Welcome! Here you will find everything you need to know if you want to be our next President Kent or Surrey. This page includes:
- President job description - the complete explanation of the responsibilities and opportunities that come with being a President
- Election rules - make sure you read these, as rule breaks can prevent you from taking part in the election!
- How to write a manifesto - manifestos are the first and sometimes only impression that voters will have of you!
- How to campaign - campaigning helps you to reach as many potential voters as you can, and allows you to expand on your manifesto
If you have any questions that aren't answered on this page, email the Deputy Returning Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is a President?
Presidents are full-time paid positions in the Union, running from 15 June 2021 to 15 June 2022. Each county elects one President to represent them - President Kent and President Surrey. You can take a year out of your studies to be President, or start the summer after you graduate.The Presidents are the voice of students within the Union, the University, and the local community. As a team, the Presidents make decisions for students, and lead on campaigns or projects that make a positive difference to life at UCA.Presidents will:
- Be the voice for the two campuses they represent, and make decisions in students' interests
The University turns to Presidents to learn more about what students are thinking and feeling. Presidents are often invited to give students' views when major decisions are being made. This happens locally as well; Presidents go to meetings with local Councils and other community groups, to provide students' views on issues in the area.
- Connect with students to learn about their views and experiences
Presidents attend events and forums, as well as just spending time out on campus speaking to students. It's their job to learn about the experiences of a wide variety of people at UCA, so they can be well-rounded representatives.
- Lead campaigns such as Climate Emergency and 'Students Deserve Better'
With support and funding from the Union, Presidents take the lead on big campaigns that affect student life. Campaigns might involve running events, meeting with important people in the community, and creating guides or resources.
- Be part of Union Council and work with councillors on issues that affect students
Along with the twelve students who make up Union Council, Presidents discuss ideas or concerns about UCA life, and collaborate on making positive change together. The Council meets each month and can support and advise Presidents.
- Attend University committees to represent students' views
The University has a range of groups and committees that are responsible for things from the BAME attainment gap to tackling sexual violence. Presidents take part in committees like these, and represent students' real experiences to the committee.
- Work on Communities events such as Black History Month
Along with the Union team, Presidents help come up with ideas and deliver events that have a positive impact on the UCA community.
Regulation 7: Elections Regulations
- General Principles
1.1 The Union is a democratic organisation and, as such, the conduct of elections is of paramount importance.
1.2 The Union shall conduct all elections freely and fairly.
1.3 Promote equality of opportunity in elections by ensuring that all members are able to take part in the democratic processes.
1.4 Ensure that all breaches of election regulations are dealt with swiftly and efficiently.
1.5 Run the electoral processes in a spirit of friendliness and cooperation.
1.6 Elections will be conducted online where possible, by an elections provider approved by the Deputy Returning Officer.
1.7 The Returning Officer for the elections shall be an external staff member to the Union.
1.8 The Returning Officer may delegate any tasks they seem fit to the Deputy Returning Officer.
1.8.1 The Deputy Returning Officer shall be a nominated member of Union staff and is appointed to support the Returning Officer and oversee elections.
1.9 These regulations apply to all elections conducted by the Union including, but not limited to, Sabbatical Officers, Part-Time Officers, and NUS Delegates.
1.10 Only members of the Union enrolled at relevant campuses to the position shall be eligible to stand for President and Union Councillor roles.
1.11 No member who has opted out may vote or stand for any position.
1.12 Reopen nominations (RON) shall be a candidate in all Union elections.
- Timing of elections
2.1 The Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer are to ensure the elections of Sabbatical Officers take place before the end of May each year.
2.2 Once elected the officers will take office for a minimum term of one (1) year.
2.3 The dates of elections for all Student Officers, a copy of the election timetable, and a copy of the election regulations shall be published through Union media channels at least twenty-one (21) University days before the first day of nominations.
2.4 Job descriptions and election rules are to be made publicly available for all roles.
2.5 The schedule for elections may be shortened by the request of the Board of Trustees to the Returning Officer.
2.6 Nomination forms will be provided by the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer and shall be available online ten (10) University days before the first day of voting.
