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Writtle College Student Union Election Pack

2012

Candidates’ Election Pack: - Nomination Form - Candidates’ Guide - Job Descriptions


Contents Welcome Address From The Returning Officer.......................................................3 What is Writtle College Student Union?....................................................................4 The Importance of Student Representation.............................................................. 4 Available Positions....................................................................................................... 5 Executive Officers........................................................................................................ 5 THE PRESIDENT......................................................................................................7 ACADEMIC SABBATICAL OFFICER...................................................................8 VICE PRESIDENT INVOLVEMENT ...................................................................10 VICE PRESIDENT WELFARE..............................................................................12 Supporting Officers....................................................................................................12 FE Officer x 2 ..........................................................................................................13 UNION SOCIAL Officer x 1 or 2............................................................................14 UNION SPORT Officer x 1 or 2..............................................................................14 UNION PUBLICITY Officer x 1 or 2..................................................................... 15 UNION RAG Officer x 1 or 2..................................................................................15 THE NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS (NUS) ...............................................16 Election Timetable..................................................................................................... 16 What do I Need To Do?............................................................................................. 16 Guidance for Producing Your Publicity.................................................................. 17 Guidance for Producing a Manifesto....................................................................... 18 Campaigning...............................................................................................................18 Holding Positions of Responsibility/Influence during the Elections......................19 Contacts.......................................................................................................................19 Election Regulation ................................................................................................... 20 Principles..................................................................................................................20 Union Rules .............................................................................................................20 Writtle College Rules...............................................................................................20 The Law....................................................................................................................21 Nominations............................................................................................................. 21 The Ballot.................................................................................................................21 The Count.................................................................................................................21 Publication of Results...............................................................................................21 Complaints............................................................................................................... 21 Appeals.....................................................................................................................21 Publicity and Campaigning Guidelines....................................................................22 Breach of Conduct....................................................................................................23 Checklist......................................................................................................................23

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Welcome Address From The Returning Officer

Hi, My name is Rachael Firth and in my capacity as your NUS Regional Officer I’m delighted to be the Returning Officer for Writtle College Student Union 2012 – 13 elections. Firstly, the serious bit... The role of the Returning Officer is extremely important. I ensure that the elections are conducted in a free and fair manner. This means that should you, another candidate or any student express a concern or complaint in relation to any aspect of the election process I am on hand to investigate this. This can be directly or through the Deputy Returning Officer who will also be supporting these elections. At times I may be required to make rulings based on activities as and when they take place - some of which aren’t too popular. Should this be the case, all candidates will be notified via email (although not necessarily informed of the reason behind my decision). It is therefore really important that you read this Guide carefully to prevent yourself from conducting your election campaign in an unsuitable manner. Please feel free to ask any questions to either myself, Julie Driscoll, Deputy Returning Officer, or Vincent Vetrhus, Elections Official; our contact details can be found later in the document. Now….. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in these elections. Being involved in the Student Union as an elected representative can present a mixture of emotions; it’s exciting and challenging as well as being quite daunting initially. The skills and experiences gained during your time in office are unique; you’re given a direct role in the management and development of your Union, an experience generally gained in later life. These skills can be transferred to all walks of life so if considering your next step, this is certainly an opportunity worth thinking about. The Student Union offers a safe and supportive environment to learn and to develop personally. There is a lot of support for elected Officers. There are other Officers (both within your Student Union and across the country), the staff within your Union and College are fantastic resources and there’s also the NUS, available long after the election period is over, so don’t be put off standing for this once in a lifetime opportunity. The Guide has been put together to (hopefully) answer any questions you have about the whole election process, from how to apply to explaining the voting system. We’re here to ensure that the election processis fair but also enjoyable for all involved. I look forward to seeing you at the Candidates’ Briefing and wish you all the best in these elections. Good luck and ENJOYIT!

