THE LEADERSHIP ELECTION RULES 2022

 

The rules are listed below. Any breach of these rules and regulations could result in disqualification.

Please download a copy of the rules and of the GDPR document, sign and return to suelections@essex.ac.uk

For SU Staff rules, see this document.

CONDUCT

  1. Candidates must abide by the following rules throughout the election and must sign to say that they have read and understood the rules prior to campaigning.
  2. Campaigning for this election can only take place during these times - 10.00 am 19th May through to 16.00 27th May
  3. Posters and banners may only be displayed in specific places. These places are outlined below.
  4. Person to person campaigning will be allowed but must be in accordance with the university Covid -19 guidelines whilst campaigning.
  5. Candidates must be able to prove they have taken steps to ensure that their campaign team actions comply with the Election rules at all times.
  6. Candidates may only move or remove their own campaign materials.
  7. Abuse of any sort towards students, SU staff, other candidates or their campaign teams, could result in disqualification of the candidate.
  8. All campaign materials must be approved by suelections@essex.ac.uk prior to use and candidates will be asked to remove any unapproved campaign material.
  9. Any alterations that take place to promotional materials of any kind, after approval cannot be used until they are reapproved by the SU.
  10. Candidates may only nominate for one position. All nominations must be submitted by 16.00 16th May 2022
  11. Campaigners are not allowed to use any of the SU or University of Essex logos in their campaign materials.
  12. Campaigners are not allowed to ask SU staff or staff subcontracted by the SU, to endorse them during the election campaign period, whilst working for the SU (eg shout outs by djs in Sub Zero ).
  13. Candidate Manifestos should be based on the information provided at the candidates workshop (12.00 18th May 2022) that will outline current student concerns.
  14. Candidates should refrain from making any explicit promises but are free to outline issues they wish to focus on should they be elected.
  15. Social media: Campaigners can use any existing social media groups, events, contacts or mailing lists, with the owners express permission. Candidates should be mindful of the reason the groups were formed and not spam them with unnecessary posts.
  16. Bribes must not be offered by candidates or campaign teams, as part of any campaign.
  17. All candidates must provide a full list of their campaign team to the Election Manager by 16.00 19th May 2022
  18. All members of a campaign team must remain current students of the University of Essex, throughout the period of campaigning.
  19. There is to be no negative campaigning by candidates or their campaign team.
  20. University of Essex Staff or Students’ Union staff or subcontracted staff must not promote or endorse any candidates.
  21. Candidates or their teams must not intimidate or coerce voters at any point during the election.
  22. Candidates or their campaign teams must not communicate with voters in any way at the point that they are casting their vote.
  23. Candidates could be disqualified if they are found to have broken any of the Election rules.
  24. Once campaigning has begun, the Students’ Union will notify the student body of any changes in the candidates list. This may be done via email or social media.

All campaigners must adhere to the SU’s General Policy on any Students’ Union or University of Essex premises.

ELIGIBILITY TO RUN

  1. Candidates must be intending to be a Student of the University of Essex for the full academic year – October 2022 through to July 2023
  2. Any student that has been found to have “seriously breached” the Student Conduct Regulations, will not be allowed to stand as a candidate. The candidate has the right to appeal to the Returning Officer. Once Nominations have closed, all candidate’s names will be checked for their Right to represent as laid out in by law 6K.

BUDGET

Candidates must not exceed their budget limits.

  • SCOs candidates can claim back up to £15 in out of pocket expenses. You must not spend over this amount.
  • Parliament Rep candidates can claim back up to £5 in out of pocket expenses. You must not spend over this amount.
  • Candidates will be reimbursed by the Students’ Union for their campaign materials providing receipts have been handed into the SU by the 16.00 30th June 2022.
  • The cost of printing does not need to be accounted for in the above budget limit. In line with the SU’s environmental policy we would encourage candidates to use electronic formats wherever possible.
  • Any candidates experiencing issues around printing , please contact suelections@essex.ac.uk

WORKING WITH OTHER CANDIDATES

  1. Candidates are not allowed to run on a Slate
  2. Candidates are not allowed to endorse other candidates in anyway
    • Where preferential voting exists, you must only canvas for your own vote and not for other candidates.

COMPLAINTS

  1. All complaints should be directed to the Elections Manager suelections@essex.ac.uk using the complaints form and must include evidence.
  2. Any complaint made without using the complaints form will not be acted upon.
  3. Any complaints that are not resolved by the Election Manager (Michelle Harris) will be referred to the Deputy Returning Officer (Keith Rowland). Any appeals will go to the Returning Officer (Molly Purcell).
  4. All complaints will be resolved within the timeframe of the election (results will not be announced whilst there are any outstanding complaints). All complaints about candidates must be received before the voting closes.
  5. The Complaints process is outlined in Appendix 1
  6. Any student or candidate that is judged to be making repeated unsubstantiated complaints, will be dealt with in accordance with the SU’s Student Membership General policy
  7. The voting period can be extended at the discretion of the Returning Officer.

