Candidate FAQs

During previous elections, we've had some questions from candidates. We think the answers might be useful to share with everybody, and so we'll add them to this page.

Can I wear t-shirts or rosettes in the library?

No. A ruling during the voting period explicitly forbids any campaigning in the library. No candidate may campaign, discuss their campaign with others, wear campaign materials or display campaign materials in university libraries.


Can societies promote my campaign?

Societies can share social media posts by candidates, and post about individual candidates. However, societies cannot use mailing lists to send out messages about a specific candidate or candidates. Members of a society will not have consented for their information to be used in this way.


My posters have been taken down. Does this count towards my campaign budget?

No this does not count towards your campaigns budget for any re-prints of the same format. Please do let us know if there are particular places posters keep being taken down from so we can get a sense of any consistent locations where this is happening.


Can I campaign in the SU building?

Yes, you can. The only place currently listed in our rules as somewhere you cannot campaign is any University library.


Can I get posts on social media by 3rd parties?

If a 3rd party organisation was to endorse you this could amount to a significant amount of your campaigns budget (based on the value of the endorsement rather than the actual amount you pay). We therefore ask you to email in advance to agree on a valuation for any such posting that would then come from your budget.


I am planning on using items I already own for my campaign. Do I need to assign budget expenditure for this in my campaign?

Yes. Please email to agree on a valuation for these items prior to use.


Can academic staff endorse me in the election?

No. Academic staff and indeed any other University staff should not be endorsing candidates in the election.


Can I get a shout out in a nightclub from a DJ?

As long as any other candidate would have the same opportunity to do so then yes, that's fine.


General FAQ

How do I stand for Election?

Our candidate handbook will give you advice on standing for election, along with all the key dates and some practical advice on organising your campaign. To be a candidate you just need to be a current student and a member of the Union. Nominating yourself is easy; sign in to your account & from the drop-down on the top right select Account/Profile, then My Nominations to see what positions you can stand for. You'll have to provide a photo and a manifesto to stand.


Will it cost me anything?

It is completely free to register as a candidate. To make sure campaigns are fought fairly, CSU and the National Union of Students limits how much a candidate can spend on an election to £150. That being said, you don't need to spend massive money on your campaign! Elections for Council positions should cost nowhere near that much.


I’m a first year, can I run in the elections?

Yes! Any current student can nominate themselves for either a Part-time or Sabbatical Officer role.


I have children. How will I fit my family around being a Full-Time officer of the Union?

Full-time positions of the Union involve a year-long employment contract. The Union has a flexible working policy and will support you in finding the right balance between family and work. Our Student Council positions just ask that you attend a few meetings a year and talk to students about their opinions.


Do I have to know everything about the Students’ Union?

No! We will provide you with all the training you need to run and more if you are elected.


Can I stand for a full-time role if I am an EU or International Student?

Yes! If you are elected Chester Students’ Union will liaise with the University to arrange a Tier 4 Visa extension.


Can I run a campaign with someone else?

Yes, here at CSU we allow students to run in what is called a slate team. The benefit of doing so is you can run with a friend, or friends, in different positions under one group heading. The drawback of doing this is you are then mutually responsible for each other’s campaigning – so if one of you breaks the election rules, both or all of you could be penalised for it.


Can I use a nickname as a candidate?

When nominating yourself to stand in the election, you can set a “display name” – this will be what is shown on the ballot when students vote. We would advise not to use anything too obscure however to avoid confusing students later if you are elected.


How does voting work?

The voting system the Union uses is called Single Transferable Vote (STV). Voters are asked to rank the candidates in order of preference. Voters can select candidates they want in the order they want them (1,2,3 etc.) and it builds their vote. Once they’re happy they can submit their vote. Voters may express as many or as few preferences as they wish, but cannot mark more than one candidate with the same number. To win, candidates must poll above 50% of the votes, either by totalling more than half of the first preferences or by redistribution of votes.


Who is RON and why are they in running every election?

R.O.N stands for Re-Open Nominations and appears in all elections - having this option allows voters to choose none of the candidates, opting instead for the election process to restart.


What should I do if I don’t want to be a candidate anymore?

Should you wish to withdraw from being a candidate during the election process please email  


How much will I get paid?

If you stand for a Sabbatical Officer position the salary for the year is over £17,000! If you are standing for a part-time role you are not paid but we will treat you over the year with some nice incentives!


Can I stand for more than one position?

No, students may only stand for one role. If you are unsure about which position you would be best for, speak to the SU Elections Team.


Can I get my lecturer to send an email out to my course to get votes?

Staff must not email students about specific candidates, however, they can allow you to do a lecture shout out – this is where you could stand up and address the students in the room at either the start or end of a lecture for a couple of minutes.


How much time do I need to spend campaigning for the elections?

This is up to you but the more students you speak to, the more votes you will gain. We advise planning your schedule ahead of time so you can fit it around your studies, minimising the impact on you later on.


Can I get Mitigating Circumstances for my University work?

We would encourage you to prioritise your studies first and foremost and ensure you have managed your time well to cover this. Speaking with your department may help you to plan out what urgently needs doing for when. If you do end up overwhelmed with your work and need to pause for your own wellbeing, please remember you can self-certify on any assignment for up to 7 days. This is an option year-round, and not exclusive to elections.


What’s the difference between a Sabbatical Officer and a Part-time Officer?

Sabbatical Officers represent students full time on campus and are paid, these people are also Trustees of the Union. Part-time Officers represent students voluntarily and work their commitments around their studies.


Can I get my friends or family to do something for free and not put it on my budget?

Both you and your campaigners should not do anything which others could not also reasonably do. You must also make sure that anything they do is within the rules.


Can I buy chocolates or sweets to give out to get people to vote for me?

You may have campaign materials which encourage students to speak with you about your campaign, however, these must be ‘no strings attached’. There is a vast difference between saying “hi, here’s a lollipop, I’m running for VP Education”, and “If you go and vote for me for President, come back, I’ll give you this chocolate bar”. The latter is an unacceptable practice within the election.


Can I help someone who doesn’t understand how to vote?

No. If a student does not know how to vote, direct them to the SU Elections Officials at designated Ballot Stations. Once a student starts to vote you must move away. No one must supervise or assist a voter in any way.


Can I talk to people whilst they cast their vote?

No, once a student is voting you must leave them alone.


If elected, when will I start work?

Officer terms start from the 1st July each year and run until the 30th June the following year. Part-time officers begin their term in the new academic year in September.


You didn’t answer my question; how can I ask another one?

No question is a silly question, if you need an answer you can’t find here or need help with the rules then email the SU Elections Team who will get back to you as soon as possible.

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