setting the campaigning agenda for the following year, as well as electing the National Executive Committee. As a delegate you will be expected to attend the conference and represent Huddersfield SU. The next NUS conference is taking place in Liverpool between 8-10 April 2014 and prospective candidates must commit to being available for this time. All students may stand for this position. Your conference fees and related expenses will be covered by the Students’ Union.
Nominating Yourself If you want your name to be in the mix you’ll first need to complete a short online nomination form. The form is very simple – because your success is determined by how many students vote for you we don’t require a history of your education and employment. You can find this at www.huddersfield.su/elections.
extra signatures just in case there are any problems.
Not sure if you are a member of the SU? The chances are that you are, unless you are one of the small number of students that choose to opt out each year when they enroll.
• Get extra signatures in case there’s a problem with any of your nominators.
Please check the University ID card of the students signing to support your application. If there is no NUS or SU logo on the card then they’ve opted out of being a member of the Students’ Union and therefore can’t nominate you. This goes for you too – if you’ve opted out then you won’t be able to stand. It’s worth getting a few Name
Nominations Required (Other Than Yourself)
Tips for Nominations • Check the student card of all your nominators for the NUS and Students’ Union logo.
• Read the SU Constitution, as well as the Rules and Regulations in this guide – when you sign your application form you are agreeing to abide by these. • Don’t leave it until the last day to submit your application form – if there is a problem with your form 5 minutes before the deadline you will not have time to rectify it and late applications are not accepted under ANY circumstances! And yes, 4.01pm does count as late… Who Can Stand?
All registered members of the Union
Union Council Roles
All registered members of the Union not in their final year of study
NUS Conference Delegates
All registered members of the Union
Training & Support So you want to be an Exec Officer? • Tues 28th Jan (5:30-7.30pm) in SU Meeting Room B. • Thurs 6th Feb (5:30-7.30pm) in SU Meeting Room A.
Ever wondered what Exec Officers actually do? Then this session is for you! This session will look at what is the role of an Exec member, identifying the key roles and responsibilities of each position but also the team as a collective. We will also compare the different roles and list skills you may need as a full time Officer. Moreover, there will be a chance to ask any questions you have about becoming an Exec member to a current officer and find out about their experience in post. So you want to be a Union Councillor? • Wed 29nd Jan (2-3.30pm) in HW3/17.
Has Union Council always seemed a bit of a mystery to you? Then why not come to our training session about what it’s like to be a councillor. In this session we look at the role of a council member, both their individual work but also the generic work all councillors will do. We will also compare the different roles and list skills you may need as a Union Councillor. Moreover,
there will be a chance to ask any questions to a current councillor and find out about their experience in post. What is a Students’ Union for Candidates? • Thurs 13th Feb (3-4.30pm in SU Meeting Room A.
Running for election is all about your vision for the Students’ Union and a good place to start is by finding out what we do as an SU. A Students’ Union is a complex organisation this session will allow you to better understand the SU and thus inform your campaign. Campaigning to Win • Wed 19th Feb (2-4pm) in SU Meeting Room A. • Tues 4th Mar (5:30-7.30pm) in SU Meeting Room B.
This session will take you step by step through how to plan an election campaign, from identifying your campaign team to looking at interesting methods of campaigning. This session is useful for both candidates and campaign teams and will enable you to better understand how to plan, deliver and evaluate your election campaign.
How to Write an Impactful Manifesto • Wed 12th Feb (2-3pm) in HW3/17. • Tues 18th Feb (5:30-6.30pm) in SU Meeting Room B.
Your manifesto is a very important part of your election campaign - it’s the document that outlines what you plan to achieve for students, and it’s what our members will use to judge your effectiveness. This session will help you identify the best way in which to write your manifesto and present some key tools to use. Manifesto Drop In • 17th – 21st Feb (2pm – 4pm) at the Students’ Union Help Desk.
Need a hand structuring your manifesto? Not sure how to word something? Then why not pop in to one of the manifesto drop in sessions and sit down with a staff member who will be able to give you a hand.
PUT THESE IN YOUR DIARY
Rules & Regulations It is impossible to provide a set of rules and regulations that cover every potential scenario that could happen during an election campaign. When investigating conduct, incidents or complaints, the Deputy Returning Officer and Returning Officer will make a judgement based on the ethos expressed in Byelaw 6, Section 7.1 of the Union’s Constitution: “7.1 All candidates must conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values of the Students’ Union, our equal opportunities policy, and the code of conduct of the University.” If in doubt, we advise you to run your campaign ideas (in complete confidence) past the Deputy Returning Officer before you put them into action.
