A set of resources to help you with your campaign...


Student Leader Election complaints

If you believe that a candidate or their campaigns team are not acting in accordance with the election guiding principles, you can submit a grievance form.

Information on what constitutes a grievance and the relevant form can be found here. Forms must be submitted by 1pm on Friday 9th March.  No paper forms will be accepted.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do we vote?

Online. When the voting opens, you’ll find a link here:

When are the elections?

You can nominate yourself to be an election candidate between 23rd April and 30th April. Then voting for these candidates is open between 10th May 9am and 17th May 12noon.

Is it hard to win the election?

If your manifesto points are strong and meaningful to your voters, and you are able to demonstrate how effective you will be in the role, then no – it’s not hard! It is recommended that during the voting period you try to engage students encouraging them to vote. Explaining why they should vote, and why your vote would make a difference to you and their future is worthwhile. Having a ‘campaign team’ who support your nomination will help to spread the word further across the UoN campuses.

What is the election process?

We use a voting system called Single Transferable Vote (STV) and Alternative Vote (AV), and you can see the reasons why in the current Students’ Union Bye-laws (see ‘Elections’ by-law II). This video also helps to explain how it works. If you have any questions about voting or the above elections, please email the Elections Team.

Was campaigning stressful/hard to do alongside your academic studies?

It can be hard to balance the campaigning with academic studies, but your studies have to come first. The University have made it clear with the Students’ Union that extenuating circumstances are only for situations of ‘unforeseen’ circumstances. They do not consider running in an election ‘unforeseen’ and so have a policy of not allowing extenuating circumstances to be claimed on the basis of running in SU elections. Sharing the campaigning efforts with a strong campaign team is recommended.

How do we get to know the candidates before the elections?

There’ll be lots of opportunities for this between 1st March to 9th> March (during the voting period). You can:

How do I convince people to vote for me?

Everyone connects with the elections process in a different way – so it’s worth going through this process when chatting to someone

  • Raise awareness: Do they know what the election is all about? Do they know it’s going on – if not tell them!
  • Create desire: Explain what’s in it for them if they vote – explain how influential the student vote can be. Ask them questions – what’s important to them? Then link your manifesto points to their answers – find out how you can help them. There’s no point chatting about manifesto features that aren’t of interest / relevant to them.
  • Instil knowledge: Make sure they know how to vote, explain how easy it is, and when the deadline is. Also tell them how they’ll find out if you won!

Also – remember that everyone is different in terms of how they want to receive this information. Some will be happy to chat to you about it, some will just want their picture with you as a way of remembering who to vote for, and some would rather not chat face to face, and instead absorb the information online. No one size fits all – so cover all bases!

What is and isn’t allowed in the campaigning process?

There are some basic rules that you must adhere to:

  1. Candidates must treat other candidates, students and members of the public with respect.
  2. Candidates must respect the campus environment and the community.
  3. Candidates will not act in such a way to bring the election process, the Union or the University into disrepute.
  4. Candidates’ campaigns should be fully transparent and accountable to the Union.
  5. Candidates must not do anything to gain unfair advantage.
  6. Candidates must not undermine the fair and democratic running of elections.
  7. Candidates must not seek sponsorship for this election
  8. Candidates must not use electronic devices when door knocking (both in Halls and the community) or in Hall dining areas.

There’s also a budget cap for the election. This means that you cannot spend more than the amount set out by Elections Committee. All of your spending must be recorded on the document provided to you by Representation Development, and this must be completely filled out by 9 March at 1pm. The following sanctions apply for incomplete forms or non – submission:

  • Incomplete forms will incur a ‘strike’. Depending on how many strikes you have incurred this could range from a written warning to disqualification from the election.
  • Non-submission of forms will result in your disqualification from the election.

The budget is set as:

  • Full Time Officers -£100 capped spend.
  • Part Time Officers -£50 capped spend

Upon submission of the completed expenses form, Full Time Officer candidates can reclaim £30 from the Students’ Union and Part Time Officers can reclaim £15.

You also can not start campaigning until 9am on 1st March.

Stickers should not be stuck on anything other than people. Stickers are incredibly difficult and costly to remove – if stickers are found stuck around campuses this could be considered a breach of Guiding Principle 2.

Please take care if campaigning around any entrance to the campus. The roads are busy in the morning and your campaigning activity should not be distracting to drivers (e.g. large bunches of balloons close to the road).

Please don’t attach campaigns materials to lampposts and buildings in the community. The Council are vigilant during the elections period and will require immediate removal.

