Candidate Handbook Bye-Elections May 2012
Introduction Thank you for showing an interest in being a QMSU Representative or Student Trustee and running in the elections! Elections are an exciting time for the Union, they allow students to have a direct say in how their Union is run and gives you a chance, as a candidate, to show how much you care, what you want to change and develop great new communication and campaigning skills. This handbook outlines the role of the positions available in detail, what you need to do to get elected, the election rules and important key contacts and dates. Best wishes and happy campaigning!
Whatâ€™s in it for Me
Support Available to Candidates
Trustee Declaration Form
How do I get Elected
Election Complaints Form
Candidate Expenditure Form
Minimum Value List
Positions Available There are three voluntary positions available in these elections. The roles are taken on by students alongside their studies. You have to be a student in the 2012/2013 academic year to be eligible to stand.
Student Trustee There is one out of four Student Trustee positions available. Student Trustees sit on the Unionâ€™s Board of Trustees. With the Executive Officers and External Trustees, they make strategic decisions for the Union and have ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of the Union and are responsible for the Unionâ€™s management, administration, governance (how the Union is structured), budget and strategy. Student Trustees are very important because as students they have knowledge of the student experience and how decisions might affect fellow students. Trustees do not get involved in the day to day running of the Union; that is left to managers and staff. Representation is covered by the Executive Officers, Student Council and Referenda.
Education Representative Positions There are two Education Representative positions available: Postgraduate Taught Representative (Mile End) Postgraduate Research Representative (Barts and The London) The Postgraduate Taught Representative (Mile End): Seeks feedback from and represent the interests of Mile End postgraduate taught students on academic issues. Supports the Vice President Education in their duties and responsibilities. Engages with the Queen Mary, University of London and other relevant organisations to achieve improvements in the academic experience for Mile End postgraduate taught students. Encourages more Mile End postgraduate taught students to participate and engage with the Union. You have to be a postgraduate taught student on a masters programme or equivalent studying on the Mile End campus in 2012/13 to eligible to stand for this position. The Postgraduate Research Representative (Barts and The London): Seeks feedback from and represent the interests of Barts and The London postgraduate research students. Supports the Vice President Education in their duties and responsibilities. Engages with the Queen Mary, University of London and other relevant organisations to achieve improvements in the academic experience for Barts and The London postgraduate research students. Encourages more Barts and The London postgraduate research students to participate and engage with the Union. You have to be a postgraduate research student studying on the Whitechapel campus in 2012/13 to eligible to stand for this position. 2
Both Representatives also Represent the views of the Union’s members and seek the views and opinions of the membership. Are bound by the policies of the Union and decisions taken by Student Council. Promote the services and activities of the Union, uphold the Union’s good name and attend and assist at Union or participating events. Attend relevant training. Work with Union staff to produce an action plan of aims and objectives. Are accountable to the membership through the Union’s democratic structures and be required to present a report on work carried out to each meeting of Student Council. Undertake additional responsibilities assigned by Student Council. Elected students shall hold office from 1 August in the year in which they are elected to 31 July in the following year. Both Representatives will be expected to attend an away weekend on 1-2 September 2011. Elected students will receive further details after the election.
What’s it for me? Shape the College and the Union Students in these positions will have a direct say in how the Union is run as well as play a prominent role in changing things for students. Transferable Skills Representatives will need to present information and reports in formal and informal meetings. Trustees will have to read through a wide variety of documentation and ask relevant questions. Effective listening and note taking are a part of both roles. These roles will provide great examples of skills for your CV. Improved Self Confidence Representatives will talk to dozens of students and become an expert on students’ views. Trustees will have to present clearly and concisely your views and opinions. Raising them in what can sometimes be a formal environment is a great achievement. Developing Networks You will meet new and interesting people and you may get a chance to go on NUS training and conferences where you will meet students in equivalent roles for other students’ unions from across the country. Meeting Experience You will obtain experience of an environment where decisions are made by working together with others.
Support Available to Candidates Executive Officers The Union’s Executive Officers all know what it is like to be a Trustee and Representative and will be able to help you with any questions you have. For Student Trustee and Postgraduate Taught Representative (Mile End) positions contact: Sophie Richardson President Email: email@example.com | Telephone: 020 7882 8038 For Postgraduate Research Representative (Mile End) positions contact: George Ryan Vice President Association/BLSA President Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Telephone: 020 7882 8685
Union Website Election candidates can find tips on how to write a winning manifesto, making a video, running a winning campaign and making an election video on the Union’s election website at www.qmsu.org/elections.
Questions If you have questions throughout the elections email email@example.com.