General The elections will be overseen by the Returning Officer, who will be provided by the NUS. The Returning Officer will delegate responsibility to the Deputy Returning Officer, who will be a senior member of Students’ Union staff. Both individuals are empowered to investigate any matters related to the
election, infringement of election rules or complaints regarding candidate conduct. If he or she finds that there has been an infringement they may: • Warn the candidate that any future infringement will result in a fine or disqualification. • Fine the candidate from and up to the maximum of his or her publicity budget. • Disqualify the candidate. All candidates must attend a compulsory briefing session with the Deputy Returning Officer. Names will appear on ballot papers as per the University registration. In cases where a shorter form or alternative is used, dispensation may be granted at the Deputy Returning Officer’s discretion.
Campaigning Permission must be obtained from the University before placing any posters/ banners etc. around the campus. This can usually be obtained from School Offices or from the Estates Department. Candidates must ensure that all publicity is removed from
campus within one hour of voting closing.
• 1 x tube of glue
Campaigning is strictly forbidden in the Faith Centre and in the Library.
• 1 x ball of string
Campaigners will be encouraged to identify themselves through name badges, and candidates shall be responsible (where reasonable) for the actions of their campaign teams. Candidates and members of their campaign team must allow voters the opportunity to cast their vote in private, and under no circumstances must votes be cast on a voter’s behalf.
Election Resource Packs To ensure that as many candidates as possible can take part in the elections, all candidates for Exec roles will be provided with the following resources where possible: • Unlimited supply (where possible) of “Vote Now” leaflets • 25 x A3 colour posters • 400 x A6 black and white leaflets with candidates branding (choice of coloured paper) • 5 x coloured t shirts of the candidates choice • 1 x pack of iron on transfer paper
• Assorted rolls of tape • 1 x pack of A4 white paper • 1 x pack of marker pens • 1 x pack of blue tack To ensure that as many candidates as possible can take part in the elections, all candidates for all other roles will be provided with the following resources where possible: • Unlimited supply (where possible) of “Vote Now” leaflets • 15 x A3 colour posters • 200 x A6 black and white leaflets with candidates branding (choice of coloured paper) • 1 x large white fabric banner • 1 x tube of paint • 1 x tube of glue • Assorted rolls of tape • 1 x ball of string • 1 x pack of A4 white paper • 1 x pack of marker pens • 1 x pack of blue tack All publicity for printing must be handed in to the Student Representation Team by the published date.
• 1 x large white fabric banner • 1 x tube of paint
i. In addition to the resources provided in the election resource packs, candidates for Exec Officer roles are allowed to spend up to £75 of their own money on campaign resources (non-refundable).
i. Candidates may, if they wish, form a team with other candidates to run a joint campaign. This is known as a slate.
ii. In addition to the resources provided in the election resource packs, candidates for all other roles are allowed to spend up to £25 of their own money on campaign resources (non-refundable). iii. Expense forms (including all receipts) must be submitted to the Deputy Returning Officer within 1 hour of voting closing for approval. Any queries will be investigated as required. iv. Candidates may not accept monetary or material sponsorship from any source to assist with their campaign that would not have been available to other candidates. Failure to adhere to this may result in disqualification.
ii. Each slate must nominate an individual candidate who is responsible for registering the slate, its candidates and the name with the Students’ Union before a specified date. iii. Receipts for all candidates part of a slate must be handed in by the lead candidate to the Students’ Union before the close of voting. iv. If standing as part of a slate, the spending allowance will be decreased proportionately depending on the number of people on the slate: v. Two people: reduction of total spend by £50 (in cases where the slate contains no candidates for an Exec role the initial two person reduction will be £20). vi. Each additional person will see a reduction in £20 of the total pooled spending. vii. Although candidates are responsible for their own actions, slates may be held accountable jointly for their actions.
