What is a referendum?

A referendum is a direct vote in which all student members of Lincoln Students’ Union are asked to either accept or reject a decision or proposal on a particular issue. When referring to “members” this includes all registered students at the University of Lincoln who have not opted out of Students’ Union membership. Voting takes place via a secret cross-campus ballot hosted on the Students’ Union website, and students are asked to vote either ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘abstain’.
In accordance with Bye-law 8 (Rules Governing Referenda), for the outcome of a referendum to be validated it must reach:
•    A quorum of 10% of student members (this is reduced to 5% if it involves an appeal of an Executive Committee member);
•    A simple majority vote.
Why would a referendum be used?
1.    To lobby the University - 
A referendum provides the Students’ Union with an official instruction to take action, such as lobby the university to do something. With a high proportion of students voting for or against the subject of a referendum, this provides more traction for the university to take your view seriously and gives the Student Leaders evidence for what they are asking the university to do.
2.    To set Union policy - 
The result from a valid referendum ensures that the decision or proposal that is voted upon, becomes established as Union policy. This means that the Students’ Union commits to working on it for the next three years.
3.    To ensure we are Student-Led - 
As a democratic organisation, in line with our Bye-laws, policies must be voted on by our student members to be established and confirm they are approved by the student body. 
How can a referendum be actioned?
Any student can propose a referendum in the following ways:
•    Through the SUggestions module, with at least 50 members voting for the referendum to take place;
•    Through an All Student Members Meeting (ASM), with a majority vote approving for a proposal or policy to be put to a referendum;
•    By sending a signed letter to the Chair of the Executive Committee, which has come from 150 student members;
•    If a majority vote at a Trustee meeting approves a Proposal or policy should be put to referendum.
If you have any questions about the referenda process, you can contact the Returning Officer at: [email protected].
To view all our Bye-laws, click here.