The rules below are in place for the 2024 main election.

General 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. You must confirm you have read and agree to these rules to remain a valid candidate. This form is also where you can submit your manifesto, candidate information, ballot photo and ballot name.

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 bye-elections page also has a number of frequently asked election questions, which you may find it useful to read before sending your email. A link to this 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. 

Dates

DatesElection Event
Monday 5 February at 10:00Nominations Open
Wednesday 14 February at 17:00Nominations Close
Monday 19 February at 12:00Manifesto Deadline – Campaigning Starts
Sunday 25, Monday 26, and Tuesday 27 FebruaryQuestion Time (Evenings)
Tuesday 27 February (Following Question Time)Voting Open
Saturday 2 March at 12:00 Budget Form Deadline
Saturday 2 March at 19:00Voting Closes
Saturday 2 March from 20:00Results Announced

Manifesto and candidate information submission (Deadline 12:00 Monday 19 February)

Candidates are asked to submit information about them and their campaign using this form. Please use the form to upload:

  1. Your manifesto points in plaintext
  2. Your manifesto as a portrait PDF, 1080px x 1920px (Instagram story dimensions, the provided template is the correct dimensions)
  3. Your ballot photo as a .jpg or .png file
  4. 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 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. The provided template is correct in dimensions.

Election budget

Your campaign costs cannot exceed the maximum limit for your role – £70 for full time roles, £45 for Union Chair, and £35 for all other roles. This includes the total approximate value of any materials you may have received for free or already owned – e.g. if someone gives you a pack of ten white t-shirts to decorate for your campaign, you should assign these a fair approximate value on your budget form. The full amount you have spent can be claimed back from the Students’ Union. Candidates must supply receipts in order to prove their spending and claim back campaign expenses. Please ensure that you have scanned or photographed all your receipts for electronic submission, remember that if you cannot provide a receipt for something on your budget form that you have spent, you cannot be reimbursed for it, and it may lead to problems with your budget submission.

Budget forms and receipts must be submitted via this form by 12:00 Saturday 2 March.  Candidates who are late in submitting budget forms 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 12:00 Monday 19 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.

Once campaigning is allowed, campaigning and campaign materials are allowed across the University estate. Campaigning and campaign materials are not allowed in the entire Library building (including the ground floor area outside Simply Fresh), all Hive spaces (including Academic Hives and the 30 Priestley Road Hive area), the Spark, and the Nest. 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.

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

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. Campaign material should not be left anywhere that damages the University property, including posters on painted walls. Campaign material should never be left in non-University owned locations, including public bus stops.

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.

Question Time

Question Time will be held in Rubix on Sunday 25, Monday 26, and Tuesday 27 February. Attendance at Question Time is advisable but not compulsory. Candidates who cannot attend will be mentioned during the event to reflect their inclusion on the ballot. There will be a Question Time briefing during the compulsory candidate rules briefing and more training given at optional candidate training.

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 in the election, you will begin your time in office in August 2024.

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