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Autumn 2018 Referenda

Should the student’s union have a policy to publicly support a new referendum on the final deal of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union?

The motion has PASSED

581 students took part

19 abstained

  • YES - 432 (74.3%)

  • NO - 130 (22.3%)

The Students' Union WILL have a policy to support a new referendum on the final deal of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union

Background: Young people were denied a voice in the referendum when the call to give 16 year olds the ability to vote was ignored, and now they will have to endure the consequences for decades to come, if Brexit becomes detrimental to them. Young people have become more and more apathetic to politics, and therefore, organisations like the Students Union, who have politically active students, must strive to represent them. The EU provides students with great opportunities to study abroad through the Erasmus programme, giving them the ability to get the most out of their education. This opportunity will be taken away from many students if access to the programme is lost, and travel being off put by new complicated processes of VISA applications, if freedom of movement within the EU is lost.

Policy aim: The University of Sussex Students’ Union should publicly support the people’s vote on the final deal of the UK’s departure from the EU because of the impact it will have on EU, non EU and home students as students.

Should the Students' Union implement a policy on Sexual Violence?

Should the Students' Union implement a policy on Sexual Violence?

581 students took part

29 abstained

  • YES - 511 (88%%)

  • NO - 41 (7%)

The Students' Union WILL implement a policy on sexual violence


Background: Recent figures suggest that at least 62% of students have experienced sexual violence at UK universities, with only 6% reporting their experiences to their universities. The union has had a sexual violence policy since 2004 however the policies were lapsed in 2016 and subsequently not replaced. This policy has been updated and is intended to replace the lapsed policy.

Policy aim: To enforce an attitude of zero tolerance towards sexual violence within the Students’ Union, and to ensure that those who disclose that they have been sexually assaulted are believed, supported, and treated with dignity and respect.


Key referenda information and dates

Monday 11th February at 9am - Deadline to submit referenda topics for the Spring Referenda 

Monday 18th February - Referenda questions announced

Monday 25th February - deadline for arguments for/against the motion

Monday 4th March at 9am - Voting opens

Friday 8th March at 5pm - Voting closes

Friday 8th March at 6pm - Deadline to submit complaints to the Returning Officer (returning@sussexstudent.com)



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 Autumn 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.