Welcome to the Candidate Hub! This is the one stop shop for all the information that you will need to help you during the election. Through-out the election period more information will be added to this page to support you in your journey.
It is great to see that you have an interest in being a Full-Time Officer or NUS Delegate and running in the election. As a student-led charity, our officers lead the direction of the union and have the power to influence change at BU and beyond.
Elections are an exciting time, but we also know that it can be a bit daunting, which is why we are here to support you through the process. This Candidate Hub covers everything you need to know about the process including, the roles available, the key dates, more about applying for the roles, writing an amazing manifesto, how to run a fantastic campaign and what is involved in running
25th January, 9am
28th February, 12 Midnight
1st Candidate Briefing
1st March, 5pm
Publish Candidate List
2nd March, 1pm
Publish Manifestos and Start of Campaigning
10th March, 9am
2nd Candidate Briefing
10th March, 5pm
12th March, 6pm
15th March, 10am
18th March, 5pm
19th March, 4pm
Announcement of Results
19th March, 7pm
If you are a candidate running in this election make sure you submit your candidate manifesto and materials before 23:59 on Sunday the 7th of March.
All current BU students can stand in the SU Elections. SUBU is here to represent all students at BU so we’re searching for students from all walks of life and areas of study. Don’t worry if you don’t think you’ve got the right experience because you’ll receive training for your role.
For Full-Time Officer roles it doesn’t matter if you are part way through your studies (you may be able to take a year out or do it as your placement) or graduating this year. It doesn’t matter what course or level you are studying at, or if you are a home or international students, all BU students can become a Sabbatical Officer unless you have already been a Full-Time Officer at SUBU for over two years, but you must be able to start full-time employment in late June.
Getting started with a completely online campaign for a position in this year’s Student Union Elections can seem daunting! It doesn't have to be, so we have put together a few pointers to help you get started. Please note this is only guidance and you are not restricted to using this information should you choose.
Part of your strategy may include creating an online personal brand. One of the challenges of a purely digital campaign is reflecting your personality within the online format. You may want to take some time to consider how you can reflect you personality and make up within all your communications and digital artwork. Your campaign and brand should represent you in the best light.
Your brand needs to be identifiable and clear. Once you have decided on your brand, stick to it! If your main colour is mint green, keep using the mint green, don’t use any other version of green and keep it all ‘on brand.’ If you have a tagline, keep it consistent and use it on all your advertising. Make them remember you!
Like in a normal campaign, you will need to think about what is the message you want to get across to voters - why they should vote for you - and then create a strategy for getting that message out there. Instead of leaflets and banners though, your mediums in this election will be digital - social media posts and videos for example.
Start to think about which social media platforms you will want to use for the election. Facebook and Instagram are the most popular at the moment but you may also want to consider other social media platforms like TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn or Snapchat.
Consider if you will want to use the social media accounts you already have set up or if you will want to create election specific social media accounts. There are pros and cons to each; with new accounts you’ll need to build up followers in a relatively short time frame but also consider your privacy on existing personal accounts if you open them up to new followers and the student population here at Winchester.
There are good tools out there can help you manage your social media accounts from one dashboard. Hootsuite is probably the best known but other affordable options include Buffer, Sensible and Loomly.
Now that you have the identified the social media platforms you are going to use and your strategy - it is time to start thinking about what content you will populate them with.
- e-posters and other graphic design elements
- videos (including easy to do animation)
- websites, blogs and podcasts
We recommend flipping through this FutureLearn course
Campaign themes take many different shapes and sizes, whether this be tying it to your favourite TV show, coming up with a funny pun or putting your policies and ideas centre stage. You need to make sure that your theme is memorable.
You may also want to tie a slogan into your campaign this should be short and snappy and attract students to your message.
Make it eye catch and distinct through comedy, colour, shape and size.
- Keep the poster in line with your brand
- Don’t overcomplicate your design
- It should include your name, a photo, key policies and slogans
- Get someone to proof read it
- Use tools like Canva.com to create cool designs easily!
You can use your own social media or create one for the election, just make sure that your online campaign adheres to the election rules.
Facebook page- raise your profile and get student to show their support. You can publish your manifesto, updates and photos to keep people engaged, and even share live videos throughout the week
Twitter- a great way to communicate with BU students
Instagram- stories are a great way to reach students and you can post key points in your campaign as posters
Use the hashtag #SUBUElects
A crucial part of a successful campaign is a team who will help you spread the word. You can ask you housemates, friends from your course, or friends from student groups you are involved in.
Try to arrange a time where you can familiarise them with your policies and campaigns online and even put together a rota so you know who will be helping you when. You’ll need to go through the rules with them because you will be responsible for their actions while they are campaigning on your behalf.
Any time that your supporters can give you should be greatly appreciated
Create engaging digital content- videos, social media posts etc.
