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In 2021, you are electing your new Student Executive Officer team for 2021-2022.

The Student Executive Officer team and part-time officers are your voice to the University, meeting with senior leadership at the University as well as in the community around us, and their roles are to make change for you.

Whether you’re passionate about welfare and student rights, to improving the student experience, holding the University to account and to become a trustee of a charity organisation, this election is an opportunity for you to change and improve your Students' Union and the University.

Do you want your next Student Executive Officers to represent you? Then be part of your elections. Use your right, your nomination, your vote and your voice.

This will be the Union’s 160th elections, be part of it.

 
 
 
Role Descriptions
Training
FAQ's

Exec Officer Roles

General Secretary  

Role Description

The General Secretary is the lead student representative in the SU, and acts as the main liaison between the University and students. This vital role chairs the SU Trustee Board and sits on the University’s Board of Governors, ensuring that student voice is heard at the highest levels of both the University and the SU. The General Secretary ensures that the SU and the other Executive Officers are supported and able to represent the over 40,000 students at the University effectively. This is a very broad role and gives you the space to focus on your priorities for the SU – so whatever you’re passionate about, if you want to see a better SU and University for students, this role is for you!

The General Secretary represents students on:

  • The University’s Board of Governors and senior leaders
  • The SU’s involvement in national issues, including the National Union of Students
  • Ensuring the SU is effectively representing students

This role is open to any student and we would encourage all students to nominate themselves. Whether you are already involved with the SU (in some of the roles below) or not, this is your chance to know the SU more and what you can do for the interest of students, by running for this position.

  • A society leader
  • A staff member
  • A volunteer with student media
  • A JCR/RA representative
  • A Part-Time Officer
  • A campaigner

What’s a typical week like?

During a normal week, you’ll work in the office in the main SU Building (Steve Biko Building) on campus. You’ll work alongside the other Executive Officers and the SU’s staff team in the bustling, fast-paced office.

As the primary liaison between the SU and the University, the General Secretary spends a lot of time meeting with the University. In committee meetings, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to many of the major decisions taken by the University about a wide range of issues, as well as the chance to push forward your own priorities for students. You’ll also be heavily involved in the ongoing development of the SU, working closely with the Chief Executive to oversee strategic planning and agree major changes to the SU.

In a week, you might:

  • Attend a University committee meeting to discuss University finances and spending plans
  • Meet with the SU democracy staff team to agree plans to improve student engagement in SU decision making
  • With the Education and Postgraduate Officers, meet with senior teaching staff at the University to discuss plans to develop teaching
  • Attend a meeting with the University’s senior leaders to discuss any challenges facing the University
  • With the Welfare & Community Officer, meet with Manchester’s city leaders to lobby for improvements for students living in the city

Women’s Officer  

Role Description

The Women’s Officer leads on campaigns, projects and policy supporting gender equality and making meaningful change for women students at the University. This role covers a range of gender-related issues, from tackling discrimination, to safety and support for women, to championing women’s participation in academic life. You’ll have the opportunity to plan and run your own campaigns and projects, to host events for women, and to lobby and negotiate for changes in the University and city. This is an amazing role for you if you’re passionate about gender equality and women’s rights!

The Women’s Officer represents students on:

  • Gender equality at the SU and University
  • Women’s participation in university life
  • Welfare and inclusion issues affecting women students

This role is open to any student and we would encourage all students to nominate themselves. Whether you are already involved with the SU (in some of the roles below) or not, this is your chance to know the SU more and what you can do for the interest of students, by running for this position.

  • A Liberation Part-Time Officer
  • An Access Part-Time Officer
  • A Reclaim the Night volunteer or supporter
  • A JCR or RA representative
  • In a women’s or campaigning society

What’s a typical week like?

During a normal week, you’ll work in the office in the main SU Building (Steve Biko Building) on campus. You’ll work alongside the other Executive Officers and the SU’s staff team in the bustling, fast-paced office.

As the Women’s Officer, you’ll work closely with student officers and groups to organise different campaigns and projects to improve the inclusion and experiences of women students at the University. With support from the campaigns staff team you’ll be the voice of women students lobbying the university and the city on a range of issues.

