Candidate Handbook 2018


ARE YOU…Innovative? Collaborative? Passionate? Committed to improving the UCA student experience?

If you said yes, you’re the right person to run in the UCA Students’ Union elections! Every year, UCA students elect one President, one Vice President Kent, and one Vice President Surrey (full-time paid one-year positions). You can hold any of these positions either as a graduate or during a break in your studies.

The Student Governor position is a part-time, volunteer position undertaken while you’re studying.

You can find further details of each of the positions in this booklet. Getting involved in the Union opens up opportunities for you, as well as benefiting other students; you will be given full training and support to enable you to carry out your role effectively and knowing that you are positively impacting UCA students’ lives will give you a great sense of fulfilment. The skills you learn in these positions look fantastic on your CV and increase your employability.

Date & Time


Fri 23 Feb – 3pm Nominations close

Tue 27 Feb – 6:30pm Student Question Time

Wed 28 Feb – 10am Voting & campaigning begins

Fri 2 Mar – 3pm Voting & campaigning closes

Fri 2 Mar – 8pm Results announced at

Candidate Briefings Timetable:

Tue 20 Feb – 12:30pm in your Campus union office

Thu 22 Feb – 12:30pm in your Campus union office

Fri 23 Feb – 3:00pm in your Campus union office

Candidates Briefings (attend one of the above): If you don’t know where that is or can’t attend let us know at


The President and Vice Presidents are full-time paid positions in the Union, running for one year from 14 June 2018. You can take a year out of your studies or start after you graduate. As a team, the Union President and VPs make day-to-day decisions about all levels of your Union’s activities, focusing on making changes to positively affect student’s lives.

The benefits of being a President or Vice President:

  • You will receive a salary of £18,023.
  • You will receive comprehensive training for your role.
  • Have job satisfaction knowing you are making a positive difference to students’ lives.


You will develop advanced skills in:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Planning
  • Problem Solving
  • Motivating others


The President will:

  • Be the figurehead of all four campuses.
  • Develop campaigns in students’ interests.
  • Sit on relevant committees, including the Board
  • of Governors
  • Ensure the Vice Presidents are working cohesively across their campuses.
  • Liaise with the University on the development of the student experience, complaints, equal opportunities and disciplinary procedures.


The Vice Presidents will:

  • Be the figurehead for their region.
  • Support and create events on their campus (including Freshers Week).
  • Lead liberation groups.
  • Organise Executive Committee meetings
  • Develop campaigns in students’ interests
  • Sit on relevant committees.
  • Liaise with the University on the development of the student experience, complaints, equal opportunities and disciplinary procedures.


This is an idea of what these roles might entail; what you choose to prioritise will be down to you and the rest of the President team.

Student Governor

The UCA Board of Governors is collectively responsible for determining the educational character and mission of the University, overseeing activities and encouraging an environment which enhances the student academic and learning experience. If you believe it is important for students to be at the heart of major decision making, you should run for Student Governor!

This is a voluntary position, open to continuing students, with a time commitment of no more than 7 day per year including reading time. The position lasts for one year stating 1st August 2018. A student governor should:

  • Be able to bring student insight to the proceedings of the Board
  • Understand the distinction between governance and management
  • Be able to demonstrate an interest in and commitment to education and public service
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to exercise their responsibilities with independence and discretion
  • Be able to attend all Board meetings and the annual residential away day
  • Be able to work as part of a team

Student Question Time

We will be holding a candidate question time on Tuesday 27 February 6.30pm on the Farnham Campus. This is not compulsory however, we very much recommend you attend as this is a great opportunity for you to express your ideas and campaigns should you be elected. Question time, like the name suggests, also provides students with the opportunity to compare and contrast all nominees’ manifestos by asking the questions they want answered.

Running for Elections


To nominate yourself, visit or follow the link sent via your student email.

You must submit a copy of your manifesto and declaration form to by 5pm, 23 February 2018 . Your nomination form will not be accepted without these.


The manifesto is the document that says who you are, what you intend to do should you get elected and why people should vote for you. Candidates must submit a manifesto in plain text no longer than one side of A4 (minimum 10pt text) with your nomination form.

Please submit your designed manifesto via email to 5pm Friday 23 February 2018.