Talking to students online - this is the best way to encourage students to vote for you. It is far more meaningful then passing them a flyer, be brief and get straight to the point. Have a good.
Blogs- this can be a great way to communicate your message and go into more details about who you are.
Sponsored Posts- use some of your budget to put behind sponsored social media posts to ensure you promotion reached the hishest numbers of students possible.
Icebreakers- find out what they care about and focus on changes that are relevant to them.
Plan your campaign- it is a busy job balancing campaigning and university work. Make the most out of your campaign by planning what you are going to do when and remember to find time to eat, sleep and drink during the campaign.
Planning and organising your campaign
Finally, there is one more recommendation for your digital campaign. Running a campaign can be a bit like project planning (don't forget to highlight this on your CV and in interviews as real life experience!). As such, productivity tools such as Trello (or even good old Excel spreadsheets) can be very helpful for both keeping your campaign on track and collaborating digitally with others.
Creating designs for e-posters, social media assets and other campaign material has never been easier. There are some really good free or low cost online sites that can help you with this. Here are a few but there are a plethora of other ones out there too.
While these graphic design tools often have a built in free photo library (if not, check out pixabay, pexals or unsplash), you will most likely want to feature some of your own photos to get you as a person across to potential voters and provide unique and individual communications, oppose to stock photography.
You are required to submit a manifesto as a part of the nominations process. This is your chance to state what you intend to do if you were to be elected.
Your manifesto will be available for voters to view. Full-Time Officer manifestos can be up to 300 words long, but you will also be asked to supply a 50 word manifesto. NUS Delegates will need to submit a single 50 word manifesto.
You don’t have to submit your manifesto at the same time as your nomination but the deadline for submitting your manifestos is 12pm on the 7th of March.
The key to writing an amazing manifesto is being in touch with the students who will be voting for you. Think about why you want to run and share it with BU
Students have different experiences during their time at university, so think about what issues are currently important to students and to you. It is also worth remembering that there are many different types of students at BU and the manifestos promises that are the best are the ones that speak to ALL students. The best way to find out what students want is to speak to them.
You'll want to include:
- Who you are
- What role you are running for
- Any relevant experience you have
Aim for around four of five policies that are the most important to you and the most appealing to students
Be original and creative, but also practical. Students will expect you to achieve whatever you lay out in your manifesto so it is important that
you keep this in mind. They’ll also know if something is unrealistic. The best policies strike the balance between what students want and what is achievable in a year.
Below is a simple guideline on how to set out your manifesto; you can lay your manifesto out as you wish. But feel free to use this template as a basic idea.
Hello my name is....
I am running for...
I am running because...
I have these experiences which I could use to benefit students...
I have previously been involved with SUBU through...
Key Campaign Points:
If elected I will campaign on the Following things:
1. Campaign Point 1
This issue is important because...
I will achieve the aim of this through...
2. Campaign Point 2
This issue is important because...
I will achieve the aim of this through...
3. Campaign Point 3
This issue is important because...
I will achieve the aim of this through...
Please make sure you remember to go out and vote...
My name is... and I am running for... Please consider voting for me
You could also include contact information and links to where to vote.
To ensure all candidates have the same opportunities there are strict budgets that candidates must adhere to. At the end of the campaign period you will need to submit your budget along with receipts and the costs for all expenses incurred throughout the process. You must do this by completing the candidate expenses form that will be uploaded here shortly. In the resources section you'll also be able to find an expenses tracker to help you keep a log of what you've spend as a part of your campaign.
Full-Time Officer Candidates can spend up to £50 and NUS Delegates can spend up to £20 which will be refunded by SUBU at the end of the election period. You can spend your budget on sponsored posts but also more creative campaigning materials just make sure you keep a proof of what you have spent
It is worth thinking out your campaigns expenditure early on so that you can plan you main areas of spend, but also remember that it is not always the candidates who spend the most that win- so use your budget effectively.
You must declare you election expenses to SUBU between 9am and 2pm on the 19th of March, this is when you will be reimbursed. You must submit proof of expenses (photos of receipts or screenshots) with you or be subject to disqualification.
Nominal costs will be applied to items you already own but use primarily for the purpose of the election, or is you are using free items that others do not have access to. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries about nominal costs
If you are experience any financial difficulties get in touch with one of the team to discuss how we can support you.
Through-out the election period there are loads of opportunities for you to develop your skills and help you make you campaign the best it can be!
To help you with your digital campaign we have created a resource pack with useful content. This includes the SUBU Logo, NUS Logo (for NUS Delegate Elections), Elections QR Code and two Virtual Backgrounds.
Candidates are encouraged to film their own videos for the election, they are a great way to interact with students. You could record a rap, song of film!