Students’ Union affiliated club nights have their own set of guidelines for campaigning. Please ensure you are familiar with these before campaigning at Crisis or Ocean.

Why do people campaign and take photos with frames in Ocean?

Everyone campaigns there for their own reasons, but as a general rule of thumb, nightclubs have lots of voting students in, and lots of photos are taken and uploaded to social media, which helps to increase the exposure of the candidates online.

Who do we apply to and how?

If you would like to run for an officer position, you can nominate yourself here:

For other positions you can nominate yourself here:

What are the requirements for applying?

To stand for a full-time Student Leader Officer position you must be a full-member of the Students’ Union defined as ‘a registered or thesis-pending, non-suspended student at the University of Nottingham.’

To stand for a part-time Student Leader Officer position you must be a full-member of the Students’ Union defined as ‘a registered or thesis-pending, non-suspended student at the University of Nottingham, for the period of office of the role for which they are nominating.’

You are only eligible to run for ONE Officer Position in this election period.

If you are a non-EU student who would like to run for a full-time officer role, there are a number of things that would have to be looked into with you after you won your election but it is possible to make arrangements surrounding your visa. Please speak with us if you have any further concerns about this for the time being.

Where can I find more information about the role?

We’re hosting three drop in sessions throughout the nomination period, anyone interested in the positions are welcome to join us.

  • 8th Feb 10.00-13:00 Welcome Zone – Manifesto and policy workshops – a chance for prospective candidates to come in and speak to a member of the Representation Development team about policy ideas and get advice about creating a manifesto.
  • 9th Feb 10.00-13.00 & 15:00-17:00 Welcome Zone – Campaigning advice and general questions – a chance for prospective candidates to get advice on campaigning and to ask any general questions about the various roles and the process of campaigning

The current officers will be in attendance at different points during the day, but to secure a time, it may be worth contacting the officers through their Facebook pages or their emails.

What is the application process?

  • Complete the online nomination form between 29th January 9am to 12th February 12noon. This form will ask you to outline your experience, what you want to change, and why students should vote for you. This form will be used to 1). Determine your name on the ballot form and 2). Build your manifesto pages online at
  • Using the ideas you submit through the above form, email your manifesto as a word document to by 12noon on 12th This document should be text only.
  • Have your photo taken to go on the website. You’ll need to go to the Marketing Office in the Portland Building, University Park campus at one these times and ask for Jack Longstaff:
    • Weds 14th Feb 12noon to 5pm
    • Thursday 15th Feb 9am to 12noon
    • You’ll be sent a doodle poll where you can pick your preferred time. All photos will be taken in the Portland Building.
  • Saturday 24th Feb – Attend the Student Run Services media day. This is when interviews / films of your plans will take place, ready to share during the election period.
  • Monday 26th Feb – Attend the compulsory candidate briefing in the Studio Live in the Portland Building. It’s OK to send a member of your campaign team instead, but someone representing you must be present. The candidate briefings are opportunities to:
  • Bring candidates together
  • Share voting stats
  • Let you know of any rulings made by elections committee
  • Time to ask questions
  • Talk about campaigning effectively
  • Assemble your campaign team and prepare to campaign – but don’t start until…
  • 9am Thursday 1st March – campaigning opens! Voting also opens at this time
  • Friday 2nd March – attend a compulsory candidate briefing
  • Tuesday 6th March – attend a compulsory candidate briefing
  • Tuesday 6th March – your opportunity to meet the voters as part of a hustings in the Welcome Zone, Portland Building, 5pm.
  • Thursday 8th March – attend a compulsory candidate briefing
  • Friday 9th March – voting closes at midday
  • Friday 9th March – attend the results evening, details TBC!
  • 19th and 20th April – if you’re successfully elected, join us for training for your new role
  • July 2018 – start your new role!

What roles are available?

There’s lots available. There are officer positions whose remit impact across all campuses. There are also course rep elections (specific to your course), education rep elections (specific to UG school/departments), UG Faculty reps, Sutton Bonington Guild positions (for students based at Sutton Bonington campus), MedSoc Committee positions (for Medic students) and SUPRA Committee positions (For Physio and Sports Rehab students).

They are all listed here:

How do the different roles coordinate with each other?

The Officer team regularly meet and discuss their short and long term plans. There are plenty of projects that they team up together on, meaning that their work is aligned. The Officer team also listens carefully to the issues that are arising from other democratic structures across the Students’ Union. This document explains how things interconnect well. If in doubt, ask one of the current officers who can give you first hand guidance about how the officer team work with each other.

Are there any based solely at Sutton Bonington campus?

