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Solent Decides

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Participants

 Participants in an election must treat all students and staff with respect, behave in a professional, honest and ethical way and comply with the Students’ Union Articles of Association and Bye-Laws.

 Participants in an election must not; make personal attacks against candidates and campaigns, breach Solent University rules or break the Law.

Nominations

1. All nominations shall be submitted via the electronic form by the nomination deadline as set by the returning officer.

2. The Returning Officer will only accept nominations from current students with valid student numbers who are members of the Union

3. No member may stand for more than one position in the same election.

4. A candidates' briefing will be held following the close of nominations. At this meeting the DRO will provide a campaign rules briefing and other relevant guidelines for those involved.

5. Those unable to make this the candidates briefing must ensure they arrange to speak with the DRO before campaigning. Failure to attend a candidates briefing or making appropriate alternate arrangements with the DRO may lead to sanctions/disqualification from the elections. 

Campaigning

6. Campaigners are responsible for the actions of their campaign teams. They must take all reasonable steps to ensure that their supporters’ actions comply with the campaign rules at all times and must be able to demonstrate this in the event of a complaint against them.

7. Campaigners may only alter, move or remove their own campaign materials.

8. Campaigners may only use mailing lists where lawful to do so. In most cases this will require the consent of the members on the list to use their details.

9. In the case of activity groups mailing lists are deemed to be owned by the membership of the group so committee approval is required in order to allow use of the list. If a committee agrees to access to their mailing list to one candidate, they must be willing to provide this to all candidates in that election’ 

10. Campaigners must not communicate with voters in any way once they have begun or are in the act of voting.  

11. No Campaigning may take place in the library

12. Bribes must not be offered as part of any campaign.

13. Campaigners should not undertake campaigns activity which others could not also reasonably do.

14. No campaigning may take place near voting stations.

15. Any electronic device which is used to cast a vote in the election shall be considered a ballot box.

16. Candidates and campaigners may not:

  • i) force, coerce or in any way intimidate students, particularly when they are near or in the act of voting.
  • ii) vote on behalf of another student
  • iii) intimidate any participant in the election
  • iv) deliberately sabotage any campaign other than their own
  • v) deface another candidate’s materials, publicity, online media, social networking site etc
  • vi) make an attempt to defraud the election
  • vii) make any attempt to influence the impartiality of the Returning Officer, Deputy Returning Officer or Students’ Union staff
  • viii) discuss the personal traits of another candidate
  • ix) misrepresent another candidate’s views or make claims about themselves or any other candidate that are untrue.
  • x) hand voters an electronic device for the purpose of voting or demand that voters take out their own electronic device in order to vote immediately
  • xi) bring the election process into disrepute

17. Candidates and campaigners must:

  • i) Uphold the letter and spirit of the election rules and the students’ union equal opportunities, zero tolerance to harassment and policies at all times.
  • ii) Follow the laws and regulations of both the land and the University at all times.

Budget

18. For Full Time Officers elections, the campaign budgets will be £20 (refunded by Solent SU on appropriate submission of receipts). This amount may not be exceeded.

19. For the Part Time Officers election, the campaign budgets will be £5 (refunded by Solent SU on appropriate submission of receipts). This amount may not be exceeded. 

20. All campaigners must submit a written list of all campaign costs with corresponding receipts to the Deputy Retuning Officer.  All materials used by a campaigner must be included within their statement of expenditure alongside receipts or a reasonable estimated market rate.

21. The following items are readily available to all candidates and their supporters and so their fair use does not carry a cash value:  stationary, paper, sticky tac and cardboard. All other campaign materials will need to be declared to the Deputy Returning Officer by the specified time.

NOTE: This rule has been included to assist candidates in making election time exciting, vibrant and high profile. The returning officer and their deputy are aware that this rule may be open to abuse and will be closely monitoring campaign resources as a result. Please remember that they are the people who determine ‘fair use’.

