The Students’ Union is a democratic organisation which is led by five elected Student Leaders, working full-time. The role of the Student Leaders is to represent the student body on various issues, from welfare concerns to academic issues and much more.
Because we are a democratic organisation, we run elections annually to elect the Student Leaders who will represent you on these issues.
A number of part-time Volunteer Officer roles are also elected in the SU elections, including a Community Officer (who represents students surrounding their on and off campus community), Campaigns Network Officers (who represent students who identify within their communities, e.g., LGBT+, mature), Sports and Societies Officers (to represent all of the different sports and societies), and School Reps and College Officers (who support all course programme Reps, represent students’ Academic Interests at University committees or run college level campaigns).
Students’ Union elections are important because it is vital that you have the chance to vote for, and elect into position, the candidate that you feel most reflects your views and is committed to doing the things that would benefit you as a student the most.
Each candidate in the Students’ Union elections will produce a written manifesto which outlines what that candidate would aim to do if elected into their chosen position.
Once elected, all representatives will be supported by the Students’ Union staff team to achieve as many of the things they have promised on their manifesto as possible.
Some of the things your representatives have achieved this year include:
They also work to complete all of the great SUggestions that students submit!
Student Leaders have four main roles, which can be explained using the acronym TRAP.
T - Trustee – All Student Leaders are voting members of the Board of Trustees. Being a trustee means that you have oversight and control over the charity.
R - Representative – All Student Leaders are representatives of the Student Body. Each Student Leader will have their own network of students who they are responsible for representing.
A - Activist – All Student Leaders are activists. They are responsible for campaigning on things that their members want at a University, local and national level.
P - Portfolio – All Student Leaders have their own portfolio of priorities for the year. These are based from their promises on their election manifestos.
If successful in a student leader election, you will be required to abide by the following Terms and Conditions of employment. This will also apply to any student leader elected.
The President of the Students’ Union is the figurehead of the organisation. The role of the President is to:
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of President
Kudzai ran a successful Black History Month Campaign and events series.
The role of the Vice President Education is to:
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of VP Education
Tommy launched Coursemate, a platform for you to tell your Reps about your ideas for your course and Rep Rewards to recognise the great work of Academic Reps.
The role of the Vice President Welfare & Community is to:
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of VP Welfare & Community
Grace ran a successful Mental Health Awareness campaign and has worked on increasing awareness of Sexual Health Services on campus and around the city.
The role of the Vice President Activities is to:
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of VP Activities
Cassie ran a successful ‘BUCS this Girl Can’ Campaign and introduced team physio opportunities for students,
The role of the Vice President International is to:
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of VP International
Sophia has organised a series of cultural events and trips for international students as well as successful campaigns to support International Students, such as ‘You are not alone’ and Postcards home.
There are four College Officers – for the College of Arts, College of Science, College of Social Science, and The Business School.
The role of the College Officers is to work with the VP Education and Student Voice team to:
College Officers have a lot of responsibility, however we have recently introduced a Rep Rewards Scheme which is open to all Academic Reps to recognise the great work they do to help students. The high level of responsibility is also rewarded through the additional Employability skills you will gain!
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of College Officer
This year, your College Officers worked with the VP Education to deliver a learning spaces campaign to help you, the students, to shape your campus.
There are 23 School Rep Roles – one for each School in the University e.g. Fine & Performing Arts or Engineering.
The role of the School Rep is to work with the VP Education, the Student Voice Team, and the relevant College Officer to:
School Reps have a lot of responsibility, however we have recently introduced a Rep Rewards Scheme which is open to all Academic Reps to recognise the great work they do to help students. The high level of responsibility is also rewarded through the additional Employability skills you will gain!
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of School Rep
Previous School Reps have set up mentoring programme between first and second years within their School.
There are eight Campaigns Officers (LGBT+, BAME, Women’s, Mature, Disabilities, ISA, Community, and Environmental Officer).
The role of the Campaigns Officer is to work with the Student Leaders to:
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of Campaigns Officer
Please make sure you put the name of the Campaigns Officer you are recommending your friend for in the subject title.
This year, the LGBT+ society supported activities throughout LGBT+ week.
This year, the Women’s Officer organised a successful ‘Reclaim the Night’ March and a campaign to collect sanitary products for the homeless of the city.
This year your Community Office has been looking into the issues facing the homeless in Lincoln.
LGBT+ represented our LGBT+ students at Pride.
