Guild Elections 2019

NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN

So, what would you do differently? Apply to be an Officer this year and tell us.

Officer Elections are back and the search is on. We’re looking for our next set of Officers to lead the Guild in the year ahead. Could it be you?

If you like the sound of becoming an Officer and leading the Guild for 2019/20, register your interest here and we’ll be in touch. If this doesn’t sound like you, but you know someone who’d be great, you can recommend your mate here.

Ready to #MakeAChange?

How it works

Embrace the biggest student election in Birmingham. The entire student body can elect their next Guild Officer Team. This is your chance to make a change.

1. Could you lead?

The Officer Team will lead the Guild for a year, stepping up and fighting for the best for Birmingham students.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Let us know you’re interested here.

2. Candidates step up: 14th – 25th January

Elections applications officially open: now is the time to throw your name into the hat.

3. Candidate Training

All candidates will be provided with a comprehensive training programme to make sure they have all the tools to run an effective campaign. Not all of these sessions are compulsory, but attendance is highly recommended.

These sessions are:

  • Manifesto Writing – Tuesday 15th January – G06 University House (Business School) (6-8pm)
  • Election Regulations – Thursday 31st January – Guild Council Chamber (6-8pm) – This session is compulsory
  • How to Win/Social Media - Thursday 7th February – Guild Council Chamber (6-8pm)

Full details are available in the Elections Guide, which can be found here

4. Time to vote: 25th February – 1st March

Pipe up and give your candidates a piece of your mind. Want them to campaign for more space in the library, cheaper rents or better food on campus? It’s time to join in and see which candidates speak up for your views and wants – before you cast that all important ballot.

Have you got any more questions? Visit our FAQs for more information on elections

5. Results Announced: 2nd March

Results will be announced on Saturday 2nd March, from 7.30pm in Deb Hall. The full ceremony will be streamed live online, and results will be published online in full the following week.

Full-Time Officer Roles

As a full-time Officer, you’ll either take a year out of your studies, or take on the role after you’ve graduated. While representing and supporting 37,000+ students at Birmingham, we’ll give you a super-cool office and a full-time salary!

Guild President

  • Helps govern the University to make sure it reflects the views of students
  • Leads the Guild on matters relating to democracy and governance
  • Provides leadership to the Officer Team
  • Represents Birmingham students in the media

Education Officer

  • Works in partnership with the University to shape academic life on campus
  • Represents students to the University to make sure their education meets their expectations
  • Works with Student Reps to make sure students have a say in how their course is run

International Officer

  • Makes sure all international students at the University of Birmingham have a great student experience
  • Represents University of Birmingham students on a year abroad
  • Organises events to help integrate and support international students

Activities & Employability Officer

  • Makes sure student groups and societies help students develop and feel happy and healthy
  • Helps students develop their employability skills. Responsible for Guild venues and its commercial matters.
  • Ensures students have a great time in halls, through events and activities

Postgraduate Officer

  • Helps postgrads get an academic experience that meets their expectations
  • Makes sure postgraduate students feel part of their community and can get involved in ways that suit them
  • Works with the University to make sure postgrads are healthy, happy and supported

Sports Officer

  • Makes sure Sports Clubs help students develop and feel happy and healthy
  • Works with UB Sport to make sure clubs reflect what students want
  • Helps students across campus get active in the ways that suit them through events, taster activities, sports days and campaigns

Welfare & Community Officer

  • Helps students with their problems to help them make the most of their time at university
  • Listens to students’ concerns so that issues can be identified and resolved
  • Makes sure that University services vary their approach to suit every student
  • Support the wellbeing of students on-campus, in accommodation and within the community

Part-Time Officer Roles

Our part-time Officer roles give you the flexibility to campaign and create change alongside your studies. Part-time Officers stand up for under-represented groups of students on campus and campaign on the issues where they think they can make a real difference.

Anti-racism; Anti-facism Officer

  • Campaigns on issues relating to removing racism and fascism
  • Works to support students who are at risk of becoming victims of racially motivated hate crimes
  • Sit on the Student Equality and Diversity Committee to offer practical approaches to prevent hate incidents from occurring

Commuter Students' Officer

  • Helping to create a community between students who chose to live at home whilst studying at the University of Birmingham
  • Represents the views of Part-Time students at the University of Birmingham
  • Co-Chair of the Commuter Students’ Association

Disabled Students' Officer

  • Giving a voice to the disabled students of the University of Birmingham
  • Campaign to the barriers that hinder the experiences of disabled students at university
  • Co-Chair of Disability and Mental Health Students’ Association (DAMSA)

Ethnic Minority Students' Officer

  • Giving a voice to the BME students of the University of Birmingham
  • Campaign to the barriers that hinder the experiences of BME students at university
  • Co-Chair of Black and Ethnic Minority Students’ Association (BEMA)

