Frequently Asked Questions
We know that our elections can be a little confusing, that's why we work hard to make sure that you can understand the importance of getting involved, and ultimately make the decisions when voting that best reflect your opinions.
To help with this, we’ve put together some frequently asked questions from our elections period and you can find these below. If you have a question that’s not included below and would like to know more, do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see the full Solent Election rules, please click here.
What are elections at Solent Students' Union?
Voting is one of the best ways for students to have their voice heard at Solent University.
Our elections give students a unique opportunity to represent your peers and bring about the changes you'd like to see at your university, standing in a student election and becoming a students' union officer can significantly boost your career.
All current students are able to run and vote in a variety of elections throughout their time at Solent University.
You can find out more about the positions available and how our elections are run by clicking here, and nominating yourself here for a position.
Who am I electing?
We have two big election periods a year; one in Autumn, one in Spring. In the autumn term, students can elect their student reps and faculty reps officers.
In the spring term we hold an even bigger election for our Sabbatical Officer positions. These are full-time roles each covering different remits (SU President, Head of Student Wellbeing, Head of Student Engagement and Head of Student Education.). During this election you will see a range of weird and wonderful events, loads of freebies and Solent Election branding left, right and centre! These are paid positions. You can meet our current Sabbatical Officers here.
Both those who are elected as Volunteer Officers and Sabbatical Officers are representatives for your student voice and act on your behalf in the Union, University and wider community fighting for you on an institutional, local and national level.
Candidates produce publicity that contains the ideas and principles of their campaigns. They produce these to help inform your vote – showcasing how they will represent you and address your needs.
You will be able to meet the candidates for our Volunteer Officers once nominations close (Monday 17th October) so you know who you will be voting for in this years' elections race!
Why would I want to run in the Students’ Union elections?
- Drive change: First and foremost, elected students have the ability to drive change. By leading campaigns or organising events, you can steer the direction of your society or wider university, and advance the causes that you and your peers believe in. Every individual will have a different set of skills they can bring to each role.
- Employability: All of our 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. The experience you'll gain will look great on your CV and you'll be able to use relevant examples from your time in office to back up skills in your cover letter and at interview. Tasks such as managing budgets and running effective meetings develop qualities desired by employers, such as drive, leadership, influencing, multitasking, organising, communication and negotiating. Having to make decisions that may be unpopular with your peers also enhances resilience.
- Senior roles: Involvement extends to wider university matters for those in more senior roles. Sabbatical officers sit on major committees with the vice-chancellor and the senior team - providing an invaluable insight into the higher education sector. You really get to understand what the university does and see how it works from the inside.
- Engagement and understanding: Taking a more active role also allows you to interact with students from a variety of different backgrounds and this can result in strong, long-lasting friendships. You'll work with a diverse range of people, including academics, university senior management, university staff, union staff, the wider community and importantly, the eclectic make-up of students.
Am I eligible to run in elections?
If you are a current Solent University student then you are eligible to run for any available position. This applies for both part-time and full-time students. Please note, associate members are not eligible to stand or vote in the election.
How do I nominate myself for a role?
You can nominate yourself through the SU website by clicking here, or following the steps below:
Log into the SU website
Click here to nominate yourself or go to the Student Voice drop down menu, click SU elections and the nominate yourself button.
Follow the instructions provided by the nomination platform.
You will be asked to upload a photo (optional) and a manifesto, so please make sure you have both to hand.
Finalise the form and press submit/send
ANNNNND you're done! :)
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.
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 RAD team and they will be more than happy to help. The RAD 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.
When is the deadline for putting myself forward?
Nominations for this year’s Volunteer Officer elections close at 5pm on Monday 17 October! Make sure you don’t leave it too late.
Who can I speak to if I’m interested in running in the elections?
Just pop into the Solent Students’ Union office, next to the East Park Deli in The Spark and ask to speak to someone from the RAD team. Alternatively, you can email email@example.com or visit www.solentsu.co.uk/studentvoice/suelections to find out more information about any of the roles available, how to nominate yourself or any general queries.
Why is it important that I vote?
Every vote counts! We have a relatively small number of votes every year, but we're hoping to increase this number as time goes on as we need to hear from as many students as possible about what change YOU want to see at Solent University. That means your vote really does matter! Try to spend a few minutes researching the candidates, which you can do so here [COMING SOON], selecting officers that will be effective, and work on things you think are a priority and can really change your university experience for the better. We’re passionate about that here at the SU, and great officers always equals a great Students’ Union!
How do I vote?
More information on how to vote will be shared soon when nominations close for our Volunteer Officer positions, so keep checking back!
What roles can I vote for?
During our Autumn elections, a full list of the positions available can be found in our Notice of Volunteer Officer Elections 2022.
Our Spring elections revolve around our Sabbatical Officer positions, in which there are four. These are:
- Union President
- VP Engagement
- VP Wellbeing
- VP Education
Can I vote for more than one person?
Here at Solent Students' Union, we use the Alternative Voting system (AV). With AV, the voter puts a number by each candidate, with one for their favourite, two for their second favourite and so on. Voters can put numbers on as many or as few as they wish.
A candidate will be elected if more than half the voters put them down as their favourite. If nobody gets half, the numbers provide instructions for where you want your vote to go if your favourite candidate cannot win. The candidate who came last is eliminated and the counters look at these instructions to move the votes of the people who voted for them to their second favourite candidate. This process continues until one candidate has half of the votes and is elected.
AV is used in elections that have one post available. All our elections, both for Volunteer and Sabbatical officers, have one position each.
All voting will be available 24/7 online during the elections period, which this year is from Monday 31st October at 10am - Friday 4th November at 3pm.
Can I vote in person?
Yes and no! You can cast your vote in person at any of our election events (more details coming on these soon!) but they will all be done electronically through one of our voting devices available at each event. It takes seconds to fill in, so no time at all!
A full timetable of events will be coming soon for our Autumn elections!
Who or what is RON?
You may see the term RON during the election, it stands for Re-Open Nominations. You can select this option during the election if you feel that some or none of the candidates are suitable for the role. If that’s what you feel then you can position your RON vote ahead of those you feel aren’t suitable for the post. If Re-Open Nominations wins the election, that means that nobody gets elected and we re-run an election at the next convenient opportunity to fill the position.
I’m running for a position in the election, can I vote for myself?
Of course you can! You’re a student first, a candidate second. All students are entitled to vote, your candidacy doesn’t change that.