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Summer 2018 Referenda

Should the Students’ Union continue to hold a policy in support of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement?

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Policy

Background: The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007.

Policy: The Union resolves to support the BDS movement and to lobby the University to drop all investments in and not work with any company that is complicit

Should the Students' Union adopt the proposed Gender Equality policy?

Policy aim

Ensure equal representation in jobs, course cohort and volunteering in the University and Union.

Policy objectives

  • Jobs:

    • Publish gendered based pay stats to create more transparency in the University and Union as part of a plan to lobby the University and Union to eliminate the gender pay gap.

    • Lobby the University to work towards a gender balance on University committees including representation of trans and non-binary people.

    • Organise an event around Equal Pay Day (10th November) to create awareness.

  • Courses:

    • Encourage schools to ensure open days feature a diverse range of students and alumni speaking, acknowledging that there is a representation of all genders in subjects such as science, caring professions and teaching.

    • Support student schemes working to diversify the student body in certain subjects such as STEM subjects.

  • Volunteering:

    • Targeted advertising to promote better representation, specifically in Sports, Campaigns and the Buddy Scheme.

    • Support and promote #ThisSussexGirlCan Week to encourage more women and non-binary people to get involved in sport on campus, and work to encourage the participation of trans and non-binary people in sport.

Should the Students' Union implement a policy opposing the government's Prevent legislation?

Policy aims

The Students' Union Executive oppose Prevent and strongly believe in fostering a learning environment which allows all students to organise politically, free from harassment

Policy objectives

  • The Students Union will not comply with Prevent and will actively campaign against this agenda that encourages discrimination and limits free speech and expression on campus.

  • The union will support and advocate students negatively affected by the Prevent agenda.

  • The union will support the NUS lead on the Students not Suspects campaign.

  • The Students’ Union officers will express opposition to the Prevent policy and concern with its implementation whenever it is raised at university meetings, and act to ensure the university are adhering to minimal compliance with Prevent.


Key referenda information and dates

You can find lots of information on how to submit a referenda and key contacts and dates in the Referenda Rules and Guidelines.

View referenda rules and guidelines »

View previous referenda »

If you have any complaints about the conduct of campaigners or the referenda process, you can contact the Returning Officer at returning@sussexstudent.com. Compalints about campaigners must be raised no later than one hour after the close of voting, and complaints about the referenda process must be raised no later than one week after voting closes. You can find out more about complaints under section 4.40 of the Rules.

Referenda updates

Spring 2018 referendum results

This week, students have cast their votes to influence the work that the Students’ Union does through our spring referendum.

Autumn 2016 referenda results

Students have been voting this week in five referenda. In total 929 students have voted in the referenda that have now closed.

Autumn Term 2017 referenda results

Hundreds of students have cast their votes to influence the work that the Students’ Union does through our autumn referenda.

How you can help change things with referenda at Sussex...

"In a similar manner to central government - the Students’ Union offers the platform for students to submit a motion to the student body in an effort to make a definitive change to the way the Students’ Union operates."...

Referenda on Part-time Officer roles announced

Following a petition from students, all students will be able to vote at the end of the month on two potential Part-time Officer roles to represent First-Generation Scholars and non-EU international students.

Spring 2016 referenda results

Students voted on questions about the European Union referendum and the renewal of Trident, the UK's nuclear weapons system.

Referenda results

Hundreds of students voted this week on a number of topics in our referenda

Autumn 2015 referenda results

Should the role of Students’ Union President be replaced with a full-time Equality and Diversity Officer? The results are in...



What is a referendum?

A referendum (the plural of which is referenda) is a vote that all students can take part in. The Students' Union has two referenda periods, one in the Spring Term and the other in the Autmn Term. Students can put a question to referendum through gathering 150 signatures on the online petition system. Any petition which receives 150 or more signatures will be considered first by a Policy Panel. This panel will consider the factual accuracy and legality of the question. If the panel is satisfied, the question will be sent to referendum. The result of a referendum is only binding if it receives 450 or more votes. 

View referenda rules and guidelines »

How do I suggest a referendum?

Any student can suggest a topic for a referendum online or create a petition and gather at least 150 students' signatures. The easiest way to do this is to use our online petition system.

You can also contact one of your Full-Time Officers to ask them to submit it through Executive Committee, or you can contact one of your Councillors to ask them to take it to Union Council before the deadline for submitting referenda.