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Candidate Materials

Click Here To Vote Now!

If you're confirmed as a candidate, or just want to know a bit more about campaigning - This page contains everything you need to find out more!

All Candidates:

  1. Introduction Video
  2. Elections Timetable
  3. Elections Principals and Rules + Video
  4. Online Campaigning Guide
  5. Writing Your Manifesto and Other Content + Video
  6. Campaigning Tips Video
  7. What UWS Students Care About
  8. How to Create Your Graphics
  9. Claiming Your Expenses

Sabbatical Candidates:

  1. What to expect if you're elected as a Sabbatical Officer
  2. Creating Your Campaign Video
  3. What you should know about the Union before standing to be a Sabbatical Officer
  4. Tier 4 Visa Requirements

All Candidates:

Introduction Video

Elections Timetable

Nominations Open

Monday 7th February 12:00

On Campus Info Sessions

Paisley L1 Students’ Union - Wednesday 9th February 12:00 – 14:00
Ayr Atrium – Tuesday 15th February 12:00 – 14:00
Lanarkshire Students’ Union – Wednesday 16th February 12:00 – 14:00

Online Info Sessions

Tuesday 8th February 11:00 – 12:00
Tuesday 8th February 17:00 – 18:00
Friday 11th February 14:00-15:00
Monday 14th February 12:00 – 13:00
Click here to join these sessions

Candidate Only Drop In Support Sessions

Friday 18th February 13:00 - 14:00
Monday 21st February 14:00 - 15:00 
Wednesday 23rd February 11:00 - 12:00
Thursday 24th February 15:00 - 16:00
Monday 28th February 10:00 - 11:00
Tuesday 1st March 15:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 2nd March 10:00 - 11:00
Thursday 3rd March 15:00 - 16:00
Friday 4th March 10:00 - 11:00

Links will be sent to candidates once they nominate themselves

Nominations Close

Friday 18th February 12:00

Video and Graphics Introduction Session

Monday 21st February 18:00
Link will be sent to candidates once they nominate themselves

Manifesto Feedback Session

These are bookable by emailing Membership Manager at

Graphics Support – 20 minute bookable sessions with a professional graphic designer

Thursday 24th February

9:00, 9:20, 9:40, 10:00, 10:20, 10:40, 11:00, 11:20, 11:40
16:00, 16:20, 16:40, 17:00, 17:20, 17:40, 18:00, 18:20, 18:40

Friday 25th February

10:00, 10:20, 10:40, 11:00, 11:20, 11:40
17:00, 17:20, 17:40, 18:00, 18:20, 18:40

You'll be invited to book a slot once you nominate yourself

Video Editing Service Deadline for Sabb candidates

Sunday 27th February (But the earlier you send it, the earlier you get your video back!)
Please send your content to

Manifesto Deadline Monday 7th March 10:00 - if you don't have a manifesto uploaded by this time your candidacy will not be approved.
This means you will not be able to stand for election.

Voting Opens

Monday 7th March 12:00

Voting Week Support Sessions

Monday 7th February 11:00 - 12:00
Tuesday 8th February 14:00 - 15:00
Wednesday 9th February 11:00 - 12:00
Thursday 10th February 14:00 - 15:00
Links will be sent to candidates once they nominate themselves

Voting Closes

Thursday 10th March 12:00

Results Party

Friday 11th March Evening Big Elections Joint Party at UWS Student Union
Doors at 5:30 for Results at 6:30

Elections Principals and Rules

This section is really important for all candidates and their campaign team. Principles and rules keep your elections free and fair, and ensure that all candidates can participate fully. They also keep everyone safe, and if rules are broken it can lead to sanctions or even to a candidate being removed from the elections so it's the candidate responsibility to make sure you and your team stick to the rules! They're simple but if you're not sure about anything you can always email the Deputy Returning Officer to check!

1) Students must be free to cast their vote without undue influence or pressure

2) Obey the law, union policies, and university policies

3) Keep everyone safe

4) Treat other candidates with respect and honesty

5) Adhere to the online campaigning guide

6) Items produced or primarily used for your campaign must be accounted for within the given allowance

7) Campaigning will start on the agreed upon day

How it works:

To give you an idea of how this works there are some examples of how the principles are applied below:

1) Students must be free to cast their vote without undue influence or pressure.

