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Frequently Asked Questions: General

What are UEA Elections?

From Jan 13th to March 12th 2020, we're opening up the elections for your student leaders for 2020-2021! The full-time officer team and part-time officers are your voice to the University and the community around us, and they make real change for students right here at our University. Whether you’re passionate about welfare and student rights, creating positive change, holding the University to account or just voting for the students who you want to represent you, this election is an opportunity to get your voice heard and make an impact on what matters to you at University. We are also electing Conveners who represent academic interests for schools and faculties. 


What are bye-elections?

From April 2020, We are opening up the Bye-elections! These are elections that happen between the main full election schedule and they aim to fill roles that are still vaccant from the main elections. These are slighly different from the main election period, with all fo the campaigning done online. 


Who can participate in the elections?

Full-Time Officer Election: Current UEA students are able to nominate themselves for a Full-Time Officer position. As these are full-time paid positions, students who are not due to finish their degree in June 2020 will have to take a year out of the study to complete the role. If you are due to graduate in June 2020, you are still able to nominate yourself to be a Full Time Officer.

Part-Time Officer Election:  Current UEA students who are continuing their studies during the next academic year (2020/21) can nominate themselves for a Part-Time Officer role. For some Part Time Officer roles, you must identify as a member of a group to represent them, e.g. only students who self-define as women can nominate themselves for the Womens Officer role. As these positions are part-time and voluntary, you are able to complete these alongside your normal degree timeline.

Convenor Election: Current UEA students who are continuing their studies during the next academic year (2020/21) can nominate themselves for a School or Faculty Convenor role. You are only eligible to stand as a Convenor for the school in which you are registered to study (e.g. only LDC students can nominate themselves to be LDC Convenor). For Faculty Convenor positions, you must be a student studying in a school within that Faculty. 

What should I do if I have a problem during the election?

 If you have any issue please contact the member of staff who you have been notified of who will be able to help. They should be your first point of contact and can direct you onwards. Alternatively contacts can be found here. Should a more formal issue arise that represents a breach of the election rules, you may want to submit a complaint. Information about submitting complaints can be found here.

FAQ: Thinking of Running for Election?

How do I get elected?

You will need to submit an online nomination form. You can find key dates here. Then you will need to campaign for students to vote for you. The candidate(s) with the most votes then win the election (more details about this below). Simple. 

What's the Period of Office?

The period of office for all roles will be June 2020 to June 2021.

How do I tell the Union my self-definitions to become a candidate?

It's very simple once logged into the uea.su website please go to this page and it will direct you straight to the self-definition page. Click the appropriate box and press update, then return to the elections page and nominate or vote! A lot of positions are limited to those who define with the portfolio. Please do check these roles. 

Use of social media

Due to the vast number of social media platforms it is no longer possible for the Deputy Returning Officer to monitor candidates’ use of social media. Candidates and their supporters are reminded that offensive or intimidating behaviour, or language, whilst participating in Students’ Union activities (e.g. elections) may be considered misconduct, or gross misconduct and be dealt with under the Students’ Union’s Disciplinary Procedure.

What is the University’s policy on claiming extenuating circumstances?

The University have made it clear with the Students’ Union that extenuating circumstances are only for situations of ‘unforeseen’ circumstances. They do not consider running in an election ‘unforeseen’ and so have a policy of not allowing extenuating circumstances to be claimed on the basis of running in SU elections.

Who is the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer?

The Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer have the responsibility to uphold the Election Regulations. The Returning Officer is Michael Wigg, CEO of University of Westminster Students' Union. The Deputy Returning Officer is Jo Caulfield, who will be the person you deal with on a day to day basis, and they will be in contact with the Returning Officer as required. The details for enquiries are as follows:

For questions about regulations, rules, complaints and queries, contact:

Jo Caulfield, Head of Student Voice, Academic Engagement and Equality and Deputy Returning Officer - [email protected] 

For questions and queries relating to your welfare and wellbeing as a candidate, contact:

Esin D'Amery, Student Voice and Equality Manager - [email protected]


FAQ: Voting Queries

What is STV (Single Transferable Vote System)?

This is a form of proportional representation where a voter has a single vote that is allocated to their most preferred candidate (marked on their ballot as 1). As the count progresses and candidates are either elected or eliminated until the allocated quota has been met (in most cases, 50% of total counts +1), that voter's vote gets transferred to their stated next preference (marked on their ballot as 2, 3, 4, etc), in proportion to any surplus or discarded voters. This means that each voter genuinely contributes towards the outcome of the overall results without hindering for the support of your first choice of candidate.

It sounds complicated - but that's for us to work out on the night (if you're really keen, click here). As a voter, you just need to rank each candidate in the order of your preference... genuinely as easy as 1,2,3!

You can also check this video out here: 

What is 'RON'?

You should list 'Re-open nominations' (RON) as a preference if you feel that the candidates you have not yet listed are not suitable for that position.

Note: Voting for R.O.N is an active vote AGAINST the remaining candidates. To express indifference, choose 'No Further Preference'.

If Re-Open Nominations is elected to any position then nominations for the election will be re-opened at a later date and the election for that position will be held at a later date.

You can continue to rank candidates after voting RON, and your vote will still be transferred to your next choice if RON is eliminated.


SU The Students' Union 

UEASU or The Union (University of East Anglia Students’ Union): Represents students to the University and provides services and activities for students.

Term of Office This is how long your position will last for.

Election Bye-Law These are the set of rules which state what candidates can and cannot do when running in the election.

Nominations This is the period in which students can declare their interest in running for a position.

Manifesto This states what your policies and proposals are and how you would like to take the Union forward. Wordcounts will be on the inidivudal roles you are running for. 

Candidates Once you submit a nomination form you are referred to as a candidate.

Campaigning This is what you do to encourage people to vote for you. You cannot start campaigning until after the Candidates Meeting.

Returning Officer This is the person who makes sure the election is run fairly and will deal with any disputes and anyone who breaks the election rules.

Officer this is an elected full time paid Officer of the Union.