Everything you need to know about the SU elections

Polls open at 9 a.m on Monday (28/02/2022)

It’s that time of year again. Lent term elections are rolling around for JCRs, societies, clubs and…you guessed it, the Cambridge Student Union (Cambridge SU). If you’re a fresher or for some other reason have no idea what that means, here’s a beginner’s guide to the Lent 2022 SU Elections.

What is the Cambridge SU?

Cambridge SU is a union that aims to “fight for, advocate and represent the interests and needs of all students at Cambridge University.” It was formed in 2020, and merged the roles of the Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU) and Graduates’ Union. All students are automatically members of the SU.

You may recently have read about their proposals to create a reading week, their success in reducing postgraduate application fees, or the nationally-acclaimed How to Spot TERF ideology guide they released last year.

The SU also coordinates campaigns such as Reclaim the Night and liases with JCRs and MCRs on sexual health campaigns, diversity talks etc.

What positions are up for election?

Every year, eight sabbatical officers are elected to represent students’ needs as a full-time job. They take a “sabbatical” year off from academics and work Monday-Friday, nine-to-five jobs that pay approximately £22,000-24,000.

Candidates will run for positions of Undergraduate President, Postgraduate President, Welfare & Community Officer, BME Officer, Women’s Officer, Disabled Students’ Officer, and Access & Education Officer (undergraduate and postgraduate) The SU website details the roles of each of the sabbatical officers.

Some voluntary positions – that are taken up alongside an academic course – will also be contested.

The list of candidates was released on Friday (25/02) at nine a.m.

How do I decide who to vote for?

For the first year since 2020, Lent Elections this year will return to in-person campaigning and events.

Hustings for the elections are on Monday (28/02) at Newnham College from 5:30 p.m. onwards. They provide an opportunity for students to hear from candidates and quiz them on pressing matters. Questions can be submitted in advance here.

All candidates will also release manifestos detailing their experience and proposals, which are available on the SU website. These will likely also be shared on social media.

Sometimes, societies or clubs endorse a specific candidate, in which case they may send out emails with more information to all their members.

How does the voting process work?

All voting occurs on the SU website. Eligible students can vote for their preferred candidates from nine a.m. on the 28th of February till five p.m. on Thursday, 3rd March.

Not all students are eligible to vote for each position. Some positions, such as Women’s Officer, require candidates to self-define eligibility (in this case, based on their gender identity).

The SU uses a Single Transferable Vote system, meaning students rank the candidates in their order of preference. There is also the option to vote “R.O.N.,” which stands for “Re-Open Nomination.” If R.O.N. receives the majority of votes, no candidate wins and the election is re-opened.

The SU have also created a useful video tutorial on how to cast your vote, particularly beneficial for first-time voters!

Results will be announced at an event in the SU Lounge (17 Mill Lane) from seven p.m. onwards on the 3rd of March.

Feature Image Credits: Keira Quirk 

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