22. All items not purchased but used for campaign purposes must be valued by the Deputy Returning officer.

23. The deadline to submit details of campaign costs will be set by the Deputy Returning Officer at the beginning of the nomination period.  If a candidate does not spend any money during the course of their campaign this must be made clear on the submission. All candidates are required to submit their costs by the set deadline. If a candidate fails to submit details of the costs of their campaign or confirmation that there were no costs to their campaign this will be reported to the RO who may impose a sanction including disqualification.

24. All campaigners must adhere to the rules of behaviour on any Solent SU or university premises.

Election Manifesto

25. Each candidate is required to produce an election manifesto. This is your chance to sell yourself and your ideas to the voters. The manifesto should be no more than 400 words for Full Time Officer positions and no more than 400 words for Part Time positions.   

26. To help publicise voting times, all manifestos must contain the following statement:

Voting links are sent to your student emails, to vote just click on the link between the 26th October at 9am and the 30th October at 3pm. For queries e-mail election@solent.ac.uk

27. The manifesto must be submitted in ‘camera ready artwork’ to enable it to be effectively reproduced in print and on the union elections website. JPG or TFF files are the best versions to submit the manifesto to us.

Election Publicity & Campaigning

28. Each candidate will be supplied with;

  • 20 A3 sheets worth of printed publicity (no more than 3 designs / sizes)
  • Each candidate must print these no later than the 22nd October at 8am.

29. Printing has to be done by Students’ Union staff, and you may not purchase extra paper or produce your own publicity.

(Timetable for submitting publicity text and designs to the Students’ Union will be covered in the candidates’ briefings.)

30. Campaigners may not share their campaign materials with other candidates or jointly campaign on a slate.

31. Candidates may not have Solent alumni or NUS national officers as a part of their campaign teams.

External Organisations

32. No external organisation may endorse and campaign on behalf of any one candidate in the election.

33. Any promotional opportunities offered by an external organisation must be available to all candidates in the election and approved by the Returning Officer.

Count and Announcement

34. The count shall be supervised by the Returning Officer or their nominee.

35. The results of Union voting will only come into effect once the Returning Officer has certified that the result is the accurate outcome of a free and fair democratic procedure.

36. The results will be posted on the Union website within 24 hours of the count, and may be announced to students using another method as decided by the Returning Officer.

Complaints and appeals

37. All complaints made about candidates, campaigners, election officials or the voting process should be submitted in writing to election@solent.ac.uk. Only complaints submitted in writing will be considered. The complaint must highlight the election rule that has been broken, provide evidence of the breach and suggest a reasonable course of action to be taken.

38. The DRO or their nominated deputy will investigate complaints and refer matters to the RO for decision.

39. In the first instance, the Deputy Returning Officer will consider a complaint and make a ruling within 24 hours. If it is a deemed to be a serious matter the Deputy Returning Officer may refer it immediately to the Returning Officer for consideration.

40. Complaints regarding the conduct of the Deputy Returning Officer should be made in writing directly to the Returning Officer.

41. Complaints have to be submitted by the beginning of the election count. Only complaints about the process of the count itself will be considered once the count has started, which must be submitted within 24 hours of the results being declared.

42.The sanctions available to the Deputy Returning Officer are:

  • i) Warning a candidate of their future conduct.
  • ii) Taking steps to level the playing field to right an election regulation breech.
  • iii) Fining a candidate through either reducing the amount of money they may spend, or by confiscating printed publicity material.
  • iv) Prohibiting a candidate and their campaigners from campaigning for a period of time (up to 24 hours).
  • v) Banning a campaigner from the rest of the campaign (where the campaigner is not the candidate).

43. In addition to all of the above sanctions, the following are available to the Returning Officer:

  • i) Suspending a candidate from the election pending an investigation.
  • ii) Suspending the election process pending an investigation.
  • iii) Recommending to the elections committee that a candidate be disqualified.
  • iv) Recommending to the elections committee, that the election be re-run or a vote annulled.

