SU Elections - Candidate Info

Students' Union Elections 2024 - Rules and Candidate Info Pack

This info pack is here to give you all the key information about the Students' Union Elections 2024 and the tips and tricks you need to plan a brilliant campaign. This pack, along with the Students' Union Constitution detail the rules for these elections.

There are four types of leadership role available in these elections:

If you wish to be candidate in these elections, you must submit your completed nomination by Thu 1 Feb, 5pm.


  • Introduction

    We are a student-led democratic organisation. Our student leaders are elected by the students of Queen's University Belfast.

    All of our elections are run strictly in accordance with our Election Rules. This ensures that the elections are fair for everybody.

    All candidates must read this Candidate Info Pack in its entirety and be aware of the contents. If any candidates are in breach of the rules, they cannot, in their defence, claim ignorance of the rules and regulations.

    By becoming a Student Officer, Faculty Rep, School Rep, or Student Association Chairperson, you will be part of a team that represents over 25,000 students. You will make decisions that make a real impact on students’ lives and lead change for students.

    The Union is totally student-led, so what the Union does is decided by representatives who have been elected by students to represent their views and to run the Union.

    To make sure that the views of all our students are heard and that we are as representative as possible, we have different representative roles that you can run for.

    All the essential information about these elections is available on the Students' Union website. This includes details about the roles, the key dates and deadlines and the election process.

    This pack contains the background information about the elections and the election process. There is also some advice on how to run a campaign. It is important that you read it if you are standing for election.

    We want these elections to be successful and to be as accessible as possible. We have tried to remove much of the jargon, but if there is anything that is unclear, or anything that you need more information on, please get in contact.

    You can contact the Students’ Union SU Voice Staff Team if you have any queries about the these elections.

    Good luck!

  • Essential Criteria and Standing for Election

    To run in the Student Leader Elections you must:

    • Be a registered student of Queen's University Belfast in the current academic year
    • Be a registered student of Queen's University Belfast throughout the entire election period
    • Be sure that you are prepared to commit to the duties of the role if you are elected
    • Be a hard worker, dedicated and passionate about representing students

     

    If you run for election to a Full-Time Student Officer position you must be prepared to undertake a full-time role.

    For all other roles, you must be willing to commit time to the role in addition to your other commitments. You must also be a registered student of the University for the period you are a Faculty Rep, School Rep or Student Association Chair.

    Some of our Student Association roles require those standing for election to 'self-define' as being someone who identifies within that grouping. Self-definition is an important aspect of an individual's identity. It is how they wish to express who they are to others, regardless of how other people percieve them.

    If you run for election to be a Faculty Rep or School Rep, you must be a student from that Faculty or School.

    Please note that Students of St. Mary's University College, Stranmillis University College, "INTO at Queen's" and students of other institutions who are studying at Queen's may not run or vote in these elections.

    To stand for election, you must complete the nomination process. The deadline for submitting nomiantions is Thu 1 Feb, 5pm. Give yourself plenty of time to complete the nomination process.

    Late nomiantions will not be accepted.

  • Candidate Nomination

    Candidates can self-nominate for all positions for which they are eligible.

    All candidates must have successfully completed the online nomination form, equality opportunities monitoring form, and additional details form by the close of nominations.

    All candidates may submit the following with their nomination by the required deadline, which will be published on the Students' Union website and will appear on the ballot paper:

    • Profile Photo
    • 50-word Slogan
    • Online Manifesto

     

    All candidates for Full-Time Student Officer positions may submit the following for promotional use by the Students’ Union:

    • A0 Poster (Colour) - These will be printed and displayed by the Students' Union. They will not be given to candidates for distribution. Please provide this in a high quality format suitable for printing at A0 size.
    • (Optional) A4 - Digital Manifesto Document - The PDF manifesto submitted by a candidate will be placed on the Students’ Union website as their official manifesto, and should they be elected, included online with their Student Officer profile information for their term of office. This is usually the same content as the 'online manifesto' but is designed and formatted in an A4-sized PDF.

     

    The Students’ Union will also print the following election promotional materials for each candidate for a Full-Time Student Officer role:

    • A3 Posters (Colour) x 30
    • A5 Flyers (Colour) x 2500

     

    We are providing all colour materials to candidates. The specifications for all printed materials, and the methods for submission, will are detailed in the Candidate Info Pack.

    We are allowing all candidates to submit their election promotional materials after the close of nominations but you must complete the nomination from by Thu 1 Feb, 5pm.

    You can submit all your election promotional materials at any point up to Thu 8 Feb, 9.00 p.m.

    It is important that all promotional material is submitted on time. Late submissions will not be accepted.

    Candidates should also be available to attend the Students’ Union for a photoshoot and to record brief promotional videos on Tue 6 Feb 2023. These will be used by the Students’ Union to promote the elections to students.

  • Running a Successful Election Campaign

    In many ways, elections are pretty uncomplicated – the people with the largest number of votes in their favour are the ones who get elected! The key thing to remember that that you should focus on convincing people to take the time to vote, and to vote for you! Standing for election can be great fun – you get to talk to loads of different people.

    Try to be as imaginative as possible – but stay within the rules.