Tips for writing your manifesto

Drafting a manifesto needn’t be something to worry about! Essentially, it should state what you believe makes you a good candidate, what you plan to do, and why students should vote for you.

Here are some easy steps to assist you in writing your own manifesto:

  • Write a bit about yourself, your name, course, position you are running for.
  • Why are you running for this position?
  • What strengths do you have that you believe make you good at the position?
  • What do you intend to do in the next year if elected?
  • Choose a catchy slogan can often grab people’s attention; try to keep it to less than eight words and be creative.
  • Ask people to vote for you!

Candidates briefing

It is recommended that you attend a candidate briefing to help you create your best campaign! We will give you tips on how to create your manifesto and how to influence students to vote for you. There will be two briefings conducted via Skype, so you can choose which is easiest for you to attend. The briefings are also a great opportunity to ask questions about your campaign ideas and any other aspect of the election process.

Do I have to have experience to stand?

Absolutely not! Full training is given. All you need is enthusiasm, commitment and a desire to want to positively affect student’s lives.


Single Transferable Vote

The ballot is run using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) mode of voting. STV allows the voter to rank the candidates in order of preference. Voters mark their favourite candidate number 1, their second preferred candidate number 2 and so on. Voters do not have to rank all candidates, they can just choose their favourite and leave it at that.

There is also the option to vote to Re-Open Nomination (R.O.N.), which a voter can use if there is no candidate they wish to vote for. If R.O.N. ‘wins’ the election, it will be run again.

By allowing voters to rank candidates in order of preference, STV creates a system whereby the ‘least unpopular’ candidate wins. In order to be elected the candidate must reach the ‘quota’ (over 50% of total valid votes cast). If after the first round of the count the quota is reached, that candidate is elected.

However, if no candidate reaches the quota then the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated and their surplus votes (the difference between their vote and the quota) are transferred amongst the remaining candidates. We then look to see if any candidate has met the quota, if not then the candidate with the next fewest votes is excluded and the process continues until a candidate reaches the quota and is therefore elected.

Using STV, fewer votes are ‘wasted’ (i.e. cast for losing candidates or unnecessarily cast for the winner), and there is no need for tactical voting – voters can choose their favourite.

We can explain all of this to you in the candidate briefings! There is also a video online at:


As we’re a creative arts institution, there are always loads of innovative and exciting ways to get students to vote for you!

Studies show you need to make seven points of contact to get a message across. Don’t just use posters – mix it up! Entertain voters with the same message in as many different ways as possible. If you have the right message and voters hear it seven different ways, you are doing well!

Just make sure everything you do is in line with election and campaigning regulations and the law! Also remember not to start campaigning before Monday 27 March at 9am. Full guidance on campaigning and rules can be found at and will be provided at the candidates briefing, as well as a campaigning pack.


You will get your own space at to promote your campaign. This will show your manifesto and have videos, social feeds, photos etc. To take advantage of this, you need to prepare the following in time for your Candidates Briefing:

  • Any social media channels you intend to use, such as Facebook pages, hashtags, Twitter accounts etc.
  • We can’t embed feeds from Facebook profiles or groups. Do not use these until campaigning begins.
  • We will take your photograph and record a 45-second video for you to tell voters why you should be elected. You have the opportunity to provide your own photograph and 45-second video if you wish.
  • You will get your own short URL. Choose what you would like (examples:, votebloggs,
  • You can embed up to three YouTube videos (not including the 45-second clip) to your page. Email this address for the videos:
  • If you give us a designed version of your manifesto, we’ll put it on your webpage.
  • Everything you do must comply with the election campaigning regulations.


  • Read this booklet
  • Pop into your Union office to chat about the position.
  • Think about why you are standing and plan your campaign. Get some good publicity designed.
  • Complete the Nomination Form and write your manifesto – up to one side of A4 in minimum 10pt plain text.
  • Remember your nomination form will not be accepted without a manifesto and your declaration form.
  • Submit your A4 manifesto to
  • by 5pm Friday 23rd February 2018.
  • Prepare everything mentioned on the previous page.

Good Luck

All candidates are strongly advised to attend the candidate briefings and the Deputy Returning Officer will be available to provide any further information about any aspect of the election/campaigning process.

If you have any questions just let us know at