Election Information & FAQ

Who can be an Elected Student Officer?

What do Elected Student Officers do?

What positions are available in this election?

What are the benefits & responsibilities of these elected positions?

What is it like to run in an election?

How can I nominate myself in this election?

How do I run a campaign?

How do I vote in the election?



Who can be an Elected Student Officer?

You are eligible to nominate yourself to become an elected officer as long as you are currently registered as a student of the University of Winchester and have not elected to 'opt-out' of the Student Union.

Our definition of 'student' in regards to membership is:

  • Registered University of Winchester full-time undergraduates

  • Registered University of Winchester full-time visiting and exchange students

  • Registered University of Winchester full-time postgraduates

  • Students on University of Winchester foundation degrees

  • University of Winchester undergraduates on their year abroad

  • Registered University of Winchester part-time students

  • The above include University of Winchester distance learners

  • Full-time elected officers during their time in office

To be eligible to fulfil the role of an Officer Trustee, you must be able fulfil full time hours (subject to the Student Union's standard terms & conditions of employment) during the term of office you are being elected.

To be eligible to fulfil the role of an Elected Officer you must remain a registered student during the term of office for which you are being elected.

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What do Elected Student Officers do?

In a nut shell the part-time student officers are responsible for; promoting and defending the rights of members; campaigning on issues affecting members; and the implementation of Student Union policy. Full time Officer Trustees have a wider remit, including the above and we would suggest that you read the constitution found on our website before standing for one of these full time positions.

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What positions are available in this election?

There are a number of positions available in the Spring Elections. Some are part time and would be suitable for any current student of the University who will remain students in the 19/20 academic year. Others are full time, and are also paid staff position of the Union. In addition these full time officer posts are also trustees of the Union, which means they are legally responsible for all of our activities and make decisions about long term strategy. These are only suitable for students who are graduating at the end of this academic year (or are prepared to take a year out of their studies).

There are also two positions which are for a specific 3 day event.

If you are unsure as to which position might suit you best, feel free to email a current student officer

All of the roles are listed below with a short description and a link to the full portfolios.


President - Full time

The Officer with overall responsibility for representing Winchester Student Union.

The President is also a Trustee & full time employee of Winchester Student Union during their term of office.

Email queries about this post to: su_pres@winchester.ac.uk


Vice President, Activities - Full time

The officer with responsibility for ensuring social, participation & development opportunities.

The Vice President is also a Trustee & full time employee  of Winchester Student Union during their term of office.

Email queries about this post to: su_vpas@winchester.ac.uk


Vice President, Education & Welfare - Full time

The officer with responsibility for representing students as learners & ensuring the wellbeing of our members.

The Vice President is also a full time employee & trustee of Winchester Student Union during their term of office.

Email queries about this post to: su_education@winchester.ac.uk


Student Officer - Part time x 5

The officers with individual and collective responsibility for ensuring the Union remains focused on representing the needs of its members. Officers will also shape the campaign work of the Union across areas as diverse as environment, community, housing and the needs of specific student groups.

Email queries about these posts to: su_pres@winchester.ac.uk


National Conference Delegate x 2 - 09-11 Apr 2019 only

The successful candidates will join the Student Union president at NUS national conference, 09-11 Apr 2019, and will be responsible for representing all University of Winchester students on the national stage. It is possible stand for this alongside a student officer, role should you wish.

Due to NUS policy, at least 50% of Winchester's delegation to conference must be female, therefore this election can only go ahead if at least one of the candidates self-defines as female.

Email queries about these roles to: su_pres@winchester.ac.uk

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What are the benefits & responsibilities of these elected positions?

As well as the chance to make a real difference to the lives of students at Winchester, there are a number of amazing personal benefits to being an officer;

Full-time officers

  • the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to run and direct a large organisation with an annual turnover of £1.5 million and a membership of nearly 8000 students

  • exceptional experience ‘in the field/industry’ which sends you leaps and bounds up the career ladder in comparison to other recent graduates, invaluable for any future career

  • a salary of around £18,000 per year

  • 28 days holiday plus the University’s closure days of the University (usually an additional 8 days)

  • we can write references, e.g... for job applications, for students who are or have been elected officers or reps. Just contact us if you'd like a reference

Part time positions

  • the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help run and direct a large organisation with an annual turnover of £1.5 million and a membership of nearly 8000 students

  • develop your skills in areas such as project management, planning and running a campaign, advocacy

  • contribute to improving the Student Union and University for current and future students

  • training and support to help you carry out your role

  • we can write references, e.g... for job applications, for students who are or have been elected officers or reps. 