    We have put together some advice and some tips that will help you run a great campaign. We can’t promise that you will win, but we are pretty sure that everyone who does win will follow our tips ...

    Before You Submit Your Nomination / Promotional Content

    • Take the time to read and understand what the role requires and the key dates for the election. Knowledge is power. Read though the Students' Union Elections section of the Students' Union website. Look though the SU Voice section of the Students' Union website to find out how the Union works.
    • Talk to current student representatives (especially if they have experience of the role that you wish to stand for), including: elected Student Officers, Students’ Union staff; and students from the group that you are thinking of representing. This will help you in getting an idea of the issues faced by these students and of any current developments.
    • You can find out all about the roles! A bit of research goes a long way when convincing people that you are the right person to represent them!
    • Find out what the Student Officers have done in the past and think about how you can do even better.
    • Come along to one of our Candidate Info sessions or arrange a one-to-one Candidate Clinic session with one of our SU Voice staff.
    • Get as much background information as possible. It will give you the confidence to create a strong election campaign.
    • Choose the Student Officer / Rep / Association role that suits you best - where your talents can be put to the best use. Make sure that you have a clear idea of what makes you the best choice for students at Queen’s.
    • If voting only is open to a particular group (e.g. international students) spend some time talking to them to find out what the key issues are. Find out where that group is most likely to be found on campus or online (e.g. Student Society events or Graduate School events) and talk to students.
    • Ask your classmates / friends to look over your manifesto. As current students, they’ll be able to give you ideas and highlight anything you’ve missed.
    • Look at what has worked in previous (successful) election campaigns. Old campaigns will still have social media accounts; old campaign videos will still be online; old manifestos will still be available online.
    • The key to success is preparation. Make sure you have all your election and promotional materials ready when the applications period closes.

     

    After You Submit Your Nomination / Promotional Content

    • Prepare a 30 – 60 second short speech that outlines who you, are why you are running and what you will do if elected. It will give you something to say to students when you begin talking to them. It will also give you confidence as you will have your “pitch” prepared.
    • Do not wait until voting starts before you commence canvassing. You can canvass students online and in person as early as you wish (even right now). Most students have never voted in an election – all they need is for you to convince them!
    • If you are running for a Full-Time Officer position:
      • Running for election can be a lengthy process. In the weeks before the election, try to get some rest, eat well and finish any upcoming academic assessments you have due. Don’t leave all your election planning to the last minute!
      • Prepare your speech for Candidate Question Time and for interviews. It’s important that you know your stuff.
      • People will always question your manifesto. Make sure that you anticipate and prepare for any challenging questions.
      • If you are running a big campaign, with loads of flyers / posters, lots of online activity to organise, and a campaign team, get someone else to help with the organisation. As a candidate, you should spend your time talking to students!
      • If you have flyers and manifestos, take them to lectures – in fact, keep them with you at all times, you never know when a canvassing opportunity may come up.
    • Keep a text copy of your key points with you at all times (on your phone / computer) so you can post them into impromptu chats and tell your classmates! It saves you typing out the same info repeatedly.
    • If your election coincides with other elections (e.g. School Representative elections, Student Association elections), find out who is running in these elections and ask if they will support you or perhaps jointly campaign with you.
    • Take a break during campaigning to rest and reenergise.

     

    Talking to Students

    • Online, or in-person, this is the most important thing that you can do to get elected.
    • Use your personal and social networks - enlist your friends, class mates and Clubs and Societies to support you, to campaign for you and to actively ask their networks to vote for you too! You want as many people as possible telling people to vote for you.
    • Getting elected is all about being seen and remembered (preferably in a good light).
    • Be positive, friendly and genuine. Listen and respond to the students who will be voting.
    • Be respectful of others and positive with everybody – even if you disagree with them.
    • Don’t be afraid to approach students. If they don’t know about you, they won’t vote for you! Though, make sure that you don’t bother people who are busy! Be polite, friendly, and genuine, and take the time to listen to their views.
    • Ask people to vote for you! If they won’t commit to giving you a ‘first preference’ vote, ask them to give you another preference. Elections are often won by the narrowest of margins and every preference can count. Lots of second choice preferences can add up!
    • Ask people to ask their friends to vote for you.
    • When you are talking to students, find out what issues are important to them. If you can talk about these issues and convince students that you can work on these issues, they are more likely to vote for you!
    • Do lecture shout-outs! These can be virtual! Ask the lecturer for permission beforehand – tell them you will be very brief. It is best to do it in the time when the lecturer is setting up their equipment / slides for the lecture. Keep the speech to 30 – 60 seconds.
    • If there any in-person or virtual events (or parties) on, get an invite to the event, or just attend the event if it is open to all students. Take every opportunity to get to know students, and to be known by students.
    • See if there are any relevant Clubs and Societies who could support you or let you talk to their members. Block votes from groups of students can be unreliable, but they are certainly worth a try.
    • Talk to students in Queen’s Accommodation. First-years are very likely to vote are likely to be on campus at some point in the day. If you are looking to access a Queen's Accommodation site, you will have to get prior arrangment with Queen's management beforehand. The Returning Officer issues more details - to Full-Time election candidates - regarding this before formal campaigning begins. “Queen’s Accommodation” includes Elms BT1, Elms BT2, Elms BT9 and Queen’s Houses.
    • In the days before the election, get people to commit to vote for you. Spend the day of the election getting others to vote for you.
    • Try to have as much free time on the days of your election to give yourself the opportunity to encourage students to vote for you.
    • Most importantly, enjoy the experience! You’ll learn loads, meet new people and have fun.

