Elections FAQ Article
With the 2018 Students’ Union elections on the horizon we’re looking to get potential candidates to register their interest in running so we can keep them updated and send them key dates.
Here are some FAQs asked about running in Students’ Union elections:
1. Why would I want to run in the Students’ Union elections?
All of our student leadership positions offer an individual the chance to improve the student experience across the university and this means every individual will have a different set of skills they can bring to each role. So whether it’s ensuring we have 24-hour library access, improving services on campus or removing hidden course costs, being a student leader gives you the opportunity to make the changes you want to see. All of our student leadership positions also help to boost your employability prospects and with the competition for jobs becoming even tougher once you’ve graduated, standing in one of these roles can set you apart from the rest.
2. What positions are on offer?
We have a whole host of different student leadership positions up for election this year, all of which help to have a positive impact on the student experience at Bucks.
Firstly, we have our three sabbatical officer roles. These are full-time, paid positions and the sabbatical officers are responsible for leading the Union and shaping the work that we do. The three positions are
- President – The lead for the Students’ Union and is the main link of communication between the Union and University
- Vice President Education and Welfare – Responsible for looking after the academic experience of students at Bucks and ensuring they are safe during their time at the institution
- Vice President Student Involvement – Responsible for looking after the extra-curricular experience of students at Bucks, in particular – Sports, Societies, Volunteering and Charitable Fundraising
In addition, we have 8 Executive Officer positions. These are voluntary roles and each Executive Officer is responsible for a specific student group, helping the Union to gain a better understanding of their experience here at Bucks. The Executive Officer roles are split into two groups of four. The first group is based on how an individual defines themselves and you can only stand for one of these positions if you define to the roles available. These are:
- BME Students’ Officer
- Women’s Officer
- LGBT Students’ Officer
- Disabled Students’ Officer
The second group of four is based on your entry into the University and you can only stand for one of these positions if you met the criteria when joining the institution. These are:
- Mature Students’ Officer
- International Students’ Officer
- Postgraduate Students’ Officer
- Part-time Student’s Officer
We then have positions such as Student Trustees, NUS Delegates, Charity Ambassadors, Green Ambassador, Student Reps and Sports and Society elections.
For more information on any of these roles, please pop into the SU offices and speak to a member of the representation team or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. How do I go about standing in the elections?
In order to stand in the Union’s annual elections, you first need to nominate yourself. You can do this by visiting bucksstudentsunion.org/elections and selecting which election you would like to take part in. For our Sabbatical Officer and Executive Officer Elections, you will need two proposers to put you forward for the role and these should be two people who believe you are the right candidate for the role you are standing for
4. What if someone I know is already running?
It absolutely does not matter. Do not let someone that you know is running be a deterrent from you standing. Our sabbatical officer positions are once in a lifetime opportunities and you do not want to look back regretting that you didn’t stand because someone you knew was also standing.
5. Do I need any experience to run in elections?
No. When standing for one of our student leadership positions, we’ll provide you with all of the necessary information and resources in order to make sure you’ve got everything you need to have the best possible chance of success. If you’ve got any questions throughout the nominations and elections periods, you can always touch base with someone from the representation team and they will be more than happy to help. The representation team will also be in regular contact with you throughout these periods and will regularly provide you with key information meaning you’re constantly up to date.
6. When is the deadline for putting myself forward?
Nominations for this year’s elections close on Friday 16th February at noon. Make sure you don’t leave it too late!
7. Who can I speak to if I’m interested in running in the elections?
Just pop into the students’ union offices at either our High Wycombe or Uxbridge campus and ask to speak to someone from the Representation team. Alternatively, you can email email@example.com or visit bucksstudentsunion.org/elections to find out more information about any of the roles available, how to nominate yourself or any general queries.
8. How does the voting work?
Here at Bucks, we use something called the Single Transferable Voting (STV) system. This means when casting your vote, you vote in order of preference. Therefore, you would put a number 1 next to your most preferred candidate, a number 2 next to your second favourite and so on. Voters can put a number next to as many or as few candidates as they like. Each voter only gets one vote.
In order for a candidate to get elected, they must reach a set share of the vote which is known as the ‘Quota’ and this is determined by the number of positions to be filled. Once all the votes are counted, any candidates who have more than the quota are duly elected. If no candidate is elected, then the worst performing candidate is eliminated and their votes redistributed. The numbering of candidates provides instructions for the counters to allow the vote to transfer. This process continues until all seats are filled.
In order to make casting a vote as easy as possible, we adopt a Hybrid voting system here at Bucks. This means you can vote either in person via a ballot paper at a Ballot Box dotted around both of our campuses or online at bucksstudentsunion.org/elections.