Rules

The following rules must be read and understood by all candidates.

Please complete this form to confirm that you have read and understood these rules.

As a candidate, you are expected to follow the rules of the election.  Not doing so will result in action being taken against you by the independent Returning officer.  Rule breaks will risk your position in the election.  Making vexatious complaints about other candidates can also result in action being taken against you.  Focusing positively on your own campaign is the best way to win the election.

During the election the Students’ Union will communicate with you via email on surreydecides@surrey.ac.uk.  The Union’s website also has a page of frequently asked election questions, which you may find it useful to read before sending your email.  A link to the FAQ page will be sent round to all candidates.  It’s advisable to check your student email every day.

The Students’ Union’s Byelaws have a section (part 3) which describes the rules of all elections, and which should be read alongside these specific rules for Surrey Decides 2022. 

Key dates for the election:

  • Nominations open – 7th February 10am
  • Nominations close – 16th February 5pm
  • Manifesto and candidate information deadline, start of campaigning period – 21st February 12:00
  • Question Time – 27th/28th February and 1st March evenings
  • Voting opens – 1st March after Question Time
  • Voting closes – 5th March 7pm
  • Results – 5th March from 8pm.
  • Manifesto and candidate information submission: Deadline Monday 21st February 12:00.

Candidates are asked to submit information about them and their campaign using this form (link to form tbc)

Please use the form (link above) to upload your manifesto as a portrait PDF, 1080px x 1920px (Instagram story dimensions) and your ballot photo as a .jpg or .png file, along with your ballot name (the name you want to appear on the ballot). Any information or file which is not submitted in the correct format by the deadline (midday on Monday 21st February) will not be included in any Students’ Union materials, only the candidate’s name and the position they are running for will be displayed. Providing information, including a manifesto, is optional but recommended.

Canva is a free tool available for you to create designs in the correct dimensions.  For information on how to create a design in canva, visit this link for help. 

We will make the information you provide available on our  website.  The Students’ Union will also produce an electronic manifesto guide, containing all the manifestos for this election, which will be published across the Student Union’s communication channels. 

Election budget

Candidates’ campaign costs cannot exceed £70 for a full-time Officer, £45 for the role of Union Chair, and £35 for all other part-time Officer roles.  This includes the total value of any materials you may have received for free.  The full amount can be claimed back from the Students’ Union.  Candidates must supply receipts in order to prove their spending and claim campaign expenses.  Please ensure that you have scanned or photographed all your receipts for electronic submission.

Budget forms and receipts must be emailed to surreydecides@surrey.ac.uk by 7pm on Friday the 4th of March.  Candidates who are late risk being removed from the election count.  Forms must be returned even if nothing was spent on the campaign.  Supplying fraudulent financial information is a serious offence that could result in your disqualification from the election.

Campaigning and Organising

Campaigning refers to actively soliciting votes from students.  Campaigning for votes may begin from midday on Monday 21st February. Campaigning for votes is not allowed before this point.  The campaign period is stated on the election timetable. 

Prior to the campaigning period, potential candidates may organise in the form of conducting research, gathering information, or assembling a team. In doing so, you should only focus on developing your campaign and/or team; directly advertising manifesto points or your intention to stand in the election may be interpreted as early campaigning. Groups of potential candidates may jointly discuss possible manifesto points or campaign approaches before the campaigning period begins, provided that this is for the purposes of campaign development and not soliciting votes. 

Definition of campaigning: ‘If someone campaigns for something, they carry out a planned set of activities over a period of time in order to achieve their aim.’

Definition of organising: ‘to make arrangements for something to happen’.

Any action that could be interpreted as early campaigning for votes will be investigated by the Returning Officer and action may be taken against you. If it is unclear whether preparation activity will be considered as early campaigning, please contact surreydecides@surrey.ac.uk.

When planning to campaign in person, candidates are expected to follow covid secure procedures in line with up to date government guidance. Up to date guidance can be viewed here:  https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus  

Any candidates breaching covid rules will risk being removed from the election. 

Unsolicited knocking (cold calling) on doors of residences (including any outer doors) is not allowed

Once campaigning is allowed, posters and other campaign materials are allowed throughout the University estate, apart from the entire Library building (including the ground floor area outside Simply Fresh) and all Hive spaces (including Academic Hives and the 30 Priestley Road Hive area).  Candidates are permitted to walk through these spaces but must not campaign or leave any publicity in the building. Any reports of campaigning or advertising material left in any banned areas will be treated seriously.

Campaign publicity should not obstruct the normal workings of the campus, for example do not obstruct vision panels in doors or obscure a fire exit sign.  Campaign materials must not be placed in hard to reach or dangerous areas. Candidates may not use stickers.

Those who are campaigning must not block access to University buildings, or otherwise disrupt the academic activities of the University. 

All campaign material must be removed from campus before the votes are counted.

If you become ill or need to self-isolate (due to current COVID rules) during the election campaigning period:

Candidates in this position should be allowed to select one student alternate to represent them and their campaign while they are unable to participate fully.  Candidates should contact surreydecides@surrey.ac.uk if they become ill or must self-isolate during the campaigning period, to inform the elections team and receive further instructions. 

Question Time

Question Time will be in person and live streamed.

Attendance at Question Time (online or in person) is advisable but not compulsory.  Candidates who wish to be present but cannot appear in real time will be offered the opportunity to submit a video to be shown during the event.

There will be a Question Time briefing during the live candidate Q and A on the 17th February.

Voting

It is against the election rules to cast a vote with another person’s log in details.  Every student has the right to vote secretly.  Any evidence of candidates interfering with another student’s vote will be taken very seriously by the Returning Officer and may result in disqualification from the election.

After the election

Once the election period is finished you will be asked to give feedback based on your experience of being a candidate.  This is valuable for us to be able to improve the experience of the elections in the future. 

If you are successful you will begin your time in office in late July/early August – exact timings to be confirmed. 

The Students’ Union provides training for all newly elected officers and it is very important that if you are standing as a candidate, you make yourself available to attend the training provided should you win.

Any questions?

Once you have read and understood these rules, please complete this form to indicate that you have done so.  If you have any further questions please contact us at the Surrey Decides email – surreydecides@surrey.ac.uk