Ethical & Environmental Officer

  • Raising awareness of the Guild and University’s environmental impact
  • Helps to develop a more sustainable student community
  • Sits on the Ethical and Environmental committee

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Queer Students' Officer

  • Ensuring the Guild is at the forefront in the fight for equal rights for LGBTQ students
  • Signposting LGBTQ students that may need help to help services.
  • Co-Chair of LQBTQ Association

Mature Students' Officer

  • Campaigns on issues related to mature students
  • Support the work of all relevant Representation Associations
  • Promotes the interests of mature students to the University of Birmingham, the Guild and wider as appropriate

Trans Students' Officer

  • Campaigns on issues of concern to trans students
  • Promotes the interests of trans students to the University of Birmingham, the Guild and wider as appropriate
  • Attends the Student Equality and Diversity Committee
  • Ensures that the Guild actively promotes initiatives to ensure that the welfare and interests of Trans students are protected

Womens' Officer

  • Raising awareness and campaigning on issues facing women and non-binary students
  • Representing women and non-binary students to the Guild and University
  • Co-Chair of Women’s and Non-Binary Association

Know someone who’d make a great Guild Officer?

Election Jargon Buster

Some of the language used during elections can be quite confusing. We’ve put together this handy jargon buster to help.

Manifesto

A manifesto is a summary of the ideas and policies you want to put forward – it helps people make up their mind why they should vote for you.

Alternative Vote

This system allows you to rank your preferences for each role. Voting is conducted over a number of rounds, depending on the number of candidates. In each round the candidate with the least votes is eliminated, with their second preferences redistributed to the other candidates. The winner is the person who has an overall majority over others applying for that role.

Full-Time Officer

Officers who work for the Guild full-time and are paid a salary. They are usually also Trustees of the Guild, and have additional strategic responsibilities. Full-Time Officers take time out of their degree to complete the year, or will complete the year after they have graduated.

Part-Time Officer

Part-Time Officer roles are voluntary and can be completed alongside studies.

Campaign Poster (previously known as visual manifesto)

This is exactly what it says on the tin - a poster that summarises your policies. It should usually include – your name, the position you’re applying for, a photo, and the Guild of Students logo.

Written Statement

This is a written summary of your policies or ideas. This can be more detailed than your campaign poster, but is still subject to word limits. We don’t specify what this should include, but you might want to say who you are, why you want to apply for the role, and what you would do if you were successful.

RON - Re-open Nominations

Voters can select this option if they don’t want to vote for any of the people applying for a role. If this candidate wins, then the Guild will hold another election for this role.

Self-Defined Roles

Some roles require additional characteristics – for example, if you are applying to be the Women’s Officer – it is expected that you would identify as a woman or someone who is non-binary. This can be updated using your elections profile. If you need support with this please email: elections@guild.bham.ac.uk

Role Share

People standing for Part-Time Officer roles can apply as a pair if they want to. If you think you might want to do this let us know and we can help you. Role share candidates will get a single campaign budget, and will be responsible for each other’s work during the campaign and if successful.

Guild Byelaws

This is the constitution of the Guild, and it sets out how we operate. You can find more information in this document about the Officer roles (Byelaw 7) and the Elections Process (Byelaw 8).

Election Regulations

These are the rules regarding the election; each candidate should make themselves aware of what they are as soon as possible.

Election Documents

In order to be a candidate in a Guild of Students Election, candidates must adhere to the Guild’s Election Regulations and Byelaw 8 (Elections). The Law, Institution and Union rules also all count and become election rules, including the Guild’s Zero Tolerance Policy and Bullying & Harassment Policy.

Cross-campus elections are overseen by the Returning Officer who is responsible for ensuring that every election is free fair and open. The Returning Officer is the University’s Registrar and Secretary who deputises their role to an NUS Returning Officer.

You can find all the important documents and policies you will need to as a candidate below:

Election Guide

Please click here to download the Officer Elections Guide.

Election Regulations

Please click here to download the Guild of Students’ Election Regulations. All candidates must read these regulations and ensure their supporters & campaign teams are also made aware of these rules. It is the candidate’s responsibility to be aware of these rules – ignorance of the rules is not an excuse for breaking them. Therefore you should contact Student Voice on elections@guild.bham.ac.uk if you are unclear or need further assistance on any of the regulations at any time.

Guild of Students Byelaws

Please click here to download the Guild of Students’ Byelaws. Please refer to Byelaw 8 with regards to Elections, and Byelaw 7 with regards to Officers of the Guild.

Complaints Policy

Please click here to download the Complaints Policy. This explains how we will deal with any elections complaints. You will find a Complaint Form below.

Complaint Form

Please click here to download the Complaint Form. A student or candidate wishing to submit an election complaint must do so by using the Guild of Students Election Complaint Form. This must be sent by email to elections@guild.bham.ac.uk.