Slates Groups of candidates may run together so that each candidate can campaign for themselves and the other members at the same time, this is called being part of a ‘slate’. Candidates in a slate share a common group title which will appear on the ballot. There are numerous benefits of being part of a slate, as you are allowed to share publicity and campaign for each other, however to ensure a level playing field the candidate budget is reduced for every additional candidate. If you are running as a slate you need to fill in the relevant part of the nomination form. A slate cannot have more than one candidate for each position.
How do I get elected? Agenda 1. Hand in a Nomination Form You can find a nomination form at the back of this candidate handbook and online at www.qmsu.org/elections. When you’ve completed the form, hand it in to the Union office in the Blomeley Centre, next to Curve on the Mile End campus or scan and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org from your college email account. Nomination forms have to be received before 10am on 16 May. Any nomination forms handed in after this time will not be accepted.
2. Send your documentation With your nomination you will need to submit a manifesto, photo of you and a statement. Manifesto A manifesto is no more than an A4 page outlining a bit about yourself, why you want to be a full-time officer and what your aims and plans will be if you get elected. A guide and tips for writing a winning manifesto can be found at www.qmsu.org/elections. Your manifesto can be submitted in colour and should be submitted as a .pdf file. Photo of You We need a good quality electronic photo of you for display on the Union website. The photo should be submitted as a .jpg. Statement We need 150 words which will go on the Union website alongside your photo. If you exceed the word limit your statement will be cut short. All the above has to be emailed to email@example.com before the close of nominations.
3. Attend the Candidate Meeting (10am 16 May in the Blomeley Centre) All candidates must attend the candidate Meeting. The meeting will brief you on the election rules and give you useful tips and information to help you run a winning campaign. The meeting will take at 10am on Wednesday 16 May in the Blomeley Centre, next to the Curve on the Mile End campus. If you cannot make the candidate arrange a meeting with the Union’s election support staff by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. At the end of the meeting you will be asked to film a short one minute video for the Union’s website so make sure you come prepared! A guide and tips for making a video can be found at www.qmsu.org/elections.
4. Campaign Campaigning starts straight after the candidate meeting finishes on the last day of voting at 4pm on Wednesday 23 May. No campaigning will be allowed before the start time. This is your chance to persuade Queen Mary students to vote for you. Candidate Budget During the campaign each candidate can spend up to a maximum limit on campaign materials (these details will be given to you at the candidate meeting). You cannot spend 5
any more than this amount on your election campaign. You must also keep all your receipts and keep a log of all your expenditure. A form is provided on page 24 for candidates to record their expenses and submit with all receipts. This form has to be submitted before the end of voting. Please note no money will be reimbursed by the Students’ Union. Candidates who are part of a slate will have the budget reduced for every additional candidate. To see what budget you will have please see below: Number of Candidates 1 2 on a slate 3 on a slate
Maximum Budget £50 £75 £87.50
5. Voting All current Queen Mary students will be eligible to vote by clicking on a link sent in an email to their College email account on the first day of voting. All they need to do is follow the email’s instructions. Alternatively they can vote by going directly to www.qmsu.org/elections. As a candidate you should vote as early as you can so you have a clear idea of how the online system works. The Voting System The voting system the Union uses is called the Single Transferable Vote (STV). Voters are asked to rank the candidates in order of preference. That means: Marking 1 next to candidate they most wish to be elected. Marking 2 next to their second most preferred candidate. Marking 3 next to their third preference, and so on until there are no candidates left. Voters may express as many preferences or as few preferences as they wish, but cannot mark more than one candidate with the same number. To win candidates must poll above 50% of the votes, either by totalling more than half of the first preferences or by redistribution of votes (see example on the next page) All elections will include RON or Re-open Nominations option, which will allow voters to choose none of the candidates and for the election process to restart.
6. Results The winner of the election will be announced in the Blomeley Centre, next to the Curve on the Mile End campus, and on the Union’s Website at 6pm on Wednesday 23 May.
Key Dates 30 April
Nominations Open Download a nomination form from ww.qmsu.org/elections or go to page 20.
16 May (10am)
Nominations Close This is the last point you will be allowed to submit a nomination form. You should hand your nomination form into the Union office in the Blomeley Centre, next to Curve on the Mile End campus or scan and email it to email@example.com from your college email account. Any nomination forms handed in after this time will not be accepted. You will also need to email your documentation (your manifesto, a photo of you and your statement) to firstname.lastname@example.org by this time.
16 May (10am)
Candidates Meeting and Campaigning Starts (Blomeley Centre) All candidates must attend the candidate Meeting. The meeting will brief you on the election rules and give you useful tips and information to help you run a winning campaign. This is also the point you are allowed to start campaigning. Please remember no campaigning is allowed before this time. If you canâ€™t make any of these dates and times email email@example.com.