2.6.1 Members of the Union may stand for election upon completion of a nomination form signed (this can be electronically) by the candidate.
2.7 Nomination forms must reach the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer in person or online by the time outlined in the election rules.
- Publicity about the election
3.1 The Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer shall produce a list of candidates which shall be available via Union media outlets within three (3) University days after the close of nominations.
3.2 The candidates have the option to produce a manifesto to a specification to be determined by the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer.
3.3 After a completed candidate list had been released, the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer shall provide each candidate with an election campaign pack.
3.3.1 The contents of the election campaign pack shall be determined by the Returning Officer in conjunction with the Deputy Returning Officer.*
4.1 Candidates may commence campaigning at the time determined by the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer.
4.2 There shall be no campaigning within 5 meters of any polling device.
4.3 The Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer shall publicise the location and arrangements of voting stations, together with a list of candidates and manifestos.
4.4 The Union will enable candidates to campaign and provide publicly via its website for the elections.
4.5 Nominations will be open for a minimum of five (5) university days.
- Voting procedures
5.1 The Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer shall ensure that all members of the Union have access to vote no matter their place or time of study.
5.2 All full members of the Union may vote.
5.3 If paper voting is active, papers will be issued to each voter.
5.3.1 Which shall bear the Union stamp.
5.3.2 Votes will be cast in sealed ballot boxes.
5.3.3 Voting papers shall bear the name of each candidate and the office being contested.
5.4 Voting shall be by secret ballot and shall be conducted according to the most recently published edition of the rules for the operation of the Single Transferable Voting (STV) system as set by the Electoral Reform Society.
- Counting and declaring votes
6.1 The Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer shall inform candidates of the time and venue of the count.
6.1.1 The candidate or their appointed deputy may, if they so wish, attend the counting as observers only.
6.2 The Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer may appoint anyone to assist them with the count.
6.3 Once the votes have been counted any paper votes shall be kept for a period of six months in case of appeals against the result.
6.4 Results of the elections shall be declared by the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer when the count for each post has been completed, and any complaint has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Returning Officer.
6.5 A list of successful candidates shall be posted via Union media outlets and at each campus within one (1) University day.
6.6 The Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer shall send a copy of the result to the Union Council and the Clerk to the University for the Creative Arts’ Board of Governors.
6.7 In the event of a complaint being received by the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer the results shall be suspended until the complaint has been resolved.
6.8 If any post falls vacant then a by-election shall be arranged by the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer.
7.1 Any complaint against the conduct or administration of the election shall be received by the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer before the close of polling.
7.2 Any challenge or complaint concerning the administration and good conduct of the election process shall be heard and determined by the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer within two (2) University days of such a complaint being lodged by any full member, candidate, or candidate nominee.
7.3 A challenge or complaint during or following the count shall only relate to the conduct of the count and shall be lodged with the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Office who shall resolve the complaint within two (2) University days of it being lodged.
7.4 In determining a resolution to a complaint, the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer after hearing all the appropriate evidence may:
7.4.1 Not uphold the complaint.
7.4.2 May halt elections for specified post(s).
7.4.3 Disqualify specified candidate(s) if, in their view, they have breached election regulations.
7.5 The ruling of the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer on any complaint shall be final, subject only to a successful appeal to the Clerk to the Governors.*Based on feedback from past candidates, the 'pack' has been replaced with funding instead. Presidential candidates may spend up to £50 on their campaign and can submit receipts to the Deputy Returning Officer to claim back their costs. Union Council candidates may spend up to £20 on their campaign and can also claim back these costs. If any member believes that a candidate has spent more than the amount they are allowed, they can submit a complaint to the Deputy Returning Officer.
A detailed manifesto workshop will be take place Midday, Tuesday 6 April and again at 5pm, Thursday 8 April. If you are unable to attend either of these sessions, or just want a refresher, please look through the presentation below.
A detailed campaigning workshop will be take place 5pm, Tuesday 6 April and again at 5pm, Friday 9 April. If you are unable to attend either of these sessions, or just want a refresher, please look through the presentation below.