Once a year students undergo a democratic process to choose from among the student body who is going to lead their Union as Faculty Representatives, Part-Time Officers and Sabbatical Officers. Students can either nominate themselves as a candidate or to take part by voting. Last year, an incredible 5,735 students turned out to vote, putting YUSU in the top 10 in the UK for election turn out!
Of course you can! If you get elected as a Faculty Rep or Part-Time Officer, you carry out your responsibilities alongside your studies in your second or third year. If you are elected as a Sabbatical Officer, the University lets you take a year out of your studies to work full-time!
Nope, any Postgrad currently at the University of York can run for a position! However, Part Time Officer positions and Non Officer positions are required to have a continuous period of study throughout their time in office. This means that you cannot stand as Officers if you are moving from an Undergraduate course to a Masters course, or Masters course to PhD.
*Nearly* any position! Faculty Reps need to be studying in that Faculty and for some of the Part-Time Officer roles you need to identify as part of the Network you intent to represent (for example, you need to identify as LGBTQ to nominate yourself to be LGBTQ Officer). It is worth mentioning that you can only nominate yourself for only one position only!
You can run for any voluntary, part-time role as long as you’re around for the next academic year. If you get elected to a full-time Sabbatical role, you won’t need a new Visa. The University will sponsor your Tier 4 Visa which allows you to work and undertake a full-time Sabbatical Officer post. You can do the post part way through your course or in the academic year after you finish it.
No! People from all sorts of different backgrounds run in the elections, what matters most are your ideas for improving life for students. Whatever role you’re interested in, you will get training and support from staff at the Union who will help develop your ideas and get the most out of your year.
Everybody feels like this, don’t worry! Every candidate gets a staff mentor and we’ll put on loads of training workshops for skills like public speaking and social media to help you run a great campaign. If you’re going for a PTO position, you can run as a pair with another student and share the role together if you win!
You don’t have to spend a penny if you don’t want to and lots of people have won having spent very little, but we want to make sure that you’re not left out of pocket by the elections. There is a maximum budget of £40 (of which £20 is reimbursable) for Full-Time Officers and £30 (of which £15 is reimbursable) for Part-Time Officers and candidates for all other positions.
Candidates sometimes feel like they don’t ‘know enough people’ to run, but we work hard to give everybody an equal platform to make sure students get to hear about you and understand your ideas. We publish your manifesto online, host a ‘candidate speed dating’ event and debate night and student media will interview you! We also don’t allow student groups to ‘endorse’ (formally support) candidates, so you don’t have to lead a big society or College to win!
STV is the method of voting which YUSU and many other organisations use to elect its leaders. Instead of only casting one vote (for your preferred candidate), STV enables you to ‘rank’ your preferred candidates so that when the candidate with the least votes is knocked out, the votes given to them transfer to people’s second preferences as so on until one candidate is the winner!
If your best friend is a candidate and you make them your first preference without ranking any of their competitors and that friend is knocked out, the only person to lose out is you, as you have thrown away your say on who you’d rather win! Similarly, a candidate can win not by having the most ‘first’ votes from their own supporters, but by being ranked highly among everybody’s preferences, which makes the election more democratic and representative.
RON isn't a candidate – it stands for ‘Re-Open Nominations’. You are able to vote for RON on its own, or if you have voted for your preferred candidates and feel that the remaining candidates listed are not suitable for the position. If RON is elected to a position then another election for that position will be held at a later date. You may continue ranking candidates after RON if you still want a say in who gets elected.
Don’t worry, concentrate on the issues which matter most to you and come get in touch with the current Officer or Union staff to discuss how you could address them. Before nominations close there is a free workshop on making a manifesto (5-7pm, Thursday of Week 3, YourSpace) where you can learn how best to present your ideas!
That’s fine, the most important thing you can do is registering your interest and get in touch with us! You can meet Union staff or one of the current Officers to learn more about their roles by registering your interest or coming to the ‘Meet the Officers’ workshop on 5-7pm Monday of Week 3, in YourSpace to learn about different roles.
If you have more questions, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org to ask us.