officer blog


Campaigns & Democracy

Serene Shibli Sexton


democracy discussions: ice cream, giveaways and votes

How did I get to this point?

At the beginning of this academic year, I told you all that the last time our democratic structures were reviewed happened in 2017, and the last time they were looked at this widely was over 10 years ago. During my first year as your elected Campaigns and Democracy Officer, I was told through focus groups that some of you as our members didn’t know how to or want to engage because of our complex and confusing systems.  

Therefore, at the end of the academic year 2018/19, I consulted with the Student Officer Committee and they all agreed that a democracy review was needed. In October, I held focus groups with new and returning members, had conversations and launched a survey to get your views on our structures. At the end of November, a report was produced to guide the next section of the review, which included modelling the democracy options.

The options have been considered by Union Council, the Student Officer Committee (FTOs & PTOs), Management Committee (FTOs), and our Trustee Board. I have worked on fleshing out these options (there are three for you to consider) for you to all vote on in the preferendum (public vote) during the election period – have a further look on for more information.

What is next?

When the vote is counted, I will then undertake further work which may include proposing a new set of by-laws for the final Council of the year. If you are interested in getting involved in the write up in the new constitution or have any democracy related questions, please get in touch at

Answers to questions you may have!

Where can I find out more information on the democracy review? We have plenty of information which is available on You can also come and chat to me during 12 – 4pm in the exhibition space in the hive, union house, on the 3rd March. There will be plenty of leaflets and information that you can take away!

What is a preferenda? A preferenda is a preference led referenda. You will have three options to choose from, which you can rank. We will inform you of the outcome following the end of the election period.

Ice cream and giveaways? Yes, ice cream and giveaways! During the elections and voting period of the preferenda, there will be prize giveaways and freebies, so make sure you get out and vote to claim these or have the opportunity of winning something!

Why it is important? The democracy review is the largest review of the processes in the last fifteen years. This is your Students’ Union and your voice is fundamental in deciding how things happen!

How do I vote? You can vote on the website at! We’ve made it so that you can vote for your elected officers for next year and then choose the option that suits you best.


No comments have been made. Please log in to comment.