University of the West of England Students’ Union
Election Candidate Information So you’re thinking of standing in the Elections? At the head of the Students’ Union are the elected President, Vice Presidents and Officer positions. These are full time and voluntary elected representatives whose role it is to ensure the Union is engaging with students, representing the view of the membership and acting in their best interests at all times. The elected positions are responsible for addressing issues and campaigning on issues that affect students at UWE, suggesting ways to move the Students’ Union forward and liaise with the University to ensure that the students’ voices and opinions are taken in to consideration. There are 5 full time Sabbatical positions, which are paid. These positions are in office for one year, either on a year out from their degree course or after graduation. The criteria for becoming a candidate is that you must be a current registered/enrolled UWE student, full time, part time or post graduate, (a full member). Along with the full time Sabbatical positions there are 9 part time voluntary positions, including the Campus Officer positions and Education Officer, Community and Welfare Officer, sports Officer and Socs and Communication Officer which students undertake alongside their degree for one academic year in a volunteer capacity. The role of an elected representative is challenging but rewarding. You will represent, campaign and negotiate on behalf of our members at the University and at a national level. Build partnerships with local Students’ Union, the University and the community, acting as an ambassador for the Union. The successful candidates can expect to receive full training and support to help ensure that they are able to fulfil both their roles and any personal/Union aims and objectives. The elections are overseen by a number of people, which including a Returning Officer, Stuart Hook, the Returning Officer for South Gloucestershire Council. Stuart is an external official appointed by the Board of Trustees, to conduct and preside over elections. Nerys Neath, UWESU Membership Services Manger, has been appointed as Deputy Returning Officer and will be your first point of contact. This year the Union is also holding a by-election to elect one further delegate to NUS Conference. The conference will be held in Sheffield April 24th – 26th April – for further information regarding the Conference please contact Colin Offler, SU President and delegate leader at email@example.com This pack is designed to guide you through the election process by covering the following aspects:-
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The Positions Important Dates Nomination process Candidates Briefing and Question Time Running Your Campaign How and When to Vote Results Contact Details
The Positions Executive Committee Positions Full Time President Vice President Education Vice President Sports Vice President Community and Welfare Vice President Societies and Communication Part Time Education Officer Sports Officer Community and Welfare Officer Societies and Communication Officer Bower Ashton Campus Officer Frenchay Campus Officer St Matts Campus Officer Glenside Campus Officer Hartpury Campus Officer Non Executive Post Chair of Meetings – To chair UWESU AGM and Student Council meetings By-election One delegate for NUS Conference You can find full details about the roles on the Students’ Unions web pages. http://www.uwesu.org/vote If you are thinking of standing for anyone of the positions you may find it useful to talk to one of the current officers: Colin Offler Louise Goux Wirth Olly Reid Ariana A Sefre Safi Henderson
SU President VP Welfare and Community VP Education VP Sports VP Societies and Communication
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Or staff members – for all general enquiries and Campus Officer enquiries Nerys Neath
Membership Services Manger
Important Dates Monday 30th January Thursday 23rd February at 1pm Thursday 23rd February
Nominations Open Nominations Close Candidates Briefing
Thursday 24th February Sunday 4th March
Presidents Question Time Campaigning Begins
Monday 5th March
Friday 9th March Friday 9th March Friday 9th March
Voting closes Count Begins Results
Online Online 1L17 Frenchay Campus 5.30pm All candidates to attend 1st March 12.30pm vtbc No publicity to be displayed before 1pm. www.uwesu.org/vote Online voting will start at 10am @3pm @4pm Red Bar – Frenchay Campus
Nomination Process - What do I need to do? Complete the online nomination form www.uwesu.org/vote The nomination form contains space to write your personal profile, manifesto and key bullet points. This information will be published on the web and in the elections newspaper. You will need to get support from 6 further students, proposer and seconders and list their names and UWE id numbers Please ensure your nomination form is completed correctly as mistakes cannot be rectified later and could lead to your disqualification from the election. The nomination deadline is 1pm Thursday 23rd February. Forms submitted after this deadline will not be accepted under any circumstances. Once your nomination form has been validated you will be contacted via email and invited to attend the candidates briefing meeting. Candidates Briefing Candidates briefing meeting will be held at 5.30pm, Thursday 23rd February in 1L17 Frenchay Campus. All candidates and up to one student supporter each (campaign agent) should attend. This is an opportunity to learn about role of an officer, campaign skills, the voting process and the elections rules and regulations. The Returning Officer will be present and candidates will be able to ask questions regarding the procedure for conduction elections. Photos and Video Footage Photos - Promotional photos of all candidates will be taken before Candidates Briefing for marketing and promotion purposes. Video – Each candidate will be asked to do a 1 minute to camera explaining “why students should vote for them”. Please be prepared for this, as the video will be linked to the Union’s web pages.
