Elections FAQ

Can I run for more than one role in an election?

This will depend on the election you are taking part in. If you are running for a Full-Time Officer position, you cannot run for any other roles including other Full-Time Officer roles, e.g. you cannot run for both RUSU President and Welfare Officer in an election – you will need to choose one role.

However, any eligible student can hold the following positions at the same time, and can therefore run for one or more in an election:

  • Part-Time Officer (note: you can only run for ONE Part-Time Officer role at a time, e.g. you cannot run for both International Students’ Officer and Women’s Officer at the same time)
  • Student Trustee
  • School Rep
  • Course Rep
  • NUS Conference Delegate
  • JCR Committee Rep

Why is it important to self-define when nominating for particular roles?

Self-definition is perhaps most simply understood as an outward expression of your personal identity. How you choose to identify yourself. Self-definition is not only important in terms of defining one’s personal identity, but it can take on a political importance too, as recognition of the oppression that certain groups within our society face.

We feel it is important that these issues, and the students affected by them, are represented by students who have had first-hand experience of the oppression faced by those they represent. That is why, in order to be eligible for certain roles, during elections, we ask you to self -define.

How does the voting process work?

RUSU uses the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system which provides voters with much more choice and influence. STV means Candidates do not need the majority of votes to win, but instead a “quota” or proportion of the vote. The “quota” is determined by the number of votes cast and the number of posts to be filled.

When voting you will be asked to list your candidates in order of your preference (first, second, third and so on). You can vote for as many or as few candidates as you want.

When voting has closed, surplus votes can be transferred to a further competing candidate (according to the voter's order of preference) if the first choice candidate is eliminated during a count or has more votes than required for election.

Unlike other voting systems, where only a small number of votes actually contribute to the result, STV ensures that very few votes are wasted.

You can find out more about the voting system on the How to Vote page

What is quorum?

Quorum is the minimum number of votes that have to be cast in order for the election to be valid.

What is a manifesto?

A manifesto gives you an opportunity to tell students why they should vote for you. It outlines what the candidate will do if elected and any relevant experience the candidate has which they feel makes them the best person for the role. You can read our guide to writing a manifesto here.

I have a Tier 4 Visa. Am I able to stand in this election?

Yes, there is a provision within immigration law for Tier 4 Visa holders to extend their stay in the UK if successfully elected. Further information regarding immigration issues and eligibility can be obtained from the Immigration Advisory Service, email immigration@reading.ac.uk. Further guidance surrounding employment options for international students can be found within the University's Institutional Compliance Policy.

Can I take up additional employment or voluntary work once elected?

If you are an international student you must ensure that any additional paid employment and/or voluntary work you undertake does not exceed 20 hours per week during term-time. Seek advice from the University Immigration Advisory Service if you are in any doubt about your working limits. Please email immigration@reading.ac.uk for more information.

If you are an international postgraduate student you should confirm your official vacation period with your Department. Seek advice from the University Immigration Advisory Service if you are in any doubt about your working limits. Please email immigration@reading.ac.uk for more information.

For undergraduate home students there is no limit on the number of hours you can work or volunteer. The same is true for home postgraduate students, however, the postgraduate academic year is structured differently to its undergraduate equivalent.

I have further questions regarding immigration and my eligibility to stand; where can I go for extra support or advice?

If you have any questions or concerns relating specifically to immigration, please visit the Immigration Advisory Service on the Ground Floor of the Carrington Building.

Alternatively, you can email immigration@reading.ac.uk or telephone 0118 378 5555.

Who should I contact if I have specific access requirements or need extra support to take part in the elections process?

RUSU is committed to ensuring that its elections processes are fully accessible to the entirety of its membership. If your personal circumstances are such that you feel you will require extra support in order to take part in these elections, please contact Elections Team on elections@rusu.co.uk.

I have never been involved with the NUS or Union before. Can I still run in this election?

You do not need to have been involved in the NUS or the Union before to take part in any of our elections.

Can I undertake this role as a job share?

No. Unfortunately mandates cannot be shared at this time.

I'm an ERASMUS student; can I still run in this election?

Students currently on an ERASMUS placement whose home institution is the University of Reading can run in our elections. Students whose home institution is not the University of Reading are not eligible to run in our elections.

Can part-time students run in this election?

Yes, students studying part-time can run in our elections.

Who do I speak to if I have a complaint?