21 May (10am)
Voting Opens Voting for the elections open. All current students will be eligible to vote by clicking on a link sent in an email to their College email account on the first day of voting. All they need to do is follow the instructions. Alternatively they can vote by going directly to www.qmsu.org/elections.
23 May (4pm)
Voting Closes Voting for the elections will close. Students will not be able to vote after this time.
23 May (6pm)
Results (Blomeley Centre) The winner of the election will be announced in the Blomeley Centre and on the Unionâ€™s Website.
Key Contacts Throughout the election, here are a list of people you can contact for help and advice: Phil Gilks Student Voice and Development Manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Telephone: 020 7882 2231 Tom Sutton Representation and Democracy Co-ordinator Email: email@example.com | Telephone: 020 7882 2061 Sarah Gifford Deputy Returning Officer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Telephone: 020 7882 5763
Yes! I have read this Candidate Handbook.
Nominations By 10am on Wednesday 16 May:
□ □ □ □
Yes! I have completed and handed in a nomination form to the Blomeley Centre or scanned and emailed one to email@example.com. Yes! I have emailed my manifesto to firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes! I have emailed a photo to email@example.com. Yes! I have emailed a 150 word statement to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are standing on a slate:
Yes! I have completed and handed in a slate form to the Blomeley Centre or scanned and emailed one to email@example.com.
Candidate Meeting and Preparation
Yes! I have the candidate meeting at 10am on Wednesday 16 May in the Blomeley Centre, next to the Curve on the Mile End campus or arranged a meeting with the Union’s election support staff by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes! I have read Election Bye-Law and briefed people campaigning for me on the election rules.
Campaigning By 3pm on Wednesday 23 May:
Yes! I have completed and handed in a campaign expenditure form to the Blomeley Centre with receipts.
Elections Bye-Law 1.
Introduction and definitions Queen Mary Students’ Union is committed to the running of fair and transparent elections. The following Bye Law provides the rules and regulations for the governance of all elections run by QMSU for the positions of Sabbatical Trustees, Student Trustees and Part Time Student Officers.
Candidate A “candidate” means a Member who is standing for election to a position.
No candidate should seek support from an external body or person who is not a full member of the Union.
Groups of candidates may run together so that each candidate can campaign for themselves and the other members at the same time, this is called being part of a ‘slate’. Candidates in a slate share a common group title which will appear on the ballot.
Supporter A “supporter” means any person, whether a Member or not, who supports a candidate in his/her election campaign. The term “supporter” is deemed, for these purposes, to be the same as “campaigner”.
The actions of a “supporter” are directly attributable to the candidate and the candidate will take full responsibility for their actions.
The Returning Officer shall be the sole judge of whether someone should be regarded as a supporter of a candidate.
Voter A “voter” means any person who has cast their own votes in the election and has not “supported” beyond that.
Election Official An “election official” includes the Returning Officer, Deputy Returning Officer, Student Voice and Development Manager and any other person nominated by the Returning Officer to be an election official.
The Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer The Board of Trustees is responsible for the appointment of the Returning Officer and the Deputy Returning Officer, and may also dismiss them, in accordance with procedures set out in section 7.
The Returning Officer for Union elections will normally be a relevant member of staff from the National Union of Students (NUS). If, for any reason, that post holder declines the appointment or is deemed unsuitable, the Student Council will recommend an alternative for appointment by the Board of Trustees, the alternative normally being a staff member of another Students’ Union experienced in the running of elections.
The Deputy Returning Officer for Union elections will normally be a member of Students’ Union Staff. If for any reason, that post holder declines the appointment or is deemed unsuitable; the Student Council will recommend an alternative for appointment by the Board of Trustees.
Neither the Returning Officer nor the Deputy Returning Officer may be full members of QMSU.
If the Returning Officer is temporarily unavailable the Deputy Returning Officer may assume the role for an interim period. If the Returning Officer resigns from the post or becomes unavailable for other reasons the Student Council will recommend an alternative to the Board of Trustees, in line with section 2.1 above.
The Returning Officer is responsible for the good conduct and management of the elections, in accordance with all relevant legislation, the Memorandum and Articles of Association and these Bye Laws. S/he has the final responsibility for the interpretation and implementation of the Election Regulations in this Bye Law. Specifically, s/he shall:
Manage the elections fairly, properly and impartially; Instruct, oversee and support the Deputy Returning Officer and election administration staff; Determine the admissibility or otherwise of election publicity; Investigate and rule on complaints in accordance with the procedures in section 7; and Submit an annual report to the Board of Trustees and the College Council after the conclusion of elections each year.
Notice, Nominations and By-elections
Notice Nominations for any election, other than a by-election, shall be open for at least 10 working days.
There must be a least three working days from the close of nominations to the opening of polling.
Nominations All nominees must be Full Members of the Union
No Member may stand for more than one position in the same election except for the position of NUS Delegate.
All nominations shall be submitted using an accessible process declared by the Returning Officer.
The nomination must include the name and student number of the nominee
All candidates must have their nomination forms endorsed by a Proposer and a Seconder who are Full Members of the Union.
A receipt, to confirm the submission, must be issued by the member of staff who has received the nomination form.
Any full member nominating a candidate may only nominate one candidate for each position.
If no nominations are received for a position by the close of nominations, nominations will be reopened for that position for three working days at the discretion of the Returning Officer. In this event the period between the close of the reopened nominations and start of voting is only required to be one working day,
A Candidates Meeting must be held following the close of nominations at a time specified by the Returning Officer. At this meeting the Returning Officer will provide a campaign rules briefing and other relevant guidelines for those involved.
A list of confirmed candidates shall be posted on the Union website by the Student Voice and Development Manager within 24 hours of the Candidates Meeting.
Nominations Pack and Candidate Handbook The Student Voice and Development Manager shall produce a Candidate Handbook and Nomination Pack outlining all the relevant information relating to the election. These will be made available in print and on the Union website. These shall be made available to Members by the official opening of the nominations.
Manifestos It is recommended that all candidates submit a manifesto. Candidates should also submit a text version of their manifesto for accessibility purposes. All manifestos must be submitted in accordance with the guidelines in the Candidate Handbook by the close of nominations and they will be displayed on the Union website.
All candidates in all elections must submit a written statement in accordance with the guidelines in the Candidate Handbook outlining why they are standing, their election wishes and pledges and any other relevant information. These must be submitted by close of nominations for that election.
Nicknames Candidates may campaign under the guise of a chosen nickname, so long as it is used in addition to their first identity and surname and is in accordance with the guidelines in the Candidate Handbook.
Such nicknames may be published on the ballot paper, so long as the full name of the candidate also appears.
Confirmation of nicknames shall be submitted to the Returning Officer or his/her nominee by the close of nominations. The Returning Officer may, at his/her sole discretion, withhold the right to the use of a specific nickname.
By-Elections By-elections will be held to fill any vacant posts following an election.
Nominations for a by-election shall be open for at least five working days.
There must be a least three working days from the close of nominations to the opening of polling.
Candidate Meeting, Question Time and QMSU Student Media
Candidate Meeting A Candidate Meeting shall be held after the close of nominations at a time and place to be determined by the Returning Officer.
The date and time of the Candidate Meeting shall be advertised in the Candidate Handbook.
The Returning Officer or his/her nominee will outline the rules governing the elections.
Candidates should attend the Candidates Meeting. If the candidate cannot attend the meeting they can send a nominee on their behalf who is a full member of the Union. If a candidate fails to attend the candidates meeting they will still be held responsible for their actions in accordance with the rules that were outlined in the Candidates Meeting and the Candidate Handbook.
Question Time Candidates are requested but not required to attend Question Time to give speeches on their manifesto pledges and to take questions from members.
A Chairperson shall be appointed by Returning Officer to Chair Question Time.
The Chairperson shall indicate that Re-Open Nominations, RON, (by voting for RON students are voting against all subsequent candidates) is a candidate in the election.
Candidates should inform the Returning Officer (in writing via the Student Voice and Development Manager) if they are unable to attend, stating their reasons for non-attendance before the beginning of the event.
The Candidate may appoint a nominee to speak on their behalf if they are not present. The nominee cannot be a candidate for any other position in the election and must be a Full Member of the Union. The Returning Officer must be notified of this prior to Question Time.
Only Full Members of the Union are allowed to ask questions at a Question Time event.
QMSU Student Media Student Media funded and supported by QMSU may choose to promote the elections. In this case the media will ensure fair coverage of all candidates in an individual position. It is the decision of the individual candidate if they wish to appear in the student media.
Campaigning and Publicity
Campaigning Candidates are strongly encouraged to campaign during the elections.
Candidates may not campaign for election until after the Candidateâ€™s Meeting.
Candidates must take reasonable steps to ensure that the actions of their supporters comply with the Election Bye-Laws at all times and must be able to demonstrate this in the event of a complaint against them.
Candidates must not prevent free and easy access to and within the Union and College buildings when campaigning.
During polling there shall be no campaigning or campaign material within the polling station areas, with the exception of manifestos that the polling officers hold. This â€˜Polling Exclusionâ€™ Zone shall be outlined by the Returning Officer at the Candidates Meeting and in the Candidate Handbook.
Candidates may not canvass or post publicity material within computer laboratories, libraries or any other areas of the College as designated by the Returning Officer.
Posters and other campaign material may not use the College, QMSU or affiliated logos to endorse their campaign.
Candidates may produce a website, or use their own, but all content must be accessible to the Deputy Returning Officer.
All candidates running for each individual position, including Sabbatical Trustees, Student Trustees, Part Time Student Officers and NUS Delegates will be given the same maximum budget. The budget amount for individual elections shall be clearly stated in the Candidate Handbook.
The system for administering the Candidate Budget shall be determined by Student Council in the first semester of the academic year.
Candidates are responsible for supplying receipts for the items they have purchased to support their campaign.
Candidates shall cover the financial costs of their campaign. The Union will not reimburse candidates for their expenses.
All candidates must submit a written list of all campaign costs with corresponding receipts to the Student Voice and Development Manager. The deadline is one hour before the close of voting. If candidates do not spend any money during the course of their campaign this must be made clear on the submission.
Items that a campaigner already owns can be valued using a minimum value list available from the Student Voice and Development Manager.
All materials must be available to other candidates at the same price.
If materials are purchased from outside the U.K it is the responsibility of the candidate to provide a quote from a UK company demonstrating their value as if they were purchasing them in the UK. Only the UK value for all products will be accepted.
The Returning Officer will value items not on this list within one working day of the request for an evaluation.
5.2.10 Candidates shall remove their own publicity within three calendar days of the close of voting for that election. 5.3
Publicity All publicity must be approved by the Deputy Returning Officer or nominee.
Candidates may place the equivalent of 25 A3 posters across the campuses.
Candidates may distribute as many flyers as is in keeping with their budget. Flyers fixed to surfaces will be considered posters.
Candidates may use publicity means as appropriate to their campaign as long as it not contravene these Bye-Laws or any policy of QMSU or the College or is otherwise unlawful
Any candidate who wishes to place campaign publicity in buildings shall be responsible for obtaining permission from the appropriate authorities where required. No permanent adhesive shall be used in any circumstances.
No publicity may be affixed in such a way as to interfere with the publicity of another candidate, and no candidate or supporter may remove or deface the publicity of another candidate.
No fixative, which shall include stickers, may be used on interior surfaces.
Electronic sound and loud-hailing equipment is prohibited.
Social Networking, Websites & Mailing Lists Candidates may use any social networking sites or their own websites for the purposes of campaigning after the candidates meeting. For the avoidance of doubt no campaigning can be conducted through social networking sites including but not exclusive to Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Bebo, Google plus and LinkedIn until after the Candidates Meeting except in the case of 5.4.2.
Candidates using social networking sites or/and their own websites need to notify the Deputy Returning Officer and ensure that they are added as a friend or/and to the campaign group or following the relevant profile. The Deputy Returning Officer or his/her nominee will monitor all online campaigns.
Candidates are allowed to create a secret Facebook group for the purpose of planning their election campaign before the candidates meeting; this group cannot exceed twenty members plus the Candidates nominee and Deputy Returning Officer.
Candidates may only use mailing lists where lawful to do so. In most cases this will require the consent of the members on the list to use their details.
In the case of activity groupâ€™s mailing lists, these are deemed to be owned by the membership of the group. The activity committee needs to provide written permission in order to allow the use of the list.
Societies and Sports Clubs Union societies and sports clubs may support candidates but may not use their grants or subs account to support their activities.
QMSU Staff, Department and Committees No Union Committee, Union Department or staff member shall support a candidate.
Voting and the Count
Voting Voting shall be by secret ballot using the single transferable vote system as defined by the Electoral Reform Society and shall include re-open nominations as a candidate.
Re-open nominations is a choice on the ballot designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates.
All Full Members are eligible to vote, in accordance with the Election Regulations in this Bye Law.
The Returning Officer will ensure that cross campus voting is accessible for all Full Members of the Union.
Polling may take place by electronic or paper ballot. The method of voting will be determined by the Returning Officer.
Polling shall be held on at least one day for a set number of hours, as determined by the Returning Officer.
The names of candidates for each position shall be placed in a random order on the ballot paper and candidate publicity. For electronic ballots the names of candidates shall appear in random order.
If re-open nominations is elected in a multi-seat election its surplus of votes shall be transferred to a new re-open nominations candidate.
If re-open nominations is elected in a single-seat election then the post shall remain vacant until nominations can be re-opened and a by election held.
If the result of voting in an election is a tie then the election will be rerun with only the nominees who tied the election as the candidates. This election will occur as soon as practically possible.
6.1.10 Polling be held on at least one day for a set number of hours, as determined by Returning Officer. 6.2
The Count The count shall be supervised by the Returning Officer or the Deputy Returning Officer.
Complaints about the count must be made in writing to the Returning Officer no later than one working day after the announcement of the result.
The results of Union voting will only come into effect once the Returning Officer has certified that the result is the accurate outcome of a free and fair democratic procedure.
A count shall only commence for each position once all complaints and appeals about candidates have been resolved in accordance with 7.1.3 for the relevant position.
A count shall not commence any earlier than 2 hours after closing of voting.
Provision of Secrecy of an Electronic Ballot Votes cast electronically will be processed on a secure site.
No one will be able to see which specific candidate an individual member has voted for in an election. The Returning Officer, Deputy Returning Officer or their appointed nominee from within staff administering the elections will be able to monitor voting patterns for positions to ensure that no irregularity is taking place.
Provision for Secrecy of a Paper Ballot At the time of closing the ballot the voting register shall be sealed. Under no circumstances shall it come together with the ballot papers unless the validity or conduct of the election is questioned. The Returning Officer or the Deputy Returning Officer shall manage this process.
The voting register and ballot papers shall be kept for three months, in a secure environment as specified by the Returning Officer, after the declaration of the result after which time they will be destroyed unless the validity or conduct of the elections is questioned.
Complaints and Appeals
Making a complaint A complaint may be made about the actions of candidates, supporters or election officials.
Complaints must be submitted in writing using the official complaint form, a copy of which is attached to this Bye Law. The form may be submitted electronically to email@example.com or in paper form to the Student Voice and Development Manager. If the complaint is about a candidate, a supporter or any election official other than the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer it will be passed to and investigated by the Returning Officer in accordance with sections 7.2 to 7.2.7. If it is about the Returning Officer or the Deputy Returning Officer the complaint will be investigated in accordance with the procedures in sections 7.2.8 to 7.2.12.
The grounds for complaint are that one or more of the election rules contained in this Bye Law have been broken; or that one or more Union or College policies or regulations have been breached. The complaint must make clear which rule or rules have been broken, by whom and when and must be supported by evidence. Evidence might be, but is not restricted to, the following: documents; photographs or video clips; screen shots of web pages; copies of e mails or written statements from staff or students.
Complaints about campaigning must be submitted not more than one hour after the close of polling. Complaints about the count must be made within 24 hours of the declaration of results. Complaints received after these deadlines will not normally be considered.
Anonymous complaints will not normally be considered. If, however, there are compelling reasons for a complainant to remain anonymous (such as his/her safety), the Returning Officer shall have the discretion to consider the complaint while protecting the identity of the complainant.
How complaints are considered If the complaint is about a candidate, a supporter or an election official other than the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer, the Returning Officer will acknowledge its receipt within one working day of receiving it.
The Returning Officer will investigate the complaint in a manner which s/he feels is appropriate, but will be impartial, thorough and prompt. S/he shall gather evidence and interview any person who can provide relevant information. Written records shall be kept of all such interviews. The complaint and supporting evidence will be made available to the person complained about. Anyone who has been accused of a breach of the Bye Laws must be given an opportunity to respond to such an allegation following the principles of natural justice. In any hearings or interviews such persons must have the opportunity to speak and to be accompanied by a friend, who must be a Member of the Union.
The Returning Officer, after carrying out an investigation, may either: (i)
Determine that there is insufficient evidence to establish that there has been a breach of the Bye Laws, in which case the complaint will be dismissed; or Determine that there has not been a breach of the Bye Laws, in which case the complaint will be dismissed; or Determine that one or more Bye Laws have been breached, in which case a sanction will be imposed in accordance with section 7.2.5.
The Returning Officer will be expected to reach a decision based on the balance of probabilities, rather than beyond reasonable doubt.
The Returning Officer will provide his/her decision in writing to the complainant and the subject of the complaint as soon as possible.
The Returning Officer may impose one or more sanctions as appropriate: (i)
removal or confiscation of campaign material;
(ii) (iii) (iv) (v)
a reprimand and a warning that a further breach could result in a more severe sanction; requiring a candidate and his/her supporters to stop campaigning for a set period of time Requiring a candidate to issue an apology to one or more fellow candidates or to the whole student body; Disqualification from the election.
If the Returning Officer has reasonable grounds for believing that College policies or regulations have been breached s/he may refer the matter to the Academic Secretary and Secretary to the Council. If the Returning Officer has reasonable grounds for believing that there has been a breach of the criminal law s/he may consult as appropriate with a view to making a report to the Police.
The Returning Officer may disqualify a candidate from an election for serious breaches of the rules, policies or regulations. Such breaches could include the following (though this is not intended to be an exhaustive list): (i)
(ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi)
If s/he finds evidence that there has been coercion, bullying or other improper pressure put on students to vote for a particular candidate or candidates; If the log in details of another student or students are used to vote on their behalf; If voting stations not run and staffed by election officials are set up; If s/he has evidence of tampering with any election documentation or voting materials or databases; If s/he has evidence of bullying or intimidation of fellow candidates, supporters or election officials; Repeated breaches of the Bye Laws.
Other than in the circumstances set out in sections 7.3 and 7.3.1 the decision of the Returning Officer, having investigated a complaint, is final.
If a complaint is made about the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer it will be passed to the Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees, who is an External Trustee. This will enable an independent review to be undertaken by someone not previously involved in the elections. The Deputy Chair will acknowledge its receipt as soon as possible and within 3 working days of receiving it. In the absence of the Deputy Chair, the Chair of the Board of Trustees will nominate another External Trustee to consider the complaint.
7.2.10 The Deputy Chair (or the other External Trustee) will investigate the complaint in a manner which s/he feels is appropriate, but will be impartial, thorough and prompt. S/he may seek assistance as necessary and shall gather evidence and interview any person who can provide relevant information. Written records shall be kept of all such interviews. Anyone who has been accused of wrongdoing must be given an opportunity to respond to such an allegation following the principles of natural justice. In any hearings or interviews such persons must have the opportunity to speak and to be accompanied by a friend, who must be a Member of the Union. 7.2.11 If s/he deems that circumstances justify it, the Deputy Chair (or the other External Trustee) may suspend the Returning Officer and /or the Deputy Returning Officer from their returning officer responsibilities while the investigation is carried out. 7.2.12 The Deputy Chair (or the other External Trustee) may, after conducting the investigation: (i)
Determine that there is insufficient evidence to establish that there has been a breach of the Bye Laws or other wrongdoing, in which case the complaint will be dismissed; or Determine that there has not been a breach if the Bye Laws or other wrongdoing, in which case the complaint will be dismissed; or
Determine that there has been wrongdoing and make a recommendation for action to the Board of Trustees.
7.2.13 The Deputy Chair (or the other External Trustee) will be expected to reach a decision based on the balance of probabilities, rather than beyond reasonable doubt. 7.2.14 If the Deputy Chair (or the other External Trustee), after conducting an investigation, has reasonable grounds for believing that College policies or regulations have been breached s/he may refer the matter to the Academic Secretary and Secretary to the Council. If the Deputy Chair (or the other External Trustee) has reasonable grounds for believing that there has been a breach of the criminal law s/he may consult as appropriate with a view to making a report to the Police. 7.3
Appeals against Decisions by the Returning Officer The only circumstances in which a decision of the Returning Officer may be challenged are that a candidate has reasonable grounds, supported by evidence, for believing that the Returning Officer has not followed the Bye Laws or has otherwise acted contrary to Union policy, College regulations or the general law, or that the circumstances in section 7.3.1 apply.
In the event that new information comes to light before the announcement of the results, but after the Returning Officer has made a decision, which if known when the decision was taken, might have resulted in a different decision, the Returning Officer should review the matter as soon as practicable. If the Returning Officer decides not to undertake such a review and a candidate believes that to be unreasonable, that is also grounds for appeal.
A challenge or appeal, made in accordance with the circumstances set out in sections 7.3 or 7.3.1 will be immediately referred to the Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees and considered as set out in section 7.3.3 to 7.3.5. The Board of Trustees has the final responsibility for the outcome of such an appeal.
The Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees will convene a meeting of the Board of Trustees as soon as practicable. The Board of Trustees will determine how the appeal is to be considered. This should normally be through the establishment of a Panel of Trustees, of at least 3 members, none of whom should have been in any way involved with the decision appealed against or should know personally those involved in the dispute.
The Panel shall determine its own procedures, but should follow the rules of natural justice and would be expected to consider all relevant documentation, and may call for such further documents or reports as it considers necessary. The Panel may interview any persons who may have relevant information.
Having reviewed all the evidence the Panel may conclude: (i)
That the decision taken by the Returning Officer was in accordance with the Bye Laws and was reasonable in the circumstances. In that case the outcome of the Returning Officerâ€™s decision will stand; or That the decision was not in accordance with the Bye Laws or was not reasonable in the circumstances. In that case the Returning Officer would be invited to review the original decision in accordance with any guidance from the Panel.
In the event of the Union being asked to review a decision by the Returning Officer by the College or by a court or other external authority the procedures set out in sections 7.3.3 to 7.3.5 shall be used as the basis for that review.