Candidates may not stand and watch students when they vote as the student would be under pressure to vote for that particular candidate and voters must always cast their own votes. While you may offer students benefits such as inviting them to a watch party to help students remember you and listen to you, any benefits offered to voters must not be contingent on voting for that candidate. You cannot offer students any rewards that they get after they have voted for you, as this would be deemed as undue influence.

2) Obey the law, union and university policies.

This means that you as a candidate and your campaign team, as always, must adhere to the law, University regulation (such as their behavioural code, health and safety regulations, equal opportunities procedure, harassment code, damage to university property, and use of email etc.) and Union policy (such as our Zero Tolerance policy, Elections Regulations etc). Breach of these policies can lead to a disciplinary which could in turn affect your student status and your Union membership.

3) Keep everyone safe

All campaigning during this election must be safe for everyone involved. This includes ensuring that all campaigning activities should fall within government and UWS pandemic guidelines. If you choose to do physical rather than digital campaigning, you are responsible for ensuring that anyone you approach does not feel put at risk by your behaviour.

4) Treat others candidates with respect

This principle covers a lot of ground. For example: defacing other candidates’ publicity, making up stories about other candidates, or heckling other candidates are among the actions that would be considered a breach of this principle.

5) Adhere to the online campaigning guide

The online campaigning guide found here will ensure that you stay within GDPR regulations

6) Campaign within the allowance provided.

Sabbatical, School Officer and Union Chair candidates will receive £30 to spend on campaigning. This can be spent on anything specific to your campaign. For example – buying props, posters, or boosting social media posts.

Sabbatical Candidates only will be able to access the following services:
Video Editing – Submit video content to director and producer Georgie Daley by Sunday 27th of February, and she will create a 1 minute video with subtitles for your campaign, which you and the Students’ Union can share with students.

Graphic Design Consultancy – Bookable 20 minute appointment slots with a graphic designer to get advice and improve your elections graphics. Dates and times TBC.

Receipts must be kept and submitted to the Students Association for approval by midday on the 11th of March.

7) Campaigning will start on the agreed upon day.

Candidates may begin their campaign as soon as they nominate themselves as a candidate.

Breach of Conduct:

Upon report of a breach of conduct candidates will be reported to the Returning Officer who will conduct an investigation together with an elections committee made up of students, and will apply sanctions if the candidate is found to be in breach. Complaints must be made using the election complaints form which you can download here. The form should then be sent to Deputy Returning Officer 

The Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer have the right to sanction and even remove a candidate from the election process if they feel it appropriate.

Online Campaigning Guide

In general you must not utilise a forum that not all candidates are able to access in order to campaign. If you are unsure about any of the rules here, please contact


  • Campaign websites and blogs are acceptable for campaigning.
  • Any expenses for setting up a website/blog must be submitted as campaign expenses.

Emails and Direct Messaging

  • You may collect and create your own mailing lists or group chats for the purposes of the campaign.
  • Such lists or groups must not contain information gained from any third party (such as a departmental distribution list, Students’ Union society, a Students’ Union list, or a Facebook group other than a candidate’s specific campaign group).
  • You may not send messages to a list or group created for any reason other than your campaign (e.g. a society membership list).
  • Messages sent to such lists must not then be forwarded to any other list gathered for any other purpose than the campaign.
  • You are able to contact your personal network, such as friends, with information about the elections. 

Social Media

  • You are encouraged to allow a healthy debate over issues surrounding your candidacy. However, you are expected to remove any defamatory remarks or other posts which break elections rules and regulations as soon as possible. The elections committee may take action regarding posts which are defamatory or are deemed to break any other elections rules or regulations.
  • You and any supporters may use personal pages to promote your candidacy, however you should not “tag” other individuals in these posts unless you have their explicit permission to do so.
  • You are allowed and encouraged to tag the Students’ Union @uwsstudents in any social media posts

Writing Your Manifesto and Other Content

You must have a manifesto uploaded or your candidacy will not be approved. Students will be able to read the manifestos when they log on to vote so it's really important that you use it to show why they should vote for you!