Rachel Firth Writtle College Student Union Returning Officer NUSEast Midlands and East Regional Organiser

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What is Writtle College Student Union? Writtle College Student Union (hereinafter referred to as the SU) is the recognised representative channel of the student body of Writtle College, representing ALL students within the College, including full-time, part-time, distance learners, mature, international, postgraduate, research students, FEand HE. There is one full time paid elected position on the student union; the Academic Sabbatical officer. This involves a lot of work on purely academic matters within the college, and anyone thinking about standing for this position should think about whether or not they will be able to get enthused by NSSdata and institutional audits such as the QAA and the University of Essex Institutional Review. (Seejob description for full outline of roles) The SU exists to represent the student body, and does this in many forms largely from the Executive Officers. The Executive Officers represent the student body at the most senior level, including sitting on many important College meetings and boards. The Executive Officers also run a series of campaigns, educating students on issuesaffecting them. The SU also facilitates aspects of College life that offer you the opportunity to relax, join societies or play sport. The SU provides many ways for students to participate in, to enhance their student experience, such as events for students to get involved in, including trips and fun ‘get-togethers’. We also have an excellent RAG(Raise and Give) team that organises events to raise money for local and/or national charities. To get involved in RAG you can either stand the RAG positions or just come along as a non-elected volunteer.

The Importance of Student Representation The General Student Population Course Reps

Executive Officers

The Trustee Board

There are over 2,000 full time equivalent students at Writtle College, including those around on different campusesand others studying on day releasecourses. From the general student population, there are a number of Course Reps per course. These students are elected by their peers to represent students in terms of learning and teaching issues at course level. These elections take place within the first few lectures of the term. There are four elected Executive Officer positions. These include President, Vice President Involvement, Vice President Welfare and Academic Sabbatical Officer. The Trustee Board is made up of the Executive Committee, but the SU is changing and we will use your expertise along with the NUS to develop what is best for all of our members. Trustees take overall responsibility for the work that the organisation undertakes. They will focus the strategic direction of the organisation, ensuring that the SU creates and implements strategies that meet the objectives of the Union. Trustees will also agree plans and budgets and will hold the Staff to account for the delivery of the plans. 4


Available Positions The following positions are available in these elections: President Academic Sabbatical Officer Vice President Involvement Vice President Welfare Further Education Officer x 2 Union Social Officer x 1 or 2 Union Sport Officer x 1 or 2 Union Publicity Officer x 1 or 2 Union RAGOfficer x 1 or 2

(Part-time Voluntary) (Full Time Paid) (Part-time Voluntary) (Part-time Voluntary) (Part-time Voluntary) (Part-time Voluntary) (Part-time Voluntary) (Part-time Voluntary) (Part-time Voluntary)

Desirable personal qualities All candidates should display the following qualities:

• • •

• • •

• •

• • •

• • •

Willing to show unrivalled dedication and commitment to the SU. Willing to work above and beyond the call of duty, including staying away from home for short periods of time e.g. for conferences, training etc. and working long days/weekends when required. Be enthusiastic, even when under pressure. Have an interest in student issues, both within the SUand nationally. Be willing to support decisions made in the best interests of the SU as a whole, even if you personally disagree with them. Have exemplary people skills, including public speaking and speaking to different levels of people. Be able to maintain confidentiality. Be organised and able to work effectively and efficiently. Be trustworthy, reliable and a good timekeeper. Have an understanding of finance, and be willing to make decisions in the best interest of the SU. Be able to work effectively in a team and help other team members in areas that do not necessarily fall within your own portfolio. Have a desire to make the SU better for all its members. Be willing to work with the College to ensure effective student representation (good governance). Be driven and passionate about the SU.

Executive Officers There are 4 elected Executive Officer positions at the SU, these are; President Academic Sabbatical Officer 5


Vice President Involvement Vice President Welfare

Any registered Writtle College Higher Education student can run for these positions*. *See Job Description for Academic Sabbatical Officer regarding specific requirements.

Executive Officers are the strategic lead in their area. Each Executive Officer has responsibility for the development and implementation of their area’s strategy within the Union and in the wider College context.

JOB DESCRIPT IO NS The SU’s Executive Officers’ job descriptions cover four disciplines: • the role of Trustee, • a specific portfolio of work, • a representative of the student body to specific groups,

being an activist on specific issuesof importance to the SUmembership.

