Running an Election for a Student Group

Created by Thomas Weller, Modified on Tue, 5 Mar at 4:46 PM by Thomas Weller

All our student group leaders are democratically selected by their members via an online election which typically takes place during the months of March and April each year. This article will detail how those committee members can be assisted in setting up an election through the SU website. 

A photo of a young male candidate speaking into a microphone after it has just been announced that he won in his election. He has dark hair and is wearing a camel coloured blazer,

Setting Up An Election

To set up an election, committee members should fill out the form attached to the bottom of this article. Submit it to us through a help desk ticket so that a member of the engagement team can set up an online election on your behalf.

The form asks for the following key information

Student Group Name - Which group requires an election e.g. Surf club or Maths Society

Description of Election - Typically this will be AGM (Annual General Meeting) in which all positions are elected for the next academic year, but sometimes it may be EGM (Emergency General Meeting) if a member of the committee has stepped down and a replacement needs to be elected midway through an academic year.

Positions up for Election - Which roles can members stand for e.g. President, Treasurer, Social Secretary. For an AGM this will likely be all committee roles.

Nominations Dates - The times between which members can nominate themselves. We'd recommend at least 1 week.

Manifesto Deadline - The final date and time that candidates can upload their manifesto. This can be any time from the close of nominations up until the close of voting.  

Voting Dates - The times between which members can vote for candidates. We'd recommend at least 1 week. 

Role Descriptions - The responsibilities of each committee role, sort of like a short job description so that members know what they're applying for.

Upon receiving your election form, a member of the engagement team will set up your election within a couple of days and it will appear on your page on the SU website. 

It's the responsibility of the committee to promote the election dates as much as possible amongst their members to generate lots of nominations and votes. It's the responsibility of members to vote, and to nominate themselves if they wish to stand in the election. 

Election Results 

Once your voting period has concluded you can expect to receive your results the next working day. The results will detail the number of votes each candidate received, the successful candidates, and details of any single transferable voting.

The results are yours to announce when you feel fit, whether through social media posts, an in-person session, or at an AGM.

Can We Hold An Election In Person? 

All SU-affiliated student groups must hold their elections via the SU website.

When should we hold our elections? 

Elections must take place each year and be no less than 9 months apart, and no more than 15 months apart. Although the timeline of your election is yours to decide, we'd highly encourage you to hold your elections between March and April The reasons for these proposed dates are:

  • Holding elections in March/April allows for a proper handover in May/June in which incoming committee can shadow their outgoing counterparts. New committee members can't shadow outgoing committees when your group isn't doing anything! 
  • Some committee training will take place before the summer break, and missing out on this information may mean your group misses out on certain deadlines such as for funding. 
  • This allows for additional elections if roles are not immediately filled whilst members are still engaged.
  • Many elections taking place concurrently creates a buzz and increase in understanding amongst students.

You'll need to announce your intention of an election to your members at least 1 week in advance. We'd recommend the formula of 1 week's notice, 1 week for nominations, and then 1 week of voting to keep things simple.

If you notice anything wrong with your election, or someone is struggling to participate, please check that they have standard membership first, then submit a ticket if the issue persists, and we'll try to fix it for you. 

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