     

  • Candidate Question Time Event

    QSU are organising a Candidate Question Time event for Full-Time Student Officer candidates on Tuesday 27 February (1.00 p.m.) in The Wee Bar, Level 2, Students’ Union building.

    All Full-Time Student Officer candidates are requested to attend.

    If a candidate is unable to addend, they can nominate another student to attend and deliver a speech on their behalf, provided this has been arranged in advance with the SU Voice team.

    The purpose of the event is:

    • To give candidates and opportunity to present a summary of their ideas and why they believe that students should vote for them.
    • To give students an opportunity to ask questions of candidates about their plans, ideas and about issues of concern to students.

     

    The event is open to all students, so feel free to bring your friends / supporters along.

    There will be some food and refreshments available to attendees.

    Any student can submit a question to be asked. We will prioritise questions that are submitted before 12.00 noon on Tue 27 Feb.

    Candidates are requested to be present by 12.50 and report to the SU Staff when they have arrived.

    At 1.00 pm there will be a brief introduction.

    We will then proceed to hold a Candidate Question Time for each position.

    Event Format

    • The event will be held in The Wee Bar, Level 2, Students’ Union building, starting at 1pm on Tue 27 Feb.
    • There will be a separate Candidate Question Time for each of the six Full-Time Student Officer posts.
    • Each candidate will have an opportunity to give a short (90 seconds max) opening speech.
    • Questions submitted by students (through an online form) will be asked to all candidates. (i.e. The same question will be asked of all candidates for a particular position)
    • Questions can be asked during the event by submitting questions via the form on the Students’ Union website.
    • Candidates will answer questions in rotational alphabetical order. (e.g., If there are three candidates, “Candidate A” will answer ‘Question 1’ first, followed by “Candidate B”, followed by “Candidate C”. “Candidate B” will answer ‘Question 2’ first, followed by “Candidate C”, followed by “Candidate A”, can so on.)
    • Questions will be moderated by the Returning Officer.
    • Candidates will then have an opportunity to deliver a 30 second summation speech at the end of their Candidate Question Time.
    • We intend to keep the event to around two hours in length. If you want to get up and move around while seated, feel free to do so!
    • When you promote the event, please use the #leadqsu and #qsuelections24 hashtags.

     

  • The Election Rules

    The Election Rules
    The Election Rules exist to ensure that elections are run fairly and that campaigns are run in a fair manner.

    The Rules for Elections apply to all student members participating in any canvassing and campaigning activity in relation to elections. The Rules and Regulations apply to non-members where applicable.

    Everything in the Candidate Information Pack, all information published on the Students' Union website in relation to the elections, and the relevent Rules in the Students' Union Constitution are considered to be Election Rules. This Candidate Information Pack provides a summary of the Rules.

    Additional rules can be made by the Returning Officer.

    Is the responsibility of candidates to ensure that they, and their campaign teams, know the Rules and adhere to them at all times.

    It is important that you know the rules – you could be disqualified from the election if you break a major rule. If there is anything that you are unsure about, or if you want to find out if a campaign idea is within the rules, contact Students’ Union SU Voice team.

    Remember that you are bound by, the Rules of the Students’ Union Constitution, the University’s Conduct Regulations, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, Social Media Policy, Student Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy. These apply to all activities, whether on-campus or off-campus, whether online or offline.

    Withdrawal
    After submitting your nomination, you can still withdraw your nomination if you change your mind about standing for election. You can do this through the same online form which you used to nomiante yourself. The deadline for withdrawal of nominations is the same as the deadline for submitting nominations.

  • Technical Rules

    Printed Materials

    • The use of all printed materials must be approved by the Students’ Union in advance of printing taking place in all elections.
    • The Students’ Union normally provides some printed materials to all candidates in the Full-Time Student Officer elections.

     

    The Students’ Union will print the following election promotional materials for each Full-Time Student Officer candidate:

    • A3 Posters (Colour) x 30
    • A5 Flyers (Colour) x 2500

     

    All candidates for Full-Time Student Officer positions may submit the following for promotional use by the Students’ Union:

    • A0 Poster (Colour) - These will be printed and displayed by the Students' Union. They will not be given to candidates for distribution. Please provide this as a high quality PDF document suitable for printing at A0 size.
    • (Optional) A4 - Digital Manifesto Document - The PDF manifesto submitted by a candidate will be placed on the Students’ Union website as their official manifesto, and should they be elected, included online with their Student Officer profile information for their term of office. This is usually the same content as the 'online manifesto' but is designed and formatted in an A4-sized PDF.

     

    The Students' Union does not print election promotional materials for Faculty Rep, School Rep or Student Association candidates. This includes posters, leaflets, or t-shirts.

