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Elections

President role description

Powers and duties

The Graduate Union President is the primary representative of postgraduate students at the University of Cambridge, and is the chair of the union's Board of Trustees.

Details of the President's powers and duties may be found in the Constitution.

Employment details

The Graduate Union President is a sabbatical officer – and the role is a full-time, salaried position. The elected candidate will take office on 15 July 2018, and will be expected to start employment on 2 July 2018 (there may be some flexibility on start date – see "eligibility" section for details).

The current salary of a Graduate Union sabbatical officer is £22,084. The incoming President's salary will be this figure, plus an inflationary uplift.

Friday 23rd November 9:00 Lent Elections Promotion Begins
Wednesday 20th February 9:00 Nominations Open
Tuesday 26th February 12:00 Nominations Close
18:00 Candidates Briefing (location tbc)
Thursday 28th February 9:00 Campaigning Opens
Friday 1st March 18:00 Hustings (location tbc)
Monday 4th March 9:00 Colleges are sent materials advertising each candidates including their names and manifesto (to be pigeon holed/ shared by J/MCR)
Tuesday 5th March 9:00 Voting Opens
Friday 8th March 17:00 Voting Closes
19:00 Provisional Results Announced
Monday 11th March 10:00 Official Results Announced

Welfare and Rights Officer

What does it mean to be the Welfare and Rights Officer?

The Welfare and Rights Officer is the elected representative for students at the University of Cambridge for matters pertaining to the welfare, pastoral provision and support, and equality of students’ experiences at the Collegiate University. The role is shared between CUSU and the Graduate Union (GU) and so forms part of the GU Executive.

The purpose of the role is to advance the fairness and accessibility of students’ experiences in their study period; identify and investigate issues relating to student support and equality of opportunity and disadvantage; and campaign, lobby and advocate within and beyond the University’s structures to alleviate disparity and barriers to those requiring support. The role enacts this purpose via CUSU activities, campaigns, and policy-development regarding student support and equality of treatment and opportunity, including health; mental well-being; sexual health; safety; and resources to cope with hardship. 
 

What else does the Welfare and Rights Officer do?

  • Shall also be an officer of the Graduate Union and be expected to contribute significantly to the work of that organisation
  • Trustee of the Graduate Union
  • Leads the Welfare and Rights Team
  • Shall be the primary representative for CUSU on graduate student matters
  • Liaise closely with other Executive Teams on graduate issues relevant to their portfolios

 

Friday 23rd November 9:00 Lent Elections Promotion Begins
Wednesday 20th February 9:00 Nominations Open
Tuesday 26th February 12:00 Nominations Close
18:00 Candidates Briefing (location tbc)
Thursday 28th February 9:00 Campaigning Opens
Friday 1st March 18:00 Hustings (location tbc)
Monday 4th March 9:00 Colleges are sent materials advertising each candidates including their names and manifesto (to be pigeon holed/ shared by MCR)
Tuesday 5th March 9:00 Voting Opens
Friday 8th March 17:00 Voting Closes
19:00 Provisional Results Announced
Monday 11th March 10:00 Official Results Announced

Candidate and voter eligibility

Candidate eligibility

Candidates for Graduate Union President and Vice-President must:

  • be a "graduate member" of the Graduate Union, as defined by the Constitution, as at the first day of the Term elections are held in;
  • have secured permission if intending to intermit, or anticipate completing their studies before beginning employment; and
  • be eligible to serve as a trustee.

Candidates for CUSU/GU Welfare & Rights Officer must:

  • Be a member of CUSU
  • Be a graduate or postgraduate student, or a third or fourth year undergraduate student
  • Have secured permission if intending to intermit
  • Have no relevant previous convictions (a DBS check will be performed following election)
  • Be eligible to serve as a trustee of the GU

Voter eligibility

To be eligible to vote in the Presidential and Vice-Presidential election, voters must:

  • be a "graduate member" of the Graduate Union, as defined by the Constitution, as at the first day of the Term elections are held in.

The electoral roll will be available for inspection on the CUSU voting platform before the opening of the ballot.

  • be a CUSU member as defined in their constitution

Guidance

Graduate Membership: "graduate members" of the Graduate Union are all those members who are Registered Graduate or Postgraduate students of the University. All University of Cambridge students pursuing graduate or postgraduate courses are automatically members of the Graduate Union unless they have actively resigned their membership.