All Executive Officers have a duty to fulfil the following for each discipline: Trustee • Complete a Trustee induction programme at the commencement of office.

Act as a Trustee of the SU, giving full consideration to the needs of the

whole organisation at all times.

• •

Safeguard and protect the assets of the organisation.

• •

Ensure that the SU compiles with all legal and regulatory requirements.

Ensure that the governance of the SU is of the highest possible standard

and fit for purpose. Act collectively (decisions and responsibilities are shared). 6


Act in interest of all students, despite specific portfolio responsibilities.

Portfolio • Be responsible for managing budgets, where necessary and appropriate. • Carry out all roles in liaison with relevant university staff and fellow officers.

Carry out other reasonable duties, as required by the SU.

Representative

• • • •

Uphold and abide by the policies and constitution of the SU.

Represent the views of the student body in appropriate forums. Actively solicit the opinions of the student body to ensure that representative activities meet the needs and reflect the views of the membership. Submit a report every half term to update students of what you have done.

Activist • Engagewith students and encouraging participation. • Campaign on issuesof importance to the student body. • Actively solicit the opinions of the student body to ensure that campaigning activities meet the needs and reflect the views of the membership. Personal • Maintain good working relationships with your fellow Executive Officers. • Be able to offer and receive constructive criticism.

THE PRESIDENT Portfolio

Take a lead in the production, revision and monitoring of the SU strategic

plans.

• •

Receive all Union complaints, and act on them properly with support of

staff and College. Ensure the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee communicate with a uniform voice, and make Supporting Officers aware of their (collective) obligations and responsibilities. 7


• • •

Chair the Trustees meetings, Executive Committee and general meetings of the Union. Monitor that all actions and decisions from meetings are carried out, and report back on progress. Be responsible for ensuring that affiliations to outside bodies, which are approved by the Executive Committee, are recorded in the appropriate manner.

Representative

• • •

Act as one of the liaisons between the SU and NUS

Act as the delegation leader and delegate at NUSConference.

Develop relationships with College senior management in order to take

membership opinion to them directly.

Be a member of all committees to which the role is entitled, including

influential College meetings.

Ensure that there is a Union Officer on all College disciplinary and appeal

hearings. Activist • Be responsible for Union strategy, strategic planning and development, and researching best practice. • Hold the authority to make emergency decisions on behalf of Executive and/or Board of Trustees, in situations where it cannot be convened, but report and ensure that such decisions are ratified immediately following meeting of the Executive and Trustees.

ACADEMIC SABBATICAL OFFICER Any student wishing to take on this position must meet the following criteria; This position is open to students who have completed at least 2 years of Writtle College HE level study or have studied at least 2 years of HE at a

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different institution and are currently studying Postgraduate qualifications For more information on salary, hours etc, please see College job description. All final year students wanting to stand must be able to produce evidence that they will pass the qualification on which they registered, this can come from your personal tutor or course manager. All second year students wanting to stand must be able to produce evidence from their personal tutor or course manager recommending them for the role clearly stating the candidate’s education and attainment will not suffer if they are to take a year out and that they have complied with College academic and general regulations and that they are in good academic standing. Portfolio •

Be organised and able to speak to senior College management in a strategic manner.

• •

standards within the SU, except for dealing with individual casework. Be willing to analyse National Student Survey data to enhance learner provision.

• •

Be responsible for all issues pertaining to education and academic

Have strategic responsibility for Student representatives and structures.

To maintain and continue to develop the Peer-to-peer Mentoring Scheme.

• •

Work to develop academic institutional relationships and standards.

Act as a conduit for information from the SUto Non-Sabbatical Student

Officers.

• • •

Actively promote and advertise the range of surveys the college

participates in. Be the main administrator of the SU website; to maintain it and ensure that the website is up to date with the latest SUnews/events and activities. To provide support for the FEAcademic Officer.

Representative 9


• • • •

Act as the main representative on academic issuesto the College.

Be a member of all committees to which the role is entitled, encompassing

all academic college meetings. Direct students to student support areas if there are academic complaints/appeals. Be the main representative to aid students in academic appeal hearings.