44. Candidates may appeal against decisions made by the Returning Officer and their Deputy by submitting their appeal in writing, within 24 hours of the decision being made, following the appeal procedure detailed below:

  • i) First stage appeal is heard by the Returning Officer; if the candidate remains dissatisfied then,
  • ii) Second stage appeal is to have the case looked at again by the NUS elections team, who will consider the case. If the candidate remains dissatisfied, then;
  • iii) Final stage appeal is to the University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, or their nominated deputy.
 

UNION ELECTIONS

Elections are where you decide who will represent you at Solent University, championing your voice within the university, Students' Union and the wider community.

Any current student at Solent University can apply, vote and get involved!

It's a fantastic opportunity to not just lead your Students' Union and represent 11,000 students, but also develop skills and gain unique experience to make you more employable!

Campus Accessibility
 

Initiated a review of seating in The Spark by the University to ensure it is accessible for those with additional needs.

Warsash Griffon
 

Passed a motion at Student Council to show support for the continued use of the Warsash Griffon around Solent University.

Mental Health Vision
 

Input into Solent University's vision for mental health and wellbeing and a university-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing.

BME Officer

(Equality - Racism - Inclusivity)

International Officer (Non EU)

(Cultural Awareness - International Support)

International Officer (EU)

(Cultural Awareness - International Support - Brexit)

LGBT+ Officer

(Equality - LGBT+ Rights - Pride)

Trans+ Officer

(Equality - Transgender/Non Binary - Awareness)

Womens' Officer

(Equality - Gender Bias - Awareness)

Religion & Faith Officer

(Cultural Awareness - Inclusivity - Discrimination)

Apprentice Officer

(Placement- Inclusivity - Support)

Mature Students Officer

(Over 21 - Access - Social)

Part Time Officer

(Support - Academic - Access)

Postgraduate Officer

(Phds - Masters - Experience)

Undergraduate Officer

(Academic - Social - Support)

Warsash Liaison Officer

(Cadets - Maritime - Engagement)

Events Officer

(Grad Ball - Freshers - Union Events)

Physical Activities Officer

(Sports - Exercise - Gym Access)

Men's Health Officer

(Mental Health - Peer Pressure - Culture)

Environmental Officer

(Recycling - Green Impact - Pollution)

Carer Officer

(Parents - Dependants - Day Care)

Housing Officer

(Halls - Private Rented - Accommodation)

Nightlife Officer

(Nightclubs - Night time Safety - Anti Spiking)

KEY ELECTION DATES

Applications Open

10:00 - 5th October

Applications Close

23:59 - 16th October

Voting Opens

09:00 - 26th October

Voting Closes

15:00 - 30th October

Results Announced

12:00 - 2nd November

WHAT ARE STUDENT OFFICERS?

Being a student representative isn’t about being political, it’s all about making changes to the student experience at Solent. Your political views do not factor into any role.

Each year, thousands of students vote on issues that they think are important and relevant. Keep this in mind when creating your manifesto, and remember that nobody is friends with every single student at Solent University.

Sabbatical and Student officers have been vital in creating positive change for students at Solent.

Our sabbatical officers have been involved in hiring a new Vice-Chancellor, have created the Safe Solent taxi scheme for students to get home during the 24 library sessions (which sabbs also did!), and also running an anti-spiking campaign to help educate students about the dangers of being spiked, to name just a few examples.

Student officers have been working on many issues, such as anonymising assignment results, introducing environmental areas in the university and increasing mental health awareness.

As long as you have ideas and want to improve things for Solent students, you are absolutely the right kind of person. You will also receive training and support from SU staff throughout your time in office, so we can help you achieve your goals.

Every year, in every election across the county, results are decided by very small margins. At Solent, we have had elections decided by less than 5 votes so every vote matters!

Vote Weasley then!

Every position in the election has Re-open nominations, also known as RON (get it now?), If RON wins in an election, none of the candidates will win and nominations will re-open for that position and there will be a by-election.

All of the candidates' manifestos will be online during elections week for you to have a look at. This will tell you more about what each candidate is standing for.

A manifesto is your way to document what you'd do if elected into your particular role. Without it, students won't know why they should vote for you (and so probably won't).

Any current student can vote in the election. Once voting has opened, head to www.solentsu.co.uk/vote.