Permission to intermit: In order to run for a Sabbatical office that will interrupt your studies (i.e., for those candidates who are not in their final year during the election), prospective candidates must have secured permission from their College, Faculty, Supervisor etc. to take a year’s intermission from your studies.

Completion of studies: Prospective candidates who anticipate completing their studies before beginning employment do not need to intermit. "Completing studies" refers to having completed all academic work, exams, etc required by a course – candidates do not need to have formally graduated. Note that graduate students who will have submitted their soft-bound thesis but not yet taken their viva are deemed to be on vacation and will therefore also not need to intermit. For one-year courses which finish during the summer, there may be some degree of flexibility concerning the commencement of employment (please email  to enquire).

Trustee eligibility: Prospective candidates for President must be legally eligible to act as a charity trustee. For further details, see the Charity Commission website.

Voting system

The ballot will be conducted using the CUSU online voting platform.

Voting will be by Single Transferable Vote, as per Electoral Reform Society rules (aka "ERS97 rules"). Under these rules, voters order the candidates in order of preference. Candidates are therefore encouraged to campaign for voters' second, third etc. preference votes.

Re-open nominations (aka "RON") will be a candidate in the by-election. If a voter does not want a particular candidate or candidates to be elected, they can put a preference for RON ahead of them. If RON wins the by-election, nominations will be re-opened, and a further by-election will be held at the next possible opportunity.

Those who wish to find out more about the voting system employed should visit the Electoral Reform Society’s work How to conduct an Election by the Single Transferrable Vote.

Elections at the Graduate Union

The Graduate Union has a number of elections throughout the year, if you are interested any of the roles, please use the contact us page

Lent Elections

Meet your candidates who will be standing to be your next President and Welfare & Rights Officer. You can also see the candidates standing in the CUSU elections.

-Meet the Candidates-

Timetable for Lent Elections:

Friday 23rd February 9:00 Lent Elections Promotion Begins
Wednesday 20th February 9:00 Nominations Open
Tuesday 26th February 12:00 Nominations Close
18:00 Candidates Briefing (location tbc)
Thursday 28th February 9:00 Campaigning Opens
Friday 1st March 18:00 Hustings (location tbc)
Monday 4th March 9:00 Colleges are sent materials advertising each candidates including their names and manifesto (to be pigeon holed/ shared by J/MCR)
Tuesday 5th March 9:00 Voting Opens
Friday 8th March 17:00 Voting Closes
19:00 Provisional Results Announced
Monday 11th March 10:00 Official Results Announced

 To find out more about each role, please click on the links below.

Position Time of election Method By who?

President 

Lent term by Cross Campus Ballot Graduate members Description

Welfare and Rights Officer

Lent term by Cross Campus Ballot All Students (including non mature UGs) Description

Vice -President

Michaelmas Term by Cross Campus Ballot Graduate members Description
Executive Officers Michaelmas Term by Cross Campus Ballot All Graduate Union Members Summary
Student Trustees Easter Term Nomination of the Executive Committee, Election at Council Voting members of Council
Chair of Council Easter Term Nomination of the Executive Committee, Election at Council Voting members of Council

Vice-President Role

Background

The Vice-President will focus on student-facing work (such as organizing campaigns and events) acting as a bridge between students and the university as well as coordinating the work of the elected Part-Time Officers. This will complement the President's University-facing focus on representation and strategy.

As a sabbatical officer, the Vice-President is a full-time salaried member of staff. Candidates will, therefore, need to be free to intermit for a year, or else be finishing their studies this term, to be eligible to run.

