Information For Voters

5 Reasons to Vote

About the Voting Process

"The Alternative Vote (AV) is a preferential system where the voter has the chance to rank the candidates in order of preference.

The voter puts a '1' by their first choice a '2' by their second choice, and so on, until they no longer wish to express any further preferences or run out of candidates.

Candidates are elected outright if they gain more than half of the first preference votes. If not, the candidate who lost (the one with least first preferences) is eliminated and their votes are redistributed according to the second (or next available) preference marked on the ballot paper. This process continues until one candidate has half of the votes and is elected. " Source: Electoral Reform Society

No Suitable Candidate?

If you are unhappy with all the candidates standing for a position and you would like the election to run again with new candidates then you can choose to vote for "No Suitable Candidate".

Ex-Officer Quotes

Student Grants  (not high enough), quality of higher education,  graduate jobs, gay rights...”

– Lee Caunce (Sabbatical Treasurer - 1973/74, Sabbatical President - 1974/75)

The main localised issue was the poor provision of Sports Funding at uwe at the time. I was heavily involved, with members of the Sports Clubs/Societies, in a campaign to improve sports facilities at uwe. I like to think that the campaigning that we did back in 1997 (which had national coverage in the press), has in some way contributed to the vast improvement of Sports facilities at uwe in recent years

– Helene Gibson (Campaigns Officer/Union Secretary - July 1996/7)

Getting people to vote, a new constitution, but most of all increasing participation within the Union at every level

– Neil Browning (Sabbatical Officer - 1998/00)

Tuition fees and rent rises for the student accommodation at Frenchay

– Rebecca Rue (Sabbatical Officer - 1999/00)

The key issues for my time as an officer were the campaign against tuition fees...if only the National Union of Students had listened back then...look at the mess now...the need for representation has never been greater

– Sean Rhodes (Sabbatical Officer - 1994/96)

I think the key issue was university fees, but also student apathy was a big deal. The union is only as strong as those that are actively involved, without students voicing their opinions the message can be weakened

– Dan Davies (Sabbatical Officer - 2003/04)

I got involved because I was very interested in politics at the time and saw the union as a means of engagement. There was a fair amount of apathy in the student body and so those of us who wished to play a part were pretty much unopposed...

– Paul Greaves (Bristol Polytechnic Students’ Union Sabbatical Secretary - 1975/76)

Wanted to make a difference, stand up for students interests, I was very interested in politics and campaigning

– Dave Jonhson (Sabbatical Officer - 1981/83)

Because a serving officer asked me to stand.  I was seven months pregnant and wondering what to do when I finished my post-graduate course.  I was already active on Students' Representative Council as a course rep and a minibus driver for the Students' Union safety bus service.  I was a  mature. post-graduate student, about to become a single Mum.  I could see how I could make a difference to students' lives by becoming an officer and representing the interests of students, particularly those not well represented on Students' Union committees

– Helen West (Sabbatical Officer - 1987/89)

Originally I got involved because I was pretty ugly and figured that winning a garish popularity contest might cheer me up. That and the Freshers’ week entertainments at St.Matts were RUBBISH! When I became what was then the “Education Officer” sabbatical it was to not just give students a voice in their education- but to dramatically improve their rights. Voice isn’t important as much as what it can achieve. When I stood for President the year after it was all about Power. Not mine (although that was nice) but giving students some Power

– Jim Dickinson (Education Officer - 1997/98, Sabbatical President - 1998/99)

Initially through environmental and anti-war campaigning with People & Planet, I worked in the activities centre for a year, I was always incredibly opinionated and thought it would be a great experience to get paid to be opinionated for a year

– Ryan McGovock

I’m quite passionate about fair access to education, and removing barriers that people face in reaching their potential. So, a campaigning role that fought government policy and championed extra-curricular activities was the perfect choice for me

– Alice Bouquet (Activities President - 2007/09)

Having a huge office with a drinks cabinet was very cool! Stopping the nursery losing its subsidy from the university was something I was really proud of. Standing up at NUS conference and winning a vote against the NUS sabbaticals who for some strange reason did not want to fight the 'grants not loans' campaign

– Caroline Pringle (Sabbatical Officer - 1991/92)

It helped me start my career in the public service. It gave me bags of confidence to take anything on, to deal with people and issues and I already had the soft skills/EQ training that degrees and other qualifications just cannot deliver

– Julian Blewett (Sabbatical Officer - 1999/01)

The best thing was working with students to help them get stuff done - whether it be jobs in publishing or helping them with accommodation or specific course woes. But it was also great fun just rolling up my sleeves and getting the magazine out every month - it also helped, of course that I was talking to PR companies in the music, showbiz and general stuff worlds, experience that helped greatly in my later journalistic life

– Rob Delaney (Communications Officer - 1997/98, Publications Officer - 1998/99 )

One of the best things was the freedom. Being an elected officer is not a ‘job’, it is an elected position that by default of democracy becomes a lifestyle

– Dom Passfield (Student Representative Council - President 2007/09)

All of it – a great experience – even the stress and frustrations when this weren’t going our way. It has benefited in that it gave me management/organisation skills which have helped me personally, but I have not directly gone into a representative/student union related role

– Jody Lockyer (Sabbatical Officer - 2000/01)