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Election rules

Goldsmiths SU is a democratic, student-led organisation.

That means it's critical that our elections are fair, free and open. 

To ensure the fairness of our elections, we have a set of election rules that set out what candidates (and their campaigners) can and can't do.

Download the Election Rules handout

Election rules


  • Eligibility to run for election at Goldsmiths SU will be tested at the point when a student puts themselves forward for election (during the nominations period). All candidates will then be confirmed and announced at the close of nominations.
  • All enrolled students are automatic members of their students’ union at Goldsmiths. In order to stand for election you must be an enrolled student on 1st January 2022.
  • If you are running for a part-time position, you must be continuing your studies at Goldsmiths into the 2022/2023 academic year. For a full time position this is not necessary but you must be an enrolled student on the first day of voting.
  • If running for a liberation position (e.g. Trans and non-binary Officer) you must self-identify into that group.
  • To be a candidate you must not have fallen foul of any Students’ Union official complaint, disciplinary or investigation. This doesn’t include complaints that were dismissed or deemed no case to answer.


  • All candidates must act in the interests of a free and fair election for all involved.
  • All candidates must adhere to the students’ union’s rules and policies, the University’s rules and the law. This includes the need to ensure your campaign and the campus is free from discrimination (see the Safe Space Policy).
  • All candidates must act responsibly and with respect for each other. Personal abuse or bullying won’t be tolerated.


  • We don’t tolerate hateful or oppressive behaviour from our members at any time, and the elections period is no different. Discrimination against, and oppression of, individuals or groups of people on the basis of any of the following are unacceptable: gender, disability, sexuality, class, ethnicity, nationality, ethnic or national origin, race, religion, age, HIV status, caring responsibilities, marital status as well as other protected characteristics not listed. Goldsmiths Students’ Union believes that the oppression of the above groups and other discriminatory behaviour or language does not contribute to promoting a fair and equal election.
  • Should there be any concerns that a potential hate crime has transpired, the SU reserves the right to:
    • Pause the election process until any student(s) affected by the behaviour have received adequate support
    • Disqualify candidates from the elections process
    • Escalate complaints to relevant bodies for further investigation and disciplinary action if required



  • Campaigners should only undertake campaign activity that other candidates could reasonably do. Example: If your parents own a billboard company, you could not use that space to gain free advertising across New Cross. However, you could put posters up across campus as all candidates have the ability to do this.
  • Candidates are responsible for the actions of volunteers in their campaign team. If campaigners are speaking to students on behalf of a candidate, they also must be current Goldsmiths students themselves. Exceptions can be made (with prior notice to the Democracy team) if students have enablers or personal support for their access requirements.
  • No campaigning is allowed before the published start of the campaigning period. You are allowed to organise a campaign team ahead of campaigning starting, but this should be limited to planning campaign actions. If you set up social media pages before this date, they should not launch any content until this date.
    Candidates must allow students to cast their votes freely and without intimidation or pressure (e.g. you should not let a student voter use your own smartphone to vote in the elections). Candidates also must not vote on behalf of other students.
  • Candidates must not undertake any negative campaigning against other candidates. The election should be about your ideas and priorities to bring about positive change for students so your focus should be on your own campaign not anyone else’s.
  • Candidates must not undertake any negative campaigning against individual staff members within the Students’ Union. Example: Criticising the Union’s current policy, position or stance on something is fair, personal attacks on officers or staff implementing that decision are not.
  • Slates are prohibited. This means you are not allowed to campaign with other candidates on the same platform (e.g. you can’t hand out someone else’s leaflets or promote each other). You can of course still care for each other on a personal level, just not campaigning wise.



  • Full-Time Officer Candidates can buy additional campaign supplies which the Students’ Union will reimburse up to £30 per candidate. We do not expect candidates to purchase anything additional during their campaign (this budget is to cover the ‘just in case’ scenario.)
  • The items you have purchased should not amount to more than £30. If you have bought anything additional for your campaign you must submit your receipts through the candidate expenses form by 12pm Friday 18th March with the risk of disqualification if you do not present your receipts.
  • Items freely and readily available to all campaigners can be used without itemisation, for example, the use of free social media.


Guidance for sports clubs and societies:

  • Clubs and societies may endorse candidates, as long as this decision was reached in a democratic way (e.g through a committee meeting)
  • Endorsements include publicly supporting and campaigning on behalf of the candidate to their members or sharing posts on social media channels linked to the club or society
  • Any club or society who are endorsing any candidate need to include a link to the Goldsmiths election manifestos page and a line to state: “Although the committee have decided to formally endorse x candidate, every student has the right to exercise their vote for any candidate they wish. A full list of candidates and their campaign pledges can be found here [insert link]”
  • Candidates may request to join Social Media groups and pages in order to post about the elections.
  • Candidates who have access to mailing lists through a position such as society leader or club captain may not use them to communicate with members about the election.


Complaints, appeals, feedback and problems:

  • We will endeavour to do our best to ensure the elections run smoothly, and all candidates are operating in a collegiate, civil way which supports everyone to be able to campaign to the best of their abilities. Where this isn’t the case and the rules above aren’t followed, we reserve the right to disqualify candidates from the election.
  • If you have a complaint about the election this should be submitted in the first instance to the Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) via If you are not happy with the response from the DRO you can submit an appeal to the Returning Officer via All complaints must be submitted within 2 hours of the voting closing, if not before voting closes. Complaints received after this time will not be considered, as elections will have closed.
  • If you have feedback about the election we welcome this and are always striving to ensure candidates are happy and content with the support they are receiving around the process of elections. We will be sending a survey out post election results asking you for feedback, and there will be an opportunity to tell us honestly and anonymously how you think we can improve.


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