DRO Question & Answer

Deputy Returning Officer Questions

Returning Officer & Deputy Returning Officer

The National Union of Students return the elections of City University London Students’ Union. The NUS Returning Officer for this Election is Peter Robertson.

The Deputy Returning Officer is Hannah Roberts, Deputy CEO at City Students’ Union.

Your campaigning and elections questions answered:

Question/ Case Ruling/ Outcome
Can societies endorse me as a candidate in the election? Yes, information for candidate's and Societies is outlined in the Candidate's Handbook. Endorsements will be processed by the team on Monday 9 March.
If a society decided to support me, would they be able to send an email stating that they support me in these elections (as a candidate in X election)? Yes, once a Society has communicated who they want to endorse, and that candidate has accepted the endorsement the Society may email its members to communicate who they are supporting.
Can I add Society Logo's to my manifesto if they include the University Crest? No, this counts as using the University Crest/ Logo. It is advised that you ask the Society for an alternative logo.

Would I be able to send out an email to people that I've had email discussions with prior asking them for support in the upcoming election?

If you are emailing friends, and people you know then yes, this is fine. This would not be okay if you were emailing people en mass who you do not know from the City global address list.

Can I send an updated manifesto/ promotional material to the DRO for approval after the 1 March content deadline?

All promotional material created before and after the 1 March deadline must be approved by the DRO. Any materials submitted AFTER 1 March will not be updated on our website or in print, however candidates may still use new approved materials on the campaign trail when talking to students.

Are there any other mandatory trainings that candidate's are required to attend? All candidates must attend a Candidate Meeting where key information, rules and dates are communicated. There are a number of other Candidate Development opportunities that we recommend, however they are not mandatory.
Can candidates campaign in the Law Common Room? Yes, candidates may campaign in the common room.
Can candidates campaign in the Law Common Room silent study space? No, candidates must not campaign in the silent study space as doing so would disturb students who have made the decision to sit in a silent zone.
Can candidates send emails to students from their programme/ course? Yes, candidates can email people that they know from their course/ programme. However, candidates must not send bulk emails to more than 20 people using either University email addresses or Moodle.
Can a society endorsing a candidate attach a link to the elections (as well as instructions as to how they can vote)?

Yes, Societies who have endorsed a candidate can inform students where to go to vote. The link will be, alternatively they can direct students to SU staff at Ballot Stations across campus.

Our website will have clear instructions on how to vote, this will appear from Monday 16 March.

Can elections mentors look at candidate manifesto's and suggest ways that it can be tweaked before being submitted for approval?

Yes, elections mentors will give suggestions to candidates based on what is published in the Candidate Handbook. More specifically, this will include the key things we suggest you include on your manifesto - for example, the vote link: 

Mentors cannot suggest new or different content for your manifesto.

Why are can candidates not use stickers as part of their campaign? The Union have agreed with City's Property and Facilities team (PAF) that stickers are not allowed. This is because stickers when given out often fall off clothing, or end up on walls/ fixtures around campus. In previous years the Union has had to pay for removal. To avoid this candidates are not permitted to use stickers.
Can I buy badges with my campaigns budget so students can wear them to show their support for me? Yes, badges are a good alternative to stickers and can be used by students to show support for your campaign.
Can I use my nickname/ preffered name? Yes, just let us know what your preffered first name is by logging into the Elections Portal or by emailing us. Your last name will still need to appear on the site/ ballot. This is so we can list candidates in alphabetical order by surname as required in our rules.

Can I use WhatsApp to ask people to vote for me?

Yes, similar to email so long as the person you are messaging knows you, you can use WhatsApp for this.

Can I use my course WhatsApp group I’m in to ask people to vote for me?

Yes, if you are in a WhatsApp group for your course you may post in there.

Can I use a Society WhatsApp group I’m in to ask people to vote for me?

If you are a member of a WhatsApp group you may post in there, however if the society has endorsed someone else you need to be aware that they may make the decision remove your post.

If a society has decided to endorse another candidate for the same role, can a candidate email them and ask them to support their candidacy as a second preference?

No, societies cannot support more than one candidate for each position (Bye-Law 4: 8.3.2). This means that they cannot publicly tell people to mark you as a second preference.

Individual people from societies may support you as a second preference, this needs to be done on an individual basis – not through the committee.

Can candidates contact Academic Societies or their Programme Rep to find out what issues there are on specific courses? Yes, similar with the current elected Officers (full-time and part-time) - candidates may ask questions to key people shape/ finalise their manifesto points
Are societies that are endorsing a candidate considered part of a campaign team? Yes, if a Society acted and breached the election rules then the candidate would be accountable. Societies will be provided with key points to remember but we recommend that the candidate also brief the Society.
Can I use the vote QR code that the elections team sent out on my campaign material? Yes, everyone has access to this - if you wish to use it you can. Alternatively, if you wanted to use an alternative QR code that would also be fine.
I've made an amendment to my poster, can I go  ahead and print it wihtout approval? No, any amendments must be sent to the DRO for approval. In the email you should clearly state the amendment.
Can I send a copy of my manifesto to societies to support my ask for an endorsement? Yes, but only after campaigning starts on Monday 9 March at 09:00.

If a society indorses a candidate, that means the candidate can use society resources. For example if they have old scrap material and paint, can I use that? Without declaring?

This would need to be declared as an expense, relating to the following:

12.8 No Society funds may be used to finance any candidate’s campaign.

Affiliated societies will have bought the materials/ paint with their funds at some point and therefore existing resource within the society cannot be used to contribute to a candidate’s campaign.

Do sports teams have to go through the same endorsement process as SU Societies?

Sports teams are not affiliated with the SU as the University runs the department therefore they do not go through the same process.

Only SU affiliated societies go through the endorsement process, the Union has no jurisdiction over any other campus groups.
Can I campaign/ leaflet at CitySport?

CitySport is fine for campaigning, please respect that if staff ask you not to go in certain places (eg. If there is  class to respect that).

Can I campaign/ leaflet in halls? The Union does not have a formal elections agreement with the City nominated halls of residence. Each hall has managed by a different person/ company. If a canddiate wishes to go to halls they must seek permission to do so themselves.
Can candidates put posters on the floor?

Candidates cannot put posters on the floor (whether paper or vinyl). This is not agreed with the University Properties & Facilities team.

Can I use blue tak to put my posters up? No, only white tak must be used. Any posters fixed with blue tak may be removed and candidates may incur a cost to repair any damage.
Do I need to have the consent of the people in photographs I use in my marketing materials before I post it? Yes, if a person featured in a photograph on your materials were to complaint to the DRO then you would be asked to remove them immediately.