Complaints i. All complaints must be submitted within 24 hours of the alleged incident, via the official online complaints form, and will include the following information: ii. Name and contact details of person making complaint (anonymous complaints will not be considered)
xi. All complaints must be received within one hour of voting closing. Any complaints considered after this time will not be investigated as part of the elections process (although they may be considered under the provision of Byelaw Nine of the Students’ Union Constitution).
iii. Name of person being complained about. iv. Details of incident (including time and date). v. Details of any witnesses. vi. Details of which rules have been broken. vii. Details of the action requested. viii. All complaints will be investigated by the Deputy Returning Officer, who will consider the facts and make an appropriate decision. This ruling will be communicated to all parties involved and included in the annual Returning Officer’s Elections Report. ix. Any decisions made by the Deputy Returning Officer can be appealed via a written statement to the Returning Officer (and must include new factual information as to why the original decision is considered unjust). x. Any decisions made by the Returning Officer are final.
Effective Campaigning Talk to People Banners, posters, leaflets, Facebook groups, websites, even songs are all great, but the single most important and effective method of campaigning is talking to students. Each year we see candidates spending too much time checking on their banners when they should be out speaking to as many voters as possible. A conversation can change someone’s mind, inspire them to take action, and is more often than not the single most cited reason we get when we ask ‘why did you vote’. So, start practicing your patter...
votes for yourself rather than everyone on your slate. Remember though – you’ll still need a campaign team!
Use Your Imagination
You Don’t Have to Run in a Slate
If there is one word you should keep in mind, it is this: creativity. It is likely that you will be up against at least one other person for the position that you want, and quite possibly more, so you need to make sure you stand out. While you will find that posters and flyers are a good way of making initial contact with the student population, unless you have come up with an absolute masterpiece of persuasive publicity then you are unlikely to get elected on this basis alone.
Whilst running in a slate can make elections great fun and allow you to pool people and resources, it’s also important to realise you don’t have to! Standing by yourself means you get to focus on your priorities and your message only – you don’t need to compromise with other members of a team. This means you can really campaign on a single issue or idea, which is often much more effective. You can also concentrate on winning
Each candidate will be given a campaign pack from the Students’ Union, which will contain lots of materials you can use to really make an impact. Each candidate is also allowed to spend a further sum of their own money on publicity. Remember you don’t have to spend lots of money to win an election. Use your creative flare to do something exciting this could include fancy dress to go with your campaign theme, handing out
homemade cakes or arranging a flash mob on campus.
Who are you and what do you stand for? Most candidates will produce a manifesto - an outline of what you want to achieve if you get elected. Normally this is a written document that we can put online for you (300 words max) but the use of online campaigning in recent years has led to more and more candidates producing video manifestos. We will tell you a bit more about this in due course, but you might want to get thinking! Your manifesto may be the first thing that many students see when they are deciding whether or not to vote for you, so make sure you make a good first impression! Try to think of ways of making your manifesto stand out from the crowd – most students will not want to view 30 manifestos that look and sound extremely similar.
Theme your campaign Having a theme that ties your campaign together will allow you to be more visible on campus and allow students to recognise your publicity and campaign team across campus. There have been a number of themes across the years including a pirate
theme, pigeon theme or crayon theme (with a slogan ‘Be Part of the Pack and Vote 4 Jack).
Leave them with something to remember When speaking to voters it’s really important to leave them with something to remember you by, whether that is a catchy slogan or an exciting speech. There are going to be lots of candidates talking to students, so be that person that they remember. Some examples of catchy slogans are: ‘Don’t be a melon, Vote for Helen’ ‘I’ll eat my hat, if you vote for Matt’ ‘Don’t Stop Believing Dan’s not Leaving’.
Get online… Don’t forget the importance of social media – many votes can be won through the effective use of this, and this is another form of campaigning that you can begin as soon as you have decided to stand.
Pop a poster up Having a great poster doesn’t win an election, however it does start giving you a presence on campus. When thinking about what you would like on your poster, remember to keep it short and simple - include your name,
the position you are running for, your slogan, as well as when and how to vote. You may also want to pop a picture of your face on there as well so that people can recognise you around campus during the week. Think about where you’re putting your posters don’t just put them in one area and try to think about where students are going to be, for example common rooms and cafe areas.
Old Bed Sheets No it’s not time to dress up as a ghost but old bed sheets can be great for banners. Banners make a great visual display and can really draw the eye of the voter. They are also more durable than posters. These can be a cheap addition to your campaign and make campus come alive.