Essential things to include on your manifesto

  • Your Name - So students know who you are and can recognise this on the ballot paper.
  • The Position you are running for - State the full name of the position you are standing for: President, Vice President Education etc.
  • Who you are - Include a few sentences about yourself: Where you come from; your course and year of study; any skills, abilities or experience you have that may be relevant.
  • What you propose to do if you get elected (your pledges) - Your manifesto should largely consist of what you propose to do if you win the election.  The remits of the different officer positions are outlined in the Students’ Union constitution, you can use this to help you pin down ideas. 
  • The Election Dates - State the dates of voting so fellow students know when then can vote for you, this should be something like “Vote online at from 12:00 Monday 1st March until 12:00 Thursday 4th March.”                     

Here are some tips for how to make a winning manifesto:

  • Make a list or a mind-map - Many of you will already know what you want to do if elected; these are your election pledges.  However if you are still unsure, start by making a list or mind-map of the reasons you want to run in the elections and the types of changes you might make if you got elected. You can then use this as the basis of your manifesto.  Stick to 3 or 4 things you would like to change or improve within the Students' Union or University.
  • Be Specific - Try to be clear and specific about what you want to do – people like to know exactly what you want to do.
  • Use your friends - Test your ideas out on a couple of good friends they should be able to tell you whether it is a vote winner or not.
  • If you want to be ambitious - If you've got ambitious plans, have a chat with Union staff or officers about them. They will be able to help you find ways to achieve the things you want to do.
  • Use a theme or gimmick - If you’re planning a theme or gimmick for your campaign use it on your manifesto too. Catchy slogans can be a vote winner.  Try to create a ‘brand’ for your promotional materials, this will enable student to identify you and your campaign for votes.  For example, use the same colours, fonts, slogans on all your materials.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep - Some students can become disillusioned with elections, and one reason why is because they can see through promises you can’t deliver.
  • Less is more - Remember sometimes less is more so do not put too much information on your page. You might want to limit yourself to a few headline points. A wordy manifesto has the potential to disengage voters.
  • Include a photo - Always include a good photo – it is rare that a candidate will win without one! This is because photos appear on the ballot paper so without one it can look as though you haven't made any effort!
  • Make your name stand out - Put your name in big letters, there's nothing worse than voters not knowing who they should vote for!
  • Add a bit of your personality - Adding a bit of your own personality is good, it will make your manifesto appear unique and students will generate some idea of what you are about.
  • Facebook pages and Hashtags - If you set up a facebook page, group or event or a hashtag (#) for your candidacy, remember to include this in your manifesto and other promotional material.
  • Video Manifestos - You can upload videos and graphics to the manifesto page on the Union website so be creative!


How to Create Your Graphics

Click here to access the Design Guide to Help Create Graphics - This guide will help you to create impactful graphics for social media posts, flyers, posters, or any other graphics you want to help with your campaign. 

There will be a graphics and video candidate briefing on Monday 21st February 18:00. The link to join will be sent to candidates once they nominate themselves.

All candidates can also book a 20 minute consultation with Ester, a professional graphic designer - check your nomination confirmation email for the link to be able to do this!

If you don't have much graphics experience we advise that is a great place to start, and check back soon for our video guide on how to get the most out of canva. 


Campaigning Tips Video

What UWS Students Care About

If you’re looking for ideas on how you can make things better for UWS Students we’re here for you!

At the Students’ Union we do a student survey each year so we know what students are thinking, alongside other feedback and information gathered across all of the work UWS and the Union do such as the results of the National Student Survey. This is a quick summary of things we know are important to students to help you connect with students and make sure your ideas will be winners with students!

Connecting with other students – we know that over the pandemic and with many classes being run online, it can be really difficult for students to make friends. Students who join clubs and societies and get involved in university life feel more connected, but we know there are still huge improvements to be made. Students who join clubs and societies are more likely to feel better about their studies, and have a positive university experience. How would you help build a real UWS community?

