Make Your Mark Elections 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Sabbatical Elections 2021: Do you have Questions? Do we have Answers? Let's Find Out!

Questions


Answers

Can I run if I’m in my first or second year?

Yes! As a student of the University of Wolverhampton you are automatically a member of the Students’ Union and can run in the elections. If you’re elected, you can speak to your School about taking a year out to serve as an Officer.

Can I run if I’m a PGT/PGR student?

Yes! As a student of the University of Wolverhampton you are automatically a member of the Students’ Union and can run in the elections. All our roles are open to postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students. You can run for election to take up a role either at the end of your programme or as a year-out (sabbatical) year during it.

For Postgraduate Research (PGR) students, depending when you are due to submit your thesis, you should consider the following:

  • You should discuss your plans with your Supervisor to see if they have any concerns about you taking a year out from your research. Due to the importance of Sabbatical officers to University Governance, we would expect Supervisors to give serious consideration to your plans and to raise concerns because there would be legitimate implications for your research (e.g. where there are ongoing research activities which would be impractical to suspend for a year) or success on your programme and not for other reasons.

  • If you receive funding or financial sponsorship, you should check with your funding body if taking up a Sabbatical Officer position would affect your eligibility for funding. To the best of our knowledge, most Research Council funding agreements have a provision allowing for a suspension of studies of up to one year in certain circumstances and you should establish whether this provision can apply to taking up a Sabbatical Officer role.

For Postgraduate Taught (PGT) students, your course may be ongoing at the point you are expected to start work as a Sabbatical Officer. It is therefore important you have a plan on how you will complete your course, which is usually taken one of two ways, both of which you’ll be offered full support from the Students’ Union:

  1. Arrange to suspend your studies at the point you are due to start work as a Sabbatical Officer and resume your studies once your term of office has ended. You should talk to your Course Leader or Faculty Office about how this would work in practice.

  2. Prepare to complete your dissertation early so you can continue and finish your studies whilst working full-time as a Sabbatical Officer. As many students are in the process of writing up at the point when Sabbatical Officer roles start, it may be possible to progress on your dissertation without suspending your studies. This is a challenging route and students should only attempt it if they are confident in their ability to complete their dissertation to this timescale and that this would be permitted under any Visa or funding arrangements they may be subject to.

For voluntary part-time roles, it is completely up to you how you manage your time to fit around the role, study, and other responsibilities.

As an international student, can I run in the elections?

Yes! As a student of the University of Wolverhampton you are automatically a member of the Students’ Union and can run in the elections. All our roles are open to international students. More information on support can be found here

I undertake my degree part-time, can I run?

Yes! As a student of the University of Wolverhampton you are automatically a member of the Students’ Union and can run in the elections. All our roles are open to part-time students.

For Sabbatical Officer roles, if elected and depending on how your degree is structured, you can take one of two routes, both of which you’ll be offered full support from the Students’ Union:

  1. Arrange to suspend your studies at the point you are due to start work as a Sabbatical Officer and resume your studies once your term of office has ended. You should talk to your Course Leader or Faculty Office about how this would work in practice.

  2. Continue your studies whilst working full-time as a Sabbatical Officer. It can be possible to undertake studies whilst being a Sabbatical Officer, but this is a significantly more challenging route and may have Visa or funding/sponsorship implications that should be discussed. You should talk to your Course Leader of Faculty Office to discuss working full-time alongside your part-time studies.

For voluntary part-time roles, it is completely up to you how you manage your time to fit around the role, study, and other responsibilities.

Can I stand for more than one position?

Unfortunately this is not allowed. You can only stand for one position in the Make your Mark and NUS National Conference Election. Choose the role that best suits you, your experiences, and what you feel you can deliver, and create a campaign to get elected for that role. Students are more likely to be receptive if you have a coherent message and campaign for one role, rather than many.

How do I campaign?

Campaigning for elections is effectively promoting yourself to students and convincing them to vote for you. How you make connections with voters is up to you but should rely on you being yourself and crafting a narrative around you and what you want to achieve.

Remember, to get your message out on as many platforms as possible so that you reach students who are not like you, are not on your course, and do not frequent the same places.

There is no one-size-fits-all to achieve this; you should play to your strengths and the strengths of those whom are in your campaign team. If you’re great at speaking to students on social media, make sure you have people in your campaign who can pick up creating videos and vice versa. Knowing your strengths and limitations, and being yourself, is the best campaigning tool you have.

Is face to face campaigning allowed?

We are following Government Guidelines on keeping students safe during this pandemic. Therefore face to face campaigning will not be allowed. All campaigning activity must take place online only.

How do Government guidelines around Covid affect the elections?

To keep students safe during this pandemic, there will be no physical campaigning from candidates, there will however still be plenty of opportunities for students to get to know the candidates throughout the election period. The election will be entirely online, with all associated events such as training, results and candidate question time hosted online.

Why do I need a manifesto? What is this?

When standing for election, you need to tell other students why they should vote for you. This is your manifesto.

Your manifesto is where you talk about what you will promise to do if elected. You should be realistic when choosing your promises because these are things students will expect you to deliver once in post. We recommend you structure your manifesto to include an introduction about you, at least three promises, and a conclusion stating why students should vote for you. Keep it short, because you'll have a word limit.

How does voting work?

Wolves Students’ Union uses Single Transferable Vote (STV) for multi-winner elections and Alternative Vote (ATV) in single-winner elections. These are representation systems in which a person’s vote can be transferred to a second, third, fourth choice and so on (according to their stated preference) if their first choice is eliminated during the vote count.

If you want to understand more, have a look at Southampton’s explainer video for a STV election. The most important aspect of STV is that a voter ranks candidates in order of their preference so if you speak to a student who has already decided not to vote for you, convince them to make you their second choice – it could make all the difference when determining the result.

Who is R.O.N.?

If you do not think any candidates running for a position in the election are suitable, you can express this by voting for RON (Re-open Nominations)

Help! I cannot log in

To stand, and to vote, you are required to login to the Students’ Union website with your University ID number and password. This is to ensure that you are a student and make sure the election is secure, free, and fair.

If you have difficulties logging in, we suggest attempting again in the first instance. Butter fingers do happen.

In some cases, the University has not passed student data across. This can be remedied by going to the “View/Amend Personal Information” on eVision, scrolling to the bottom of the page, and selecting that you want to be a member of the Students’ Union. It will then take the University 24-48 hours to pass this to us, after which you should be able to login.

If you continue having difficulties, contact us with your student ID number, detailing when you attempted to login to the website.


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