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Democratic Responsibilities and Elections

Running Elections

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE HANDOVER PACK DEADLINE IS WEEK 7 TERM 3 (Societies), AND ELECTIONS NEED TO BE COMPLETED BEFORE WEEK 9 OF TERM 2.

Elections can run in a meeting or online. If you want to run an online election through the SU then please contact the Democracy Team or fill out the online form here. The rules for elections are as follows:-

  • Members must receive notification of an election at least 7 days before any voting period, stating
    • The positions up for nomination
    • The nominations period and how to nominate themselves
    • The voting period and how to vote
  • The nominations period must be at least 7 days
  • All members must have equal opportunity to access hustings and voting:
    • Must take into consideration disability access and length of time elections are held over
    • Must conduct elections or be accessible in the English Language,
    • Must allow members to vote who are on years abroad/ distance learning/ part-time/ unable to attend
  • Online elections must have a voting period of at least 48 hours
  • First Past the Post/ Single Transferable Vote electoral system agreed by a general meeting or specified in the Constitution prior to the meeting
  • Re-open Nominations (R.O.N.) must be a candidate for every position
    • RON is not a person. Members can put RON as a preference if you feel that the remaining candidates are not suitable for the position. Voting RON is an active vote against the other candidates – it's not an expression of indifference. If Re-Open Nominations is elected to a position then nominations for that post are re-opened at a later date
  • Votes should be counted by a current member of the society/club without a conflict of interest (or the returning officer, a sabbatical officer, or SU staff can be requested to count or offer independent scrutiny depending on availability)
  • No candidate can use Society or Club resources to promote their campaign
  • No current exec member can promote or use Society or Club resources to promote one candidate over another
  • Candidates' manifestos may not contain inappropriate language, including:
    • Expletives
    • Sexual references
    • Encouragement of excessive drinking/drunkenness
    • Drug-taking references
    • Discriminatory language
  • As of the academic year 2022/23 the SU requires proof of election from each society. If you have run your election through the SU website (see more here: https://www.warwicksu.com/student-voice/elections/socs-and-sports-elections/) then you do not need to provide further proof of election. If you have run your election online but externally to the SU, or in person, then please provide the following:

  • The format / site used for election (e.g. paper ballots, Google Forms etc.) and a brief outline of the process used to nominate candidates and collect votes.
  • List of positions up for election & successful candidates
  • Timeline of election: dates of announcement to members (with at least 7 days' notice for voting), dates of nomination window (at least 7 days) and voting (if online, at least 48 hours).
  • Minutes of any meeting/voting.
  • *If in a teams call or equivalent, you could alternatively provide a recording or transcript of the meeting.
  • Please include the number of votes cast for each candidate in the minutes.
  • See an example 'proof of election' document here.

    See a guide to minuting a Society meeting here.

Candidates

Who can nominate themselves?

Any standard member can nominate themselves for a position

How?

Inform a member of the current Exec committee you wish to run for a particular position, attend the general meeting and, if you wish, say a few words about why you would make a good candidate for the position. If you cannot attend the meeting you can send in a short paragraph and have someone read it on your behalf. If election is online then members self-nominate via the SU website.

Voting

Any standard member may vote provided they have been a member for 14 days or more. If requested a secret ballot can be held. Voting must reach quorum. Voting will take place at a meeting or if online then for a period of at least 48 hours.

Quorum

What is it?

A minimum number of votes needed in order for an election to be valid.

  • First 100 Society/Club members are subject to 10%
  • Membership between 101-200 will be subject to a 9% quorum
  • Membership between 201-400 will be subject to an 8% quorum
  • Membership between 401-800 will be subject to a 7% quorum
  • Membership between 801-1600 will be subject to a 6% quorum
  • Membership 1600+ will be subject to a 5% quorum
  • Calculations are cumulative and the total shall be rounded up to nearest integer
  • Minimum quorum for any society election is 5
  • In exceptional circumstances a society can temporarily amend quorum, any such decision being reviewed at the next Student Council
  • Minimum quorum doesn’t apply to self-defining positions

Results

  • Provisional election results will be communicated to the society no later than 3 working days after voting has closed. By the Exec in the case of a meeting ballot or by the relevant Societies/Sports Coordinator if conducted online.
  • Results are provisional for 7 working days after members are notified to allow for complaints, which can be put to adjudication panel for decision
What to do if an Exec member resigns:
  • If they resign within 2 weeks of the Exec election, the exec or Society/Club Coordinator should
    1. Recount the votes cast (if preference voting was used, redistribute preference votes of the withdrawn candidate starting again in round 1) and award the position to the candidate with the subsequent highest votes
    2. If a) not possible, Re-Open Nominations for that positon
  • If the member of the Exec resigns after that period the current exec can
    1. Leave the position unfilled as long as it is not the Chair, Treasurer or Secretary
    2. Co-opt a member to temporarily take on the responsibilities of that role for no longer than 10 weeks
    3. Hold a by-election amongst all members if there are more than 10 weeks remaining in the tenancy of the position
Motions of no confidence
  • This means removing a member of a society or club exec. The members mitigating circumstances must be considered before no confidence and the Sports/Socs Officer must have been consulted
  • Must relate to fulfilment of the role only (e.g. not fulfilling core responsibilities, not attending meetings, abusing conflicts of interest, breaking SU code of conduct)
  • Must have proposer and seconder who may be any standard members of club/soc
  • Members must have equal opportunity to speak for and against the motion- the person the motion concerns to be given first right of refusal to speak against
  • Passed if 2/3s majority in a secret ballot of an Exec meeting with at least half the Exec present (not carried in a tie situation)
  • Successful votes of no confidence trigger a by-election. All club/soc members shall be informed of the result of any subsequent by-election
FAQ
  • Constitutions – All clubs and societies should hold a constitution recognised by us, and amending or changing this needs to be done at an AGM / EGM then ratified by Societies Committee
  • Constitutions – All club and society constitutions are overridden by SU bylaws and regulations if they contravene
  • Exec Elections – All club and society exec members must be elected by their members annually, with no exceptions
  • Exec Elections – This includes so-called ‘non-exec committee’, such as Freshers and Postgraduate Reps
  • Elections Proof – If a society or club wishes to hold an election outside of our system, we require proof of these elections running freely and fairly (minutes of AGM, evidence of system used, multiple statements of corroboration etc.)

Any questions?

  • For clarification as to when elections should be held and questions concerning the procedure of elections should be directed to the Student Voice Team in the first instance.
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