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When voting at the University of Essex Students' Union - not everyone is able to vote for all roles.

Why is that?

Like most (if not all) Students’ Unions across the country, when it comes to gender, race, sexuality, disability etc. we operate a self-definition system.

An example of one reason as to why we do this is because our students might not self-define with the same gender or sexuality as when they first started university. University is often a place of self-discovery and growth.

It also abides to the ethos that we and the university are in no position to ‘place’ students in a box and it is for each individual to define their gender, sexuality, race, disability etc.

All candidates are available to be seen on the websites and newsletters that are circulated during campaigning, however they are not immediately available to see once you enter the voting process unless you have defined as a certain category.

We also subscribe to the view that someone who is not LGBTQ+ for example should not be included in the voting process for the person that will represent the LGBTQ+ community.

This is the recommended approach since nationally it is perceived to be more enabling for and acceptable of people and their right to self-definition, whilst also building in an understanding that how someone can self-define is not set and could change

How can I self-define?

When logging in to the election on the website there are a number of tabs along the top. One is labelled profile. Click into this and you will see a number of options. Please select those that you think apply to you and save. You should now be able to see all the candidates for these positions.

If any of the above is not working please do not hesitate to contact


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