Yes! The SB Guild have their own committee. This is known as an Association and works in conjunction with the Officer team. As part of the Students’ Union, this association work hard to improve the University experience of SB students.

Is it paid? What is the wage/salary?

Full time officer roles receive a salary of £18,417 per annum.

What organisation are you working for – the SU or the University Of Nottingham?

The Students’ Union

How long is the role?

1 year

Is it full-time?

The full-time officers work full-time hours. For part-time officers, and all other rep roles, this is a role that is completed and carefully balanced alongside your study. Your study will always come first and therefore important meetings are scheduled around your study timetable.

Can you share a part-time role with someone or do you have to do it on your own?

Yes, you can share a part-time role. You must campaign as a pair and be elected in as a pair. Questions regarding this can be directed to

What does the role entail – what is a typical day in office like?

It’s always best to ask one of the current SU officers to answer this question, but in general, for a full time officer, it will be super busy! Having had a look at the seven full time Officer’s work diaries, between them all today they have:

  • Represented student views at a Project Transform meeting with the University
  • Chaired a working group about employability
  • Interviewed for Welcome Committee members
  • Met with National Union of students
  • Met with colleagues to explore how to increase engagement opportunities for international students
  • Attended some 1:1 workplace coaching with the SU CEO
  • Represented student views at the University’s Global Engagement Board
  • Represented student views at the University’s Student Experience Meeting
  • Spent time practising a presentation planned for tomorrow
  • Attended an Erasmus graduation and goodbye event
  • Discussed with colleagues how to increase welfare in halls
  • Filmed a promo video
  • Spent time chatting with students about their concerns / questions – plus answered emails from other students too
  • Helped to plan the Societies ball
  • Attended the University Finance Committee
  • Contributed to the ‘STARS’ student groups committee document

And still fitted in time to train with their sports clubs and go out for a social together!

What’s the best thing about being an officer?

To answer this question, we got in touch with Ellie McWilliam – The SU President between 2013/14. She was happy to reflect on her time as an officer

Hi, I’m Ellie McWilliam. I was the Students’ Union president in 2013/14. I studied Sociology at UoN, and during my time at University, I was the social sec of Rutland Hall, a Welcome Week mentor and committee member and Women’s Rugby captain.

How did being SU President impact you?

My involvement with the SU completely transformed what I wanted to do with my life. Being SU president especially opened my eyes to a whole other side of higher education – I had never really thought of it as a career path before then. The skills I achieved throughout my time as President set me up perfectly for the world of employment.

During your time as president, what impact did you see for students at UoN?

While I was in office, I collaborated with then the then Sports Officer to run a campaign against Wednesday afternoon lectures. Before this, there were timetabled teaching hours all day on a Wednesday and many students were forced to make a choice between attending their lectures and seminars and playing sport for the university. Luckily, the officer team were able to secure end of teaching on Wednesday afternoons, allowing for a much greater level of engagement with sport across the student body

I also helped to change the way students gave feedback on their courses. Previously, only academic staff reviewed modules with no provision for student to have a say – so I worked with the University to introduce a new formal procedure for student feedback (SET and SEM surveys). Students can now comment on the speed and level of the academic content in ways they never had been able to.

The best bit about my time as President was what we achieved in relation to the Portland Building. I helped to secure £12.5million to redevelop the building. I chose to focus my efforts here because I wanted to rebalance the level of investment going into the new David Ross Sports Village. I felt that it was unfair how University investment was going solely to sports, so I challenged the University’s Executive Board on the issue. The Vice Chancellor and Head of Estates agreed to a one day exploration day, so we toured around England, visiting other Students’ Unions and comparing provision levels. This helped the University to realise that the Students’ Union space was under developed in comparison to other Unions, and with a little support from the Students’ Union Insight Team – we gathered enough evidence (i.e. thousands of UoN student comments in support of a change) to successfully ask for funding from the University Executive Board to redevelop the Portland Building. These are the changes that are now happening in the Portland Building – it’s becoming a standalone hub for students to meet, take part in activities and express themselves’

How do the officers impact on University life and experience?

There’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes that it’s some times not obvious what impact the officers are having. However, we’ve managed to put together a document that summarises impact from 2016/17:

Below we’ve listed some impact that your officers achieved last year. For the progress that your 2017/18 officer team have already made, have a browse of the Candidate Pack or on their individual profile pages

Community Officer

  • Worked to successfully hold the Living Wage Referendum.
  • After forming a student committee, Abel worked with them to deliver the International Student Summit.
  • Worked on a Housing Reform and launched Flatmate Finder, Rate Your Landlord and reviewed suite of house-hunting information.
  • Organised the Big Student Debate where students discussed political issues and worked with citizens on issues like refugees, eradication sexual assault and understanding what causes crime.

