Are you an active person who wants to influence change on campus? Why, not try that through running a campaign in our Referendum process?
The recent Scottish Independence Referendum showed a huge increase of engagement and interest in politics in our society. In DUSA we believe that the same can happen with a heavily publicised Referenda campaign, run by passionate students.
In order to find out more about the Referenda process, please check our ‘FAQ for Referenda’, our relevant Bye Laws or send a question to Stefan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the annual week of Referendums in the week of the 24th November, please submit a motion and the list of names and matriculation numbers of 125 fully matriculated students by 2 pm of Friday the 7th November at email@example.com
Who is overseeing the Referendums?
The Referendums are overseen by the Election Liaison Committee (ELC).
What are the important dates for the Referendums?
Motions can be submitted from the 27th October until 2pm on the 7th November.
The approved questions for the Referendums will be announced on Tuesday the 11th November.
Campaigns for ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ sides have until 3pm on the 19th November to submit one poster for their campaign.
The Campaigners’ Briefing will be on Friday the 21st November from 5pm.
The Debates for the Referendums will be on Wednesday the 26th November from 6pm.
Voting will be open on Thursday the 27th November from 9 am and closes on Friday the 28th November at 4pm.
The outcome of the vote will be announced on Monday the 1st December.
What are the official documents which explain the Referendums process?
The Referendums process is outlined in DUSA’s Bye Law 4, while the voting process and the establishment of the ELC are explained in Bye Law 3.
Who can propose a question?
Any Ordinary Member of DUSA can propose a question.
What do I need to do in order to propose a question?
You need to submit a question to the Deputy President of DUSA (either by meeting them or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org) and submit the names and matriculation numbers of at least 125 signatures of Ordinary Members of DUSA who support the idea that there should be a Referendum on a given question. Please use the official template for question and 125 signatories that you can see on the website to submit your motion.
Where can I vote?
Voting is done online on MyDundee.
What percentage of the vote is needed to win a vote?
A motion needs to get more than 50% of the counted votes in order to pass.
What is the quorum for a motion to be successful?
A motion has reached quorum if at least 10% of the student body has cast a vote.
What kind of promotion will my campaign team and I receive?
Each campaign side will have a total budget of £50, which must be used according to rules stipulated in Bye Law 3. No additional money is allowed to be spent on a campaign. All receipts must be submitted in accordance with the election regulations.
How many posters we may print?
You are not allowed to print any printing. DUSA will supply you with printed materials for the duration of the campaign. It will be at the discretion of the ELC how many A4 posters and A5 leaflets will each side receive. Any more printed materials are not permitted.
If passed, is the decision of the Referendum binding?
As article 3.7 of Bye Law states ‘The decision of the Referendum shall be binding on the Board of Trustees, Council and the General Meeting provided they do not contravene any other part of the Constitution or relevant legislation, including but not limited to the Education Act 1994 and the Charity and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 as well as any subsequent legislation.’ This means that even if a question has reached quorum and had a successful outcome, it does not necessary become binding if any piece of legislation or official document which affects DUSA would supersede it.
How can I find out if a question I am raising will be considered appropriate according to the regulations?
You can find this out if you speak in advance with the Deputy President and share with them your proposed Referendum question. Furthermore, members of the ELC can work with you on your question and help you redraft it in a way that will be considered as appropriate.
What is DUSA’s role in the process?
DUSA organises impartial election process. However, the Association reserves the right to put forward neutral and factual information to facilitate informed debate.
Example of a Bad motion:
DUSA will dedicate time and resources to running a campaign to support the people of Wakanda in their war against the invading Latverian forces, and officially take the stance that Latveria is a very nasty place.
Although most people in the world would sympathise with T’Challa’s people and would like to honour the territorial sovereignty of Wakanda, this motion cannot be applicable to DUSA. This is because the motion does not affect at any way the students of the University of Dundee as students, despite how much they do not approve the tyranny of Dr. Doom. DUSA must remain neutral on political issues which do not directly relate to students or its operation, even if students feel passionately about an issue, and at it clearly could not dedicate resources in helping any side of a conflict.
However, societies affiliated with DUSA and other student groups are allowed to raise awareness about the issue so that the students of the University understand the big picture of the encounter. If you feel strongly about this motion and want to do something about it then consider approaching relevant societies, or forming your own.
Example of a Good motion:
DUSA will take the official stance that the rights of students from the Wakanda community are incredibly important, will fight to ensure that all of our students are treated equally and with the respect they deserve, and will run an awareness campaign to ensure that the issues facing students from Wakanda are appropriately recognised and addressed.
This is an example of a good motion as it clearly impacts on the students of the University. It would protect the rights of a minority group of student which up until now had been neglected, and it would ensure DUSA campaigns to explain to the student body what Wakandan students experience and how we can help our society better embrace them as an important and integral part of it.
The most important principle to take note of when writing a motion is that it must be relevant to the students as students of the University. A student may care deeply about a foreign conflict, but it does not affect the student explicitly as a student of the University and as such would not be an appropriate motion. Suitable motions would be concerned with DUSA, the University of Dundee or other student-specific issues, not issues which fall outside of the student experience directly relating to their time here studying at Dundee.