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FAQs and Glossary

Image text reads "Everything you need to know"

What you need to know

Not sure what all the terminology associated with the elections means?

Don’t worry, you’re probably not alone!

Have a read of our glossary below for all the lingo you need to know if you’re thinking about putting yourself forward for a role, or you’re voting for a candidate…

What does 'nominating' mean?

'Nominating' is the process of putting yourself forward for a role within the Students’ Union.


You can nominate yourself for one or more roles. Nomination is simple - all you need to do is log in to this website using your existing Goldsmiths login information, and visit this page.


This year we have four Full-Time and five Part-Time Officer roles available, as well as two NUS Delegate positions.

What is a candidate?

A ‘candidate’ is a student who has nominated themself for one - or more - of the advertised positions.


If you want to be a candidate, nominate yourself here.


If you know someone at Goldsmiths who would be an excellent candidate, we can ‘nudge’ them for you - just fill in this form.

How are the votes cast and counted?

Our elections are held online, with students casting their votes on this website.


That makes them secure, safe, and easy to count, as well as enabling distance and part-time students to vote without having to visit campus.


We use Preferential Voting. This is a very simple method for the voter - all you need to do is rank candidates in order of preference.


Rank your favourite candidate 1, your second-favourite candidate 2, and so on.


You don’t have to rank them all; you can rank one, some or all candidates. You can also select ‘Re-open nominations’ if you prefer that option to one or more candidates.


A candidate ‘wins’ when they have more than half of all votes cast. If no single candidate has more than half of the ‘first preferences’, then the candidate with the least first preferences is removed, and the second preferences are then counted and distributed to the remaining candidates.


This continues until one candidate has more than half of all first preferences, at which point that candidate is declared the winner.


It might sounds complicated, but it’s a very simple, fair and proportionate voting system.


Our voting software will fairly and securely count all votes.

What is a manifesto?

A manifesto is a candidate’s explanation of why students should vote for them.


It usually contains campaign pledges, promises, an explanation of the candidate’s experience, and endorsements from other students.


Candidates can write a manifesto of no more than 600 words that will be shown to voters as they are casting their votes online.

What is the campaign video?

Every candidate in the election is expected to take part in a 20 second campaign video with Goldsmiths SU.


This give you a chance to tell potential voters why you are the best person for the role.


We will promote these videos to our members through our newsletter and social media channels.

What is Candidate Question Time?

Candidate Question Time (CQT) is an event held early in the voting period.


CQT is an opportunity for candidates to answer questions from students about their goals. It’s also an opportunity for students to meet and question the candidates.


CQT 2022 will be held on Tuesday 15 March at 1600.


Pop along to hear about the policies, plans or proposals of this year’s candidates.

What are the election rules?

For our elections to be fair, open and accessible to every student, we have to ensure a level playing field.


We achieve this through the Election Rules, which are binding for candidates and campaigners in our elections. These rules prevent candidates from using unfair advantages or extra resources that their competitors might not have.


For example, we limit the sum of money a candidate can spend on campaigning, to ensure that elections can’t be dominated by the richest candidate.


We also prevent candidates from doing things that annoy students, such as spamming society mailing lists, harassing potential voters, or casting votes on other people’s behalf.


If you feel that a candidate or campaigner has broken the election rules, let us know straight away. We will then investigate and decide if a rule has been broken, and take appropriate action.


Read the full election rules.


Report breaches of election rules by emailing

What does ‘Re-open nominations’ mean?

We offer voters the chance to reject all of the candidates for a particular position.


You can do this by ranking ‘Re-open nominations’ as your first preference if you think none of the candidates are suitable for the role.


You can alternatively select ‘Re-open nominations’ for your second, third or further preference if you think some of the candidates are electable, but others are not suitable for the position.


If ‘Re-open nominations’ receives more than half the votes for a particular position, then no one wins, and Goldsmiths SU will re-run the election for that position again at a later date.

What is a Deputy Returning Officer?

The Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) is a member of Goldsmiths SU staff who is responsible for ensuring our elections are run fairly.


This includes enforcing the election rules, answering candidate questions, and arranging elections-related events.


They are the designated person to go to if a candidate has a complaint about the process or thinks a rule has been broken. They will make an initial ruling and judgement according to the election rules.


The Deputy Returning Officers for 2022 is Irfan Zaman, Goldsmiths SU's Head of Membership. You can contact him on

What is a Returning Officer?

The Returning Officer is an independent, external person who is only involved in elections when a candidate or voter appeals against a decision of the Deputy Returning Officer.


They are not a member of staff of the SU or the College, and do not know any of the candidates at all. This provides an extra level of impartiality.


The Returning Officer for 2022 is Christina Kennedy, Deputy CEO of Arts SU. You can contact her on; please clearly mark your email as ‘For the attention of the RO’.


Contact Details