In a week, you might:

  • Meet with the SU campaigns staff to develop your plans for a new change campaign
  • Brief the Liberation Part-Time Officers on your priorities
  • Update the SU staff team on your plans for the Reclaim the Night campaign
  • Attend a student safety committee meeting with the University and lobby for improvements to safety on campus
  • Lobby city representatives about access to women’s services in the community
  • Attend an event hosted by the Women’s Part-Time Officers

Postgraduate Officer  

Role Description

The Postgraduate Officer is the lead representative for postgraduate students at the University, speaking up for students on a range of issues from wellbeing and support, to the quality of postgraduate research. With nearly 15,000 students on a postgraduate course, this role is vital in ensuring postgraduate students are recognised and supported by both the SU and University. Whether you’re a proud postgraduate student who wants to plan activities and deliver support for your fellow postgrads, or you’ve experienced a postgraduate course and there’s meaningful change you want to lead on, this role is for you!

The Postgraduate Officer represents students on:

  • Activities and support for postgraduate students at the SU and the University
  • Postgraduate teaching and research
  • Developing an effective academic representation network of postgraduate students
  • Research quality

This role is open to any student and we would encourage all students to nominate themselves. Whether you are already involved with the SU (in some of the roles below) or not, this is your chance to know the SU more and what you can do for the interest of students, by running for this position.

  • A postgraduate student rep
  • A Faculty Part-Time Officer
  • A member of an academic society
  • An Access All Areas volunteer
  • A member of the PGR Association
  • A peer mentor or PASS leader at the University

What’s a typical week like?

During a normal week, you’ll work in the office in the main SU Building (Steve Biko Building) on campus. You’ll work alongside the other Executive Officers and the SU’s staff team in the bustling, fast-paced office.

The Postgraduate Officer is a member of many University committees where key decisions affecting postgraduate students are debated and agreed. In this role, you’ll be connected with hundreds of postgraduate student reps in every School across the University to help you understand the needs of the postgraduate student community and champion their voice to the University. You’ll also deliver campaigns and projects to lobby for improvements in welfare and support for postgraduates.

In a week, you might:

  • Alongside the Education Officer, host a student rep drop-in to answer queries direct from students
  • Attend a social event for postgraduate students to network
  • Meet with the SU education staff team to be briefed on an academic issue affecting postgraduate students
  • Attend a University committee meeting to discuss the University’s research plans

Education Officer  

Role Description

The Education Officer leads on academic matters with the University, championing student voice and feedback on everything related to teaching and learning. Having an amazing learning experience and gaining a Manchester qualification is top of most priorities lists for students, and this role can challenge the University to make sure students get that. Manchester is a large university, so you’ll work with nearly 1,000 student reps from every School in the University to drive real changes to the way students learn at the University. Are you passionate about academic issues and the learning experience at Manchester? Then this role is for you!

The Education Officer will represent students on:

  • The quality of teaching
  • Learning resources (e.g., Libraries)
  • Developing an effective academic representation network at all levels of the University

This role is open to any student and we would encourage all students to nominate themselves. Whether you are already involved with the SU (in some of the roles below) or not, this is your chance to know the SU more and what you can do for the interest of students, by running for this position.

  • A student rep or Faculty Part-Time Officer
  • A member of an academic society
  • An Access Part-Time Officer
  • An Access All Areas volunteer
  • A peer mentor or PASS leader at the University
  • A Student Partner Intern or Student Consultant

What’s a typical week like?

During a normal week, you’ll work in the office in the main SU Building (Steve Biko Building) on campus. You’ll work alongside the other Executive Officers and the SU’s staff team in the bustling, fast-paced office.

As the Education Officer, you’ll be a member of many University committees, where the key decisions about teaching and learning are debated and agreed. These are the spaces where you’ll be pushing forward the priorities for students and arguing for any changes that will improve the academic life of students. You’ll be connected to nearly 1,000 student reps in every School and course across the University to help you understand the needs and experiences of the entire student body.

In a week, you might:

  • Attend a Teaching and Learning Group committee meeting with senior teaching staff from across the University
  • Meet with the SU Education staff team to organise an upcoming event for student reps
  • Alongside the Postgraduate Officer, host a student rep drop-in to answer queries direct from students
  • Hear from the SU Advice staff team about academic issues students are raising to them and lobby for improvements with senior University leaders
  • Brief the Faculty Part-Time Officers on your priorities for teaching and learning for them to raise with Faculty Board committees

Activities & Development Officer  

Role Description

The Activities & Development Officer is the lead officer cheering on student-led activity and student personal development in the SU. With hundreds of societies, a brilliant student media group, and hundreds of student-led events every year, this role has the unique opportunity to collaborate with the thousands of students who make Manchester such an exciting place to live and study. This role also leads on the SU’s sustainability plans and environmental campaigning. If you have experiencing of leading a society, volunteering with local initiatives, or contributing to student media, this role will be an amazing opportunity to champion all student-led activity.