    Additional Election Publicity Materials

    • “Election material” is defined as being “any publicity documentation (or similar) carrying a candidate’s name (or candidates’ names) and / or encouraging people to vote in a particular way.”
    • This could include non-printed materials such as sweets, banners, and other materials used to promote a campaign. This can also include equipment used to assist with promoting a campaign, or paid services – such as graphic design.
    • Candidates must contact the Returning Officer and get prior approval in advance of purchasing, producing, or distributing any physical publicity materials.
    • Candidates may spend up to £60.00 in total on election publicity materials. This is not reimbursed the Students’ Union. (Note: Most candidates spend nothing at all during an election campaign.)
    • Candidates must retain receipts in relation to all purchases – the Returning Officer may view these upon demand.
    • All expenditure will be costed against a standard nominal value. This means that you cannot avail of discounts that are not available to other candidates, or you cannot get access to something of value for a greatly reduced rate. (e.g., If you own a television channel, you cannot run free adverts on your channel to promote your campaign.)
    • Failure to comply with these rules is a serious breach of campaign rules.
    • If you have any queries about proposed election spend, you can seek advice – in confidence – from the SU Voice Team.

     

    Purchasing of Online Advertising

    • Candidates for in these elections may purchase online advertising to support their individual election campaigns. This spend is included when calculating the overall spend by a candidate. This spend will be not reimbursed by the Students’ Union.
    • Advertising may be purchased from the following vendors: Google, Meta (Facebook & Instagram), Twitter, and Tiktok.
    • Other vendors may be used, provided that prior authorisation has been given by the Returning Officer.
    • It should be noted that candidates are not required to spend any money on online advertising, and generally candidates in Students’ Union elections have minimal spend in this area.
    • Candidates must retain receipts in relation to all purchases – the Returning Officer may view these upon demand.

     

    Participation by Clubs and Societies in Elections
    Clubs and Societies may participate in the Students’ Union elections. Clubs and Societies who participate in the elections must comply with the Election Rules.

    Clubs and Societies may endorse and support any number of candidates in the elections and they can communicate their endorsement to their members.

    A decision by a Club or Society to endorse or support a candidate must be agreed by the Committee of the Club or Society. It must be formally recorded and minuted. The formal record and minute may be requested at any stage by the Returning Officer or may be requested as evidence in an Election Court.

    If a Club or Society formally agrees to participate in the elections – including the endorsement of candidates - they may make relevant communications to their members to that effect. This includes the use of email and social media.

    Clubs and Societies resources - financial or otherwise -  may not be used to support candidates. This includes the production of printed or non-printed campaign materials.

    Use of Students’ Union Online Spaces
    These includes activity in Club and Society online forums / Facebook forums.

    Candidates may post in Students’ Union online forums, with the permission of the administrators of those forums. (e.g., Club and Society Facebook Groups)

    If a Students’ Union group (such as a Club or Society) allows a candidate for a particular position to post in a closed group, they must allow all candidates for that position to post equally into that group.

    Clubs, Societies, and other official groups of the Students’ Union many endorse particular candidates and communicate that endorsement to their members, as per the Rules.

    Candidates may not place election communications into the following Students’ Union Facebook groups:

    • Queen's Students' Union Accommodation Forum
    • Queen's Students' Union Club & Society Committee Members
    • Queen's Students' Union SU Enterprise Forum

     

    Queen’s Accommodation Sites

    If you are looking to access a Queen's Accommodation site, you will have to get prior arrangment with Queen's management beforehand. The Returning Officer issues more details - to Full-Time election candidates - regarding this before formal campaigning begins. “Queen’s Accommodation” includes Elms BT1, Elms BT2, Elms BT9 and Queen’s Houses.

     

    Endorsements by University Staff and Use of University Resources
    University staff should remain impartial towards candidates throughout the election process.

    This means that staff should not endorse candidates or encourage students to vote for particular candidates, or provide access to resources that they would not ordinarily make available to all candidates in an election.

    Staff can promote voting in the elections (6 - 9 Mar). Supporting guidance and a toolkit will be available in advance of the voting period.

    Staff can allow students to address students via physical or online lecture addresses.

    Candidates may not request that University staff endorse them.

    Any candidates, or their campaigners, who are employed as casual staff by the University, or who have some other form of contractual arrangement with the University – such as Teaching Assistant or Residential Assistant - may not use any benefits, or assess, related to their role to further a campaign.

    All individuals participating in the elections should not undertake campaigning activity which others could not also reasonably do.

    Student Union Reps: SU Executive Management Committee Members, Faculty and School Representatives

    Full-Time and Part-Time Student Officers, Faculty Reps and School Reps - in common with all student members - are fully entitled to participate in the annual Students’ Union elections. This includes participating as a candidate, a canvasser, and a supporter.

    All members of the Executive Management Committee (full-time and part-time) and School Reps may must not abuse their position in any way in the furtherance of an election campaign.

    They may endorse candidates and encourage other students to vote for particular candidates:

    • Any such endorsement or participation much be undertaken in such as way that is does not state or imply that the endorsement/support represents the views of Queen’s University Belfast, or Queen's University Belfast Students’ Union.
    • In practical terms, it is best to avoid phrases such as “As Tiddlywinks Officer I endorse X for the post of Y”.