Question Time Question Time for the full and part time positions will take place on Thursday 1st March at Frenchay Campus. All questions will be submitted by students to the chair before the start of the event. Which questions are chosen, and the number of questions within the time permitted are at the Chairs discretion. All candidates will be required to answer the same questions. Candidates will be given direction by the Chair on the length of time they have to answer each question. There may be a Question Time events held for the Campus Officers at their respective campuses. A Question Time Guide will be supplied to all candidates at the candidates briefing meeting.
Running Your Campaign Campaigning The success of the elections is dependent upon you, the candidates. You must promote yourself and convince your fellow students to vote for you. The Students’ Union wishes to see an election contest which is exciting and good natured, which in turn leads to a high turnout of votes Respect, one of the core values to the Students’ Union is respect. Respect that other may have a different opinion to yourself. The Union encourages active involvement and creativity inside the electoral process and rules. The Union expects fairness in the election process The election rules set out the ways in which the principles for the election are adhered to, however the list is not exhaustive. As a result the Returning Officer may vary, or further define the rules herein in the form or rulings. Campaign Activity Forms Each candidate must complete the “Campaign Activity Form” (which is available on the web pages) and submit to the Deputy Returning Officer for approval before any campaigning/promotion takes place. This form must list all the proposed campaigning activities that each candidate is requesting to do. The Rules Context During the election campaign you are likely to be involved in a series of activities. It is important to remember that during the elections campaign you are still bound by sets of rules that, while not strictly election rules, still have a bearing on your conduct. Students’ Union Rules This includes abiding by the Union’s rules, its behavioural code and the equal opportunities procedure. If you breach these and the Returning Officer does not take action under the auspices of the election rules, you may still be subject to the Union’s disciplinary procedure, which can revoke membership rights. Constitution Rules can be found on the web pages uwesu. Bye Law 3 Election Rules and Bye Law 6 Officer Code of Conduct, Duties and Remuneration
University Rules The University operates a number of rules that relate to your membership of the student community and use of its facilities and property for example bullying and harassment, damage to University property etc. If you breach these and the Returning Officer does not take action under the auspices of the election rules, you may still be subject to the University disciplinary procedure. The Law Running an election campaign does not remove you from the auspices of the law of the land. Again, if you breach these and the Returning Officer does not take action under the auspices of the election rules, they still reserve the right to refer the matter to the appropriate authorities. Campaign Teams Campaigning can be an exhausting time especially if it’s undertaken alone, as such candidates often recruit fellow student supporters to campaign with/for them. Please be aware that you will be held responsible for the actions of any campaign team members. Campaign Allowance It is the belief of the Elections Committee that high spending is not required in order to be successful. Candidates standing in the full and part time executive elections are given an allowance of up to £60 for none exec and NUS conference an allowance of £40 (refunded by UWESU). Please complete the candidate’s expenses form, available from email@example.com and return to the Deputy Returning Officer by 20th March. All expenditure with receipts must be submitted. Candidates who have not spent any money on their campaign must still submit the form.
Donations All material donations must be declared on the Campaigning Activity Form for approval. Failure to declare any such donations could lead to disqualification. Publicity Regulations The following are guidelines but are not exhaustive. You are advised to familiarise yourselves with the University rules regarding the treatment of property. If you have any questions please contact the Deputy Returning Officer. The Students’ Union is committed to equality and diversity and does not tolerate language or behaviour that can cause offence to others. Harassment, intimidation, or bullying of any potential voter or candidate is strictly prohibited and infringement of this rule will be regarded as a serious offence. • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Do not place posters, banners or flyers before 1pm Sunday 4th March. Do not canvas the Halls of Residences door to door before 2pm 4th March Do not claim the support of a club, network or society unless the committee of that club, network or society has officially endorsed your candidature. A letter signed by 3 members of the committee must be received by the Deputy Returning Officer to endorse a candidate. No club/network or society budget may be used to indorse a candidate All Union resources must be paid for (printing, photocoping etc) Do not site publicity in such a way as to cause damage to University or Union premises. Do not use “stickers” on any parts of the University or Union premises Candidates publicity shall publicise one candidate only, with only one candidates photograph unless a jobshare. Do not interfere with the publicity of any other candidate You may create your own youtube videos Endorsements/support from external companies are NOT allowed Please be mind full of the local environment If you have admin rights on an official UWESU Facebook group or page you must not abuse your position to promote individual UWESU election candidates
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Halls of Residence. Posters may only be placed in private areas within the flats eg. Bedroom windows with the expressed permission of the flats’ residents. Do not door knock at any of the Halls of Residence at unreasonable hours. Please ask permission before any “lecture shouts” as some lecturers and/or students do not like their lectures being disturbed. Please ask the Campus SU Offices and SU Bars where you can display posters The content of any election material displayed or circulated is the responsibility of the candidate. Material which breaches the Union rules and equal opportunity policy will be removed and action may be taken by the Returning Officer. Be aware all computers can be voting terminals Do not place posters in computer labs or on voting terminals. Do not campaign within 3 metres of any voting terminal. This applies to both candidates and their supporters regardless of the location of the voting terminal. This is to ensure the electors can cast their vote in secret and without any outside influence. Do not use the university/union systems databases to mass email students. Health and Safety – You must not break any Health and Safety rules in the placing of banners and posters Do not poster on fire doors You MUST complete and return to the Deputy Returning Officer firstname.lastname@example.org for approval the “Campaign Activity Form” prior to the campaigning period.