History months have been embedded across our Students’ Union e.g. Black History
The role of the Sports Officer works with the VP Activities and Activities Team to:
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of Sports Officer
This year, the Sports Officer has taken the lead on the Union’s Varsity video, further embedding the ‘We are Lincoln’ ethos.
The role of the Societies Officer works with the VP Activities and Activities Team to:
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of Societies Officer
This year, the Societies Officer helped to deliver 8 out of 10 Swans - a University Challenge style quiz for societies, to support collaboration.
The role of the RAG Officer is to work with the VP Welfare and Community, as well as the Employability & Campaigns Team to:
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of RAG Officer
This year, your RAG Officer organised a successful RAG week, raising an amazing £2929.26!
During the February elections, 3 delegates are chosen to attend the NUS conference.These delegates will be responsible for voting on the behalf of the 14,500 students at the University of Lincoln, to decide:
NUS passed a policy in 2014 which mandated that 50% of each union’s delegation was to be female. This was to help to ensure equal gender balance within the conference. This means that at least two of the delegation in 2019 must be female. This information can be found here
Due to NUS currently undergoing a restructure and reform, this role description is subject to change. The election of National Officers may not take place in the same format that it has done in previous years, but at the time of nominations for NUS delegates opening, NUS has not released its final decision on how these elections will take place, so any successfully elected delegates may not be able to vote for National Officers at conference. Any updates will be provided to the successfully elected delegates when such updates are made available.
You can find out more information about the NUS conference here.Recommend a friend for the role of NUS Delegate
This role will operate in accordance with the Students’ Union by-laws.
The full role description can be downloaded here.Recommend a friend for the role of Union Chair
Submit your nomination at lincolnsu.com/elections.
Make sure to submit your nominations at lincolnsu.com/elections before the deadline!
The Chief Executive officer of the Students’ Union will lead this session covering Charity commission regulations that are relevant to this role.
The Deputy Returning Officer will lead this session, going over the rules and useful tips.
THIS IS FOR ALL CANDIDATES. You cannot begin campaigning until you have been briefed.
Candidates are forbidden from canvassing for votes before this time. All candidates must attend a Briefing prior to commencing canvassing.
Voting takes place at lincolnsu.com/vote – it’s really important that all students vote in the Elections. Please note, as a candidate you must hand in your declaration of spend form before the close of voting.
You will deliver a one-minute speech, respond to questions from the floor, and respond to one question from the Trustees. All students can attend.
This is compulsory for all Student Leader candidates.
This is designed to give you daily voting statistics and is a chance to ask questions. We also want to make sure you’re looking after yourself, so please come along. These take place on weekdays during the voting period.
We will give all candidates a free evening meal in the Swan. This will give you a chance to kick back and relax, and get to know the other candidates. These take place on weekdays during the voting period.
We will give all candidates a free evening meal in the Swan. This will give you a chance to kick back and relax, and get to know the other candidates.
This is designed to give you daily voting statistics and is a chance to ask questions. We also want to make sure you’re looking after yourself, so please come along.
Voting takes place at lincolnsu.com/vote – it’s really important that all students vote in the Elections. Please note, as a candidate you must hand in your declaration of spend form before the close of voting.
This will take place after voting closes, and is an opportunity to relax after a fun and busy week. It’s also a chance to socialise with other candidates and reflect on the week.
Everyone is invited to Results Night to share in the excitement with other students. It’s a night full of suspense; a lot of fun and not to be missed!
Remember, you are responsible for the actions of everyone campaigning on your behalf. You must make sure that your campaign team is aware of the rules.
Take a quick look at the Election Rules (Bye Law 7), which contain all rules and procedures for the elections process. These will be explained further at Candidate Briefing on 15th February, 6 - 8pm.
Don’t worry, you’re not expected to know everything; we’re here to help. Rules to be familiar with are:
Please also remember the following when campaigning:
A more comprehensive list of the rules and regulations can be found here. Hold on to these to make sure that you don’t accidentally break any rules!
Democracy is a fundamental aspect of how we function; it ensures that all students’ voices are heard. The election of Student Officers as representatives is enshrined by law in the 1994 Education Act because it is so important. Running elections means fair representation of all voices at the university and a leadership of the union which is endorsed as thoroughly as possible by the student body.
Your primary role as a Student Officer will be to represent students’ views and needs. As a Student Leader you will be a member of the Students’ Union Executive Committee; as a Volunteer Officer you will be required to attend All Student Members’ Meetings, which meets once a month and to which all students are invited.