The responsibilities

You should be aware from the outset that standing for one of these elected positions should not be done lightly. Yes it will look great on your CV and yes you will learn and experience a whole raft of new things whist having some fun, but (and it’s a big but) the roles come with a great deal of responsibility and commitment, particularly to those who vote for you; our student members.

Full-time officers

Whilst being a full-time officer is an exciting opportunity it also brings with it the need for responsibility and a commitment to:

  • working around a typical 9am-5pm working day, Monday to Friday, though you can work flexibly

  • but being flexible as you're likely to have to work some evenings and weekends

  • working co-operatively with your fellow officers and Students' Union employed staff

  • being a trustee – this means you and the other full-time officers will collectively be legally responsible for the general  control and management of the administration of the Union, and there are legal restrictions barring certain people from being a trustee.

  • The responsibilities of full-time officers are set down in the Union's constitution, and are further explained on the in the election packs. This gives both the key responsibilities common to all full-time officer roles, and those appropriate to the particular post you're interested in.

Part-time positions

  • attend Students' Union and University meetings that are relevant to your post (if applicable)

  • working co-operatively with other officers, staff and volunteers

  • various responsibilities related to your representative post

  • The responsibilities of part-time officers are set down in the Union's constitution, and Bye-laws. This gives both the key responsibilities common to all part-time officer roles, and those of the elected Student Officers.

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What is it like to run in an election?

One of the Union's elected officers share their experiences and thoughts about elections and being a student officer:

Why get involved with the Union?

The Student Union is an awesome organisation to be a part of and being part of the Exec Committee really gives you the opportunity to understand the cogs and how everything runs behind the scenes so to speak. Amongst other skills, being on Exec will improve your confidence, time management, organisation, planning abilities and team work. It is a real opportunity to implement any ideas and plans you have linked to Welfare.

Why run for election?

I decided to run because I wanted to get involved more with the Student Union. Being an Exec Officer appealed to me as a new challenge and an opportunity to implement ideas and passions I have concerning the roles specific portfolio. The nature of the role was something I felt I could offer as well as the ability to pursue campaign ideas and address students.

What was running like?

Running in the elections themselves is a great experience – the process is tiring and can feel quite long with multiple hurdles to overcome, however the adrenaline gets you through and it’s so much fun; it was unlike any other challenge I’ve ever taken part in before. The process starts by filling in the application pack and handing that in, then a meeting will be called once nominations have closed where you find out who is running and all the guidelines for campaigning and regulations are given out and explained.

What was campaigning like?

Everyone has their own plan of how they want to campaign but most will produce posters/leaflets, maybe videos or blogs. That week was incredibly busy, most spent every day all day and the evenings campaigning, talking to students on campus, going door to door around halls and speaking to clubs teams and societies to round up support. It is so important to get the buzz about voting around campus. Nothing can really prepare you for the madness of the campaign period but you will get from it what you put in; I met so many people during this time and made friends that I might have never had the chance to meet. I would encourage you to speak to the other candidates across all the roles, there is a great sense of unity.

What if you don’t win?

I am loving being on the Exec Committee, it is hugely rewarding and has provided me with great experiences to take with me following graduation, but even if I didn't’t win I still would have been glad that I ran for the role. You gain so many skills throughout the process, and gain knowledge about the Union and University, you might never have known. Yes, I would have been disappointed, but that doesn't’t change the fact that running for a student officer role is a reward all on its own.

So go for it, what do you have to lose? There is no time for what ifs?

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How can I nominate myself in this election?

The nomination process in this election is undertaken online via this website - full details on how to nominate yourself can be found in the nomination section of the site.

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How do I run a campaign?