Permanent Staff of the Union Members of permanent staff of the Union administer the elections and assist the process. In so doing they are required to act impartially. Do not request any staff member to do anything which could compromise their impartiality. (should a member of staff display partiality they will be subject to disciplinary action.) Temporary/casual staff of the Union The union employs staff on a temporary basis who are students and thus members of the Union. During the hours of work they must act impartially and must not wear any campaign material at work. Student staff must not campaign wearing official uwesu staff uniforms. If you are a temporary member of student staff who is standing in the election you must not do anything to support your campaign during the time you are in work. Current Elected Officers The student officers of the Union are remunerated to represent the members of the Union and to further its goals. In terms of the elections they are required to act so as to preserve the integrity of the Union's democracy. Officers are members of the Union and may involve themselves fully in the election process. If you are an officer: Do encourage members to vote in the election Do not spend time supporting your own or anyone else's candidature during time that members of the Union would expect you to be working for the benefit of the Union as a whole Do book annual leave to provide you with more time in which to support your own or anyone else's candidature. University Staff UWESU is an organisation run by students for students, and therefore is independent from the University. The University and its staff members are not involved in the democratic processes of the Union. Do not ask University staff to support or be involved in your campaigns.
Breach of Conduct and Complaints There are certain circumstances whereby a candidate can be disqualified immediately from the election, e.g. mass e-mails that adversely effect the e-mail system, serious misconduct etc There are other more minor infringements of the rules that may not warrant immediate disqualification. However, that does not mean that these rules can be flouted. In a circumstance whereby the Returning Officer establishes that a complaint of this nature is valid he will issue a first warning to a candidate. A second occurrence will produce a second warning. If a third occasion arises the Returning Officer will disqualify the candidate from the election. In this way continual breaches of the election rules will amount to a disqualification. The Returning Officer has sole authority to determine a complaint and any resulting actions such as disqualification. The decision of the Returning Officer cannot be challenged in any meeting of the Union. Actions of Candidates Supporters It must be stressed that a candidate is responsible for the actions of their supporters. The defence that a well meaning supporter broke the election rules in ignorance will not be an excuse. In this situation the candidate will be held accountable. Abuse of the complaints system Any candidate (or their supporters) who attempts to use the complaints system inappropriately in an attempt to get another candidate disqualified will themselves be subject to the complaints process described above. How to make a complaint All complaints must be received in writing to the Deputy Returning Officer email@example.com. Please make sure you have included the following information. Details of the incident (when and where you believed it took place) Any witnessesâ€™ names and contact details if possible Any evidence photos etc Which regulation you believe has been broken What are you asking us to do about it The Returning Officer will review all complaints prior to the start of the election count. The Returning Officer shall have the sole authority as to determine a complaint and any resulting action. The ruling of the Returning Officer on any complaint shall be final.
How and When to Vote The ballot will open 10am Monday 5th March until 3pm Friday 9th March. Students/candidates can vote by going online to www.uwesu.org/vote . All registered UWE students, part time, full time, under graduate and post graduate are eligible to vote. Voting will be electronic and web based on a secure elections website. The UWESU uses a Transferable Vote System. This system will be explained at the Candidates Briefing Meeting, but in brief, it means that the electorate (voter) has the opportunity to rank the candidates in order of preference ie. 1, 2 , 3 etc. A later/second preference is considered if an earlier preference has been excluded because of insufficient support during the count. The successful candidate has to reach a quota of 50% +1 of the votes cast, or the most votes when all transfers of preferences are taken into account. All candidates in each election run against No Suitable Candidate (NSC), a vote for NSC is not the same as abstaining â€“ it is a vote against the remaining candidates. The Count The count will commence on Friday 9th March at the close of ballot. All candidates should gather in the Red Bar after the close of voting. It is the responsibility for all candidates to help with the taking down of all posters and banners around the Frenchay Campus. The Union will arrange for recycling bags to be issue to all candidates and helpers at the close of ballot from Red Bar. Red Bar will be hosting the pre and post results party in the Red Bar with special election bar offers. Candidates should bring along their supporters. The Results The results will be announced by the Returning Officer in the Red Bar, Frenchay Campus. Each successful candidate will be expected to give an acceptance speech of no more than 2 mins, so please prepare. And finally, Good Luck! Nerys Neath Deputy Returning Officer Membership Services Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Frenchay Campus 4F20