The Executive committee make the day-to-day decisions that direct what the SU does. All Student Members’ Meetings provides an opportunity for all students to hold Student Leader and Volunteer Officers to account and to see what developments, decisions or changes have been made since the previous meeting. It is important that any decisions you make are based on evidence, and you will have to be comfortable communicating these decisions to students, the university and the local community. All Student Leaders and Volunteer Officers create reports once a month, which are published online. This gives all students the chance to find out what they have all been up to, and to vote as to whether they are approved or not.
A manifesto is a (usually written) document that is published before an election, which outlines your intentions for what you would wish you achieve during your term in office.
The key thing to remember when writing a manifesto is to ensure that all of your promises are achievable.
When you tell people during the elections period about what you are aiming to achieve, they may question you on how you would go about achieving the things you have promised – so make sure you have all of the information about how to deliver your aims!
Whilst you may have the best intentions to achieve loads of things whilst you are in office, remember that your time is limited. Perhaps stick to three key points about what you want to achieve (three is the magic number, after all).
A good format to help people understand your aims and to get on board with them in a manifesto is to think what, how, and why: what is your aim, how are you going to achieve it, and why is this important for the student reading your manifesto.
As an SU President candidate, you will need to attend two additional sessions prior to campaigning beginning. One of these will be with the Chief Executive of the Students’ Union and the current Chair of the Board of Trustees to discuss the role that the SU President plays as part of the Board of Trustees. This will be arranged on a one-to-one basis once your nomination has been approved. The second session that you are required to attend in addition to the Candidate Briefing for all candidates is a Charity Commission introduction where the CEO will explain Charity Commissions rules and regulations that govern the Students’ Union and will be a key part of the knowledge baseof the SU President.
In fact, one of the Student Leader positions up for election is the VP International. As an International student you can also run for the other Student Leader positions. If you are elected into a Student Leader position, you are still considered a student, and are able to apply for a Tier 2 visa to secure your stay in the UK.
If you are running for a volunteer position, you are still able to be a Volunteer Officer, however there are a number of restrictions on the amount of volunteering you may do.
No. You can be in any year to run as a Student Leader, however typically it is a final year student. Any student not in their final year of study will have to take a year out of their course to undertake the role they have run for. This is called a sabbatical year, which is why Student Leaders have often been known as Sabbatical Officers.
If you have submitted a nomination to be a candidate, but your submission remains 'unapproved' before the election, don't panic – this is normal! Before an election, the Returning Officer must check all candidates to ensure that they are members of the University.
Once this has been done, your nomination will be approved. All nominations are likely to be approved at the same time.
Don't panic! It is likely that most people running in Students' Union Elections will never have campaigned before, and it will be a learning experience for everyone. The Students’ Union recognises this, and have put on a number of Elections Workshops which will teach you how to run effective campaigns.
One of the most important tips for running a successful campaign is to have a strong and willing campaign team. Think about who you can trust to remain engaged with your campaign for the entire elections period.
Make sure you work with your campaign team to create a fun, eye-catching campaign!
To take part in the Students’ Union elections, there is no requirement to make a video, however many candidates consider it to be a useful promotional tool.
Whilst it is very important that your video promotes the points in your manifesto, and demonstrates the things that you stand for, the more fun and more attention grabbing your video is, the more likely it is that people will be interested in what you say.
Here are some examples of Students’ Union election videos that have been incredibly successful:
Only student members of the Students’ Union will be eligible to vote. If you are currently enrolled at the University of Lincoln, and have opted out of the Students’ Union, you will need to contact the Student Support Centre, in the Minerva Building on the Brayford Campus to opt back in. You must be a member of the Students’ Union in order to vote in the elections. If you are not, you must opt in at Student Services before 5pm on Tuesday 26th February, otherwise you will miss your chance to vote.
If you have opted in to the Students’ Union, but are still unable to access our services, this could be because you have not given consent for the University to share your data with the Students’ Union. You will need to log in to Blackboard to update your preferences to allow data sharing if you would like to be able to vote.
STV voting stands for Single Transferable Voting. It is a form of Preferential Voting. Voters must rank the candidates standing for each position in order of preference, with ‘1’ being their most favoured candidate.