     

    Students’ Union equipment or resources must not be used in any way in the furtherance of an Election campaign, unless those resources are made available by order of the Returning Officer. For example:

    • SU Reps may not use opportunities to campaign that are available to them arising from their elected positon, which are not reasonably available to other candidates.
    • SU Reps may not use Students’ Union resources such as their role email address or social media accounts, or email addresses and social media established for activities related to their roles, for the furtherance of an election campaign. Personal (i.e., non-Students’ Union) email accounts and personal social media accounts may be used.
    • SU Reps may not use opportunities such as ‘induction talks’ or presentations, or speaking opportunities connected to their role in the furtherance of an election campaign. They may make general class / lecture addresses as these are available to all students participating in the election. However, SU Reps may not use their title or their role to secure access to classes / lectures.
    • SU Reps may not book rooms, tables, stalls - or other Union or University facilities or resources – which are not available to other candidates.
    • Students’ Union stall(s) at Union / University events may not be used in the furtherance of election campaigns.
    • The Student Officers office (and other spaces accessible to them within the Students’ Union) may not be used by candidates in the furtherance of an election campaign. Campaign discussions / meetings may not take place there. Campaign materials may not be stored or distributed from there.
    • SU Reps may not record, or be recorded, in campaign videos in spaces which are not reasonably available to other candidates.
    • SU Reps may not wear Union-branded clothing connected to a formal role when engaging in election campaigning activity. (e.g., Student Officer or Faculty Rep clothing)

     

    The Constitution states:

    "Sabbatical Officers are free to take part in an Election in the same manner as any other student. However, they must not abuse their position in any way in the furtherance of an Election campaign. In particular, they must not take part in any Election campaign during hours of work unless they have been granted annual leave."

    Full-Time Student Officers may promote and encourage general student involvement in the elections. This is a core element of their roles. If a Full-Time Student Officer endorses any candidates in elections, they should seek guidance from the Returning Officer if they are engaging in general promotional activity in addition to their endorsement.

    Any Full-Time Student Officer participating as a candidate, canvasser, or supporter of candidate, may not do so doing their hours of work:

    • They must take time off work as part of their annual leave entitlement.
    • Annual leave must be requested, in advance, in writing – i.e., by email – and evidence of approved leave submitted in advance to the Returning Officer.
    • While on duty and getting paid, Student Officers may not canvass support on behalf of any candidate.
    • Minor campaigning activity, such as posting on social media, must be undertaken during break periods agreed with their line manager (e.g., lunch periods)

     

  • Campaigning Rules

    The Rules for Elections apply to all student members participating in any canvassing and campaigning activity in relation to elections. The Rules and Regulations apply to non-members where applicable.

    • Candidates’ online campaigns can begin at any stage - there are no date restrictions.
    • Candidates are permitted to use social network platforms such as Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Snapchat / Tiktok. These will be closely monitored - personal attacks on other candidates are not permitted. All candidates will be deemed to be responsible for all statements posted on their behalf on such social networking sites, so candidates must ensure that all posts are monitored and, better still, vetted before going ‘live’.
    • All students are required to adhere to the University’s Social Media Policy.
    • Candidates and their supporters must not send unsolicited text messages or emails to any voter.
    • Canvassing in any of the University’s Libraries is prohibited. Students must not be disturbed by candidates or canvassers whilst they are studying.
    • Commercial partnerships/‘tie ins’ are not permitted. No part of any election document (manifesto/flyer or similar) may be used as a discount voucher or may offer any commercial benefit to its bearer.
    • Candidates may approach the media in relation to the elections. However, candidates are not permitted to make or receive any financial payment in return for media coverage. In any public comments made, canvassers / campaigners may not, at any stage, state or imply that they represent the views of Queen’s University Belfast, or Queen's University Belfast Students’ Union.
    • Students’ Union equipment or resources must not be used in any way in the furtherance of an Election campaign, unless those resources are made available by order of the Returning Officer.
    • All individuals participating in the elections should not undertake campaigning activity which others could not also reasonably do.
    • All individuals shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that their campaigning is conducted in an appropriate manner (including any canvassers/campaigners acting on their behalf), regardless of which medium is being utilised.  Any campaigner or supporter failing to comply with the instructions contained within the Rules for this election may be subject to disciplinary action under the University’s Student Conduct Regulations.
    • All candidates’ publicity, in whatever format, must conform to the Students’ Union’s Equal Opportunities Policy, in the Students’ Union’s Constitution, which prohibits discrimination, be it direct or indirect, on the basis of gender, appearance, ethnic, national, regional or racial origin, age, socio-economic background, disability, personal, religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation, family circumstances, health, including HIV status, or other irrelevant distinction. Any election material that breaches any of the above stipulations may be ruled out of order by the Returning Officer.
    • All individuals participating in the elections are bound by, the Rules of the Students’ Union Constitution, the University’s Conduct Regulations, Equality and Diversity Policy, Social Media Policy and Student Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy. These apply to all activities, whether on campus or off-campus, whether online or offline.
    • The Returning Officer shall have the power to limit the number of canvassers at any polling area.
    • All candidates must, at all times, adhere to the provisions of Rule 2 of the Students’ Union’s Constitution regarding elections.