If you want the SU to share your campaign video it must be submitted by midnight on the 7th of March (the same time as the manifesto deadline) and be no longer than 90 seconds long.
You can film your video and use free software available online, or already downloaded on your computer such as Imovie for Mac users or Movie Maker or Video Editor on PC. You can even download video editing apps from the app store and do it on your phone!
Once you have filmed your video please send it to SUBUdemocracy@bournemouth.ac.uk for us to share across our channels. In order for your video to be accepted your video must ensure it follows the guide set out below:
- No copyrighted background music (you can find copyright free music on YouTube's Audio Library)
- No longer than 90 seconds
- Filmed in landscape
- Attached script (this will be used to subtitle the video)
Video Editing Software
There are lots of videos on Youtube about how to make videos - some of them quite in-depth. Don't worry though, here is one video that breaks down the fundamentals of video creation into 3 minutes. There are handy tools that can be applied to your campaign video content.
If you have any accessibility needs and require any additional support during the election please do not hesistae to get in touch in order for a member of the team to help.
Standing for election is a exciting experience, but we also recogise that it can be difficult at times, particualrly with everything going on in the world right now. That's why it is so important to regulalrly check in with your mental health and general wellbeing.
The election can be a quite an intense time so make sure you are taking care of yourself. Plan something nice to do at the end of the campaign week. Even if you are not elected you will have achieved so much!
- Make sure that you are getting enough sleep. This is critical to effective functioning and supporting emotional wellbeing. Not everyone will have the same routine, but it's important that you establish one to ensure you are getting enough sleep
- Make sure you are eating and drinking throughout the day. This can help combat fatigue and sustain energy levels. Use this time to get a break away from screens
- If you need to take a break from campaigning, take one! Resting, taking some time for yourself or even spending some time with your friends will make you a stronger candidate.
- Take screen breaks! Sitting in one spot for hours on end isn't good for your mind or your body, so make sure you are moving around and taking sometime away from screen (that includes your phone!)
- Organise your time by mapping out your days and make sure you schedule in breaks and something nice to do in the evenings to de-stress.
- Keep a organised workspace. Where you can try to create a workspace away from where you would usually relax, this will help your mind switch off. This could be your kitchen table or a desk space in your room. Having a tidy space will help with motivation.
- Get a change of scenery. It can be difficult to stay motivated when we are in the same spot for hours on end, so go for a walk and get some fresh air to help booast your endorphines
- Self care is really important. This can take many different forms whether this be extra sleep, getting fresh air, or watching a movie with your housemates. Make sure you are doing the things that make you feel good.
- Don't compare yourself to others. Everyone campaigns in their own way, so campaign in the way that feels right for you.
- Practice mindfullness or meditation. This can help booat your mental wellbeing. There are plently of great apps and youtube videos to support this.
- Seek support if you need it. Having a strong network around you will help you during the elections whether this be to support you in your campaigning, encouraging you to stick to your schedule or evening cooking dinner one night.
- If you're not close with those you live with use virtual check ins. Whether it's friends or family it is a great way to feel supported.
- Utilise the candidate check-ins to speak to a member of the elections team to see how we can support you.
- If things do get too much you can always have a chat with the Elections Team, SUBU Advice or BU Student Services
All SUBU elections should be free and fair, which is why we have rules which govern our elections. You can find out more about election regulations as well as viewing the complaints process here.
These Elections are overseen by:
Peter Robertson (NUS) - Returning Officer who is an external, independent advisor, appointed to ensure that the election is run with third party scrutiny and expertise.
Charlotte Morris-Davis (SUBU) - Deputy Returning Officer who is the first point of contact, responsible for candidate engagement, day to day supervision and management of the election. The RO will be consulted by the DRO whenever they see necessary throughout the process.
Laura Greenwood-Pearsons (Brighton SU) - Independant Elections Adjudictaor who is anexternal appeals body that is responsible for ruling on appeals.
The guiding principles of all SUBU elections are:
1. The law, University Policies and Union Regulations are all in full force and shall apply to SUBU elections
2. Students must be free to cast their vote without undue pressure or influence
3. Candidates must treat other candidates, students, staff and members of the public with respect
4. Candidates must not undermine the fair and democratic running of elections
5. Candidates must not do anything to gain an unfair advantage
6. Candidates must respect the campus environment and the community
1. Complaints should be made in a timely manner and as close to the alleged rule break as possible
2. Complaints will be accepted up until one hour prior to the commencement of the count
3. Complaints must be submitted in writing, with additional evidence attached
4. Complaints made informally and without evidence shall not be heard
5. Once a complaint has been received the Returning Officers shall aim to investigate and resolve the complaint by 12pm the following working day
6. A complainant may appeal the decision of the Returning Officers. More information about complaints and appeals may be found in the Union’s bye-laws.
You must submit an elections complaint via this form.