Salary: £22,084

Job Description

The Vice-President shall:

  1. report to the President, and with the Executive Committee assist the President with the implementation of Policy;
  2. be the principal officer of the Union for:
    1. community building and student experience,
    2. the provision of services and facilities to the Members,
    3. collaboration with external organisations, and
    4. furthering the Union’s objects through organising events in accordance with Clause 5.3 of the Constitution;
  3. be the Chair of the Executive Committee in accordance with [ref to Schedule B], lead the activities of the Part-time Officers, and facilitate effective communication between the Part-time Officers, the Sabbatical Officers and the Trustees;
  4. be, or appoint a deputy to act as, the secretary of the Council;
  5. seek to involve as many Members in the activities of the Union as possible, and facilitate effective communication between the Union and its Members;
  6. ensure that the Union retains the confidence of as many Middle Combination Rooms as possible, by communicating with the officers of these bodies, and by making the relevant Officers of the Union aware of any dissatisfaction or areas of concern and thereafter taking remedial action;
  7. engage with and support the work of the officers of the Affiliated Common Rooms, and the graduate members of the Councils of the Schools, the Faculty Boards, and similar bodies within Departments and Institutes, and involve them in the work of the Union;
  8. engage with and support the work of any societies or organisations relevant to graduate students of the University where this furthers the objects of the Union;
  9. be a member of the of the Students’ Unions’ Advice Service team but not undertake casework;
  10. normally serve as the Returning Officer for the election of the President, and in this capacity ensure that this election is undertaken and administered in accordance with the Constitution and Schedules;
  11. arrange or conduct training for incoming Presidents and Welfare & Rights Officers, after having taken advice from the outgoing Officers; and
  12. at the direction of the President, attend or serve as a member of any University or inter-Collegiate bodies to represent graduate students’ views and Policy, and report back to the Union.

Eligibility

Any candidate for the role of Vice-President must be a student who is formally matriculated and registered for an approved graduate or postgraduate programme provided by the University of Cambridge (as at 26 September 2018), who has not opted-out of membership of the GU in accordance with the Education Act 1994.

Any candidate for the role of Vice-President and intends to intermit to take office must have the prior permission of their supervisor and/or dept, faculty etc.

The Vice-President will formally take office on 1 January. The winner of the Vice-President election will be expected to take up employment with the GU before taking office, such that a two-week handover period can be conducted during Full Michaelmas Term as an Officer-Elect. 

All those eligible to stand for election to the role of the Vice-President (ignoring the criteria of securing permission to intermit) will be eligible to vote in the election to that post.

Long Vacation Term by-election 2019 main

The following positions are up for election Disabled Students Officer Jack Chadwick Re- Open Nominations LGBTQ+ Officer Anthony Bridgen Re-Open Nominations https://www.vote.cusu.cam.ac.uk/graduateunion/18-19/execbyelection/

https://www.vote.cusu.cam.ac.uk/graduateunion/18-19/execbyelection/ Vote now! 

The following positions are up for election

 

Disabled Students Officer

Jack Chadwick

Hi, I am Jack.

As the Union's first ever Disabled Students Officer I've worked to establish a campaign that meets the needs of disabled graduates.

If elected, I'll press ahead with the campaigns and initiatives begun in the last six months. Since January I've canvassed disabled graduates to get a sense of our priorities and what we want this position to do for us:

  •  We want a strong campaigning voice to focus our concerns into winning campaigns.
  • We want an officer that works closely with the disability campaign to maintain the campaigns excellent work for disabled grads.
  • And we want the opportunity to connect with each other socially, to share our experiences.

My main focus for the next year would be vastly expand access to adjustment information. So far I've secured commitments from a majority of departments and faculties to integrate resources into induction that explain the options available for disabled students and those who experience mental health problems, in respect of their courses.

 

Re- Open Nominations Re-Open Nominations exists to state your preferred option is that nominations should be opened again. 

LGBTQ+ Officer

Anthony Bridgen

 

 

Hiya! My name is Anthony and I'm 2nd year PhD student in Plant Sciences.


I would like to be your LGBTQ+ rep as I think it's an important role within the GU structure which ensures that members of the graduate body who identify as LGBTQ+ receive support and a sense of community. It would be my great pleasure to continue the great work of the previous officer in organising social events & campaigning for greater inclusivity in the university.


Having held a number of committee positions over my time at Cambridge, including being the current president of Caius MCR, I hope I am well qualified to operate within the university structure and have a considerable experience of event organisation.

Thanks for reading!

Anthony. - my Manifesto can be found here

Re-Open Nominations Re-Open Nominations exists to state your preferred option is that nominations should be opened again. 

 

  • Ballot opens 9am Wednesday 10th July
  • Ballot closes the Friday 12th July at 1pm
  • Winner announced