     

    Standard Rules for In-Person Campaigning
    The following standard rules for in-person campaigning apply to this election if candidates engage in any on-campus, or in-person, campaigning.

    All in-person campaigning must be undertaken in full compliance with the Election Rules and any University COVID-19 guidelines.

    • Election flyers / materials may only be distributed in University buildings or in the Students’ Union – local (Belfast City) bye-laws now prohibit the distribution of flyers or similar in public areas.
    • Candidates and their campaign teams may distribute flyers and canvass students in and around the general area of the One Elmwood building.
    • Posters (of any description) may not be placed anywhere within the One Elmwood building.
    • Posters (for any description) may not be placed anywhere on the exterior of the One Elmwood building.
    • Banners of any type may not be affixed to railings outside the Students’ Union nor to any street furniture or Department of the Environment (DoE) property. If you are in any doubt, contact the Returning Officer or SU Voice team before displaying any such materials.
    • For health and safety reasons, no materials may be displayed at a height of greater than eight feet, or in any location that requires the use of a step ladder (or similar). Any materials that breach this rule shall be removed by the Returning Officer (or her nominee).
    • Candidates or their supporters/canvassers may not remove any materials belonging to another candidate(s). If you believe that materials are displayed in a manner that is contrary to any regulation, please bring this to the attention of the Returning Officer.
    • Posters / other printed materials must not be placed over plasma screens, or other displays, in the Students’ Union or elsewhere on campus. Posters / other printed materials must not be placed on doors in a way that impedes visibility through door-glass.
    • Only pre-packaged edible goods may be distributed as a part of any campaign (e.g. sweets or lollipops that have a wrapper). For health and safety reasons, cooked, baked, or heated goods may not be distributed. Candidates are responsible for assessing any risk associated with the distribtuion of food items.
    • Candidates are responsible for the appropriate display of all of their own publicity material which must not deface any part of the University campus.
    • Candidates should only use official noticeboards, seeking permission from the relevant University porter or supervisor in advance, or from the University Estates Directorate. When putting up your posters, candidates must use pins (not staples). You must not cover up any existing posters, although you may remove posters that are unconnected to the elections and are out of date.
    • Posters must not be moved or removed without the permission of those responsible for initially putting up the posters. Students who believe that posters are incorrectly displayed should report this to the Returning Officer for adjudication.
    • The Returning Officer may at their discretion allow each candidate access to a telephone to receive incoming telephone calls and / or to make outgoing telephone calls.
    • Table / foyer / stall bookings may not be made by campaigns in/about the Students’ Union, or elsewhere on-campus, without the prior authorisation of the Returning Officer.
    • Candidates are responsible for assessing and managing any risk - or other health and safety matters - in relation to thier campaign.

     

    Campaigning in the Community
    All in-person campaigning must be undertaken in full compliance with the Election Rules and any University COVID-19 guidelines.

    Problems have arisen in recent years with regard to the conduct of candidates and their supporters in local community areas (including the Holylands, the Stranmillis area, and the Lisburn Road area). All candidates should note that it is their responsibility to ensure that the following rules are adhered to:

    • Election materials, including any manifestos and flyers, may be distributed in local community areas, but these must be put completely through letterboxes or handed directly to voters.
    • Election materials may not be affixed to walls, doors, trees in local community areas.
    • Election materials may not be placed on the windscreens of any cars parked in local community areas.
    • The use of megaphones, public address systems, the broadcast of loud music and so on, is prohibited by candidates and their supporters in local community areas (such as the Holylands, the Stranmillis area, and the Lisburn Road area).
    • Littering is strictly prohibited in local community areas – those candidates whose materials cause litter nuisance may be surcharged for the cost of clearing any election materials that create such a nuisance.
    • The use of chalked wording and/or images to promote any candidate is prohibited both on and off campus.
    • Any candidate or supporter who is involved in the harassment of any local resident will be subjected to the University’s Disciplinary Regulations.
    • All candidates should note that they may be held jointly responsible for any misconduct by any person canvassing on their behalf and may again be subject to the University’s Disciplinary Regulations.

     

  • How Elections Work

    Voting in Elections
    Voting will take place as detailed in the official announcements for elections. This announcement details the date, times and locations of voting. Voting usually takes place online, normally on the Students' Union website.

    The voting process is outlined within Rule 2 of the Students’ Union’s Constitutional Rules (see below). The voting process is based on the principles of proportinaional representation and the single transferable vote. Students may vote for as many candidates as they wish in any particular election.

    Voting with a ‘1’ represents the casting of a ‘first preference’.  Voters may also indicate a second preference with a ‘2’, continuing with further preferences (‘3’, ‘4’, etc) up to the total number of candidates. 

    Voting for the elections usually all take place on the QSU website. Only Queen’s University students may vote. They can vote on any personal computer or University computer connected to the internet.  All of the University’s Open Access Centres, and your PC or laptop at home, can be used to vote.  Please note that students of St. Mary’s University College and Stranmillis University College are not permitted to stand as candidates or vote in these elections. (They have their own students' unions and elect their own student officers.) There are some other catagories of students inelligible to vote in some elections. For example, students of the INTO-Queen's partnership cannot stand for election or vote in elections to Full-Time Student Officer positions.

