Candidate and Campaigning Guide

Am I eligible to be a candidate in the election?

All current University of Exeter students are eligible to be candidates in this election unless:

- You are not a Student Member of the Students Guild (Associate Members are not eligible).

If you are an international student, you are eligible, and we advise you to speak to a member of the Elections Team in order to discuss how, if you would be successful, you could manage your studies and visas.

How do I become a candidate?

To become a candidate, visit our Elections Website and click the “Become a Candidate” button. This will take you to our Elections Portal where you will be able to upload a photo, provide a candidate statement, and write a candidate slogan. Once you’ve completed this, you will be a pending candidate until you are approved. If you encounter any problems or have questions about this process, email our Elections Team or come and see us in Devonshire House!

To become an approved candidate, you’ll need to attend one of our Elections Briefings and agree to uphold the rules that will be sent to you once you have become a pending candidate. This is to ensure that we can have a free and fair election where everyone understands the rules and responsibilities of being a candidate.

You will then be ready to start campaigning! But don’t jump right into this! There are rules around when you can start campaigning, and we’re providing a host of trainings that will get you ready to campaign in the election! You may start campaigning using digital means on the 15th of February, and physical campaigning on the 20th of February.

If you have any questions or problems with this process, please speak to a member of the Elections Team.

How do I campaign?

There are lots of different ways you can campaign. We have provided a number of resources and training sessions to help you plan your campaign.

Remember, physical campaigning can only begin from 10:00 20 February. Digital campaigning may begin from 10:00 15 February. You are permitted to announce your intention to stand before the start of Digital Campaigning however if you’re unsure about whether your announcement will count as campaigning come chat with our Elections team!

Make sure you understand the election rules around campaigning and finances before you begin!

What is Vote Week like?

Vote Week will be a busy week. Wherever possible, we recommend you get as much university work done before this week! Make sure you pace yourself and build in time to rest. This is where having a campaign team can be very useful to share the work out! If you’re too tired – rest – you won’t be your campaigning best if you aren’t well-rested!

This week will include the Candidate Question Time events, student media coverage, campaigning , and the results! The Guild is here to help you make the most of this week and provide you with the support you need.

What is a ‘Candidate Question Time’?

An important part of an election is asking the candidates questions to help voters make an informed decision on how to vote for. It also gives the candidates an opportunity to explain to the voters why people should vote for them. This year we are having a series of Candidate Question Time events (one for each role) on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 February (the days just before voting).

The format of these events is still being developed but they will likely be hosted by student media and candidates will be asked questions by the host and by students. We will provide more guidance nearer the time about the details of these events and support you. We will make sure these events are fair and accessible for candidates and voters.

In previous years, these sorts of events have been called ‘debates’, ‘hustings’, or ‘meet the candidates’.

What role does student media have in the election?

Our student media groups have an important role in the election process. They help you communicate your message of why you want an elected role, and they help voters make an informed decision. Because of this important role, there are specific regulations in place to ensure the media groups remain impartial and fair.

The media groups work in partnership with the Guild to deliver some aspects of the election – for example Candidate Question Times and the Results.

They may also do their own activity such as interviews, online coverage, and reporting.

It’s your choice how you want to engage with student media. If you think you have been unfairly treated, talk to the Elections Team.

Can I use my society’s mailing (email) list?

You can’t use a society or student group mailing list to send emails relating to your election campaign. This is because of the law around how people’s personal data (including contact information is used). Students have given their consent for their data (email address) to be used by the Guild for these mailing lists society purposes – it cannot be used for any other reason.