Activist

• •

educational strategy within the SUand to voice this to the College. Have responsibility for all educational and academic campaigns and related events and be actively involved in the delivery of them at all sites.

• • •

Be responsible for the development, implementation and revision of

Work with the NUS VP Higher Education & NUS VP Further Education and

NUS regional organiser for Writtle College Student Union to raise the profile of the SU. Organise campaigns that will enhance the learner experience at Writtle College. Work closely with the NUS on national academic campaigns and promote these across the College.

VICE PRESIDENT INVOLVEMENT Portfolio

Actively promote and encourage all students to get involved in their Union,

particularly students who are currently under-represented within the SU’s activities and Students based off campus.

• • •

Actively promote NUS and encourage participation when necessary,

especially with regards to promotion of the NUSdiscount card. Facilitate and encourage a diversity of activities and opportunities for students to be involved with. Be involved in the promotion, support and development of societies. 10


• • •

Take responsibility for liaising with and co-ordinating society leaders,

sports and fitness coordinator and Student Union sports Officers. Increasethe profile of the international students at Writtle College – especially with regards to the International Social Club. Actively encourage the environment and recycling across the whole of the campus.

Representative

• •

developing the Alumni association. To represent the student body on the College Green Group.

• • •

Act as the liaison between the SU and the College in many aspects including

Be the main representative for SUorganised annual events.

Be responsible for building and maintaining positive relations with the local

community and community organisations. Attend the BUCSand SESSAmeeting along with the sports and fitness coordinator.

Activist

• • • •

Be responsible for the development and strategy of student activities within

the SU. Assist in the development and delivery of all Union campaigns. Provide and present SU Society starter packs (including application forms) upon the request/inquiry of students. Administrate SU Society applications for forming a new society and funding. And to bring forward such applications to the SU Council in meetings to determine approval. Keep a record of applications in an SU Society folder.

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VICE PRESIDENT WELFARE Portfolio • Co-ordinate all welfare campaigns and related events and be actively involved in the delivery of them at all sites.

Be responsible for all issues pertaining to welfare within the SU, provide

advice and support to the individual in an impartial manner.

Maintain relationships with key partners who are able to support the SU’s

welfare activities. Representative

Be a member of all committees to which the role is entitled, including equal

opportunities; i.e. Equality & Diversity and the Food Forum meetings.

• •

Act as the main representative on welfare issuesto the College.

Be the main representative for student disciplinary hearings.

Activist • Facilitate and promote the awareness of support and community mechanisms and opportunities for students.

• •

Be responsible for the development, implementation and revision of the

welfare strategy within the SU. Help campaign along with other officers.

Supporting Officers Further Education Officer x 2 Union Social Officer x 1 or 2 12


Union Sport Officer x 1 or 2 Union Publicity Officer x 1 Union RAGOfficer x 1 or 2

Supporting Officers are advocates for their area within the Union. Student Officers often represent traditionally underrepresented groups; these positions exist to ensure that the Union considers the needs of all students in all its thinking and activities. Supporting Officers are activists. They advance certain agendas and help the Union put on a more holistic offering both in terms of representation and activities. Supporting Officers, as part of the SU Council, hold the Executive to account. Student Officers contribute to SUCouncil. All Student Officers have a duty to do the following:

Attend and be a member of SU Council.

• •

Attend related training events and conferences (support provided by SUand NUS). Contribute to the strategic development of SUrelative to the position held. • Source student opinion to generate ideas relevant to students’ needs. • Promote the positive involvement of the student community within the SU. • Inform, where appropriate, students on SUservices and campaigns. • Work alongside relevant Executive Officers. • Work, where applicable, with a specific society to encourage participation. More specific information about each of these roles is listed below:

FE OFFICER x 2 *only FEStudents can stand* Academic (1 position) • Bring issuesof those studying FEat Writtle College to the Union. • Organise events to enhance the learner experience of FE students at Writtle College. • Report to the Academic Sabbatical Officer to promote positive feedback for FE Courses. • Attend Academic Board alongside the Academic Sabbatical officer • Attend FETeaching and Learning Group – liaising with the chair. • Attend FEStudent Council meetings alongside FERecreational. • Help promote SU campaigns. • Work alongside executive officers and to assist on event nights on your group week (i.e. set up, door shifts etc). 13


• • •

Attend SUCmeetings. Attend any other relevant meetings. To update SUSupport Officer and Academic Sabbatical Officer.