All complaints must include evidence in support of their complaint where possible.

List of Freely Available Items

Please click here to download the List of Freely Available Items. These are items that you can use without having to make a claim on your budget. All other items you wish to use must come out of your allocated budget.

Additional Support for Disabled Candidates

Please click here to download the Guild’s Policy on Additional Support for Disabled Candidates.

Could it be you?

FAQs

Who are the Officers?

7 students are paid to work full-time to lead the Guild. 9 students will be elected as Part-Time Officers. The roles are a fantastic opportunity for those passionate about Birmingham, the students and their Guild.

Chosen by students in a campus-wide vote, full-time Officers become directors of a £million+ turnover organisation, trustees of our charity and representatives of 37,000 students.

What is the Election?

Every year, Guild Elections gives students the opportunity to elect seven of their peers to lead the Guild of Students. Last year saw over 8,000 students cast their vote.

If you think you could help every student make the most of University life tell us here

Why should I apply to be an officer?

There are many reasons for applying. Officers can have their time recorded on their enhanced transcript, can claim PSA Points and even get Guild Life Membership at the end of their time in Office. Everyone involved in the election has the opportunity to make new friends, will gain campaign experience, and will have the opportunity to implement their ideas – so why wouldn’t you do it?

Can I apply if I'm in my first or second year?

Yes! If you’re elected, you can speak to your school or department about taking a year out to serve as an Officer.

Can I apply if I am a postgrad?

Yes, students at any level of study can run in the Elections – and we even have a dedicated Postgraduate Officer, specifically to look out for the interests of students like you!

We work with schools across the University to make sure they support you in running, so don’t let being a postgrad hold you back.

How do I get my policies out there?

Getting your policies out there is key to get the votes rolling in - we'll be running training sessions and sharing tips on how best to communicate with students at Birmingham later on in the term, so you’ll be supported every step of the way.

Can I apply if I am an International Student?

Yes. Any EU national can become an Officer with no restrictions. If you come from further afield you may have to extend your visa – there is a special exemption for Tier 4 visa holders, so you can add a year to your visa to complete the role. If you have any concerns get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

We even have a dedicated International Officer, specifically to look out for the interests of students like you!

Help! I don’t know which position to go for!

You can read about each position here. You can also come in to the Guild to discuss which position would suit you. Come and have a chat with staff in the Student Voice office on the ground floor or email elections@guild.bham.ac.uk

Can I apply for more than one position?

Woah there - we love your enthusiasm but it's only one role per person.

Isn't it just a popularity contest?

No! Previous Officers have come from all walks of university life. As long as you have great ideas and a passion for creating change, you’ll make a great candidate.

Help! I don't know how to campaign

Don't fret! Most people don’t before they actually try it. Your campaign should be personal and reflect you, and we’ll offer you lots of support to get things going.

I don't have much time - can I still campaign?

Yes! Even one hour a week is enough time to run an excellent campaign. We’ll work with you to help you create the best campaign possible with the time you have.

Do I get a campaigning budget?

Yes, each candidate is entitled a £50 election budget which will be reimbursed at the conclusion of the election. You should not spend more than this amount. If you are in financial difficulty, we wouldn’t want this to prevent you from standing – please email elections@guild.bham.ac.uk if you need help with this.

What is a campaign team and what do I do if I don't have one?

A campaign team is a group of your friends who have committed to helping you campaign. They might talk to students on your behalf, help put up posters, or perhaps assist you with social media.

Will I get an extension on my coursework so I can focus on campaigning?

Extensions can be given for work where the questions have been set in advance. You may not get an extension for all other work, so we would advise planning in advance. If you are unsure whether you should get one please email us.

What happens if I win?

Hopefully some celebrating! If you win you will spend the next year running the Union and working on projects and campaigns to improve the lives of students. Remember that full-time roles are paid. Part-time roles can be completed alongside your studies. We will be in contact to discuss training for the year ahead.

What if I am an International Student?

You should be aware that the following is general information and guidance – and does not constitute professional immigration or legal advice.

I am an international student - can I apply to be a full-time Officer?

Yes, as long as you are a registered student who is also a member of the Guild of Students, then you’re eligible to apply to be a full-time Officer – and we would encourage you to do so.

If you win, the University can assist you with extending your sponsorship for the time that you are a Full-Time Officer.

You are free to take up the role during your studies or immediately after you graduate. However, if you are planning to apply during your studies, you will need to let your College or School know as they are responsible for you until the time that your permission to be in the UK expires. They will also be able to advise you if there are likely to be any issues with your academic progression.

Any applications to extend your student visa from within the UK need to be made before your time in the UK is due to expire.

If you require any further help or support regarding immigration or sponsorship, you can speak to the Aston Webb Student Hub (Monday – Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm)

You can also find further information from the UK Council for International Student Affairs here.