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What are the elections?

Your Students Association elections are the perfect time to get involved in how we are run, either through voting or standing for a position. If you have time to get involved, we would love to have you and there are so many positions up for grabs that you are bound to find something that interests you. Elections are a chance for any student to nominate themselves for a vacant position and for students to then vote for their preferred candidate to represent them. If you would like to be involved but don't feel you have the time to commit to one of these roles, you can still have your say by using your vote! We also have several volunteer opportunities throughout the year with varied time commitments, if you need more flexibility but would like to meet fellow students, help your peers and/or gain skills with us.

Who can nominate themselves for a role?

Any OU student can stand, so long as you meet any criteria for the roles (e.g., the Scotland Area Rep needs to live in Scotland at the time of applying). We are open to applications from all OU students and encourage students from underrepresented groups to consider standing. We are committed to creating a student leadership team and board of trustees which is representative of the student community. Diverse teams achieve better outcomes for students, particularly if they are more reflective of the community they represent, and so this is something we are passionate about.

Do you need any previous experience to stand?

No! No previous experience of working with the Association is required to stand for any of the roles. You just need to: be a current OU (Open University) student at the time you stand? be enthusiastic be willing to learn have ideas about what you would like to do if elected have the time to commit to the role you choose complete a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check if standing for positions responsible for vulnerable groups We also don’t expect candidates to have prior work experience within professional roles relating to advertised positions. The Association is a welcoming space for people to grow and learn in. Full training would be provided if you were elected to a role, as well as a friendly staff team who will be around to answer any queries you have and support you throughout your term.

How much of my time will being an elected Students Association Representative take up?

All the role descriptions indicate an expected number of hours you will spend in your volunteer role based on current post holder's time commitments; however, this can differ dependant on an individuals working style and availability. It is important to remember that you can scale up or down your time spent volunteering by taking on more responsibilities, but for those who work whilst volunteering or who have a limited time to spare, it would be best to speak to the current post holder or a staff member before applying to get a sense of how this role could work for you. There is always support from the office and it is ok to take holidays from your role.

How does the voting system work?

Ballots will be sent out by email from Civica, an independent elections agency who are managing the Students Assocation elections process, to all Students Association members. All voting happens online, and you will have two weeks to return your vote. The Association uses a Single Transferable Voting (STV) system which allows voters to order their candidates by preference instead of relying on a single vote. Voters can select as many or as few candidates as they wish, numbering them from most preferred onwards. Area Association Representatives can only be voted for by members who live in the relevant nation. I.e. only Welsh members can vote for the Wales Area Association Rep role. All other positions can be voted on by all members, including Faculty Association Reps.

How do I nominate myself?

To stand in the elections, you must nominate yourself for a role via our website, where you will find an online application form to share your relevant experience, reasons for standing and manifesto. We need to know that this is a role you want to do, therefore nominations from third parties will not be considered. You also do not require any supporting nominations from anyone else to stand, and the process is easy to follow. At any point you can ask for support or guidance from the Association or from Civica to complete your nominations, and we will also be hosting drop-in sessions for anyone who is interested in standing to give you more information and to answer your questions.

Become part of a community

Being part of the Leadership Team isn't just about making positive change, but forming professional and personal relationships that have the potential to last a lifetime.

Develop varied skills

While at the Association you will have the opportunity for personal and professional development through training and 1-2-1 sessions.

Make the role your own

Each role has remits, but you have the opportunity to work on your own projects and ideas throughout your two-year term. 

Flexible working

We know life is everchanging! That's why the role comes with a level of flexibility to work around your lifestyle, work, and studies.

All roles will have a specific set of responsibilities and remits for successful candidates to follow as part of their time in post. Please have a look at the specific remit of a role before submitting your application. It will help you plan your manifesto accordingly, and make sure the role is right for you.