Hybrid Learning – Moving forwards UWS are planning to make the most of online learning technology and in person classes to create an innovative learning environment, where students have control over their student journey. However, our research shows students have struggled during largely online learning, so students will be vital in ensuring UWS plans work for everyone. Could you make sure that any new developments work for UWS students?

Balancing Life and Studies – Here at UWS we have a different student demographic to most universities. 28% of our students have children or other caring responsibilities, and we know many of our students have to work alongside their studies. We see students getting involved and then stepping away because everything gets too much. How would you ensure these students are supported and get the full UWS experience?

Communication – We hear that students often feel out of the loop when it comes to developments at UWS. In the last National Students’ Survey we saw that students didn’t feel they knew what UWS were planning, and we hear similar feedback from our student reps, and through the queries we get from all sorts of students. Could you be someone who could help keep UWS students informed?

Student Mental Health – Student Mental Health is a huge issue in the UK right now, especially during the pandemic, and nothing demonstrates that more than the results of the recent Thriving Learner Survey.  Students tend to have poorer mental health than the national average, with 35.5% of students reporting moderately severe or severe depression, and 73.5% of students reporting low wellbeing. LGBQT+ students report lower levels of wellbeing than other groups.  What would you do to improve students mental health across our diverse UWS community?

Student Poverty – The same Thriving Learner Survey highlighted issues of student poverty, with over a fifth of students worrying about running out of food, and food insecurity increases for older students, with 1 in 10 students over 30 having run out of food. UWS Students’ Union give out hardship fund and food bags but more could be done. If you were elected what would you fight for at local and national levels to solve this problem?

Knowing where to go to access support – 37% of our students don’t know how to get support from the Students’ Union if they needed it, and we know from the enquiries we get in that many students struggle to find the correct place for queries about everything from visas and course dates, to problems with assignments. Could you provide leadership to help students navigate their time at university?

Student Feedback – 27% of students don’t know how feedback on their course is acted upon, and many students feel that staff don’t value students’ views and opinions on the course. However, 90% of students agree that they have opportunity to feedback on their course. How would you ensure that students feel listened to and can see the difference that they make?


Claiming Your Expenses

All candidates have £30 to spend on their campaign, paid by the Students' Union. As a widening access university we want to ensure that all of our candidates have the same amount to spend on campaigning. Please click here to fill in the expenses Claim Form as set out in the rules and make sure you attach all your receipts. If you are unable to pay this in advance, please claim the full £30 and then you are able to provide receipts and the balance of anythning you have not spent at the end of the campaigning period. 


Sabbatical Candidates:

What to expect if you're elected as a Sabbatical Officer

This section is aimed at candidates considering standing in a sabbatical election. It details the expectations that the Students’ Union, the University and other agencies may have on you if you are successful in your election.

1. Taking a break from your studies

Elected Sabbatical Officers will be in training and being paid from 27th June 2022 but will be officially in office for a year beginning on 1st July 2022. Officers will be required to take a break from their studies for the year that they are elected. The Students Union will support this process but we recommend talking to your lecturers and letting them know that you are standing. It is not possible to do a sabbatical role while studying either full time or part time.

2. Place of Work

All fully enrolled students are eligible to stand in our elections. The Students’ Union will support candidates to work flexibly and in different locations. However, covid-restrictions allowing, successful candidates will need to spend a considerable amount of their time in the Paisley Campus – as this is the seat of the University’s decision making, regardless of the successful candidate’s campus of origin.

If you are elected and your home campus is not the Paisley campus, you would be expected to attend all Paisley based committees. This can mean attending the Paisley Campus two to three times every week.

The Students’ Union will pay certain travel expenses between the campuses, but they will not pay for you to travel to your workplace.

If you feel it is necessary to relocate, The Students’ Union may be able to assist you with this, through advancement of wages to pay deposits.

3. Hours of Work

The Students’ Union operates its offices between the hours of 9.30am to 4.30pm, which is 35 hours per week. Sabbatical officers are expected to manage their time and ensure they complete 35 hours per week, but may be flexible with start and finishing times provided this fits with the needs of the charity.

