Here you can find our full Elections Regulations
which all candidates and campaign teams must adhere to during De Montfort Students' Union (DSU)'s Elections season.
Should you have any queries regarding this year’s Elections, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) is run by students for students, and every year we elect our student leaders through a cross campus ballot. The Elections is one of the most important events of the year for DSU and we look forward to supporting students and candidates in this year’s Elections. Within this guidance you will find the supporting materials needed to enable all students and candidates to participate in a fair, vibrant, and impactful campaign.
All candidates must familiarise themselves with the information covered in these regulations and the Elections Bye-Law. The purpose of these regulations is to outline the rules of what candidates can and cannot do during the Elections period.
These rules apply to all candidates running in the Elections, alongside campaign team members that are lobbying on behalf of a candidate. This is paramount to ensure DSU’s Elections are fair, democratic and transparent. These rules must be followed by each candidate and their respective campaign team members. If anyone is found to be breaching any of these regulations, or any part of the Elections Bye-Law, appropriate sanctions will be taken including, but not limited to, disqualification.
In every DSU Elections, there are two key officials that oversee the free and fair running of the Elections;
1. Returning Officer
The Returning Officer has ultimate responsibility for calling all Union Elections and for their fair running. The Returning Officer is independent from the Union, and shall be responsible for enforcing the relevant Bye-Laws and these regulations.
This year’s Returning Officer is Gareth Oughton, Chief Executive Officer, University of Leicester Students’ Union.
2. Deupty Returning Officer
The Deputy Returning Officer is responsible for the day-to-day oversight and management of the Elections. The Deputy Returning Officer has delegated powers from the Returning Officer to enforce Elections Bye-Laws, alongside issue rulings and warnings to those taking part in the Elections.
This year’s Deputy Returning Officer is Amy Horner, Student Opportunities Manager (De Montfort Students’ Union)
Nominations Open: 23rd January 2023
Nominations Close: 1st March
15th February 2023 15:00 - 16:00
20th February 2023 16:00 - 17:00
24th February 2023 10:00 - 11:00
28th February 2023 16:00 - 17:00
Candidate Breifings: 2nd - 8th March
Voting Opens: 13th March 2023
Voting Closes: 20th March 2023
Complaints Deadline: 21st March 2023 07:59 (8 Hours after the close of Voting)
De Montfort Students’ Union is a democratic organisation which elects students to lead it each year. Below are the Elections principles which candidates will have to follow.
These principles exist to ensure free, fair and inclusive Elections. It will be the role of the Deputy Returning Officer to decide if a candidate has violated these principles and the appropriate response.
The student body: No candidate should try to coerce or unfairly influence students to vote.
Other candidates: Candidates should treat each other respectfully and should not interfere with the campaign activities of another candidate.
The environment: Candidates should treat the campus and Leicester city with respect - they should not cause any damage to buildings or structures on campus.
Space: Let students study in peace – no campaigning, canvassing or soliciting of votes in the Library or any other study space.
The DSU staff team: inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Candidates should not do anything that brings the fairness of the Elections into dispute.
Candidates' campaigns should be open, honest and transparent.
If multiple votes are coming in from the same IP addresses - this will be investigated by the Election officials.
Candidates shall be allocated a set budget to allow them to purchase items relevant to their elections campaigning.
Executive Officers (full-time positions) will be allocated £50 for their campaign budget.
Liberation Officers (part-time positions) will be allocated £25 for their campaign budget.
These will be fully refunded by De Montfort Students’ Union throughout the Elections period on production of valid receipts.
Candidates are NOT permitted to spend beyond these allocated amounts.
Purdah, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is the period leading up to Elections, during which new announcements that may influence the Elections are prohibited. This will commence two weeks prior to voting opening and throughout the voting period.
During this period re-running Officers or candidates can attend public events both online and in person but cannot promote their candidacy at these events, including but not limited to, Varsity events, Conferences (Both online and in-person), rallies, protests, mass gatherings (including those online) during the two weeks of purdah as stipulated above. Candidates must seek clarification from the Deputy Returning Officer with regards to any additional posts they hold.
During this period communication sent out to encourage students to vote will not include any reference to any candidates including current Officers.
DSU and DMU cannot influence Elections in any way and at no time express any preference of whom should be elected.
The following rules are not exhaustive and candidates are responsible for remaining updated on any developments and interpretations made by the Deputy Returning Officer via DSU’s website and/or via emails or other communication sent out by the Deputy Returning Officer or Election Staff on their behalf.
The period of campaigning shall start on 9th March 2023 and shall continue until the close of the ballot, on 20th March 2023. Posters and any other publicity must not be publicly available online or in-person prior to the start of campaigning.
Candidates are permitted to have a campaign team to help them campaign. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure the members of the campaign team are familiar with these regulations and relevant information in the Elections Bye-Law.
