The majority of elections are held on line through The SU website.  Only some activity group committees are not run electronically.  Any activity group proposing to run an election which is not on line must first get permission from their Acting Returning Officer (their SU Officer). 

Rules, timetables and other information, specific to each election will be available on line at the time of that election.

Cross campus elections are open to all students.  Any registered student at the University of Bath, in whatever, year, whether postgraduate or undergraduate, home or international, may stand and vote.

Some elections are limited to the members of a particular group.  For example, only postgraduates may stand for, or may vote in, elections for the Postgraduate Association Executive (not to be confused with the election for the Postgraduate Officer, where only postgraduates may stand but any student may vote).

The following Rules apply to all Bath SU elections.  Further, more detailed rules may apply to individual elections, especially the SU Officer elections and the Referendum, and will be made clearly public and available at the time of the election.

Rules

The following are general Rules governing all elections with the exception of SU Officer elections and Referenda, where further Rules, specific to those elections, will apply.

Returning Officer and Chair of Elections Committee

The Returning Officer (RO) for all elections, except for a NUS referendum, is Aidan Mersh, NUS Membership Engagement Manager
The Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) is Andrew McLaughlin, Students’ Union Chief Executive. 
The Chair of Elections Committee is Charlie Rumble

They can be contacted on sureturningofficer@bath.ac.uk

Acting Returning Officer

Elections which relate to a particular area and where candidates are voted for by other students within the same group, are directly overseen by Acting Returning Officers (ARO). The AROs are the SU Officers responsible for the area. Their powers are delegated by the RO and DRO and they remain responsible to the RO and DRO for the conduct of these elections.

Any questions or queries you have about an area election should in the first instance be directed to the relevant Acting RO.  If there is any doubt, the ARO should consult the DRO or Chair of Elections Committee.

All rulings on the interpretation of the rules shall be made by the RO/DRO/ARO.

Any queries regarding the rules should be made to the DRO/ARO, sureturningofficer@bath.ac.uk and before engaging in any action that may be in breach of the rules.

Principal Rules

  • All candidates must act in the interests of a fair election
  • Do not do anything that another candidate cannot do
  • Treat all other students and staff with respect

Behavioural Rules

  • All candidates will be held liable for the actions of anyone acting on their behalf
  • There must be no ‘negative campaigning’, such as candidates or their supporters making unsupported attacks on other candidates’ manifestos or making attacks of a personal nature against other candidates.  Any challenge which is not deemed to be of a personal nature is allowed.
  • No candidate shall seek to gain advantage over another candidate by spending more than the allowed limit because they have greater funds or resources at their personal disposal.  (Expenditure is only allowed in SU Officer elections and referenda.  No expenditure is allowed in other elections.)

Breach of Rules

Any breach of the rules may be punished.  Sanctions include total disqualification and the application of a disqualification margin.

  • Total disqualification
    In the case of total disqualification, the RO (as a neutral officer) will be asked to rule on the seriousness of the breach before a candidate is disqualified.  This decision is not subject to appeal.
  • Application of a disqualification margin
    In the event of a breach or complaint of a breach, the RO/DRO may decide to deduct the estimated number of votes ‘influenced’ by the action.

Breach of Law or Regulations

The Students’ Union’s Articles, Bye-laws and Regulations apply to everyone during any election.  Any breaches of these governing documents, of Students’ Union or University Policies, of University Regulations or the laws of the UK may carry either a disqualification margin or complete disqualification. 

Further guidelines

Candidates

  1. Any student registererd at the University of Bath, who has not opted out, may stand and may vote, subject to the limitations below.
  2. Area elections set limits on both candidates and voters so that both must belong to the same group e.g. only postgraduates may stand for post on the Postgraduate Association Executive and only postgraduates may vote.
  3. Officers of a sub-group Executive Committee may only hold one post.
  4. No core posts (either Exec Committee or activity group committee) may be held by students on placement.
  5. Candidates for activity group elections within the SU Sport and Socs areas may only stand for one core post and one non-core post.
  6. Candidates standing for cross campus election must be nominated and seconded by other registered students.
  7. Candidates for constituency elections do not require proposers or seconders.
  8. Proposers and seconders must confirm that they are proposing a candidate by emailing the Returning Officer on sureturningofficer@bath.ac.uk.
  9. No candidates for any elections may run on a slate i.e. each candidate must stand as an individual and not as part of a team.