When counting the votes, if a candidate has secured more than 50% of the votes, they will automatically win. If not, the candidate with the least number of first preference votes will be eliminated from the competition and their votes will be distributed amongst the other candidates based on the second preferences marked on the voters ballot paper for those who voted for the eliminated candidate as their first preference. If this takes a candidate over the 50% threshold, that candidate will automatically win. If not, the process will be repeated until one candidate reaches the 50% threshold.
This means that as a candidate, it is really important to try and get as many second votes as possible, so if a voter has already said they are going to vote for someone else, ask for their second preference vote!
This video explains the STV process if you wish to learn about it further.
STV voting is good because it means that overall, the winning candidate will have been voted for by a much higher proportion of the membership.
It may be that the voter has opted out of being a member of the Students’ Union, or has not given consent for the University to share their data with the Students’ Union. The student will need to contact the Student Support Centre to opt in to the Students’ Union, but can update their preferences on Blackboard to allow the University to share their data with the Students’ Union.
If the voter is still struggling, please email [email protected].
RON stands for Re-Open nominations. RON will be a candidate for all positions, as it allows voters the option to vote to reopen the elections for that position if they are not happy with any of the choices of candidate.
All Student Leader candidates may spend up to £100 of their own money in the Students' Union Elections; however it is up to that candidate as to how much they want to spend. In order to keep things fair, Student Leader candidates who spend over the £100 limit may face disciplinary action. The same rules apply to Volunteer Officers, but their spending limit is instead £50.
Elections don't have to be a popularity contest – if you have a well-researched manifesto, with aims that students want, you are in with a good chance of winning. When in office, it does help however to have a big network behind you, as they can help you to achieve your aims.
No. It is still important to go to your lectures during voting week. Regardless of whether you win the election or not, you will still need to get a good grade in you degree.
Taking part in SU elections will not be grounds for extensions on work.
If you see someone breaking any of the rules, please report what you have seen to the Deputy Returning Officer as soon as possible, delays in submitting complaints can be detrimental to the election and against the spirit of the event. You can do this by emailing the elections email account at [email protected].
All complaints must be submitted by 5pm on Tuesday 26th February. All complaints will need evidence to support them.
You must always be three meters away from someone who is voting.
As a voter, if a candidate is standing too close to you, or you feel coerced into voting, please report this to the Deputy Returning Officer immediately by emailing [email protected].
The Returning Officer of the Elections is the person who oversees the running of the elections. If complaints or disputes arise, they will be responsible for making a decision on what disciplinary action needs to be taken (if any). They are the final decision-maker for the elections, and have the final say on such matters.
At the start of the Elections, the Returning Officer will appoint a Deputy Returning Officer who is on the ground in the Students' Union, and up to four Assistant Returning Officers.
If a candidate or any member of their team is found to have broken the rules, the Returning Officer has the power to act in whatever way they see fit to preserve the fairness of the election.
As a rough guide, considerations will be in two parts, as outlined below:
The Returning Officer is likely to take one of the following decisions:
Should you wish to make a complaint about another candidate ensure that the complaint is made in a timely manner to the Deputy Returning Officer at [email protected]. Delays in submitting complaints are detrimental to the election and against the spirit of the event. All complaints must be submitted to the Deputy Returning Officer by 5pm on Tuesday 26th February. All complaints will need evidence to support them.
As a Student Leader, there is a lot to learn. It is advised that if you are elected, you try to spend a lot of time in the Students' Union between winning the election and starting your term in office. There is also an official one week handover period in June (w/c 10th June) where you will spend time in the office with the predecessor in your role who will be able to teach you the ropes.
During the summer you will receive a lot of training for the role.
As a Volunteer Officer, you will also have a handover period with the outgoing Volunteer Officer to learn more. You will also have Induction Training at the start of September, as well as ongoing support for the SU team.
When you nominate yourself, you will need to upload a photograph of yourself, a poster (with the option of an additional second poster), a flyer and an optional banner for Social Media pages.
Your photo must be uploaded as a gif, jpg (jpeg) or png and must be no bigger than 1 megabyte. It must also be exactly 400 x 400 pixels.
The remaining artwork must also be uploaded as a pdf, jpg (jpeg) or png and be no bigger than 15 megabytes.
If resizing photos/images is alien to you, there are many online tools available via a quick search.
During the February elections, three delegates are chosen to attend the NUS Conference. These delegates will be responsible for voting on the behalf of the 14,500 students at the University of Lincoln, to decide:
You can find out more information about the NUS conference here: conference.nusconnect.org.uk