This page details any 'additional rulings the Deputy Returning Officer has made that are not included in the core elections rules and regs.
If you're not sure about whether something is within the rules or not, or need something further clarified, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any major announcements or decisions will be communicated to candidates directly by email as well.
Remember - campaigning in any form cannot begin until voting opens. You can, however, prepare content and make sure things are ready to go for voting week - this would include having lecture shout outs or Brightspace or social media content confirmed and ready to go.
The only places posters should be attached to walls is on the boards we have near our polling stations in the arts, Atrium, Social Space and Waterfront buildings, and the red SU boards immediately to the left of the stairs on each floor of the Waterfront building. This is the agreement we have in place with estates. If you come across any other free standing backboards not clearly designated for an event then you may also place posters there. You may of course place posters and leaflets on tables and other surfaces throughout university buildings.
Keeping social media pages private until voting week
No campaigning can happen until Candidate Question Time has finished on Tuesday 8th March - this includes social media pages. Some have asked about how to create pages ahead of time but keep them private - this guide walks you through it.
If creating an account ahead of voting week, please keep it set to private. Even this, however, might mean that your account appears in people's 'suggested' accounts - for this reason, please keep any mention of elections, officer roles etc. out of usernames, account names blurbs etc until voting opens.
Brightspace and other virtual learning environments
Having content posted on your behalf by a lecturer or other staff member on Brightspace is fine, providing that this is an opportunity afforded by that staff member to any candidate that asks, and that it is posted as information to students, but NOT an endorsement from that staff member (staff members must remain neutral in the elections).
For a site that every student is enrolled on, or a professional services site, where it isn't practical for every candidate to have a post from them, a general SU post advertising elections and directing students to the SU website with full candidate info will be posted instead. If you spot somewhere you think it would useful for this to appear, please email email@example.com with details.
Posting elections content in Brightspace yourself will not be allowed, as not all candidates have equal access to Brightspace – it should go through a staff member instead.
For the avoidance of doubt, this will apply to similar virtual learning environments used by partner institutions too.
Lecture shout outs
Lecture shout outs are allowed - you should contact the lecturer and ask their permission and repsect their decision. A list of course leaders can be found here.
Promotion in halls of accommodation
Promotion in halls of accommodation will be allowed, but you should seek the permission of accommodation teams before placing any materials or campaigning in halls.
Posting campaign material in closed facebook groups
In general, posting campaign material inside closed (but discoverable) social media groups will be permitted, but posting in private facebook groups will not. This is for two reasons:
- Equality – Other candidates should be able to find the facebook group, and request to join and post.
- Transparency – The Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) should be able to view any posts that have been posted on social media concerning the elections, in case a complaint is lodged regarding them.
To this end, candidates are to seek the person of the admin of any facebook group before posting, and request that other candidates that request posting permission also be permitted to post in these groups - any admins with questions about the elections can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If a candidate is an admin of a group that they intend to post in for the elections, where possible they should hand admin rights over to another member of that group for the duration of voting week before posting, and not seek to restrict other candidates from being able to post campaign posts in that group.
Students who are also staff participating in the elections
Some students, as well as being enrolled students at the University of Suffolk, also have employment contracts with either the university or the Students’ Union. The election rules make it quite clear that all full-time staff of these organisations are to remain neutral in elections and not support any candidate’s individual campaign.
Staff that are also students at University of Suffolk, however, have the same democratic right to participate in the elections as any other student. This means they can campaign for and endorse candidates (and of course stand themselves) but they must make it absolutely clear when doing so they are doing so in their capacity as a student, and only as a student. They are also not allowed, in any way, to use their employment position to benefit a certain candidate or group of candidates in elections.