Frequently Asked Questions
Are you thinking about nominating yourself, but have questions or concerns? If so, you're in the right place!
Below you will find a collection of questions that will help you understand the elections process, including standing and running in the elections. If you still have questions, please get in touch with our elections team via Elections@cardiff.ac.uk.
What do I have to do?
The only thing you have to do at the moment is put your name in by nominating yourself. You don't need to have an idea of what you want to achieve or have anything prepared. Just submit your name - the elections team will keep you updated with what you need to do later!
Is it going to cost me money to take part in the Elections?
No! We reimburse all candidates for their expenses during the elections, up to a specified amount. For the Autumn Election candidates cannot spend money on their campaign. This will be explained in more detail to all candidates during a briefing session once nominations have closed.
Can any student run in the elections?
Yes! - any student can run to be any of the positions in the Autumn Elections. There are some positions limited to students who identify with the group being representated. However, there are many positions open to all. We encourage students from all backgrounds, demographics, and modes of study to put themselves forward in the elections. As long as you are a current student, you are eligible to stand for a position, even if you are on a placement year.
It is important that there is a diverse range of candidates to reflect the diverse nature of the student population. If you are concerned about running for a role for any reason, get in touch with the elections team who will be happy to discuss your individual circumstances with you.
Do I have to know the role inside-out to stand?
You do not need to know everything about the role you are running for when you nominate yourself, as all of our officers get comprehensive training. You can start by knowing absolutely nothing about the Students' Union or the position! We support any and every student to be an Officer regardless of their knowledge level of the role. The most important thing is enthusiasm!
Aren't elections still just a popularity contest?
Candidates win by talking to people and having genuine conversations. Don't forget - no student knows everybody. Consider how to widen your reach, and enter into engaging conversations with everyone. Students want someone that will look out for their interests, that doesn’t mean that they know everyone.
Do I stand a chance of winning the election if there is an existing officer re-running?
Winning one election does not mean that you will win another one. Every candidate is in with a chance of winning - it is up to the students who vote to decide who gets into post!
I'm not sure what to put in my manifesto (reasons for standing) - help!
The elections team will provide a briefing for all candidates, as well as development sessions to help you narrow down your manifesto aims and campaign ideas. We advise that you talk to students to understand their experience - learn what they need and want from their Students' Union and University, and use that information to inform your manifesto.
How do I campaign?
Our Student Voice team will be putting on a variety of development events, workshops, and training sessions to support all candidates. This will help you understand the different ways you can campaign, and how you can fit your campaign to suit your personality.
Who do I choose for my campaign team?
We provide training on how to campaign and the tools you’ll need, and your campaign team should be made up of those people you trust to convey your message.
Any student can be a part of a campaign team, but remember that your campaign team will be seen as an extension of candidates. If they do something that breaks the elections regulations then the candidate will be deemed to have broken the regulations and could be removed – so make sure your team is filled with people you trust. Candidates have won before without having anyone else with them, just from engaging in genuine conversations with students. A bigger campaign team does not guarantee success!
Do I have to miss my lectures during elections week?
In no way do we condone candidates missing lectures. If you decide to miss any scheduled teaching we strongly advise that you plan ahead to complete any work ahead of schedule, meet with your tutors/teachers, ask others to make notes for you, and also watch recorded Panopto content as soon as you can.
If you are attending lectures (as advised), schedule social media posts during that time and ask your campaign team to talk to students while you are unable to do so.
What do you mean by 'students must be free to cast their vote without undue influence or pressure'?
Simply put, candidates cannot bribe or intimidate students to vote for them. Candidates should aim to inform students of their manifesto points, then allow individuals to make up their own minds.
All votes should be private, and candidates should not provide devices for students to vote on. Candidates should also stay away from the Students' Union elections stalls to avoid creating unintentional pressure for students to vote for them.
Problems and Concerns
What if I can’t vote?
There is a few things to try before flagging this with the Students' Union. If you are having problems logging into all university systems, you may need to reset your password. You should also try logging in using your student number both with and without the ‘C’.
If you are still struggling, you can go to the ‘Still Having Problems?’ link at the bottom of the help page on the website, and it will direct you to our web team, who will be able to help. To make this process quicker, make sure to get in touch using your Cardiff university email, including your student ID number and a screenshot of what you are seeing on the voting page within your email.
If you require any further support, please contact Elections@Cardiff.ac.uk
What if I think a candidate has broken the rules?
If you need to make a complaint about a candidate, visit our complaints page and fill in the online form.