The Activities & Development Officer represents students on:

  • Championing student-led activities and societies
  • Green Impact and sustainability
  • Supporting student media
  • Personal development and employability

This role is open to any student and we would encourage all students to nominate themselves. Whether you are already involved with the SU (in some of the roles below) or not, this is your chance to know the SU more and what you can do for the interest of students, by running for this position.

  • A society leader or in a society
  • A JCR/RA representative
  • A volunteer with student media
  • A climate campaigner

What’s a typical week like?

During a normal week, you’ll work in the office in the main SU Building (Steve Biko Building) on campus. You’ll work alongside the other Executive Officers and the SU’s staff team in the bustling, fast-paced office.

The Activities & Development Officer works closely with a huge number of student groups, helping to organise and attend events, hearing and sharing feedback from student leaders, and helping students access different student activities in the SU. This role is a great opportunity to plan and lead on different projects and events, leaving you able to adapt to what the student body needs throughout the year. Depending on your priorities for the role, there will also be opportunities to work with the University and local community on projects and initiatives.

In a week, you might:

  • Meet with the SU societies staff team to discuss an upcoming training event for society leaders
  • Attend a society event to support the committee
  • Attend a University committee to challenge them on their climate and sustainability plans
  • Meet with the SU events staff team to plan your upcoming event to launch your new project

Welfare & Community Officer  

Role Description

The Welfare & Community Officer is the lead student championing a number of issues and student rights outside of teaching. With over 40,000 students studying at the University of Manchester, this role is vital in ensuring every student has access to the right health and wellbeing services, to a secure home, and to feel safe in the city. As the lead representative for students in the community, you’ll work closely with the police, landlords groups, other students’ unions and local representatives, as well as student officers and groups in our own University. Whether you have experience campaigning to improve student rights, or you’re passionate about the city we study in, this is an amazing role for you!

The Welfare & Community Officer represents students on:

  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Access to health services
  • Housing
  • Community relations between students and the city
  • Feeling safe on campus and in the city
  • Money and finances

This role is open to any student and we would encourage all students to nominate themselves. Whether you are already involved with the SU (in some of the roles below) or not, this is your chance to know the SU more and what you can do for the interest of students, by running for this position.

  • A Liberation Part-Time Officer
  • An Access Part-Time Officer
  • A Community Part-Time Officer
  • On a JCR or RA
  • A Student Angels volunteer

What’s a typical week like?

During a normal week, you’ll work in the office in the main SU Building (Steve Biko Building) on campus. You’ll work alongside the other Executive Officers and the SU’s staff team in the bustling, fast-paced office.

As the Welfare & Community Officer, you’ll have a wide remit but plenty of opportunities to work with students and different projects across the University to make meaningful change to the lives of students. If you enjoy running campaigns and projects, this is a great role for you – you’ll have plenty of opportunities to lobby and organise changes for students, whether it’s with the University’s support services, the Mayor, or with landlords in the city.

In a week, you might:

  • Meet with the SU Advice staff team to organise a new campaign to educate students about house-hunting
  • Meet with staff from the local health services to agree better access to health support for students
  • Attend an event run by halls JCRs
  • Brief the Community Part-Time Officers about your aims for the semester
  • Host an event launching your new welfare campaign with students and officers

Liberation and Access Officer  

Role Description

The Liberation & Access Officer is the lead student championing equality, diversity and liberation in the SU and the University. In this role, you’ll be responsible for working with under-represented student groups, challenging the barriers and inequalities they face, and campaigning for meaningful change and a more equitable student experience for all students. The under-represented groups you’ll work with include students who face barriers to getting to and succeeding in higher education, and liberation groups – women, LGBTQ+ students, trans students, disabled students and BME students. If you’re passionate about liberation and equality, and tackling injustices in education, then you should run for this role!

The Liberation & Access Officer represents students on:

  • Equality, diversity and liberation at the SU
  • Developing a representative network of under-represented students
  • Campaigns advocating for the SU’s liberation groups
  • Widening participation and access to the University

This role is open to any student and we would encourage all students to nominate themselves. Whether you are already involved with the SU (in some of the roles below) or not, this is your chance to know the SU more and what you can do for the interest of students, by running for this position.

  • A Liberation Part-Time Officer
  • An Access Part-Time Officer
  • An Access All Areas volunteer
  • A Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador
  • A liberation activist

What’s a typical week like?

During a normal week, you’ll work in the office in the main SU Building (Steve Biko Building) on campus. You’ll work alongside the other Executive Officers and the SU’s staff team in the bustling, fast-paced office.