Guidelines for Manifestos

  1. Each candidate should provide a statement (manifesto) setting out their main objectives for the year.  The manifesto is a document which says who the candidate is, why they are standing for election and what they intend to do, should they get elected.
  2. Manifestos for all elections must not be more than 500 words long. (This is a limit, not a target. In some elections, such as activity group committee elections, shorter manifestos may be better.)
  3. There is a 500 word limit set on Bathstudent.  If you are unable to upload your manifesto but are sure that it is no longer than 500 words, please write as soon as possible - and BEFORE the close of nominations - to suelections@bath.ac.uk.
  4. Manifestos must abide by the Rules and must not defame or libel any other candidate or individual.
  5. Candidates must bear in mind that their manifestos are public documents and should not contain language or references which bring themselves, the SU or the University into disrepute. Any manifestos deemed to be inappropriate will be not be made live.  Where possible candidates may be invited to make acceptable changes before voting goes live.  If an acceptable replacement manifesto is not received by this deadline, candidates’ nominations may go live without a manifesto. No manifesto can be added or amended after voting has gone live.  Examples include but are not limited to:
    • swearing
    • reference to alcohol consumption
    • negative remarks relating to individuals
    • remarks which are reasonably liable to cause offence such as remarks which are sexist, racist, homophobic etc.  (Again, this is not an exhaustive list of examples)
  1. Candidates may include past/present Union posts.
  2. SU Officers may not propose or second or otherwise support any candidate(s).
  3. Nomination forms and manifestos must be submitted together through BathStudent.com
  4. A deadline for the submission of the nomination and the manifesto will be set for each election.  Nominations and/or manifestos received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Campaigning

  1. Campus-wide campaigning is only permitted for SU Officer elections and NUS Conference Delegate elections (not for the other NUS delegate elections: Black Students', Women's, International Students', Postgraduate Students', Disabled Students' and Mature / Part time Students'). 
    Limited campaigning is allowed in constituency elections and guidance on what is allowed should be sought from the Acting RO.  Failure to do so could result in disqualification.  A date from which candidates may campaign will be set.  Any candidate campaigning prior to the publicised beginning of campaigning may be disqualified.
  2. No individual club or society or activity group may actively support the election of any candidate(s)
  3. Candidates who are involved in Union media should inform the DRO/ARO to avoid any conflict of interest. 
  4. There must be no 'negative campaigning', such as candidates or their supporters making unsupported attacks on other candidates' manifestos or making attacks of a personal nature against other candidates.  Any challenge which is not deemed to be of a personal nature is allowed.  Candidates and their supporters should treat other candidates and their supporters with dignity and respect.  The final judgement on whether a candidate has contravened this lies with the Returning Officer, DRO or ARO.

Expenses

These only apply to SU Officer, NUS Conference Delegate elections and Referenda. (There are no expenses for the 6 NUS liberation conferences: Black Students'; International Students'; Mature/Part time Students'; Women's; Postgraduate Students'; and Disabled Students'.)
Candidates running in area elections are NOT allowed any expenditure, either from Bath SU funds or their own.

  1. Candidates running in SU Officer & NUS Conference Delegate elections (not in one of the six liberation conference elections) and agents in Referenda are allowed a strict allowance which must not be exceeded.  The amount of this allowance will be clearly stated in the additional material produced specifically for these.  Receipts must be produced for all materials used, whether paid for or free.
  2. No candidate may receive financial or other material assistance from any external body e.g. political organisations, NGBs or sponsors.

Training

  • Tailored training and/or briefings are offered to all successful candidates to prepare them for the role they have been elected to.

Computers and the web

  1. Candidate websites are only permitted in SU Officer elections
  2. Computer usage must be in line with BUCS regulations
  3. BathStudent.com web pages and University mailing lists can not be used to further an individual's campaign.
  4. Candidates may not use email mailing lists or group emails
  5. Candidates in SU Officer elections may only use email mailing lists or group emailing lists to communicate with their immediate campaigns team.
  6. Use of Facebook and other social media is allowed but must comply with these Rules.
  7. There must be no negative comments about other candidates or any other individuals where campaigning is permitted.  Candidates are allowed to comment on opponents' manifesto points but are not permitted to make personal attacks, defamatory remarks or comments regarding their potential capability.
  8. Candidates should report any abuse of the Rules to the relevant SU office and/or the relevant ARO.
  9. Any abuse of these Rules may lead to disqualification.

Facebook

  1. A campaign team is permitted to use Facebook groups for internal communication (groups must be closed/private and should be limited to the core campaign team - 15 maximum).  The Chair of Elections Committee has to be added to all campaign team groups.
  2. Candidates can set up a Facebook page
  3. Ensure that any other pages (e.g. any activity group such as sports clubs or societies) do not like the page - this may be deemed as that activity group supporting that candidate
  4. Candidates are not permitted to post on the Bath SU Facebook page or the Freshers' Week page
  5. No activity group should give preferential treatment to specific candidat(s) e.g. if a candidate was to post in a group and another candidate also wishes to post in that group, the group administrators must not favour one candidate over another
  6. Any individual may post anything they like provided they are doind so as an individual and not as an officer or representative of any activity group.
  7. Bath SU will set up a SU Officer Election Event in which candidates in that election are permitted to post.
  8. If you are an administrator of a page and you post on that page, the post is displayed as being written from that page and not from an individual.  Remove yourself as an admin to correct this (not applicable for candidates' pages, only if you are an administrator of an activity group etc).
  9. Candidates should not spam.

Twitter

  • If tweeting, use #BathSUelections

Publicity

  1. Usual University rules are relaxed in SU Officer elections only to allow individual candidates to publicise themselves and their campaign.
  2. In area elections, any publicity must not incur any cost and must abide by University regulations.

All candidates must act in the interests of a fair election.