The time has come for the most exciting part of the year here at the University of Dundee!
For three days in March (4th, 5th and 6th) students will be running around campus engaging with their peers and looking for votes to win a position as a member of the DUSA Executive, School President or Independent Court Member.
The DUSA Executive is made up of seven members, which run DUSA and coordinate its pastoral activities. Five of them are sabbaticals (fulltime) – the President, Deputy President, Vice President of Communications and Campaigns, Vice President of Student Activities and Vice President of Representation. All of these positions will be responsible for a specific portfolio and are remunerated posts lasting for one year, starting from the 1st July 2015.
Anyone who is elected in a sabbatical position will receive an annual salary of £17,957. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Innovation from the University of Dundee alongside your term in office if you choose to do so (please note, this is only available if you are doing your sabbatical year after graduating from an undergraduate degree).
The other two positions, the Vice President of Engagement and Vice President of Student Welfare, are non-sabbatical roles. Those elected will take a part-time voluntary responsibility while continuing their degree at the University.
Also, each School in the University elects one person who takes the position of School President, who is the main student representative for the School and sits with this remit on the Student Representative Council.
Another position you can run for this year, while being a student, is the Independent Court Member. As such you would sit on the highest University body – Court – , and will represent the opinion of Dundee University students on the most important financial and operational matters.
Every single one of these position will be great on your CV and it will give you a chance to network with senior University members who can write you recommendation for work one day, should you do a superb job (why wouldn’t you?!).
If media is more your thing then you could be the next, Editor in Chief of The Magdalen, Executive Editor of dusamedia.com, TV Manager or Radio Manager. Please note, the media positions are appointed not elected. You will be asked to attend an interview on Saturday 21st February.
What are you waiting for? RUN! Nominations are open until the 6th February.
When do nominations open?
Nominations open on Monday the 12th January 2015 and close on Friday the 6th February at 3 pm.
What do I need to run?
- If you are running for an Executive or Independent Member of Court (IMC), you need a Candidate statement around 500 words, which needs to be in a Word document file. If you are running for School President, your statement should be no more than 300 words.
- You need to distinguish 3 main policies, which will appear on the MyDundee vote section and you should preferably put on your own poster.
- A poster in a PDF format and JPEG format. For information how to do a poster, if you do not have Photoshop skills, please refer down below to the section What happens if I cannot make a poster myself?
- A photograph of yourself in a JPEG format.
- Support file in a Word document, which contains the names and matriculation numbers of current matriculated University of Dundee students who are seconding your nomination. If you run for Exec or ICM you need at least 20, while if you run for School President you need at least two. There is no need to obtain a seconder’s signature – name and matriculation number are sufficient.
Where, when and how can I campaign?
It will start on Monday the 23rd February right after the Candidates Briefing. Promotion is strictly prohibited prior to the briefing!
- You can be aided in your campaign by any of your friends; however, the same rules for campaigning that applies to you, applies to them, as well. Any breaches of the election rules by your friends will affect you. DUSA student staff members cannot promote themselves or their friends while on duty.
- Candidates may speak at University lectures and seminars; however, candidates must have prior permission from staff before they do so.
- Music can be played while you campaign and you may show videos from an electronic device to support your campaign.
- Social networking sites may be used by Candidates. Candidates will inform and allow the Returning Officers (or a person designated by the Returning Officers, most appropriately the Deputy President) to monitor internet activity and ensure it is utilised in a fair, honest and non-discriminatory manner by providing access to the nominated persons account.
- There are some strict rules when it comes to campaigning on social media sites.
- You are only allowed to post on pages which are public – this means that any page or group which is private (for example a Society or Sports Union page) is prohibited.
- Only people can post on social media sites. This means administrators for any page or group that is public or private cannot post on your behalf.
- They are allowed to inform people that the elections are happening, but they have to be completely neutral and cannot suggest which preference they may have. This means they are not allowed to single out candidates; they would have to mention EVERY candidate, again giving no preference
- Your friends are allowed to post on your behalf, however, the same rules apply to them and again any misconduct can result in disqualification.
Is there anywhere I am not allowed to campaign?
- No canvassing is permitted at or in the immediate vicinity of any IT environment, and University library or designated polling station (this means anywhere on campus where computers are available for use)
- No publicity material may be displayed in DUSA or its associated shops and other facilities.
- Electioneering and canvassing is banned from the DUSA offices and School offices.
- More information about the campaigning process will be explained at the Candidates’ Briefing on the 23rd February.
- Under no circumstances can you supply voters with any electronic device to help them vote. Smart phones, laptops, iPads, tablets and any form of electronic device cannot be used to encourage people to vote.
What should I include on my election poster?
Make sure to include on the poster your name, the position that you are running for, the dates of the elections (4th, 5th and 6th March), that voting is online on MyDundee, and your main policies. There is no need to add your statement to the poster – it will just take away space. Preferably you can also include a photo of yourself, though in the past people have won elections without a photo.
If you cannot produce a poster, ask a friend for help. In case you do not have friends with Photoshop skills, you can also try to do a poster by yourself using an online poster generator. They are free, easy to use, and you can check out an example here: http://www.postermywall.com/
What promotional materials will I receive?
DUSA will print the same amount of promotional materials for all candidates.
If you are running for Executive position or Independent Member of Court, you will receive 10 T-shirts in different sizes, which will have your poster on the front and the surname and position on the back. Besides that you will receive laminated A4 posters, A6 leaflets, and stickers.
If you are running for a School President, you will get A4 papers and A6 papers, all printed by DUSA. Furthermore, DUSA will provide you with a box of sweeties for promotional purposes and you can spend £5 on stationery. You can get the £5 reimbursed, if you provide the receipts to the Deputy President; you cannot spend over the £5!
You cannot store any of your materials in the DUSA building. All materials must be removed from DUSA after the candidates briefing.
All promotional material must be removed from campus within 7 days from the end of the elections (Elections end March 6th).
Who is overseeing the process?
The process is overseen by the Election Liaison Committee (ELC) which is chaired by the DUSA Deputy President. The other members of the ELC are 5 Returning Officers from the University, the President, the Vice President Communications and Campaigns, the DUSA General Manager, the DUSA Democratic Support and Policy Coordinator.
- Any complaints regarding another candidates’ conduct should be directed to the Deputy President who will then bring it to the attention of the Election Liaison Committee to make a decision.
- If your complaint is about the Deputy President, or how the election is run, you should direct your complaint to the Democratic Support and Policy Coordinator Stewart Squire at email@example.com
When and where can I vote?
Voting takes place from 9 am on Wednesday the 4th March until 3 pm on Friday the 6th March. Voting is done online at “MyDundee”. Follow the 2015 DUSA Elections tab.
The election results will be announced from 8pm on the 6th March in Air, Level 4 of DUSA.
The voting system is called Single Transferable Voting, or STV for short. For more information on the voting system, please check http://www.stvaction.org.uk/aboutstv
If I am elected, when will I start?
All positions should normally start on the 1st July, but some School Presidents might be expected to take on responsibilities earlier. You can expect to be invited to shadow your predecessor at various meetings before your start date.
Those who are elected to serve on the DUSA Executive will have to come to the handover period which starts on the 1st June and ends on the 15th June. Those who are elected to the position of School President will be invited for training in April.