Recreational (1 position) • Work alongside the Social/Sport teams to organise and arrange student social events, with greater emphasis on FEstudent events. • Organise and advertise FE students-only events – especially when HE students are on holidays. • Liaise, where necessary, with relevant campaigning organisations and distribute material where appropriate. • Work alongside the Student Union Support Officer with regards to budgets for social and sports events. • Encourage and promote FEstudents to get involved with sports at Writtle. • Attend FEStudent Council meetings alongside FEAcademic. • Attend SUCmeetings. • Work alongside executive officers and to assist on event nights on your group week (i.e. set up, door shifts etc). • Attend any other relevant meetings. • To update SUSupport Officer.

UNION SOCIAL Officer x 1 or 2 • • • •

• • •

• •

• •

• •

To organise the social events throughout the academic year. To attend and be available throughout the duration of the SU social events organised by the Social officer. To meet and greet any acts/bands/inflatables etc. that have been organised for social events. Produce risk assessments for social events, where appropriate (i.e. when using inflatables). Ensure that the companies in charge of any ordered equipment (i.e. inflatables). The events are to be organised for each semester, and they are to be agreed with the entire SU. Organise the SU members to participate in door rotas, setting up and clearing down on event nights. To organise a range of events during freshers’ week including advertising freshers’ fair to external companies and the Freshers’ ball on To order all the decorations for the events well in advance. Work alongside the Executive Committee regarding costs and organisation of events etc. To liaise with relevant members of staff/departments (i.e. Baa-staff/Duty Officers/Health and Safety Officer) for applicable events. Attend SUCmeetings. Attend any other relevant meetings.

UNION SPORT Officer x 1 or 2 •

Organise team captain meetings. 14


• •

Represent students for sports and handle sport related issues. Help with the organisation of fixtures, training sessions and sports kit. Liaise between the Sports- and Fitness Co-ordinator, SU Support Officer and the

• SU.

• • • • •

Organise all sports team captains to attend freshers’ fair and sign up new players for all teams at the college. Work alongside the Student Union Support Officer/ Sports- and Fitness Coordinator regarding costs and organisation of fixtures/events etc. Work alongside executive officers and to assist on event nights on your group week (i.e. set up door shifts etc). Attend SUCmeetings. Attend any other relevant meetings.

UNION PUBLICITY Officer x 1 or 2 • • •

• • •

• •

To create publications through posters and social networking sites to advertise social events, campaigns and other arrangements arranged by the SU (must be done at least one week in advance of the event). To be responsible of the digital camera to take photos of any events organised by the SU. Ensure that the SU is promoted effectively and correctly in all internal and external publications. Keep a record of all representation in external publications. To be one of the web-admin and assist in the production of relevant material for the Student Union Website alongside the Academic Sabbatical Officer. To work alongside the executive officers in the production of the SU Magazine/Newsletter. Work alongside executive officers and to assist on event nights on your group week (i.e. set up door shifts etc). Attend SUCmeetings. Attend any other relevant meetings.

UNION RAG Officer x 1 or 2 • • •

• • •

• •

To suggest charities to the SU and decide on the chosen charities as a board. Liaise with the designated charities as to publications and marketing throughout the year. Liaise with the college management and external relations to generate the appropriate publicity, and to check that everyone is happy with the arrangements. Design and arrange the production of the RAG merchandise such as the RAG Mag, involving relevant college facilities that require advertising, the first draft of this should be available to all to view at the start of term. Assist with the production and sale of the RAGt-shirts. Organise rotas for door shifts, setting up and clearing down throughout Rag week. Work alongside the Student Union Support Officer regarding costs and organisation of events etc. Work alongside executive officers and to assist on event nights on your group week (i.e. set up door shifts etc). Attend SUCmeetings. Attend any other relevant meetings. 15


THE NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS (NUS) - WHAT IS THE NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS? The National Union of Students (NUS) is one of the largest student organisations in the world, representing the interests of over 7 million students in Further and Higher Education throughout the United Kingdom. It is a voluntary membership organisation made up of local student representative organisations that have chosen to affiliate and pay a membership fee. NUSboasts over 750 constituent members (CMs) - virtually every college and university in the country, including your SU, who are working closely with the NUS to develop and enhance your student experience. NUSprovides research, representation, training and expert advice for individual students and Students' Unions. They deal with over 15,000welfare enquiries each year and train over 3,000Students' Union Officers. The work of the NUS is carried out by a combination of elected representatives and staff members, much like how a traditional Students’ Union would operate. NUS also host a series of smaller events throughout the year including portfolio specific events, eg. LGBT Conference, Black Students’ Conference, Women’s Conference but also regional receptions. The successful candidates will have an opportunity to represent the SU at appropriate meetings throughout the year. We appreciate that it may not always be possible to attend these events but the SU wants to ensure that we actively participate in NUSactivities.

Election Timetable What? Nominations opens Nomination closes Academic Sabbatical Officer candidates’ meeting ALL Candidates’ briefing (all candidates must attend, or send an agent in their place) Campaigning days Candidates’ Question time

Voting Times

Announcement of Results

When? Where? th Monday 13 Feb. 2012 @ 10am Thursday 24th February 2012 @12 midday Monday 27th February 2012 SU-office from 12pm Tuesday 28th February 2012 SU-office @5pm 28th February-8th March 2012 - Monday 5th March 2012 @12pm - Monday 5th March 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm Tuesday 6th March 2012 @12 midday – Thursday 8th March 2012 @12 midday Thursday 8th March @3pm

Writtle College - L41 (Main Hall)

-

L41 (Main Hall) Moodle

SU-office and by e-mail.

What do I Need To Do? If you wish to stand for any of the positions you will be required to: • •

Attend The Candidates’ Briefings Attendance is compulsory . If you are unable to attend you must inform one of the Election personnel and send a delegate in your place. 16


If you are standing for the Academic Sabbatical Officer position you must also attend the meeting 1 hour beforehand.

Submit the following on a USB stick (this will be returned to you): • A nomination form (found in the appendix) This needs to be completed by you and two additional students; these students can also be standing in the elections. • A passport sized photo You are strongly advised to attach a photo of yourself along with your online manifesto. • A manifesto (an example can be found in the appendix) This is a document that says why you think people should vote for you. It can be no more than 250 words. • Publicity You must submit your design for printed publicity that you will be responsible for distributing during the campaigning period.

All candidates are entitled to 11 copies each of publicity/posters.

Guidance for Producing Your Publicity It is your choice what your publicity looks like however you might want to consider some of the following: • • •

Your publicity could be simple and include a slogan associated with your campaign It could be an edited version of your manifesto, highlighting the important issues It could include your photo

Remember to tell students when and how they can vote on your posters.

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Guidance for Producing a Manifesto Things to consider when writing a manifesto: • • • • • • •

Don't talk about other candidates. Do not make promises that you are unlikely to be able to keep. Do not make promises that relate to areas outside of the remit of your area. You can mention any involvement you've had in the University and/or Union. You can mention your skills, knowledge and experience. You should talk about what you would like to do once elected. Try and use plain English, and be clear and concise.

Nominations close at midday on Friday 24 th February and all forms and USB sticks must be handed in to Julie Driscoll, Deputy Returning Officer in the SU.

Campaigning Campaigning is vital; not only will it gain you the votes you require to get elected, but the greater number of votes, the greater influence you will be able to wield in your time in office. Remember you cannot campaign until after the candidates meeting – otherwise you may be excluded from the election process. Get yourself a good campaign team but remember that you are responsible for their conduct: •

• • •

Get as many people as you can who are reliable and prepared to give up their time for you. Provide the names and contact details for your campaigns team by the close of nominations, if known. If not, provide these details as soon as possible after this time but before voting opens. Nominate a deputy who Election Officials can communicate with if they are unable to reach you. Go for people who have strong personalities and can get your campaign message across. Use people from different courses and/or those who are involved in a wide range of activities. You or members of your campaigns team may speak in lectures with the prior consent of the lecturer, ask them for permission before the lecture begins.

Good practice for working with your campaign team: • • • •

Allocate areas of responsibility and ask them to commit to times when they will work for you. Get them to learn a campaigning line that they can repeat to potential voters. Encourage them to ‘engage’ with voters. There is nothing more pointless than election workers who just thrust a manifesto into voters’ hands and walk off. It invariably does not get you the vote and can turn people against you. Make sure they have an understanding of the rules, as you are responsible for their conduct and can be penalised if they break them. Try to ensure that their spirits are kept up throughout the day(s). 18


Innovation, Innovation, Innovation As lots of people will be campaigning you need to stand out, not just in your policies and political views but in the ways you engagewith voters.

Holding Positions of Responsibility/Influence during the Elections It is not possible for a candidate to hold a position of responsibility or influence during the elections. This means that if you are a current officer in the Student Union or in a club/society in an influential role you must step down from this position after submitting your nomination until after the results are announced. If you are a current officer speak to Julie Driscoll about getting any outstanding responsibilities covered. Course Reps expressing an interest are encouraged to refrain from attending College meetings (remember to send your apologies). Similarly if you are employed by the College, working in the bar for example, you must speak to a member of the management team regarding unpaid leave for this period. After the results have been announced there is nothing to stop you engaging in whatever this activity was. If you are unsure about whether any campaigning activity falls within the rules do not hesitate to ask either the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer.

Contacts Telephone

Email

Rach ael Firth Returning Officer

07837405 751

rachael.firth@nus.org.uk

Julie Driscoll Deputy Returning Officer

01245422 752

jd@writtle.ac.uk

Vincent Vetrhus Elections Official

01245422 752

vincent.vetrhus@writtle.ac.uk

Contact about • Procedural issues • What is acceptable campaigning • Concerns • Complaints • Anything else not mentioned • All the Above

Academic

Sabbatical officer related questions

As a general rule: 19


Julie is the most appropriate person to contact prior to handing in your nomination form and manifesto. She is also the most appropriate once you have handed in your nomination form and manifesto or if you have any questions/complaints about the procedure or behaviour of any candidate or representative. Rachael is involved at key points such as the Candidates’ briefing and the counting of the votes; she will also be involved if the Deputy Returning Officer needs to get a ruling on a matter. Vincent should be contacted for all queries and enquiries relating to the Academic Sabbatical Officer position as he is the current role holder. He can also be contacted for enquiries about other position if Julie is not available.

Election Regulation The success of the elections is dependent upon you, the candidates. It is your opportunity to successfully promote yourself and convince students to vote. We would like to create an atmosphere where you can have a contest, which is exciting and good-natured, leading to a high turnout at the ballot boxes. The following rules are designed to help you achieve this.

Principles The rules herein are designed to operate to two fundamental principles: • •

The Union wishes to encourage the active involvement and creativity of its members inside the electoral process The Union wishes and requires fairness in its elections processand appoints a Returning Officer to achieve this

The elections rules and associated campaigning and publicity regulations set out the ways in which these two principles are balanced, but are not exhaustive. As a result from time to time the Returning Officer, during the course of the election, may vary or further define the regulations herein in the form of rulings. You should check your email account regularly to ensure that you are aware of any rulings that have been made.

Union Rules This includes abiding by the Union’s rules generally, its behavioural code and 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 in its ability to revoke membership rights may put your candidacy in jeopardy.

Writtle College Rules The College operates a number of rules that relate to your membership of the student community and use of its facilities and property, damage to college property and buildings etc. If you breach these and the Returning Officer does not take action under the auspices of 20


the election rules, you may still be subject to the college’s disciplinary procedure, which may also put your candidacy and student status in jeopardy.

The Law The fact that you are standing in the election 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, the Returning Officer reserve the right to refer the matter to the appropriate authorities, which may also put your candidacy in jeopardy.

Nominations Nomination forms are contained within this guide. These must be completed and signed by the candidate and shall require the name, course and student registration number of at least one proposer and one seconder. The Returning Officer or their nominated representative shall produce a list of candidates, which shall be available as soon as possible after the close of nominations.

The Ballot Re-open nominations (RON) shall be a candidate in all Writtle Student Union elections. Where RONscores higher than the member candidate a by-election shall be held at the next available opportunity. Voting for all positions shall be by secret ballot and shall be conducted in accordance with the First past the post system.

The Count The Returning Officers shall satisfy themselves that all the votes are valid. The ballot papers or relevant database will be kept for a period of six (6) months after the completion of the election.

Publication of Results Election results shall be published across Writtle College campus as soon as possible after the results have been announced by e-mail.

Complaints Any challenge or complaint concerning the elections should be submitted to the Returning Officer as soon as possible via email.

Appeals Any appeal against the decision of the Returning Officer shall be made to the College within two (2) College days of that decision being communicated to the complainant. The decision of the College shall be final with no further right of appeal.

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Publicity and Campaigning Guidelines The following are useful guidelines but are not exhaustive. You are advised to strongly bear in mind the College’s rules around treatment of property and the Union’s rules on equality of opportunity and harassment. 1. Any publicity produced should inform voters as to when and where they can vote.

2. The Returning Officer /Deputy Returning Officer must approve all publicity before it is distributed –SODONOT PRE-PRINT ANY MATERIAL.

3. Posters and publicity may only be displayed or circulated in designated areas; Baa, Writz, main building etc. Do not place publicity in the following areas; Library and Halls of Residence. 4. Posters should be placed on walls and notice boards but should not be placed over any other notice, poster or publication. 5. All publicity must be placed in a manner which will ensure no damage to Student Union or College property or affect individuals’ safety. Any publicity deemed to be causing damage to property or that presents a safety hazard will be removed immediately. 6. Candidates are encouraged to inform election officials of the names of their campaign teams prior to the start of campaigning. Writtle College staff members are not eligible to campaign on behalf of candidates. However, candidates may encourage students to vote for other candidates standing in the same election. Student staff members may campaign for candidates but must not use their position to do so.

7. Candidates and their campaign teams should not display campaign material, canvass individual students within the vicinity (i.e. within 5 feet) of the ballot boxes (including fixed computer terminals). This means that publicity and campaigning will not be permitted within the Library. 8. Candidates should only do what others have had the opportunity to do. This means that no candidate may seek sponsorship of their campaign.

9. The content of the materials displayed or circulated is the responsibility of the candidate. Material, which breaches the Union constitution, election rules and equal opportunity policy, will be removed and the Returning Officer, in accordance with the election rules, may take action. 10. Material, which makes allegations against individuals or which could render the Union open to legal action, will NOT be issued. 11. All forms of electronic campaigning, such as the use of Facebook, MySpace, and the use of text messaging, are allowed. On Facebook, candidates must invite ‘Eme Returning Officer’ to be an admin of any campaigning groups.

12. The following candidates are expected to be present at Question Time; President, Academic Sabbatical Officer .

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Breach of Conduct Please be aware that any individual found to have been campaigning in the Library, harassing other candidates or students, misusing the computer facilities or any other activity deemed to present a perceived or real attempt to manipulate the outcome of the elections will be investigated and subjected to disciplinary measures; this is to ensure fairness within the elections. Candidates found to be in breach of any of these guidelines stated above, or the elections rules, will be issued with a written explanation from either the Returning Officer or the Deputy Returning Officer and may face removal from the elections.

Checklist These forms must be submitted to Writtle College Student Union by midday on your USB stick on 24th February – at the latest. Are the following items on your USB stick? • Your nomination form? Please ensure that you have the full details of your proposer and seconder. • Your passport sized photo? • Your manifesto (of no more than 250 words)?

• •

Your publicity? The Student Union will copy this and ensure that each candidate receives the quantity requested but it is your responsibility to distribute these. A copy of the contact details of the members of your campaigns team?

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Election Pack 2012/13  

Writtle College Studen Unio Election Pack for 2012/13.

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