Nomination Form Please detach this form from the rest of the nomination pack.
Position Which position are you standing for? Student Trustee
Postgraduate Research Representative (BL)
Postgraduate Taught Representative (ME)
Personal Details First Name:
Nickname: (optional â€“ will be displayed alongside your full name)
Home Address (If different from above):
Personal Email Address:
College Email Address:
Home Telephone Number:
Proposer First Name:
Seconder First Name:
Slates Are you running as part of a slate? Yes
Name of Slate: (twenty characters maximum including spaces, using only letters and numbers)
Number of Candidates
Declaration I have read and understand the Elections Bye-Law and agree to abide by the regulations stated. I further understand that failure to do so may result in disqualification.
Completed forms must be handed in to the Union office in the Blomeley Centre, next to Curve on the Mile End campus or scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org from your college email account. Nomination forms have to be received before 10am on 16 May. Any nomination forms handed in after this time will not be accepted.
QMSU Reception Only First Name:
Trustee Declaration Form For Student Trustee candidates only. Please detach this form from the rest of the nomination pack.
Personal Details Full Name:
Date of Birth: (Day/Month/Year) /
Declaration I confirm that - I am over the age of 18. - I have not been convicted at any time of any offences involving deception or dishonesty, unless the conviction is legally regarded as spent. - I am not an undischarged bankrupt. - I have not made compositions with your creditors and have not been discharged. - I have not at any time been removed by the Commissioners or by the Court in England, Wales or Scotland from being a trustee because of misconduct. - I am not disqualified from being a company director. - I have not failed to make payments under the county court administratorsâ€™ orders. I am aware that I may not be employed as student staff during the term of office.
If you are in any doubt about your eligibility to act as a trustee you should either seek your own legal advice or contact the Charity Commissioners. Completed forms must be handed in to the Union office in the Blomeley Centre, next to Curve on the Mile End campus or scanned and emailed to email@example.com from your college email account with your nomination form. Nomination forms have to be received before 10am on 16 May. Any nomination forms handed in after this time will not be accepted.
Election Complaints Form The grounds for complaint are that one or more of the election rules contained in the Election Bye Law have been broken; or that one or more Union or College policies or regulations have been breached.
Personal Details Full Name:
The Complaint Who is the complaint about? Candidate
Deputy Returning Officer
Name of candidate or candidate the campaign is campaigning for:
What is your complaint?
What election rule, policy or regulation has been broken?
What evidence do you have? A complaint must be supported by evidence. Evidence might be, but is not restricted to, the following: documents;photographs or video clips; screen shots of web pages; copies of e mails or written statements from staff or students.
What would you like the outcome of the complaint to be? (i)Removal or confiscation of campaign material. (ii) A reprimand and a warning that a further breach could result in a more severe sanction. (iii) Requiring a candidate and his/her supporters to stop campaigning for a set period of time. (iv) Requiring a candidate to issue an apology to one or more fellow candidates or to the whole student body. (v) Disqualification from the election. By ticking a particular sanction does not ensure that will be the sanction imposed, this is the decision of the Returning or Deputy Returning Officer)
Candidate Expenditure Form Please ensure you have read the Candidate Handbook and Minimum Value List (on the next page) before completing. Candidate Name:
Which election (position) are you filling this form in for?
If you are a candidate for more than one election (e.g. NUS Delegate) you must fill in an expenditure form for each.
Items of expenditure
Declaration I confirm this as a true and accurate record of my sum campaign expenditure and that spending over the agreed limit and failure to declare all my campaign expenditure may lead to disqualification. Signed:
Completed nomination forms must be handed in to the Blomeley Centre on the Mile End campus or scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 3pm on 23 May with receipts for items not found in the Minimum Value List.
Minimum Value List Please ensure you read this list before completing your campaign expenditure form (reverse). If you are using any of the items below in your campaign use the item cost listed below unless you can source them cheaper with evidence elsewhere.
Stationary/Craft Products Items of expenditure
Cable Ties (30cm x 100)
Drawing Pins (200)
Safety Pins (100)
Sew Essential (sewessential.co.uk)
White Paint (1 Litre)
Black Paint (1 Litre)
Coloured Paint (1 Litre)
White Tack (200g)
Clear Tape (66m)
Parcel Tape (5m)
Fabric/Gaffer tape (10m)
Items of expenditure
Costume Hire (per day)
Just for Fun (justforfun.co.uk)
Single Bed Sheet
The Range (therange.co.uk)
Website Domain Name
123 Reg (123-reg.co.uk)
If you require an cost for an item that you have not purchased or already own please seek advice by emailing email@example.com.
Candidate Handbook for the Bye-Elections held May 2012.