What is a referendum?
SUBU is a democratic organisation, this means that you, the students, get a say in what we do and how we do it. There are a couple of different democratic functions at SUBU like Elections and the Big Student Meeting, another one of these is Referenda. Much like referendums that happen on a national scale for things like Brexit, the electorate (YOU!) get asked whether or not you would like something to happen.
A referendum is a direct vote when all SUBU members are invited to vote. In accordance with our constitution and by laws in order to determine an outcome there needs to be a quorum of 5%, this is the minimum number of people who need to vote to make decisions valid. In most referendums, a simple majority is needed to make the change, but in others 75% is required.
Referendums can be called if a petition is signed by at least 400 students, more information about petitions can be found on the e-democracy area on the website. Referendum can also be called by a resolution of the Trustees and Executive Committee. Referendums must be open for at least 4 weeks during term time.
You can view the governing documents outlining our referenda process here.
How do I vote?
Simply log into your account using the student log in to cast your vote, it is really that simple. If you are experiencing any issues logging in, it is likely that you did not opt in to the union at the beginning of the year. Support with opting in is outlined on the log in page, alternatively please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any other questions about the referendum and want to find out more, get in touch at email@example.com.
The resolution has been carried and SUBU will now become an incorporated Charity
The results were as follows:
Total votes: 663
Votes for: 588
Votes against: 48
Thank you to everyone who voted!
There are no referenda running at the moment.
As we will be a 'new' organisation, we will have new Articles of Association to match. The structure of the new organisation will remain very similar to the one already in place, with a few small changes to our corporate governance.
Within SUBU little will change structurally - student represtation will still sit with the Executive Committee and our 'Big Student Meetings' and there is still a governing body (the Trustee Board).
The Trustee Board will be changing slightly. Up until last year only one Full-Time Officer sat on SUBU's Trustee Board, but to ensure that as a Students' Union we are student-led, now all our Full-Time Officers are also Trusteees. Consequently, we need our Articles to reflect this change in membership. The new Trustee Board will made up of:
- 4 Full-Time Officers of the Union
- 3 students from the general student body
- 5 external members who are not students
There are various additional administrative changes made; for example, to update the rules on using technology to hold meetings remotely. Because the Trustee Board is being reduced, the quorum will also be changing to account for the smaller membership.
There are also a few other small changes to our democratic structures. These are minimal and better reflect good practice from other Students' Unions.
There has been clarification on the roles of the Trustee Board and Executive Committee; this allows the Trustee Board to focus on corporate governance while the Executive Committee can focus on the student experience, representation, democracy and campaigning.
The quorum for referendum has been set at 5%. This means that we are future-proofed against increases and decreases in student numbers.
To call a Vote of No Confidence against an officer, you'll need 100 students to sign the petition and to remove a Trustee, you'll need 66% of students voting at a student meeting or a majority of those voting in a general meeting to vote in favour.
There are also a few other areas where flexibility has been increased to ensure that as a union we are acting in the best interest of all our students.