Any campaign team member in breach of these regulations or the Elections Bye-Law shall result in the candidate being investigated and having possible sanctions against them, including being withdrawn.
All campaign team members must be current student members of DSU.
Candidates must Email a list of their campaign team members and their P-Numbers to email@example.com
prior to the start of campaigning.
Attempting to Solicit or Coerce votes
Whilst voting will be done through a secure method of online ballot this year, the use or attempt of using shared electronic devices for the purpose of casting votes during the voting period is strictly prohibited. Election officials will continue to review IP addresses to ensure such infringement is not occurring.
This rule applies directly to the candidates, and their campaign team members. If reported, or found to be doing so, the candidate will be withdrawn from the Elections.
Candidates must also refrain from coercion of votes by passing out devices to students or by asking students to log in and voting on their behalf. Any reports of such breaches can result in withdrawal from the Election.
Campaign materials must not have designs, information or slogans which in any way could be interpreted as slander against an individual or organisation.
Campaign materials must not bring DSU into disrepute.
All Elections materials must be declared to the Deputy Returning Officer, in conjunction with the candidate budget.
All manifestos will be presented in a uniform style (same font and size) on the DSU website and other visual platforms online.
Campaign material must not be displayed anywhere on campus without prior approval from the Deputy Returning Officer and/or Election Team.
There will be an opportunity for the candidates to talk about their aims and objective whilst debating with other candidates.
Candidates are not permitted to make any direct or indirect derogatory or personal remarks about other candidates, University staff, Union staff or individual students.
Campaigning and Canvassing
Candidates are not permitted to make derogatory or personal remarks about other candidates, University staff, Union staff or individual students.
The use of stickers is prohibited/not allowed on any building.
Posters are only permitted on display boards organised by DSU (locations will be confirmed at the Candidate Briefing) – Online Poster display sections will be created on the election website.
Candidates and their campaign teams must not take down or deface any other candidate’s posters or campaign material – this includes online photoshopping or editing of posters.
Candidates must be respectful in their campaigning methods to avoid being viewed as intimidating, discriminatory, harassing or aggressive.
Any defacing or sabotaging of fellow candidates’ campaign materials may result in the candidate being withdrawn.
Candidates, and their campaign teams, must not bring DSU into disrepute whilst canvassing.
Candidates and their teams cannot use mailing lists that are property of DSU, DMU, or third-party organisation that hold data on students from De Montfort University Endorsement.
Student groups are permitted to endorse a candidate but must not deny other candidates the platform to speak or canvass for votes from their membership, whether online or in person.
Current full-time Elected Officers may not endorse any candidate.
No candidate shall use DSU’s democratic meetings as a forum for campaigning.
Candidates are not permitted to spend beyond their campaign allowance. If there is evidence to suggest otherwise, they may face being disqualified from the Elections.
At the close of balloting all candidates are required to produce receipts for all of expenditure on their campaign. Any failure to do so shall result in an investigation and the potential to delay the announcement of the election of that specific post(s).
Other Relevant Policies
Candidates must follow all Union and University policies, procedures and regulations - as well as any legal requirements, during the period of Union Elections.
Candidates must adhere to all Government, University and Union Policies in relation to Cvoid-19, social distancing, lockdowns and any other relevant safety measures.
In the event of a candidate being found to have broken one or more of these regulations or the Elections Bye-Law the Deputy Returning Officer, and/or the Returning Officer, shall have the power to:
Issue a verbal or written warning
Impose a fine on the campaign budget
Restrict the amount of publicity available for the candidate
Disqualify the candidate
Take other action as they see fit
Complaints will only be investigated when a complaint has been received in writing via the firstname.lastname@example.org
inbox. Verbal complaints will not be considered.
The Deputy Returning Officer will endeavour to reply to complaints within 24 hours of receipt.
The Deputy Returning Officer shall investigate complaints and make adjudication according to the nature of the complaint;
In the event that a Candidate (who is the subject of a complaint) wishes to appeal a decision of the Deputy Returning Officer they must do so within 24 hours of the ruling. They should do this in writing via email and address this to the Returning Officer whose ruling will be final.
Any complaint concerning the conduct of a candidate must be submitted to the Deputy Returning Officer no later than 21st March 2023 07:59 (8 hours after the close of voting).
Any complaint about the administration of the election should be made to the Returning Officer, no later than 21st March 2023 07:59 (8 hours after the close of voting).
Once the count has commenced, no further complaints about the conduct of any candidate or the administration of the Elections will be considered.
If needed, the Deputy Returning Officer, or Returning Officer, shall make further decisions and rulings on the election. Interpretation will be made in the interest of the electorate above all others.
It is the responsibility of all candidates to remain updated of any potential developments or changes by checking DSU’s elections web pages: demontfortsu.com/elections
Individual notifications will not be made, so regular reviews of this page is strongly recommended.
For any additional information regarding this year’s Elections, please email email@example.com