Any time taken above 35 hours can be returned as time off in lieu.


Creating your Campaign Video

Each Sabbatical Officer candidate is offered video editing services from a professional video editor. This means that you will film yourself, any supporters, or clips that express who you are (known as b-roll) and then send this to an external video editor who will pull it all together into a minute long video which we will direct students to on our social media channels. All winning candidates in 2021 used this service, which is worth £200 per candidate, so don't miss out and make sure you send your video content by Sunday 27th of February. Videos will be edited in the order that they are received and you can share the video as soon as you receive it back so the earlier you can send it over the better!

Georgie Daly will be introducing what you need to do at the graphics and video candidate briefing on Monday 21st February 18:00. The link to join will be sent to candidates once they nominate themselves. 

Click here to read the campaign Video Brief (For Sabbatical Candidates Only)  - This will help you to understand what you need to do to pull together the bits of video you need to get professional video editing support. 


What you should know about the Union before standing to be a Sabbatical Officer

Sabbatical Officers lead the political direction of the UWS Students’ Union, and work to deliver their manifesto promises. However, UWS Students’ Union also has a strategic plan which staff work towards, to ensure that the Union is always delivering the services and support that students need. This helps the Students’ Union set long term goals and work over longer time periods than the one year terms of elected Sabbatical Officers. It’s great to know what the Union is working on to help you understand the organisation you’ll join if you’re successfully elected!

Permanent staff support Sabbatical Officers to achieve their goals, and each Sabbatical Officer has a specific member of staff who helps them with their work. Usually this is a staff member who works in a similar area to yours. For example, the VP Education is supported by a member of the representation team as their areas of work are closely aligned.

The UWS Union strategic plan was created with the Sabbatical Officers and takes us from 2021 – 2025. It’s helpful to know the direction of the Union for the next few years in case it gives you any inspiration for your manifesto – and as ever, all of our work is about being here for our students.

For a quick introduction read on, or if you’d like to read the whole strategic plan in full just click here!

Vision: Creating a better future for UWS students and the world around us
If you’re standing for election it’s likely that you already want to work towards this!

Mission: To be the voice for students at UWS, effecting change and maximising student experience by creating a sense of belonging and offering opportunities to improve students’ lives.
One of the key ways we know we are successful in being the voice for students is having a strong Electedl Officer Team who find out what students want, and work to improve students’ lives.

Our 4 Key Priorities are
1. Building a powerful voice for students
Elected Officers are a key part of having a powerful student voice – especially as Officers sit on high level groups and committees across the University!

2. Supporting students to achieve their goals and aspirations
We know that students who stand for election care about other students at UWS, and want to make things better.

3. Building a sense of belonging and community
During the pandemic we have lost so much community, and we know that our students want it back. How would you help achieve this?

4. Building a strong Students’ Union
Building a strong Students’ Union is great for students – it ensures we will be able to continue helping students for years and years to come!

Tier 4 Visa Requirements

The UKVI have provisions in place for any Tier 4 Students who are elected as full time sabbatical officers. Tier 4 Students have the ability to make applications for further leave to cover their time as a Sabbatical Officer for up to two years in post. Time spent as a Sabbatical officer may be exempted from the 5 year cap set for Tier 4 students studying at degree level.

You may need to make a new immigration application in this instance and please note that any application is still subject to maintenance requirements. Once leave has been granted, Tier 4 Sabbatical Officers are subject to rules and regulations under Tier 4 Student Union Sabbatical Officer route.

If you are applying for leave to remain as a Sabbatical Officer, you must show that you have money for your living costs for each month of your course up to a maximum of two months. As the UKVI requires £1,265 per month for maintenance, you will be required to demonstrate that you have at least £2,530 for 28 consecutive days, ending no more than 31 days prior to the date of your visa application.

The UWS International Office can support you and offer guidance and advice throughout the process of applying for any extension of your leave for this purpose.

Your ability to take office, will be dependent on you getting successful leave to remain. If you do not achieve this, you will be ineligible for office.


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