In order to make sure that every one has an equal opportunity to win an election, we of course have a short set of Election Rules.
These work to the principles that everything a candidate (or friends who are supporting them) does is Fair, Safe, Legal and Positive.
You can read the full rules document by clicking here. Its only one page, so if you're a candidate, its hugely important that you take the time to understand election rules!
In order to make sure our elections are impartial, the NUS acts as our Returning Officer; the person with ultimate responsibility for ensuring elections are run properly.
A staff member from the Students' Union acts as Deputy Returning Officer, who makes all immediate decisions about the elections process.
You can find out more about these roles and what happens if anyone is unhappy with something that happens during an election, here.
If you're a candidate and you want to know what happens if you break a rule, there's another short summary to be found by clicking here.
We know that an election can sound a little scary! The Leadership Race involves three days of voting where candidates campaign to get as many votes as possible.
Campaigning in itself is an exciting and liberating experience and the Union is there every step of the way to guide you through it and make sure that you’re putting your best self forward.
That's why we hold our Candidate Academy training sessions; to share ideas and tips to be the best campaigning candidate that you can. For Full-Time Officer candidates there’s even daily breakfasts on voting days to catch up on how everyone’s campaign is going and get set for the day ahead.
Rules & Resources
Here's a copy of all the key information any candidate could need during an election at Staffs. Each document is as close to one page long as we could make it, so nothing should be too difficult to work through.
To help everyone better navigate all of our Leadership Race candidates we use 'Candidate Badges', all based around the values of our Students' Union. Each badge has its own criteria and if a candidate meets it, the badge will be put on their manifesto to show you those who are going above and beyond in our Leadership Race. Hopefully, this makes it easier for voters to make an informed decision when casting their vote.
Whether you are a Dean, part of the Campus life team or on shift in Squeezebox, its important that you understand what the Leadership Race is, why its important and some "do's and don'ts" that are vital when working with students. Already up to speed? Then head straight to our quickfire FAQs at the bottom of the page.
What is The Leadership Race?
The Leadership Race is our annual election for Students to choose their Full-Time Officer Team, the students who work for a whole academic year to represent everyone studying a Staffs Uni course.
We also elect the committees for our Representative Networks and Student Group, plus the Department Reps for the following academic year.
As staff members of the University (or Students' Union), it's very important that you remain impartial; any suggestion that your behaviour may have influenced voter choice means another candidate could challenge an election result. Remember, this goes for all elections, not just the Leadership Race.
The principles of all our elections are Fair, Safe, Legal and Positive.
Here's some helpful top tips:
Don't like any posts from candidates relatin got them running on social media. Other students could see this as an endorsement from an influencer.
Offer the same opportunities to all candidates (like lecture shouts or putting posters up), so that no-one can claim you've been biased
Don't endorse specific candidates (even if you teach them and you think they'd be a great Officer), but rather encourage everyone to vote for whoever they wish to!
Why should students vote?
Indifference never changed anything: Every student has an opinion on everything at Staffs, if you don’t vote you lose that chance to have your say and select those who you feel share priorities with you.
Everyone is different: We have a very diverse University; if students don’t vote then views of smaller groups go unheard. The University is still going through a huge transition and it’s crucial that every student has the opportunity to make their voice heard.
Reps do great things: over the years, the impacts, or “wins” from Officers, Course Reps and Dept. Reps have shaped students’ experiences at Staffs. If students want more of this, they need to choose the best candidates to do the job! See some wins at www.staffsunion.com/representingyou/studentwins
How to vote:
Voting is by Single Transferable Vote (STV) this means that students can choose a list of candidates in order of preference of who they want to win. Students can choose as many preferences as they want to, if there are 20 candidates, they can choose 20 candidates (but don’t have to).
Students can vote on any mobile device via a browser and will have instructions in their inbox via Union newsletters on how to vote. We also made a quick video that explains all.
To help everyone better navigate all of our Full Time Officer candidates we use 'Candidate Badges', all based around the values of our Students' Union.
What to do if students can’t vote:
If a student can’t vote, go to www.staffsunion.com/canivote and get them to type in their student number.
If this tells them they are not eligible then they may not be able to vote in this election.
If there any further or different problems email: email@example.com
Quick-Fire Voting FAQs
Here's three of our more frequently occurring questions from voters:
Can I only vote for one person?
No! You can order the candidates in an order of your preference. You can still just choose one person, but you may as well order all candidates so you have a say even if your top choice isn't successful.
I'm a Candidate, can I vote for myself?
Yes! As a student, you get to vote, so if you're also a candidate, of course you can vote for yourself.
Can I go back and change my vote?
Nope - once you've clicked your final confirmation, you can't log back in and adjust your vote. Once your vote is submitted, there's no way for anyone to access how you've voted or to edit your preferences - but don't worry, you'll be prompted through the process.
I've got a more complex question about the election. Who should I talk to?
You should get in touch with the Student Voice Team, who administer all Union elections
Our friendly Student Voice Team are here to support candidates, voters and University staff. If you have any questions, problems or suggestions, please contact us using the details below.
Email | firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone | 01782 294 687