The Students’ Union (SU) is a democratically led organisation, and relies on individuals coming forward to run for an array of different positions. Throughout the year the SU runs a series of elections to fill positions within the Union.
The leaders of the Students’ Union are the four sabbatical officers, and these positions need to be elected by the student body. These roles are full time paid jobs and make the perfect graduate job if you’re looking for employment after your degree.
During campaign season you will tend to find many students campaigning and championing for different areas of the student experience across our campuses. They’re doing this because they need your votes and your support to try and guarantee them a win.
Our 2020 Student Leader Elections are running to elect our new Sabbatical Officers for 2020-21, as well as part-time roles like our Undergraduate Senior Academic Reps, Equality Reps and Sustainability Rep.
When do elections happen?
To run in our elections there are several dates you need to bear in mind.
Nominations will open Monday 10th of February 10am. Nominations will close Friday 28th of February, 12pm. This is your opportunity to put yourself forward on our website, write your manifesto and create your elections profile ready for when voting starts.
The manifesto deadline is also Friday 28th February, 12pm so make sure to have those in!
We will be hosting Candidate Hustings from 5pm Wednesday 4th of March. This is the sabbatical officer candidates' chance to answer questions and pitch themselves to students.
Voting will open Monday 9th of March 10am. Voting will close Thursday 12th of March, 4pm.
Results will be announced in the SU Bar on Friday 13th of March 6-8pm.
The Returning Officer will oversee the elections and ensure confidence in the validity and legality of the elections. They will be the final interpreter of the Elections Regulations.
- The Returning Officer for Officer elections will be a National Union of Students staff member.
- The Returning Officer for non-Officer elections will be the Chief Executive Officer or their nominee.
As well as the above we have an Elections Committee made up of SU staff/representatives, Uni staff and students from our Democracy and Scrutiny Committee. The purpose of the committee is to handle any issues or complaints quickly and ensure that the elections are conducted in a fair and democratic manner, whilst passing on anything relevant to our external Returning officer.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org at any time to ask the committee or Returning Officer a question, voice a concern or report an unfair situation.
A manifesto is a public declaration of your aims which outlines what you stand for as well as putting forward what you want to achieve whilst you’re in office.
Essentially your manifesto needs to say WHY you think you would be a good elected representative and WHAT you would do if you were elected.
Every manifesto is different and it allows potential voters to see why they should vote for you.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a manifesto, many students will vote based on what they read, for many students this will be their first time of getting to know you as a candidate.
If you need help putting together a manifesto, be sure to attend one of our Candidate Workshops the week commencing February 24th or email email@example.com to book an appointment.
This is to do with your position being accepted on the SU website.
You will find that if you have put yourself forward over the nominations period it will say that it is ‘awaiting approval’. Do not panic! We review all nominations once the nomination period is over.
If you find however that from Tuesday 3rd March, it still says ‘awaiting approval’ it may be best to email firstname.lastname@example.org as there may be a technical problem.
*It’s also important to note that once the nomination period is over, you can will only be able to edit your manifesto and profile on the website for a few days. So be sure to make sure your manifesto, photo, slogan and other information is up to date and completed as soon as possible.
If you see a message that says you're ineligible to stand or vote for a particular position please contact email@example.com. It's possible that you may not meet the requirements for that position or there may be a technical error. Please include your full name, student number and the specific position you would like to stand for in your email.
Sometimes - it depends on the positions. Candidates may not stand for or hold more than one elected Officer or Representative post. However, anyone may stand as NUS Conference Delegate or Student Trustee in addition to a Representative or Officer post or hold a course representative or club or society committee member simultaneously.
If you aren't sure, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your full name, student number and the specific position you would like to stand for in your email.
Yes. And you must be aware of them if you’re running as a candidate.
A copy of all the rules can be accessed here.
If you’re a candidate please read through them carefully. If you’re not a candidate but have any questions or would just like some clarification about something, please email email@example.com.
In addition, for the 2020 Student Leader elections, the Elections Committee has decided the following rules:
- There is a maximum spending budget for sabbatical officer candidates of £30. The maximum spending budget for part-time roles is £15. The candidates are expected to keep records of all election-related spending.
- In addition, a printing budget has been allocated by the Students' Union of £5 per candidate for sabbs and £2.50 per candidate for part-time roles. To use this, candidates should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- There is to be no flyering in university accommodation.
- All posters and advertisements should be attached securely and taken down by the end of day on Tuesday 17/03.
In the context of elections, campaigning is what candidates do to get votes - it's not just handing out leaflets or writing a post on social media. Successful candidates take time to listen and speak to students, find out about the current issues relevant to the role they're standing for and persuade voters with ideas and enthusiasm, not just trendy slogans or avalanches of tweets.
You cannot officially delcare you are running for a position in the elections until nominations have closed. So you can prep, organise a campaign team, make your posters and anything else behind the scenes beforehand but you can't start campaigning publicly, online or in person, to students until the end of nominations.
There are further rules surrounding campaigning which can be accessed under section 5 via https://www.bathspasu.co.uk/pageassets/elections/electionfaqs/Elections-Rules-and-Regulations-2020.pdf.
Throughout elections week there are members of SU staff on hand at all points of the day, if you have any concerns about anything please find one of them and they shall be able to help where appropriate.
If you have a specific question that you would like an alternative member of staff to answer, such as a current sabbatical officer, then please email email@example.com and the appropriate person will respond to your question.
There is no blanket policy on extensions during campaigning week, we advise students to get in touch with their tutors or schools if they think they will need an extension on a piece of work. We advise that you try and get as many deadlines out of your way as possible before the voting period to ensure that you don’t have added stress whilst you’re campaigning.
All voting takes place via the SU website, or via a polling station. For website voting head to https://www.bathspasu.co.uk/elections/
Bath Spa SU uses Single Transferable Vote (STV), a representation system in which a person’s vote can be transferred to a second or third choice (according to their stated preference) if their first choice is eliminated during the vote count.
If you want to understand more, take a look at this youtube video explaining how another SU used STV. The most important aspect of STV is that a voter ranks candidates in order of their preference so if you speak to a student who has already decided not to vote for you, convince them to make you their second choice – it could make all the difference when determining the result.
RON isn't actually a candidate – it stands for Re-Open Nominations. You can put RON as a preference if you feel that the remaining candidates are not suitable for the position. Voting RON is an active vote against the other candidates – it's not an expression of indifference. If Re-Open Nominations is elected to a position then nominations for that post are re-opened at a later date.
Yes! You can run for any of the Sabbatical Officer roles. The start of the Sabbatical Officer's term is at the end of June so you may need to intercalate your studies with your year as sabb (meaning you would finish your degree after your term as sabb ended). You can also run for one of our part-time voluntary roles if you are still going to be a student in 2020-21 (e.g. if you are studying part-time).