We're here to bust some of those myths around Elections. The short version is: every student can run, every student should vote, and there are good reasons to do both!
“I don’t have enough/the right experience”
You don’t need prior experience! All you need are ideas for what you would like to do. Whether that's build on something existing, make a change, or create something new.
Training and support is provided for all officers and reps from nomination throughout their term of office.
“I have to be a final-year / full-time / undergraduate student to stand”
Any student can stand! There are some restrictions for certain roles (e.g. to be a Faculty or Campus Officer you have to study in that location) but if you are a student in the University Group there are roles you can stand for.
To make it super explicit!
- Whether you are a first year, returner, or final year student, you can stand. If you stand for a full-time position and you are not in your final year, you can take a 'Sabbatical' year and return to your studies once your term of office is completed!
- Whether you are a home or international student, you can stand. If you are an international student, we and the University support you through the appropriate visa applications. Many of our officers have been international students!
- Whether you are a full-time or part-time student, you can stand. Even if you're a part-time student you can stand for a full-time role and some of the part-time roles are open for job-share (i.e. you and a friend can jointly run and split the workload if you win)
- Whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate, you can stand. With a few exceptions (e.g. PGR Officer) all posts are open to all students regardless of where you are on your academic journey.
- Whether you study at Coventry University, CU Coventry, CU London, or CU Scarborough, you can stand. Some roles are for certain locations but the four trustee full-time roles are open to all.
“I’m not political enough”
You don’t have to be interested in politics, just passionate about making positive change for students.
We have roles that focus on Inclusion, Education, Sports & Societies... you can focus on the area that interests you the most when you choose a role.
“Someone else is more likely to win”
You might think that but there are no guarantees! We use a Transferable Vote system which means that voters can choose multiple candidates. Even if you’re not a voter’s first choice you might get their second or third preference and these quite often decide the result.
“It’s just a popularity contest”
It’s not just about the person but what they pledge to do. Make sure your manifesto puts across what you would do if elected and voters will decide if that is the direction they want.
“I think things are fine as they are”
That's not a reason not to run! You can continue or build on the great work of someone else.
“I won’t win without a big campaign team”
Plenty of candidates have won in the past without a big campaign team (or any team at all!)
“I don’t think I’ll be able to change anything”
Elected officers have a huge influence over the Student Experience. Major decisions like whether we should support a Rent Strike or how funding should be spent fall to officers, and many of the campaigns and events you take part each year in exist thanks to officers.
“There's no point if I might not win”
Not true! Just being a candidate will teach you valuable and recognisable skills in budgeting, leadership, communication, diversity and more. Every candidate will be eligible for a Leadership Award for their participation.
Taking part will also give you valuable experience to help any future campaigns.