We hope that you will be completely satisfied with our elections process. Should you have a complaint we want to work with you to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. All complaints should be made in writing to elections@rusu.co.uk.

What costs can I claim back for my campaign?

Candidates can claim back cost incurred as a result of their campaigning activity up to the following limits:

The budget limit for candidates running for Full-Time Student Officer position is £40.00

The budget limit for candidates running for Part-Time Officer is £15.00.

The budget limit for candidates running for NUS National Conference Delegate and Student Trustee positions is £10.00.

Candidates must NOT spend over the budget limit on their campaign. Any money spent on candidates' election campaigns/all campaigning materials purchased must be accounted for.

Candidates must submit their completed Expenses Claim Form (including all receipts) by the published deadline. Campaign T-shirts are counted as a nominal cost of £1 each. Decoration of t-shirts, including the printing of campaign slogans, etc. must be costed separately. Drawing pins and sticky tack are not chargeable items but can be claimed for if the candidate has sufficient budget.

All other items purchased or used as part of the campaign must be budgeted at cost price. This means that if a candidate already owns an item they wish to use in their campaign, they must find the cost of an equivalent item and seek the consent of the Elections Committee before using this item.

You cannot part-charge for any item. For instance, if you buy a 10 pack of an item, you must claim for all 10 items regardless of how many you actually use during your campaign. For any other expenses enquiries, please contact elections@rusu.co.uk.

Why is it a good idea to have my photograph taken?

RUSU gives all candidates (running in the Main Elections ONLY) the opportunity to have a headshot photo taken on a professional camera. These photos will then be used for promotional material such as the candidate's booklets.

You do not have to have your photo taken, but it is often a good idea because students (the electorate) will then have the ability to put a face to a name. People like to see who they are voting for!

If I am successfully elected, for how long will I be in office?

The elected candidate for all positions will spend a year in office.

I'm currently on a placement; can I still run in this election?

Yes! Students on final year placements can stand for Full-Time Officer positions, and students returning to study after their placement can stand for any of the positions (Full-Time Officer, Part-Time Officer, Undergraduate School Rep and Student Trustee).

I am currently enrolled on a foundation course; can I still run in this election?

Yes, but if your offer to study at the University of Reading is dependent on you successfully completing your foundation course in order to move on to your next level of study and you are unsuccessful you may no longer be eligible if the role requires you to be in post for a full academic year.

Are candidates' meetings compulsory?

No, not all of the candidates' meetings are compulsory. However, important information related to the elections will be given out at these meetings, which will all take place on Thursday 8th February in the Thet Win Aung Boardroom at the following times:

School Rep candidates 09:30 – 10:30
Part-Time Officer candidates 11:00 – 12:20
Full-Time Officer candidates 13:00 – 14:30
Student Trustee candidates 16:00 – 16:45

Are the candidates' breakfast meetings compulsory?

Yes, the candidates' breakfast meetings taking place every morning at 09:30 from Monday 19th February – Friday 23rd February are compulsory for Full-Time Officer candidates.

The breakfast meeting on Wednesday 21st February is compulsory for ALL candidates.

However, if you cannot attend for any reason, you should email your apologies to elections@rusu.co.uk at least an hour before the meeting so we can send you relevant information. If possible, we suggest that you send someone along on your behalf.

I am on a postgraduate course that finishes later than July 2018; can I still run for a Full-Time Officer position?

Yes, you can run for a Full-Time Officer position if you are on a course that finishes later than the start date of the role. RUSU will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that you can complete your studies whilst undertaking the role.

I'm currently a Full-Time Officer, Part-Time Officer, School Rep or Student Trustee or I have held one of these roles in the past. Can I re-run in this election?

Yes, you can serve up to two terms in office (and therefore re-run for a second term) as a Full-Time Officer, Part-Time Officer, School Rep or Student Trustee.

Please note that you can only serve two terms in total for each role type, even if you want to run for a different position. For clarity, please see the following examples:

  • If you have been elected Disabled Students' Part-Time Officer for the last two years, you cannot then run for any other Part-Time Officer position for a third year. However you could still run for a Full-Time Officer, School Rep or Student Trustee role.
  • If you have been elected Disabled Students' Part-Time Officer for one year, and then been elected as Women's Part-Time Officer, you cannot then run for any other Part-Time Officer position. However you could still run for a Full-Time Officer, School Rep or Student Trustee role

Please email elections@rusu.co.uk. If you have any queries about re-running if you are currently in an elected position and are unsure about your eligibility.

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