In spring each year, Students’ Unions around the country run elections across-campus for current students to run for and elect their full-time representatives for the next academic year. These representatives are called Full-Time Union Officers (sometimes referred to as Sabbaticals) and they lead the direction of the Students’ Union, representing and championing the collective student voice. Requirements for electing Full-Time Union Officers are set out in the Education Act 1994 as well as the Union Constitution and By-laws and are usually carried out using an online voting system.
Elections for SUBU’s Full-Time Union Officers (FTOs), wrapped up yesterday at 5pm after a week of creative campaigns from the 26 students running for election, reaching out to fellow students at BU. Results will be announced this evening at 7pm, with 26 candidates waiting to hear the results of who will be taking up these 5 full-time paid positions in June. Each role has a different remit reflecting different areas of the student experience covering: the academic experience, student welfare, extra-curricular activities, sustainability, volunteering, democracy, the student voice and much more. These roles are: President; Vice President Activities; Vice President Community; Vice President Education; and Vice President Welfare & Equal Opportunities. Officers work closely with fellow students, Union and University staff to deliver projects, campaigns and create or enact policies to improve the student experience at BU and nationally across the Higher Education sector.
Student candidates campaign for these positions on a 300 word manifesto (you can read them here), setting out their pledges which they hope to achieve if elected. Elected Full-Time Union Officers work on achieving their manifesto aims which students have voted for, as well as representing the collective student voice, for example at University meetings. FTOs act on student feedback throughout the year and SUBU collects student feedback to shape work through a number of methods, ensuring SUBU is led and driven by students. For example the student representation system collects feedback through a tool called SimOn and SUBU receives around 10,000 individual comments from this a year (which we also report to relevant services in the University). We also receive student feedback through meetings, committees, forums, surveys and focus groups.
Full-Time Officers are accountable to the student body that elected them and termly general meetings are held (called Big Student Meetings) for students to hear reports from their elected officers and ask questions. Big Student Meetings are also a time for students to put forward policy ideas and vote on or reject policies and this then becomes mandated work for Officers and the Students’ Union. 100 students are required at a General Meeting for the policies passed to be valid. This is known as quorum and it ensures decisions are made by the collective student voice.
SUBU’s current FTOs will be in place until June. You can watch a livestream of the results for next academic year’s team on the SUBU Bournemouth Facebook from 7pm this evening.