Cardboard Banners These are great campaign tools as they are cheap, easy to make and make campus come alive. They are very simple to make and shops are happy to give away cardboard to make them. Top Tip – hairspray your paint once it’s dry - it will make it a tad more water proof .
Stamps vs Stickers Both are great ways to get your message out to students. Who doesn’t love a sticker? We would advise using stickers during the day as people will be a bit more receptive, and using a stamp during the evening because it saves you carrying stickers around and stops you covering floors with them if you choose to campaign in town.
Build a Campaign Team A campaign team is the most valuable tool in the election tool box; they are your surrogates and will help spread your messages. Choosing your campaign team is really important - you need to make sure you get a diverse group of students; don’t just pick all of your friends. The most important point to remember with your campaign team is that whatever they do will affect you, whether you knew about it before or not; they are basically you for that week.
The Height of Fashion T-Shirts are a great way to make your campaign visible on campus and are a nice present for your campaign team members to keep after the election is over. They don’t have to be designed by Stella McCartney; simply iron transfer will be great.
Don’t just hang around the Plaza Even though the Plaza is a busy area of campus you need to make sure you are getting around campus speaking to different students. Send your campaign team to different areas, don’t stand all together as a group as it can be rather intimidating to voters. Head over to accommodation sites and speak to students there - the perfect time would be around tea time when people will be in their flats. A great time to target students is during student nights. Most people won’t be up for talking to you about your policies but it will be a great chance to have a chat with students and get your face seen out and about. Take your campaign team with you and have a relax but remember you need to be back on campus first thing in the morning so try and get to bed before midnight.
Enjoy the Party Win or lose, we hope that everyone will enjoy the time they have spent campaigning and will be ready to celebrate the hard work that has been put into their campaigns.
Top Campaign Tips • Make sure you are familiar with all the rules and regulations – if you break any you risk being disqualified!
• Play fair. If you look for ways to get around the rules and regulations, the chances are you will end up breaking them. • Be creative – the best campaigns look beyond flyers and posters. • Try not to annoy potential voters – if your campaign team hassles them beyond the limits of their patience, they will probably vote for someone else, or not vote at all. • If members of your campaign team break any rules it is the candidate who will be held responsible, so make sure you choose your team carefully. • Remember that your campaign should reach beyond the campus – don’t forget other places that students go such as Halls. • Pace yourself, and factor in breaks for you and your campaign team. You don’t want to burn out before the end! • Remember that voters can express an order of preference for all the candidates, so even if they have decided to make someone else their first choice, it is still worth trying to convince them to make you their second! • If in doubt… ask! This is especially important if you want to start campaigning before you have attended your briefing – we strongly recommend that you check anything you are planning does not break any rules.
Jargon Buster The Elections can seem like a complicated process although when you break it down it’s very simple! That’s why we’ve thought of all the unusual words and acronyms used during the election and tried to explain them here.
Campaign Team A team of people who will be spreading your message around campus and online. There is no limit to the number of people who can help you, but remember… you are responsible for their conduct.
Alternative Candidate Vote / Single Question Time Transferable Vote An event where voters get the chance system (AV/STV) to meet the candidates and quiz them The voting systems which are used in SU elections. Voters put a number 1 next to their preferred candidate and a 2 against their next choice etc. Ideally, you want voters to put a 1 (one) next to your name on the ballot, but if they have already decided someone else is their first choice it’s worth fighting to be number 2, or even 3. This is because if the candidate who was their first choice gets eliminated, that vote will then go to you.
Campaigning Persuading people to vote for you… but be careful not to annoy them. Although voting doesn’t open until March 17th, you should begin talking to people and using social media to spread the word as soon as you know you are standing.
Constitution A long document, and there’s no need to know it back to front, but it’s the rules that govern how the SU operates so it’s worth familiarizing yourself. The constitution can be downloaded online from www.huddersfield.su
E-Voting The paperless way to vote! You can use any web enabled computer or mobile device to vote.
Short for Executive Committee, the team of 5 full time (and paid) student officers. Students can take a year out of studies, or apply at the end of their final year.
A group of people standing for election together – often using the same name, branding or policies.
Manifesto A proclamation of who you are, what you want to achieve, and why you think students should vote for you.
Nominators Students who support your application to run in the elections, and sign your application pack. These students can only support one candidate per position, and cannot be current officers.
Returning Officer This is the person who oversees the elections and makes sure they are run as they should be. There is also a Deputy Returning Officer who is a member of Students’ Union Staff.
