If you are thinking of nominating yourself for a position but are unsure hopefully these questions and answers will help you understand how to nominate yourself and run in the election!
Do I have to know the role inside-out to nominate myself or to be successful in being elected?
No - all of our Officers, Part-Time and Elected, get training so you can start by knowing absolutely nothing about Chester Students Union or the job! Our staff team are here to support any and every student to be an Officer regardless of their knowledge level of the role.
What’s the difference between an Elected Officer and a Part-time Officer?
Elected Officers represent students full time on campus and are paid. They're also Trustees of the Union. Part-time Officers represent students voluntarily and work their commitments around their studies.
Can I stand for more than one position?
No, students may only stand for one role. If you are unsure about which position you would be best for, speak to the SU Elections Team.
Can I use a nickname as a candidate?
When nominating yourself to stand in the election, you can set a “display name” – this will be what is shown on the ballot when students vote. We would advise not to use anything too obscure however to avoid confusing students later if you are elected.
I’m an international student – can I take part?
Yes - any student can run to be any of the positions in the Spring Elections. CSU can help to arrange a Tier 4 visa extension if you are elected into a full-time role.
I'm a Postgraduate Student / Researcher - can I take part?
Yes - any student can run to be any of the positions in the Spring Elections.
Can I run in the election in my placement year?
Yes. It's a brilliant opportunity to gain valuable skills such as project management, campaigning and managing budgets and you will have access to a host of training to help you develop.
I have children. How will I fit my family around being a full-time officer of the Union?
Full-time positions at the Union involve a year-long employment contract. The Union has a flexible working policy and will support you in finding the right balance between family and work. Our Student Council positions ask that you attend just a few meetings a year and talk to students about their opinions.
If elected, when will I start work?
Officer terms start from the 1st July each year and run until the 30th June the following year. Part-time officers begin their term in the new academic year in September.
How much will I get paid?
If you stand for an Elected Officer position, the salary for the year is over £17,000! If you are standing for a part-time role you are not paid but we will treat you over the year with some nice incentives!
How do I nominate myself?
To be a candidate you just need to be a current student and a member of the Union. Nominating yourself is easy; sign in to your account & from the drop-down on the top right select Account/Profile, then My Nominations to see what positions you can stand for. You'll have to provide a photo and a manifesto to stand.
What should I put in my Manifesto?
Looking at what other people have put in their manifestos previously is a really good place to start. We also advise that you talk to students across campuses to understand their experiences - learn what they need and want from their Students' Union and University. Take time to read though the CSU website, our research outcomes and objectives for the year to see if your manifesto ideas can link in with them!
What should I do if I don’t want to be a candidate anymore?
Should you wish to withdraw from being a candidate during the election process please email email@example.com
How much time do I need to spend campaigning for the elections?
This is up to you but the more students you speak to, the more votes you will gain. We advise planning your schedule ahead of time so you can fit it around your studies, minimising the impact on you later on.
Can I get Mitigating Circumstances for my University work?
We would encourage you to prioritise your studies first and foremost and ensure you have managed your time well to cover this. Speaking with your department may help you to plan out what urgently needs doing for when. If you do end up overwhelmed with your work and need to pause for your own wellbeing, please remember you can self-certify on any assignment for up to 7 days. This is an option year-round, and not exclusive to elections.
Who do I choose for my campaign team?
We provide training on how to campaign and the tools you’ll need. Any student can be a part of a campaign team – however, they will be seen as an extension of candidates; if they do something that breaks the Elections regulations then the candidate will be deemed to have broken the regulations and could be removed – so make sure your team is filled with people you trust. Candidates have won before without having anyone else with them, they have won by simply having genuine conversations with students.
Can I get my lecturer to send an email out to my course to get votes?
Staff must not email students about specific candidates, however, they can allow you to do a lecture shout out – this is where you could stand up and address the students in the room at either the start or end of a lecture for a couple of minutes.
How much can I spend on my campaign?
You can spend up to £40 on your campaign if you choose to do so. CSU will reinburse first £20 of this back to you, all you need to do is provide us with all of your receipts and the finance form, and you'll get the money back.
I am planning on using items I already own for my campaign. Do I need to assign budget expenditure for this in my campaign?
Yes. Please email CSUElections@chester.ac.uk to agree on a valuation for these items prior to use.
Can I get my friends or family to do something for free and not put it on my budget?
Both you and your campaigners should not do anything which others could not also reasonably do. You must also make sure that anything they do is within the rules.
Can I buy chocolates or sweets to give out to get people to vote for me?
You may have campaign materials which encourage students to speak with you about your campaign (and costing no more than 50p per voter), however, these must be ‘no strings attached’. There is a vast difference between saying “hi, here’s a lollipop, I’m running for VP Education”, and “If you go and vote for me for President, come back, I’ll give you this chocolate bar”. The latter is an unacceptable practice within the election.
Can Societies promote my campaign?
Societies can share social media posts by candidates, and post about individual candidates. However, societies cannot use mailing lists to send out messages about a specific candidate or candidates. Members of a society will not have consented for their information to be used in this way.
Can academic staff endorse me in the election?
No. Academic staff and indeed any other University staff should not be endorsing candidates in the election.
My posters have been taken down. Does this count towards my campaign budget?
No any re-prints of the same format this do not count towards your campaigns budget. Please do let us know if there are particular places posters keep being taken down from so we can get a sense of where this is happening.
Can I get posts on social media by 3rd parties?
If a 3rd party organisation was to endorse you this could amount to a significant amount of your campaigns budget (based on the value of the endorsement rather than the actual amount you pay). We therefore ask you to email CSUElections@chester.ac.uk in advance to agree on a valuation for any such posting that would then come from your budget.
How does voting work?
The voting system the Union uses is called Single Transferable Vote (STV). Voters are asked to rank the candidates in order of preference. Voters can select candidates they want in the order they want them (1,2,3 etc.) and it builds their vote. Once they’re happy they can submit their vote. Voters may express as many or as few preferences as they wish, but cannot mark more than one candidate with the same number. To win, candidates must poll above 50% of the votes, either by totalling more than half of the first preferences or by redistribution of votes.
Who is RON and why are they in running every election?
R.O.N stands for Re-Open Nominations and appears in all elections - having this option allows voters to choose none of the candidates, opting instead for the election process to restart.
Can I help someone who doesn’t understand how to vote?
No. If a student does not know how to vote, direct them to the SU Elections Officials at designated Ballot Stations or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Once a student starts to vote you must move away. No one must supervise or assist a voter in any way.
Can I talk to people whilst they cast their vote?
No, once a student is voting you must leave them alone.
You didn’t answer my question; how can I ask another one?
No question is a silly question, if you need an answer you can’t find here or need help with the rules then email the SU Elections Team who will get back to you as soon as possible.