ONCE VOTING CLOSES

The SU will conduct an IP Address review, should any irregularities be identified through this check the announcement of the result will be suspended pending a full investigation.

No new complaints will be received . All complaints will be reviewed by the Returning Officer to ensure that they are fully resolved. The Returning Officer would then declare a free and fair election.

In the event that the election cannot be declared free and fair it would be declared void . The next steps would be clearly outlined by the Returning officer and candidates would be informed.

Should you wish to complain about the way in which the election was run, complaints must be submitted within 5 working days of the voting closing.

DEFINITIONS

  • Approved materials- Any or all campaigning materials that have been deemed appropriate and agreed by the SU Elections team. They must meet the rules outlined approve and contain anything considered offensive.Approved materials must only be displayed exactly as it was, when it was originally approved. Any amendments must be reapproved before use.
  • Bribe- Offering any form of reward or action in exchange for voting for any candidate
  • Campaign team- A group of students directly involved with a candidate in the preparation and delivery of their campaign
  • Campaigning- The act of encouraging other students to vote for a particular person
  • Negative campaigning- The act of encouraging other students to not to vote for a particular person on the basis of misinformation, character deformation or slander.
  • Endorsement- The act of a candidate or their campaign team encouraging students to vote for any other candidate.
  • Abuse- Any act of aggression (be it physical or verbal), harassment or bullying as defined by the SU Student Membership General Policy.
  • Slate- A slate is a group of candidates that run in multi-seat or multi-position elections on a common platform.
  • Indimidation/Coercion - The act of trying to influence a voter during the time they are casting their vote, either verbally (ie through use of threats or harassment) or non verbally (ie by not respecting their privacy during voting).
  • Promise- a statement of intent by a candidate or campaign team indicating that they will deliver something or that something specific will happen if they are successful in the election. This would not include the intention to focus on something, more that a specfic outcome will happen i.e “I intend to focus on the cost of accommodation on campus”, not “I will make campus accommodation cheaper.”
  • Approved Poster Display locations
    • SU bar and Top Bar noticeboard
    • The Store noticeboard
    • Southend SU lounge
    • The glass wall opposite LTB and opposite Rayleigh tower

Appendix i

Election’s Complaints Process

The Election manager will investigate any reported complaints and will only implement the following system at the stage where it has been ruled that an offence has indeed been committed by a candidate or member of their campaign team.

If an offender cannot be identified and an offence has occurred, the offence and relevant penalty should still be recorded and the complainer should be informed what punishment would have been given if the offender was identified.

Complaint’s points system

The complaints process is a points based system. Candidates may have points awarded against them if they commit an offence. These points will be accumulated  throughout the election, and should a candidate receive 10 penalty points or more,  they will subsequently be removed from the election.

It remains the case that we want to see as few people removed from elections as possible. The different levels of offences and the punishments they should carry can be found below..

Level 1 – This level of offence carries a punishment ranging from a minimum of a written warning to a maximum of 2 penalty points

Level 2 – This level of offence carries a punishment ranging from a minimum of 3 penalty points to a maximum of 5 penalty points

Level 3 – This level of offence carries  a punishment ranging from a minimum of 6 penalty points to a maximum of 8 penalty points

Level 4 – This level of offence carries a punishment ranging from a minimum of 9 penalty points to 10 penalty points,  which  qualifies as disqualification from the election

The SU reserves the right to escalate any level of offense to the conduct team or the police when appropriate. The SU reserves the right to fine any candidate up to £30 for breaching the rules.

Where candidates are disqualified from the election, the SU reserves the right to ban them from running in subsequent elections.

When deciding on what punishment to enforce within each range, the following factors will be considered:

  • Has the candidate confessed to the offence?
  • Is it the view of the team that the offence was an accident?
  • Is this the first time this candidate has broken the rules?
  • Is this the first time the candidate has broken this specific rule?

The table below shows examples of offences in elections and which categories they could fall under:

Level of Offence

Examples of offences included:

Level 1: written warning – 2 points

 

A candidate team member writing a negative comment on a campaign post – initially level 1, but can move up the levels depending on the severity of the comment and the candidate's subsequent actions

 

The candidate’s poster has been removed by another candidate

 

A candidate is using UOE logos and unapproved materials in their campaign materials

 

 

Level 2: 3 points – 5 points

Sabb proved to be campaigning during working hours – sufficient evidence would need to be provided

 

Candidate is not sticking to rules about manifesto content

 

Level 3: 6 points – 8 points

Candidate offering bribes for  votes

 

Level 4: 9 points – 10 points (disqualification ) 

Verbal abuse to another candidate, SU Staff or members of the student body

 

 

Disclaimer:

The number of points the candidates have at any certain time during the elections will be strictly confidential, meaning only the candidate and the SU will be aware.

The complainer should only know whether the complaint was “upheld” or “rejected”. In most instances complainants will not be notified of specific outcomes or actions taken in relation to complaints.

MAKING A COMPLAINT?

If you wish to make a complaint about any of the candidates, please complete this form.