Frequently asked election questions:
Q. I study off campus – can I run in the elections?
Yes! Anyone that is officially a Plymouth University student can run in the elections. It doesn’t matter where you study! You could study on campus, or at one of our partner institutions and still run in the elections!
Q. Can I be an Sabbatical Officer alongside my studies?
No, this is a full-time, paid position. In order to take up the role, you would have to either defer your studies for a year or nominate yourself in your final year of study (going directly into employment at the SU at the end of your course).
Q. I’m a first year – can I run in the elections?
Yes, it doesn’t matter what year you are studying in, anyone can run in the elections! You could be a first year or a PhD student!
Q. On the nominations form there is an option to upload a photo. Do I have to?
No, you do not need to upload a photo. We will be taking official photographs at the Elections Training sessions after nominations have finished.
Q. It says that by becoming an Sabbatical Officer, you also become a student trustee. What does this mean?
UPSU is a charity, which means we must have trustees to ensure that are actions are legal and financially viable. The majority of our trustees are students, but we also have some external professionals (lawyers, business leaders etc.) to provide expert advice. The trustees sit on important meetings to oversee and make sure everything we do is in the best interest of our students.
Q. Can Sports Clubs or societies endorse candidates?
Yes, as long as the committee members vote (with you absent from the room) with a majority to support you, a club or society can officially support a candidate. Any sports club or society can support an individual candidate (As long as the vote has taken place without the candidate present). The exceptions to this rule are those societies that provide a media outlet (ie. The Knowledge or UPSU Radio) which must remain impartial. Clubs/societies can choose to back as many candidates as they like, or not to back any at all!
Just because a club/society has voted to endorse a candidate, this does not mean that they are actively against other candidates, and the members of that club/society still have the right to vote however they would like. If candidates would like to speak to a club/society meeting, the society would have to allow all candidates for that position to speak, not just the candidate they have endorsed. This ensures that their members are accessing the opportunity to use their vote how they would like, and all candidates have a platform. This makes it fair and gives a level playing field. Clubs/societies may choose to not allow any candidates to speak.
Q.On the nomination form, there is an option to upload a manifesto? What does this mean and how do I write one?
A manifesto is a document that outlines why people should vote for you. Within this, you should write about why you would be good at the role, and what campaigns or projects you would intend to work on. Is there anything you are really passionate about changing? Write about it! We will be running a training session on how to write a manifesto. See the Training Sessions section on the Elections homepage for more info.
Q.I’ve nominated myself! When can I start campaigning?
You can only start physically campaigning (ie, posters, banners, t-shirts, speaking to students) when voting opens between Fri 2nd – 9th March. Before this, you can set-up online campaigns (Facebook pages, twitter profiles etc).
Q.Where can I campaign?
You can only campaign within the University campus - this includes the main Plymouth campus, and other University buildings (such as Cookworthy and Partner Colleges). You may also campaign within UPSU Partner Nightclubs (at the discretion of their managers). If you would like to put up posters/banners etc outside of the SU, you must ask permission from the relevant people. Please ask the estates team at the University for campaigning on University property.
Q.Will UPSU provide the candidates with any funding for campaigning?
Yes, UPSU will refund each candidate up to £30 for campaigning materials, and you can also spend up to £40 of your own money (no more!). You must provide receipts to show what you have spent your money on by the end of the voting period.
We've tried to cover all the most frequently asked questions, is there something we've missed?
If you have any further questions get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in to see us on the first floor of the SU.