Busting Myths Surrounding the Student Elections


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Here at UPSU, we are looking for students like you to become part of our Sabbatical Officer team for 2023/24 to lead your Students' Union. The deadline for nominations is noon on Monday 6th, Feb.

We have busted some myths based on previous candidates' feedback and general misconceptions surrounding the elections. Read on to learn the facts!


Myth #1: "only some students can nominate themselves in the elections"


Each year, every University of Plymouth student is given the opportunity to put themselves forward in the elections; it does not matter whether you are a undergraduate or a postgraduate, what course you are studying, whether you are an international student or what age you are: you can nominate yourself!


Myth #2: "being a sabb is not important"


In a world full of political change running as a Sabbatical Officer may seem a little small fry, but in reality by taking on one of these roles you can make a real difference.

If elected, you'll represent over 18,000 students! You'll be responsible for listening to feedback, finding out what’s being done well and what you think could be improved to enhance the student experience. You can make those changes happen.


Myth #3: "being a sabb is just part-time work alongside your studies"


Being a Sabbatical Officer is a full-time position. If you are in your first or second year at University, Sabbatical Officers take a year break from their studies and return to their course after a year of career-enhancing work at the SU. If you are in your final year of studies or are a postgrad student, you can start your new Sabbatical Officer role after completing your degree.


Myth #4: "sabbs aren't paid/are paid badly"


Our Sabbatical Officers are full-time members of staff are paid a generous £22,588 annually. All our Sabbatical Officers are paid equally. Their salary is not dependent on which sabbatical role they have chosen or based on previous experience/qualifications.

There are four full-time Sabbatical roles:

President, VP Education, VP Activities, and VP Wellbeing and Diversity.


Myth #5: "you start your sabbatical role straight away"


The start date for 2023/2024 Sabbatical Officers is July 1st, 2023. If you are concerned about any exam dates or coursework deadlines post this date, speak to our Student Voice team who will be happy to help figure out a solution to ensure you finish your degree how you want to.


Myth #6: "you have to know everything before applying to be a Sabbatical Officer"


Being a Sabbatical Officer may sound like a lot of responsibility, but rest assured that you do not need to know everything when you start your role. You will be supported every step of the way by our Student Voice team. The most important thing is that you have a good work ethic and are motivated to make a difference for your student community.


Myth #7: "being a Sabbatical Officer won't support your career in the future"


Whether you know the career path you would like to take or if you are still undecided, being a Sabbatical Officer gives you an incredible opportunity to experience first-hand working in areas such as business development, communications, finance, human resources, marketing, democratic procedures and more!

Read how being a Sabbatical Officer accelerated the careers of previous sabbs on our website.


Myth #8: "when you nominate yourself you have to write a manifesto"


This year, candidates will no longer be asked to write a full manifesto outlining what they propose to achieve if elected. Instead, this written peice will be in a short Q&A format. This does not need to be done when you nominate yourself. All you need to do is put your name forward to show your interest at this time.


Myth #9: "you have to attend training sessions in person"


Previously, candidates have been required to attend a mandatory training session at the SU. This year the mandatory training session will be available as an e-learning resource. Candidates will still be required to complete this training before being included on the ballot for the Student Elections 2023.


Myth #10: "sabbs can't work towards change in areas they're passionate about"


The role of a Sabbatical Officer is truly unique and full of variety, and the best part is: you get to shape your goals within your role to align with your values and make a difference in areas you believe stand in need of change. You will achieve this as a member of the Students’ Union Trustee Board and therefore entrusted to develop the strategic direction of the Students’ Union on behalf of every student at the University.


Visit www.upsu.com/elections for more information on #upsuelections and to nominate yourself for one of the roles.


If you have any questions regarding Student Elections, please contact Student Voice: studentvoice@su.plymouth.ac.uk


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