RON (Re-Open Nominations) The opposition in every election. If students don’t like any of the candidates, they can vote to ‘Re-open Nominations’. If this option gets more votes than any of the candidates, the election will have to be reopened.
FAQs Standing for Election Don’t you have to be in your final year to stand to be an Exec Officer? Any member, at any point during their studies, can stand to be a full time Executive Officer. It’s like taking a paid gap year. However if you are taking a break from your studies, it’s important to check with your department that this is feasible and that you will be allowed to return. Is it going to cost me lots of money to take part in these elections? Elections aren’t won by spending lots of money and the rules won’t let you do so either. Each candidate is given an elections resource pack with posters, t-shirts, banners and much more to help you put out printed materials. Candidates are then allowed to spend a further £75 of their own money but that is completely up to you – candidates have in the past run successful campaigns without spending a single penny of their own cash.
Don’t only sports people win elections? No - lots of people who win elections don’t come from a sports team. An example of this is our current President Nosheen Dad, who was never part of a sports team at Huddersfield University. Aren’t elections still just a popularity contest at the end of the day? That depends what you mean by popularity. Obviously the most popular candidate wins, but that popularity could come from your policies or from an interesting and engaging campaign – you don’t have to be an extrovert that knows 1000 students by name. Do I stand a chance of winning the election if there’s an incumbent standing? Every candidate stands a chance; just because the incumbent won one election doesn’t mean they will win another, especially if students don’t think they have done a good job. You have to show why you would make a better choice and then sell that to the electorate. There are clear examples in recent elections where incumbents have failed to get re-elected.
I’m not sure what to put in my manifesto…
Do I have to know the job inside out?
An easy way to start building up a manifesto is by going out and talking to students and seeing what issues they are currently facing. Moreover, you can look at the Students’ Union strategic plan to see what projects students have already been suggested.
Don’t worry - you don’t have to know what the job is straight away, as soon as you start the role you will be given plenty of training during the first few months, and throughout your time in office you will be supported by staff, who will help you to reach your targets.
Who do I choose for my campaign team? It’s always good to have a core group of people to help you with your campaign and help spread the word – you should try and get a good range of people from different courses and years. We would advise you to ensure that you don’t recruit more team members than you can realistically coordinate – remember you will be responsible for them. A big campaign team is not necessarily an effective one – more important is to choose people you can trust to represent you with the right skills to win you votes. Do you have to join a slate to win?
Campaigning for Election I’ve seen someone covering up my posters, what can I do? Firstly, posters are not the be all and end all of elections and if your primary concern is posters then maybe you need to refocus your priorities. However, if you have any concerns you can contact the Representation Team, who will be able to advise you of the best way forward. You can also use the online complaints form if you would like to, however if you have time to complain then you have time to campaign - which is more important?
No. Slates have to campaign for each other whereas if you’re an independent candidate then you only have to look after yourself – there are pros and cons to both options.
Do I have to miss my lectures during election week?
Can I use my own tablet to let people vote on?
We advise that candidates don’t miss lectures during election week, remember your education is important and the reason you came to University. If you do decide to miss teaching time then we advise arranging with your tutors to catch up with the work that you miss, so that you don’t fall behind. If you are attending lectures make sure that your campaign keeps going and your campaign team are still out and about.
You can let people use your own tablet, however you have to make sure that people have a safe space to cast their vote and you can’t do it on their behalf. We will have ballot stations set up across campus for people to cast their votes.
What do you mean by ‘allowing students to cast their vote in private’? We understand that you would want to make the process of voting easy and simple. However, you have to make sure that each person has the chance to vote for whoever they want. If you are allowing someone to use your tablet or laptop then you need to make sure you don’t cast the vote for them. Giving them a chance to sit down is a great way of making sure they have enough space and privacy.
When can people vote? Voting is open from 10am on Monday 17th March and 5pm on Wednesday 19th March, but will be closed between the hours of 9pm and 7am each night. What do I do if someone is having trouble accessing the voting system? First of all you need to check that they are a member of the Students’ Union. You can check this via their student card – they should have the NUS Logo or Students’ Union logo on it. If they don’t, or they do but are still having problems, direct them to the Student Representation Team.
3RD FEBRUARY NOMINATIONS CLOSE
Information for candidates running in the Huddersfield Students' Union Elections 2014