As the Liberation & Access Officer, you’ll work with a number of elected Part-Time Officers who represent a range of different under-represented student groups from across the University. You’ll be leading on campaigns and events on your priorities, whether it’s about challenging inequalities in academic life, pushing for better access to support, or tackling prejudice and discrimination. You will also be invited to University committees to represent students and lobby for a more equal, fair University.

In a week, you might:

  • Host a liberation history month event with the Liberation Part-Time Officers
  • Attend a University committee meeting about widening participation and supporting access to higher education
  • Meet with the SU campaigns staff to plan a campaign to tackle discrimination
  • Work with the SU education staff team on a project about educational inequalities
  • Brief the Access Part-Time Officers on your priorities for under-represented student groups

International Officer  

Role Description

The International Students’ Officer leads on support and activities for the University’s international students, helping to make Manchester a truly international university. This role has the scope to work on a range of international students’ issues, whether it’s teaching and research, welfare and support, or creating a truly multi-cultural student experience. If you’re a proud international student, or proud of our multi-cultural university, and want the opportunity to deliver events and campaigns, then you should run for this role!

The International Students’ Officer represents students on:

  • Welfare and support for international students
  • Academic issues for international students
  • Experiencing multi-cultural events and activities

This role is open to any student and we would encourage all students to nominate themselves. Whether you are already involved with the SU (in some of the roles below) or not, this is your chance to know the SU more and what you can do for the interest of students, by running for this position.

  • A Community Part-Time Officer
  • A member of a national or cultural society
  • A member or volunteer with the International Society

What’s a typical week like?

During a normal week, you’ll work in the office in the main SU Building (Steve Biko Building) on campus. You’ll work alongside the other Executive Officers and the SU’s staff team in the bustling, fast-paced office.

As the International Students’ Officer you will lead on a range of events and campaigns to support international students and help all students to have a diverse, multi-cultural experience at University. You also represent international students at a number of University committees where you’ll be pushing forward the priorities for international students and ensuring their voices are heard.

In a week, you might:

  • Host an event with the International Part-Time Officers
  • Attend a cultural society event to support the society committee
  • Meet with the SU campaigns staff to discuss a campaign about access to health services
  • Attend a University committee meeting to discuss international students’ fees
  • Lobby local community representatives to understand the impact of international students in the city

Part-Time Roles

All of these positions are part-time, voluntary roles that you can carry out alongside your studies. These roles last for one academic year, starting in June 2020. For most of these groups, you may only run for positions if you are part of the relevant student group (for example, if you are part of that Faculty)

Liberation Officers  

BME | Disabled | LGBTQ+ | Trans | Women

Liberation Officers will direct their respective campaigns through creating policy, hosting events and consulting with their members.

Faculty Officers  

Undergraduate | Postgraduate Taught | Postgraduate Research

Each Faculty has two undergraduate and two postgraduate (PGT and PGR) Officers. They will influence and make key decisions on Faculty committees. They run faculty-specific campaigns and work with a wealth of students reps to effect necessary change.

Student Community Officers  

International | Environment and Ethics | City Centre | Fallowfield & Withington | Rusholme & Whitworth Park

These roles are designed to represent students outside in the wider community. They will campaign on issues such as environment, transport, housing and safety.

Access Officers  

Student Parent | Student Carer | Part-time Student | Mature Student | Distance-Learner Student | Living at Home | Widening Participation Officer

These positions work specifically on issues of concern to a particular section of the student community, to remove barriers and boundaries to learning these students are more likely to face.

NUS Delegates  

The National Union of Students (NUS) runs a National Conference every Spring where delegates from Students’ Unions across the country gather and discuss national policy and campaign issues. We have 11 delegate places to elect, and if elected you will need to be available to attend National Conference on the 6th-8th April 2021.

Why do we run elections?  

At the Students’ Union, we help to make sure we are student-led by asking our members to elect students to thousands of leadership positions each year, from running a society to representing students on the University’s Board of Governors.

During our main elections period in February/March, we elect students into full-time or part-time positions who represent different groups of students and campaign on a variety of issues. The election is the opportunity for any eligible student to run for a position, and for other students to choose which candidate they want representing them.

How do I run in the election?  

Nominations for the main elections will open on the Students’ Union website. In order to run in the election, you will need to complete the online nomination form. The nomination form includes your manifesto.

To nominate yourself follow these simple steps:

  • Head to manchesterstudentsunion.com/nominate
  • Find the position you’d like to run for and click ‘Submit’
  • Upload a photo of you and your manifesto
  • Submit it! Before the close of nominations, you’ll receive confirmation that we’ve approved your nomination

Once you’re a candidate, you will be expected to campaign to encourage other students to vote for you and discuss the issues you’d like to work on in that position. Throughout the campaign, you will need to abide by our Election Rules and help make sure the election is fun, free and fair.

We will be running Candidate Academy sessions throughout the nominations period. You should come along if you are thinking of running and want more information and tips about the elections process, writing your manifesto, or campaigning.

What is a manifesto?  

Your manifesto is your chance to tell other students why they should vote for you and sets out your ideas and plans. You should explain why you want to represent students and what changes or projects you would implement if you are elected.

The manifesto is limited to 300 words. When you submit your nomination form online, this must be text only but you can embed links to social media pages, videos, images, etc. Many candidates also choose to create artwork for their manifesto, which you can use as part of your campaign materials.

Can I run in an election if I am an international student?  

Yes! International students can run for any position, including full-time Executive Officer positions. We even have a full-time International Officer on our Executive Team, as well as two part-time International Officers, which are roles targeted specifically at international or EU students.

However, there may be visa implications that you will need to be aware of. If you run for a part-time position, your visa may state a maximum number of hours you can work or volunteer per week. If you are successfully elected to a full-time position, the Students’ Union will support you if you require any changes to your visa. When you submit your nomination, you should let the Elections Team know if you will require a visa for the term of the position.

Can I run in an election if I am a postgraduate research student?  

Yes! We have a Postgraduate Officer position on our Executive Team, but all of our Executive Officer roles are open to PGR students, and you can take up the role either at the end of your programme or as a sabbatical year during it.

If you are intending to take up the role before submitting your thesis, you should discuss your plans with your supervisor to see if they have any concerns. We would expect supervisors to give serious consideration to your plans. If you receive funding or financial sponsorship, you should check with your funding body if taking up a full-time position would affect your eligibility for funding.

Can I run in an election if I am a postgraduate taught student?  

Yes! We have a Postgraduate Officer position on our Executive Team, but all of our Executive Officer roles are open to PGT students. As most PGT programmes would be ongoing when Executive Officers start working (mid-June), it is important for you to have a clear plan for how you will complete your course. You may choose to complete your dissertation early or to defer your studies and return to complete them later. However, the Students’ Union will also support you to complete your studies through flexible working arrangements.

Can I stand for more than one position?  

In the main elections period in 2020, you can only run for one position. This is because all of the part-time and full-time positions have a seat on the Students’ Union Senate and so must be held by different people.

Do the elections have rules?  

Yes, we publish the rules at the beginning of the elections period and send to all candidates. You should read these carefully, as you will be investigated and may be penalised if candidates or their campaigners breach the rules. The rules are in place to ensure we have a fun, free and fair election.

How does voting work?  

The Students’ Union uses the Single Transferable Vote method, where voters rank the candidates in order of preference. By voting this way, you can tell us that if your favourite candidate doesn’t win, then you don’t mind your second favourite winning, or third favourite, or so on.

When voting closes and we count the results of the election, we require a candidate to have over 50% of the votes to win. If no candidate gets over 50% of the votes, then we eliminate the candidates with the lowest scores and redistribute your voting preferences until someone does. If you want to find out more about STV voting, you can watch this helpful video here.

Who is RON?  

We include the option to Re-Open Nominations (RON) in every Students’ Union election. You would usually vote for this option if you do not want to vote for any of the candidates on the ballot. If RON wins the election, the post will be re-opened in a by-election at a suitable time in the future.

If you have any unanswered questions, please get in touch with the Elections Team at suelections@manchester.ac.uk

Online Training Sessions

Are you thinking about standing in the election? Come along to our training sessions, running from January until nominations close on 21st February. These online training sessions are open to anyone.

Your Elections Journey  

In this introductory session we will talk you through every step of the elections journey, from writing your nomination to listening to the results.

Thursday 14th January (2-3pm) - Training Link
Wednesday 20th January (2-3pm) - Training Link
Thursday 28th January (6-7pm) - Training Link
Tuesday 2nd February (6-7pm) - Training Link
Thursday 4th February (2-3pm) - Training Link

Building a Manifesto  

Your manifesto should get voters excited about you and your ideas - in this session we'll talk you through how to write a creative, ambitious manifesto that you'll actually be able to deliver if you win.

Tuesday 26th January (6-7pm) - Training Link
Wednesday 3rd February (2-3pm) - Training Link

Volunteer to Officer  

Volunteering or being part of a society committee could be just the first step in your leadership journey! Learn more about the life cycle of an officer, and how to take the next steps on your path to leadership.

Monday 1st February (1-2pm) - Training Link

Training Calendar  

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