Running for any elected position will involve you getting your name out to the people who are going to vote and explain to them why you would be the best candidate to vote for. This process of campaigning will be covered in depth if you formally put your name forward for nomination, but what follows is some basic information about running a good campaign as food for thought.

Plan a campaign you can manage

Our best campaign tip for you is to remember that there are no guarantees when it comes to elections. You should plan your campaign in a way that feels manageable and best suited to you. Don't feel you have to do the same things as other candidates; just whatever you think will best help you persuade people to vote for you.

Play fair

The most important thing to remember about campaigning is to concentrate on why you are the best candidate and not on why you are better than other candidates. Focus on your strengths and aptitude and not the weakness of anyone else standing for election. This will promote a fair and equitable campaign period that reflects the strengths of each candidate in a positive and constructive way.


A manifesto is a written brief that you publicly release that outlines why you are standing for election, what you want to achieve and why students should vote for you. We've got lots of information about topics you could include in your manifesto and campaign. Using current issues relevant to students is a good way to make your campaign resonate with voters.

You can use up to 500 words to create your manifesto. This will appear in and around the Union and on our website during the campaigning & voting period.

500 words isn't’t a lot so try to focus on your key points and make it easy for voters to read. You can use as many words as you want for other things you do, e.g.. printed materials, Facebook or videos.

Try to be realistic with you manifesto promises. That is not say you can't be ambitious, but try not to make pledges that you haven't researched and assessed the practicality first. You may be held accountable by our members for promises you make but can't or don't keep.

Think about who you're targeting

The Winchester student body is incredibly diverse, e.g.. mature students, sports club members, student parents, international students, students who work for the Student Union, students who live on campus; and the list goes on. You could think about how different issues and/or messages might be of interest to different students.

Campaign rules

We issue rules for each set of elections. They are based around these principles;

  • Only do what others can do & respect students and other candidates, i.e.. play fair and play nice

  • The Returning Officer sets and implements the rules for the elections. They will make decisions about other situations that arise during the elections which aren't otherwise covered by the rules.

  • Make sure you stick within any limits imposed upon you for campaigning for publicity materials.

Managing your campaign

Planning ahead and asking friends to help you out (with your campaign, studies or just keeping you motivated) will help make your campaign manageable.

Balancing your campaign and your studies

  • While it does depend on how much energy and effort you decide to put into your campaign, in is generally possible that you might miss time for some of your studies. Therefore it is best to prepare in advance, so that you don’t get too left behind.

  • If you miss any lecturers (which we don’t advise you do), ask a friend on your course if they pick up extra handouts for you and check the LN for notes.

  • If people are helping you campaign, you can make sure they are there to cover you while you nip off for a lecture/seminar

  • Don’t completely neglect your studies, maybe try to fit in some reading

Staying healthy

  • Make a big batch of food (stew/pasta sauce/soup) before the start of the campaigning period and freeze it so that you have easy food to come home to after a busy day (generous helpful housemates are useful here!)

  • Make sure you make time to eat during the day and to relax, the Terrace Bar is good for this. It is important not to burn out

  • Wear suitable clothes to keep you warm/cool/dry

  • Get a good amount of sleep

  • Try to maintain a healthy diet 

Balancing your campaign and other commitments

  • Consider giving your other commitments, e.g.. societies, sport or job, a miss for a week if you can and are worried about having too much to do

  • Equally, some people like having something different to take their mind off their campaign

  • Do something nice in the evenings and at the weekend!

Finally, candidates often find themselves making friends with other nominees - they're in the same position as you so you can motivate each other.

Campaign tips

Be clear – no one wants to read pages and pages of words – use bullet points and bold to highlight key points

Stand out – don’t say ‘get more people involved’ (who wouldn't’t want that?), instead talk about how and why you would want to do that

Don’t be put off - if students don’t want to talk to you, just smile, be polite, thank them for their time and move on.

Have fun. Students respond better to positive campaigning and ultimately, the elections should be a fun positive experience for everyone.

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How do I vote in the election?

Voting takes place on this website from 27th February - for full details of how to vote visit the voting section of the site.

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