    Candidates and their canvassers / supporters are not permitted to complete other students’ online ballot papers on their behalf.  If a voter requires assistance to complete their vote and has asked for a candidate or canvasser to assist them, the candidate or canvasser should refuse to do so.

    Candidates should bear in mind that it is extremely worthwhile campaigning for all votes, as second and third preferences have had a critical impact upon determining who was elected in previous elections.

    Counting of Votes
    When electronic voting is over, the QSU staff will begin the online count.  This will take place under the supervision of the Returning Officer.  The Students’ Union uses a single transferable voting system.

    The procedure for the counting of votes is detailed in the Constitution of the Students’ Union. If such a scenario arises whereby a count cannot take place as described in the Constitution – due to technological limitations – the count shall take place using a process compliant with the process published by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS 1997) as determined by the Returning Officer.

    Election results will be announced on the Students’ Union website when counting is complete.

    The Returning Officer
    The Returning Officer is the person appointed by the Students' Union conduct elections.

    For Full-Time Student Officer elections, the Returning Officer is a staff member of the National Union of Students (Charitable Services), appointed by the Students' Union Council. Local Students' Union staff conduct the elections on behalf of the Returning Officer. For all other Students' Union elections, the Returning Officer is a the Clerk of the Students' Union Council, a Students' Union staff member.

    The Returning Officer has the following powers:

    • The Returning Officer shall be the sole arbitrator in all matters relating to the election.
    • The Returning Officer shall be responsible for conducting the election.
    • The Returning Officer shall make rulings and issue further determinations as required. Such a determination shall have the same standing as a Rule and shall be effective for that election only.
    • Rulings and determinations shall be made available on an authorised noticeboard of the Union (i.e. website or email) and shall be communicated to candidates.
    • A determination issued by the Returning Officer may be challenged by referral to an Election Court upon petition.
    • If the Returning Officer is satisfied that a person’s failure to comply with any Election regulation is directly due to circumstances beyond that person’s control, they may at their discretion exnempt that person from that regulation. Such a decision may be challenged by reference to an Election Court upon petition.


    The Returning Officer can always be contacted through the Students' Union SU Voice team.

  • Complaints, Appeals and Election Courts

    Complaints
    If  Student Member wishes to lodge a complaint regarding any aspect of an election, they may do so by submitting it, via email, to the Returning Officer or by using the complaints form available on the Students’ Union website.

    A complaint should include:

    • The name of the complainant and their contact details;
    • The details of the alleged issue, including details of any individuals involved; and
    • Any evidence that may available.
     

    Complaints will be investigated by the Returning Officer, but they will not constitute a formal request for an ‘Election Court’.

    Any Student Member who has reason to believe that there was any irregularity of any kind regarding the conduct of an Election, shall have the right to lodge an Election Petition with the Returning Officer within 72 hours of the alleged irregularity, according to the provisions of Rule 2 of the Students’ Union Constitution.

    An Election Petition shall only be valid if its purpose is to challenge or appeal a decision of the Returning Officer, or if there is valid reason that prevented the irregularity being presented to the Returning Officer for a ruling prior to the close of polling.

    Such a complaints triggers a formal process known as an Election Court. The Election Court will convened to investigate and make a decision on the petition (complaint). Further information can be obtained from the Returning Officer.

    Appealing
    If you wish to appeal any decision relating to Queen's Students' Union elections, you must do so in writing to the Director of the Students’ Union.  The mechanism and time limits for dealing with such appeals are outlined within Rule 2 of the Students’ Union’s Constitutional Rules. In summary, all appeals must be received within 72 hours of a Ruling by the Returning Officer. An appeal triggers a process known as an Election Court.

    If you require further information, you may contact the Returning Officer or Assistant Returning Officer.

  • Use of Personal Data

    Candidate Use of Personal Data
    All candidates in Students’ Union elections are personally responsible for how they use personal data of students which they acquire and process in relation to their election campaign.

    All personal data must be used in accordance with The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018, and all relevant University polices.

    Candidates should read this University produced guide and make themselves aware of their responsibilities in relation to using personal data.

    Students' Union Use of Personal Data - Data Protection Statement
    We will use your personal data in compliance with the University’s Data Protection Policy and Student Privacy Notice for the purpose of enabling your participation in, and awareness of, elections and other representation and campaigning activity conducted by the Students’ Union. This Data Protection Statement applies to candidates, campaigners and voters in all elections, and to all campaigners and voters in referendums.

    Records of names and student numbers of candidates will be retained in accordance with the Students' Union's data retention policy.

    The details of how we will use your data is available here.

  • Help and Advice

    If you need a helping hand to understand the rules, or just fancy a friendly chat for a little advice, just contact the Students’ Union SU Voice Team – They’ll be able to tell you all you need to know about campaigning and the rules.

Full-Time Student Officer Candidates - Submitting Your Manifesto and Printed Materials

Getting your nomination submitted properly is one of the most important things to do when running for election. It can take some time to get everything together and submit everything correctly.

