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This page aims to give you information and inspiration that you could use in your manifesto or campaign.

Student views

Perhaps the most important thing to do is talk to students - find out what they think should change, what is important to them and what they think elected officers should do. These will be the people you will have to persuade to vote for you and the people you will be representing if elected.

The student population at Sussex is diverse; you could try to talk to different students to get an idea of issues that might affect particular groups of students. We've been working with student parents and trying to involve more postgraduate and international students for instance.

You can use Students' Union resources to find out more about student concerns and what the Union is working on

  • Student Voice Steering Group reports are written once a month and given to officers to keep them up to date on student issues and local and national developments
  • Officers also write Student Voice reports for various University committees which contain information about different areas of Union work and student concern. 
  • Students' Union Council is made up of representatives across the Union. You can contact them through their facebook group or by emailing the chair of Council at councilchair@sussexstudent.com
  • The Student Rep scheme has a representative for each school and year who may have ideas about what their students are concerned about. You can join their facebook group and you can generally find their details on the individual school websites. Reps also write reports each year about what they've been working on, and you can view them here.
  • The Full-Time Officers report monthly to Council on what they've been up to, and you can view those reports here. You can also contact them by email or social media to ask about a particular piece of work or area of interest. 
  • You can view Elections Statistics from 2011-present day including the amount of candidates and turnout. 
  • You can view referenda questions and results since 2014. 

We asked lots of students what they would change about Sussex in 2017 and you can find a list of what students said here. You can also view this video from a few years ago! 

About the Students' Union

Understanding how the Students' Union currently operates could give you an idea of how you might want to change it, the sort of projects that are underway and the scope for change.

You can find out more about the things we do by browsing our website using the tabs at the top of the page. You can also look at our news archive and forthcoming events to get an idea of what we're involved in. If there is something that you are looking for and you can't find, contact Juliette, the Representation and Democracy Coordinator at juliette.c@sussexstudent.com

You might be interested to see what the Full-time Officers have been working on (particularly if this is one of the positions you're interested in) as all of the positions interact with them in some way. 

About the University of Sussex

You might find some of the information available on the University's website useful. It can tell you about how the University works and what it plans to do.

About Union elections

These are the statistics from the spring 2018 Full-time and Part-time Officer elections to give you an idea of voter demographics:

School Turnout Number of students Number of voters
BMEc 10.9% 3893 424
BSMS 4.2% 1148 48
Education & Social Work 5.7% 1067 61
Engineering & Informatics 17.0% 1472 250
English 24.3% 1052 256
Global Studies 27.3% 1617 441
History, Art History & Philosophy 26.3% 993 261
Institute of Development Studies 24.0% 263 63
Law, Politics & Sociology 23.6% 2080 491
Life Sciences 24.2% 1576 381
Maths & Physical Sciences 23.7% 976 231
Media, Film & Music 17.5% 1234 216
Psychology 17.1% 1272 218

Level of study

20.6% of undergraduates, 12.4% of taught postgraduates, 11.4% of research postgraduates and 0.9% of BSMS postgraduates voted.

Fee status

20.5% of home (UK) students , 20.2% of EU students and 10.6% of non EU students voted.

Country of residence

Largest groups of students, number of students living in that country and their turnout

Britain - 12071 - 20.9%
China - 1958 - 1.9%
Italy - 278 - 18.0%
Greece - 237 - 11.0%
USA - 206 - 16.0%
Germany - 188 - 30.9%
France - 180 - 22.8%
India - 142 - 26.1%
Canada - 135 - 12.6%
Nigeria - 134 - 29.9%

Voting patterns

Typically we see most votes cast on the final day with lots cast on the first day too.

Other sources of information

Consider the role description for the position(s) you're interested in - this could tell you more about the types of events and projects you could be involved in. You can find these in our election section.

You're welcome to speak to current officers and staff to find out more and ask questions. You could find out more about projects that are currently underway and on the horizon or ask questions to help shape your manifesto ideas.

You can find contact details for staff and officers online.

Attend any training or briefing sessions offered to election candidates. These are listed on our election section. This will give you a chance to ask about the election process and pick up other bits of useful information.

You might find information provided by the National Union of Students useful to get a sense of national issues and things that other Students' Unions do.

You could look at what other Students' Unions do (you should be able to find them online) or ask friends at other universities about their experience of their Students' Union.

There might be other non-profit or commercial organisations that you could get ideas from, e.g. how do they involve and engage with their customers, supporters and/or members?