Do you want to make a difference to how the Students’ Union is run? Now is your chance!
Referenda are a great way of getting an issue you care about debated and voted on by students through on online vote.
Previous referenda have resulted in students deciding to stop Union outlets from selling Nestle and Coca-Cola products, and the creation of new Full-Time Officer roles (Society and Citizenship Officer and Postgraduate Education Officer).
Referenda can also prompt the Students’ Union to take a stance on a wider political issue. Last year, students voted that the Union should campaign for students to boycott the National Students Survey in protest at plans to link the survey to increasing tuition fees.
Any student can submit an idea for referendum through two different ways:
- You can submit a petition with the support of at least 150 students. Any student can request a petition and once the petition reaches 150 student signatures, it will be considered for referendum.
- You can submit a clear outline of your idea to one of the Full-Time Officers to take to the Union’s Executive Committee or Union Council.
You idea will be checked by a panel of staff and officers to ensure it’s legally and financially possible before it is put to students.
Petitions are also a good way of testing the water as to the overall opinion of students on campus. Pursuing a referendum this way can provide an idea of how popular your proposal would be should you choose to take it further.
Daniel Green, who had his petition go to a referendum in 2015, explained: “It was a really easy process to get the issue I was passionate about to a vote. After going round and getting the support of 150 students, my motion got put to a referendum in a matter of weeks and I was then out campaigning for my cause!”
Although his referendum did not pass, Daniel looks back at the process positively: “Even though I was disappointed with the result, I was pleased I was able to get the student body talking about an issue close to my heart and start a conversation about a campaign important to me.”
Referenda will be put to a vote between the 20th and 23rd of February. If you want your proposal to be part of the debate, make sure you submit your idea to one of the Full-Time Officers to present to the Executive Committee or Union Council, or submit a petition with over 150 signatures by 8pm on the 5th February.
Find out more about referenda, including how to set up a petition.