Completing your nomination for a Full-Time role can take a few hours, if you include submitting your manifesto, preparing your content for the ballot paper and organising your printed materials, including your posters and flyers.

  • You should not wait until the very end before starting the submission process. In the past, we have refused submissions received even one minute after the deadline.
  • Don’t be the person who loses out because they weren’t prepared!
  • Don’t let your submission fail because of dodgy wireless, a broken USB key, or because you don’t have the necessary information already collected.

The deadline for submitting all of your election material is Thu 8 Feb, 9pm.

  • Completing Your Election Profile

    Your election profile is available through your nomination form and lets you upload a photo, a “manifesto” detailing what you will do if elected, and a short 50-word slogan which will appear on the ballot paper. You can add photos, videos, web / social media links. Have fun!

    This must be completed by Thu 8 Feb, 9pm.

    You can complete your election profile here.

    • A Profile Photo (We recommend that this photo be a clear picture of you in which you are recognisable. It will appear on the online ballot paper and will be visible to everyone who votes in your election. (We reserve the right to change this photo at a later date.)
    • A 50-word slogan (We recommend that you keep this brief. It will appear on the ballot paper and is your best opportunity to convince students to vote for you!)
    • A Manifesto (This is a space for you to provide further information to voters on your ideas and plans. These will be published on our website and make available to all students.

     

    If you provide this informaton for voters you are greatly increasing your chances of winning the election.

    Tips for a great manifesto:

    • Manifestos for full-time posts are usually a bit longer than those for part-time posts. The manifesto should be provided as text / images. It is helpful if you provide also provide it as an A4-sized series of images or PDF, as it can look more presentable to voters.
    • The manifesto, including all graphics and images should not be more than 4 A4 pages in length.
    • Keep it easy to read and focus on what makes you the perfect person for the role!
    • Try not to waste space with obvious statements. (e.g. “It is important that we all get a good education.”
    • Focus on your experience as a student and on the things that you would like to change!
    • Don't make loads of commitments that you won't be able to follow through with. Remember, the purpose of a manifesto is to convince students that you are knowledgable and can bring about change.
    • Make sure that your goals are both inspriational and achievable! Remember, it takes time and energy to achieve things once you are elected to a post!

     

    Manifestos often follow the following structure:

    • Outline why you are running (Your motivation)
    • Give a brief personal introduction (Example: your course of study, where you are from, Clubs/Societies in which you are involved, any relevant experience)
    • Briefly outline some changes you want to make / work on if you are elected
    • Remind people to vote for you and when/where they can vote!

     

    You can see the current Student Officers’ Manifestos right here.

    You can access the online profiles / manifestos of the successful candidates in our 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 elections online. This will give you an indication of the type of content provided by candidates in previous elections.

  • Submitting your Printed Election Materials

    Each candidate for a Full-Time post is entitled to the same allocation of printed material from the Students’ Union.

    The Students’ Union will print the following election promotional materials for each candidate:

    • A3 Posters (Colour) x 30
    • A5 Flyers (Colour) x 2500
    • A0 Posters (Colour) - Printed and used internally by the SU for promotion.

     

    The Students' Union does not print election promotional materials for Faculty Rep or School Rep candidates for for Student Association candidates. This includes posters, leaflets, or t-shirts.

    It is important that you submit your printed materials correctly:

    • The specifications for all printed materials are detailed on this page (see below).
    • We are allowing all candidates to submit their election promotional materials after the close of nominations.
    • You can submit all your election promotional materials at any point up to Thu 8 Feb, 9pm.
    • It is important that all promotional material is submitted on time. Late submissions will not be accepted.
    • Submissions of printed materials will only be accepted from candidates who have completed the nomination process.
    • You must submit all of your printed materials - both online or in person - together. Documentation won't be accepted on an 'item by item' basis.
    • Do not submit your election materials directly via email.
    • Your nomination will only be complete when all documentation is submitted and verified.

     

    You can submit your publicity materials:

    • Online: by sending them using the Queen's Dropoff service to su.voice@qub.ac.uk
    • In Person: by submitting them on a USB key to the Student Voice team (Level 2, SU Elmwood) by the deadline. You must email the SU Voice Voice team to schedule this submission. This must be arranged days in advance as there is no guarantee that a staff member will be available on a particular date/time to receive your submission.

     

    Well done! You have now completed the nomination process!

Printed Materials Specifications - Full-Time Student Officer Roles (Only)

  • A0 Poster (Colour)
             
    • Size: 841mm x 1189mm
    • Portrait & Full Colour. Single-sided.
    • Supplied in a high res PDF
    • Print Resolution 300 dpi min.
    • No bigger than 10MB.
    • Do not use an A5 or A3 sized image as your source. It will result in poor print quality.
  • A3 Poster (Colour)
             
    • Size: 297mm x 420mm
    • Portrait & Full Colour. Single-sided.
    • Supplied in a high res PDF
    • Print Resolution 300 dpi min.
    • No bigger than 10MB.
  • A5 Flyer/Leaflet Colour)
             
    • Size: 148mm x 210mm
    • Full Colour. Double-sided.
    • Supplied in a high res PDF
    • Print Resolution 300 dpi min.
    • No bigger than 10MB.