Candidate tips & Guidance
This page will cover a variety of topics to ensure that Candidates feel prepared for the Elections!
This page covers the following:
•What do the Part time and Full time Officers actually do?
Full time Officers:
- Represent students by sitting on committees and meetings where decisions are being made
- Are members of the Trustee Board of the RSU – the governance of the organisation
Champion the RSU:
- Promote equality and diversity, and champion the vision, strategy and policies of the union.
- Develop relationships and networks with university colleagues, NUS offcers and other students’ unions
Engage with students:
- Respond and signpost students who require academic and / or wellbeing related support.
- Actively seek to identify methods to increase student engagement, leadership and participation
- Support elected part-time offcers and student representatives to plan and deliver campaigns and student representation
- Attend selected RSU events in the capacity of duty manager, responsible for representing students
Communicate with students:
- Actively seek to collect feedback from students
- Provide regular updates to students through Students’ Union Council and on social media
…And they work on their own campaigns!
Part Time Officers
- Students’ Union Council every month (2h meeting)
- Relevant University Committees and meetings with University staff
- Meetings with the RSU staff (e.g. when planning events or campaigns)
Organise meetings / events
- Meet students in a formal or informal setting at least once a term
- Organise one event with the RSU support
Run a Campaign:
- Plan and organise one campaign with the RSU support
Collect and report Feedback:
- Collect feedback from students and report back to the RSU once a term
- Update the student body about feedback outcomes
Take time to decide what you want to run for! You won't be able to change your nomination after nominations have closed.
Campaigning starts on the evening of Candidate Question Time on Thursday 12th March. You can prepare your campaign beforehand but won't be able to spread any campaigning material until 5pm on 12th March. Here are some tips that might help you plan your campaign:
- Speaking to people in person
- Using social media – video & images
- Get your friends involved – campaign team gives you leverage
- Be respectful – some people will be sick of Elections
- Be personable
- Lead with your manifesto and your selling points – why should you win?
- Reach out to people you don’t normally talk to
Essentially, your manifesto is why you want to stand in the Election and why students should vote for you! Your manifesto can be maximum 500 words long and must be submitted on the RSU website by Monday 9th March at 12noon on the RSU website.
You manifesto should state what you would plan to do in your time of office, and what changes you would make. Take some time before you write it to think about what you believe you can achieve and what the voters would respond to. Here are some tips to help you write your manifesto:
- You can talk to the people in the role currently to see what their role is like and read the information relating to that role or speak to the RSU Student Voice Coordinator (you can email email@example.com to arrange a meeting or come to an Election Workshop or Drop-In).
- Keep your manifesto relevant to the role and show you know something about what the role entails.
- Manifestos must not be more than 500 words long, but this is a limit, not a target. Sometimes shorter manifestos come across clearer, so we advice to keep to the point, and don't waffle.
- Don't include inappropriate references or bad mouth your opposition.
- Keep it balanced: don’t be overly modest, you’re trying to sell yourself, but don’t be too boastful either – stay true to yourself!
- Don’t make untrue or unrealistic claims - you can ask to check with the current officer in post if you manifesto pledges may be realistic.
- Make sure you spell check what you’ve written.
Student Feedback that representatives have raised with the RSU this year:
These topics are a handful of the most raised items picked from the large amount of feedback we have received. We hope these give you food for thought when planning your manifesto.
Academic matters students would like to see happen:
- Spreading deadlines & clear guidance on assingments
- Increased lecture recordings
- More affordable, good quality catering with more consideration of dietary requirements
- More programme specific career guidance
- Clear and readily available dissertation support
Non-academic matters students have raised:
- Issues with on and off campus accommodation
- Engaging more students through variety of activities and events
- Mental health issues and Councelling Service waiting times
- Inclusiveness of events and catering more student groups, e.g. commuting, mature, religious groups.
Posters are what students will see when you aren't out talking to them and they might reach students you may not have a chance to meet so it's important that your poster represents you and your campaign. The RSU will print around 25 A3 posters for each Candidate to used and alongside this the RSU will have poster displays across the four Colleges. There are free websites for poster design that have a variety of templates, such as Canva. Here are some tips to help you design your poster:
- Think about the content – what do you want to say?
- Consider the colour and contrast, use a clear image
- Make it readable from a distance - what needs to stand out?
- Style - make good use of the space you have, sometimes a simple design goes a long way
- It's useful to include a call to action
Understandably public speaking is the part that candidates are nervous about. During the campaigning period you will be talking to students in person and it's important to make a good impression, as these interactions with students are what really matters! Each candidate will take to the stage to give a speech at Candidate Question Time event on Thursday 12th March and it's important to be prepared. However, we understand that you will feel nervous and it's okay because everyone will be nervous! Hopefully these tips will help you prepare:
- Talk about what you know, you will seem more confident!
- Structure your talk well and keep it simple.
- Tell a story and grab the audience's attention – first 20 seconds are what really matters!
- Avoid filler words and practice your speect! Use bullet points rather than long sentences.
- Smile! Remember that the audience is on your side and want to know more about you!
Use your budget wisely!
- It's important to consider what will benefit your campaign and what is worth spending money on. Are there things you and other candidates can easily access you could get for free? Be creative!
- Should candidates wish to print their own posters, this is allowed, so long as the overall cost a candidate spends does not exceed £50 (for full time officer candidates) or £25 (for part time officer candidates).
- Candidates must submit a simple expenditure budget and receipts for any item they buy for their campaign at the RSU at the end of voting. All we expect to see is a simple list denoting the items purchased, the quantity and cost and we will use this information to monitor candidate spend. Printing cost must be included in your budget.
- Candidates are eligible to claim 50% of their expenditure back at the close of voting. In short – candidates should log all their expenditure, stay within their expenditure limits and keep all receipts and track their printing numbers and cost.
Good Luck and Happy Campaigning!
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org