Activities Officer

  • Worked to deliver Try It events and ensure these are marketed to all student groups.
  • Improved students’ wellbeing within societies and staff are now trained to deliver special training to student committees
  • After a successful bid to host the National Societies Awards, UoNSU held an incredible national event that saw 49 university’s attend and nominate 271 students for awards.


  • Worked on the pilot of the Global Buddy Scheme, launching of WeChat and Change in Culture.
  • Created the Inspirational students’ magazine, which celebrated the achievements of over 30 UoN students.
  • Worked to improve food choices across the campus to ensure there are halal, vegan and gluten free choices and that students can get hot water for 20p across all units on campus.
  • Due to developments in the Portland Building, the access to Muslim prayer rooms was limited, thus the president worked hard with the project manager and the SU to ensure adequate access was made available.

Equal Opportunities and Welfare Officer

  • Secured £55k budget for a new full-time welfare position.
  • Worked to get welfare reps across all halls at the university
  • Expanded the Little Pick Me Ups Project to support students over stressful times.

Sports Officer

  • Faced the challenges associated with the David Ross Sports Centre opening, which meant there was a significant expansion of UoN Sport and its staff, thus the UoN Sport Partnership was more difficult to manage. Nonetheless, this kickstarted new discussions on how the two staffing groups can work together to benefit students.
  • Promoted the Engage programme to students to get more students involved.
  • Strongly supported the BUCS #TakeAStand campaign, which most sport clubs are actively supporting. She worked hard with sport clubs to improve the welfare in sport.
  • Launched Club of The Month to celebrate clubs’ successes.
  • Improved the timings of sports membership to better suit Postgraduate scheduling – introduced a reduced summer price of £25pm

Postgraduate Officer

  • Worked with staff and students to increase the presence of postgraduate mentors during Welcome Week by forming a PG Welcome Committee with its own timetable of events and support.
  • Helped in the establishment of a new PG society at SB
  • Secured £9,300 funding for the Link Conference – this UoN interdisciplinary, student-led conference has now taken place for a third year running.
  • Worked with Graduate Centre Coordinators to run the PG Lunchbox summer seminar series.
  • Pushed for improvements of personal tutors, which means that every PGT student will be assigned a tutor during 2017/18.
  • Worked with UoN Sport and the Graduate School to bring exercise sessions to Graduate Centres at the most stressful times of the year, so that students who can’t make it to the gym can still unwind.
  • Developed a PhD student employment charter, working with UCU to demand fair conditions for PGs who teach and demonstrate, and then presented this to the University management team.

Education Officer

  • Worked really hard to convince the university to implement an opt-out system for lecture capture by the academic year 2018-19
  • Worked on online module fairs that have information about modules available to all students, including previous year’s grades and survey results
  • Improve support for students that wish to or study abroad by implementing a buddy system and ensuring the information is readily available to students.

How many students will actually benefit from my help?

There are around 34,000 students at UoN. But that’s not to say that the impact you make won’t impact thousands more students in years to come.

Why should I care about elections? What is in it for me?

The Students’ Union is not just a physical space, it’s you and everyone around you. We work to empower you to make positive change in your community, be it locally, nationally, or internationally. When you’re a student here at the University of Nottingham, you’re instantly a member of your Students’ Union, and that means you have a role in the decisions that affect you.

As a member, you’re a part of our ‘democratic structures’. We hold forums for you and other students to come together, discuss ideas, and work with your Elected Officers to create positive change. Our structures enable you to hold your Officers to account, and ensure all changes are made to improve your University experience in Nottingham.

Whatever role you wish to take in influencing change, we have the support to help you. Through academic representation you’re able to provide your School or Department with constructive feedback, and if you’re a Student Activist wishing to campaign on issues you care about, we have the resources to help you succeed. Or you might just want to vote in an election – that’s OK! But make sure you at least have your say.

Is there free stash?

Yes – Officers receive Students’ Union branded uniform to wear at appropriate times (you don’t need to wear it every day!)

How do you collect information from the students or groups you are specifically aiming to help?

The Elections website has a whole host of role specific and general information for you to consider when shaping your manifesto and campaign plans. You may also wish to consult the Students’ Union’s research library. There’s so much information here in terms of feedback.

Other options include collecting feedback from students yourself. You could either message your network to see what is important to them, or share the link to a short survey that you can put together free of charge. Here’s one example of a free to use survey site: