“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
I put this quote in an article that went up a year ago. It still very much applies to this year, and hopefully all years beyond. It is a rare and fleeting chance that we have to change the world around us. As of now, during our yearly Student Union election cycle, you have the chance to do just that.
My name is Harry Sampson, your President, and today I’ll be informing you about how you get involved in the upcoming SU Elections.
As of right this second, nominations are open. You have until Wednesday 22nd February to submit your manifesto, election statement and photo for approval by a Returning Officer. If you are interested, I would heartily recommend doing this sooner rather than later.
In total, there are thirteen positions you, as a student, can run for. These can be split most sensibly into the three full-time officers, nine part-time officers and one NUS Delegate (who attends the yearly NUS Conference). The full-time roles are just that – they require either a sabbatical year from your studies, or for you to complete it following your graduation if you are your final year. Part-time positions are completed alongside your studies, and include roles from Communication and Entertainment, all the way to Equality & Diversity and Environment. A full list can be found on the SU website.
One small change to the elections this year is the manner in which the NUS Delegate is chosen; due to NUS rules, we must submit a delegation with no less than 50% female representation. Currently, this means only those who identify as female may stand for the NUS Delegate position.
NOMINATIONS (6th – 23rd February)
This is the first step in running for an SU elected position. Nominations have changed slightly from the previous years, as it now takes place online. To be nominated, you need to visit www.winchesterstudents.co.uk/suelections and follow the links to a web page containing all of the available positions.
We are running a series of election pop-up stands, some of which have already passed. The remaining pop-up advice stands are as follows:
It is worth remembering at this point that you cannot run for more than one position, unless that is the NUS Delegate. Your nomination will contain a pretty picture of yourself, a 25-word ‘election statement’ and a 500-word manifesto that outlines why you are standing for the position. If your nomination is rejected, you will receive an explanation why so you can either amend your submission or visit the office for further clarification.
CAMPAIGINING & VOTING
Once the nomination period is over, ending on the 23rd February, the campaigning can start. All successfully nominated candidates report to a meeting where the election rules are explained and clarified for their benefit. This is also the first time you will discover who is running for which position.
There will be lots of tips and warnings about how to and how not to run a campaign, including staying on top of your coursework, staying well-fed and of course not breaking any election rules. Some of these include not campaigning in the University Centre (the SU building) and in other key areas. There are a variety of rules that are decided on by the Returning Officer before the election commences, ensuring each candidate has a fair playing field on which to campaign.
Voting itself is held online similar to the nomination process. You can access this through a link the SU will send you once voting commences. Through this one-use link, you will be able to rank candidates in order of preference for a particular position. If you time out and require a new link, please email the SU to receive a new one.
RESULTS NIGHT (3rd March)
At 5pm of 3rd March, voting will close and the results will be checked by the Returning Officer to ensure there are no irregularities. All candidates must have submitted a completed budget otherwise they will be disqualified. What follows is a relaxing evening in the Vault, where the Bars are open and the likely exhausted candidates and supporters can enjoy a responsible drink or two while they wait for the results to be announced.
The Returning Officer then takes to the stage to announce the results. Candidates elected to the positions take a photo on stage and receive information about what happens next. From there, training is provided and the new officers-elect take their new positions on the 1st July.