Can I promote my campaign on social media?
Social Media can be a fantastic means of promoting your campaign. Feel free to use any social media you like. However, as long as you are following the rules as stated on the platform’s terms of service. Returning officers should note, as detailed later in this FAQ, only personal social media can be used.
Existing social media accounts with followers from previous campaigns may be used – it is felt this is fair as it’s a following that has taken effort to build, but does not necessarily put them at a great advantage because some of the followers will no longer be existing students, and if the accounts have been dormant it may not have the level of impact some may expect.
Can I use copyrighted materials in my campaign?
Any intellectual property used as part of your campaign will be subject to UK intellectual property law. Please refrain from using copyrighted materials unless you have express permission to do so. If you are unsure of what materials are acceptable to use for your campaign, please visit the link provided: https://www.gov.uk/topic/intellectual-property/copyright
Can I host events to promote my campaign?
You may host events that promote your campaign, as well as the elections themselves. However, you must NOT advertise these events as Students' Association or UHI-organised events. These events must be organised and take place outside of UHI grounds and be entirely independently organised by you. As well as this, you must take into consideration risk assessments and the legalities of your event. The Students' Association and UHI take no responsibility for any issues that might occur as a direct result of these events.
Where am I allowed to campaign?
You may campaign anywhere you have permission to be, provided that it is compliant with Covid regulations and the regulations of the space in question.
Can I hand things out to help with my campaign?
Yes. Handing out flyers, trinkets or home-baked goods can be a great way to catch the attention of potential voters.
These items will also need to come out of your campaign budget. Students must NOT hand out money to potential voters.
What are the campaign rules for returning Officers?
If you are someone who has previously been or is currently a Students' Association officer, there are a few things for you to remember. Under the principles of equality of opportunity for your candidacy and any other election matter, you are NOT permitted to use any item, application, or contact method, that has been paid for or that you have been provided as part of a previous or current role with us. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Use of Branded clothing
- Accounts for emails/teams/related software/social media
- Contacting staff via WhatsApp
Details will also be e-mailed to all current student officers.
If you are in class or a similar space, as a student you can tell other students that you are a candidate. However, current officers are not permitted to promote their campaign during contracted working hours, wearing branded clothing or by using any Students' Association resources.
Re-running Officers can, however, campaign on their record. This means, like other politicians - Elected Officers can use details of their past achievements to promote their current campaign.
Where am I allowed to put up my campaign posters?
You are permitted to put up campaign posters anywhere you would like as long as they are not covering up other candidates’ posters, local events posters or any health and safety notices. Please be aware that due to Covid restrictions, there is a chance that your posters could be removed at any point. Also, before putting up posters in academic partner colleges it’s always worth checking with reception first for any location-specific guidance.
Distribution of digital posters
We will be circulating details on our website as part of our promotions of the elections, e.g. e-mails with key links to our website to all students and relevant staff structures for wider circulation. So if you wish to contact staff you know, please do, but we would just warn you to be mindful of being accused of ‘spamming’ e-mail. It can quickly annoy people and impact then on the structured e-mails coming from us to promote the election. UHI and Academic Partner staff are also informed that whilst they are encouraged to promote the election, they are not allowed to show bias to a candidate and/or influence the vote.
Is there a deadline for complaints?
Yes. All complaints must be submitted by voting closing. All complaints must be submitted via the complaints form on the this website. Complaints submitted in any other form will NOT be accepted, you will be referred to the complaints page on this website for guidance.
Can I use Journalists to promote my campaign?
A candidate has raised that they are known to journalists who may then pick up an article about them running, particularly from their social media posts, this is an area where the Students' Association is not able to ‘police’ or enforce any rules, as we have no control over what journalists may or may not wish to do.
The Students' Association often uses the press to promote the student election and draw attention to the candidates on our website, but that is all we can do. If a candidate notices another candidate is featured in some way in the press, you can always use your right to send a letter to the editor in the hope it may be published. We must all rely on the journalists following a policy of ‘fair reporting’.
Will my Manifesto word count be checked?
Your Manifesto word count is 500 words. We will not check content as that is your responsibility to check (spelling and grammar) and the same follows for any promotional videos which can not be longer than one minute.
I want to stand down from my candidacy
Candidates are welcome to pull out of the elections at any point during their campaign. If you wish to stand down, please inform us in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can give a reason for why you are standing down as well, this will help us improve the elections for next year.
Please note, any candidates who pull out after voting opens will still be included in the print products.
Can I send communications to staff members on social media?
We appreciate that you may also have a personal relationship with our staff members but we ask you to please NOT add any member of our staff on social media during the election period.
You must also NOT message staff via social media. If you send anything elections-related to a staff member via social media, they may not respond and your query/information will go unnoticed.
Printing posters and flyers – what if I have a source that can bulk print for free?
All candidates should report a nominal fee for printing, even if printing is carried out by a free source, as this is an ‘in-kind’ expense as noted in the expenses guidance.
The Students' Association is aware that student printing charges differ from partner to partner across UHI, so to ensure fairness and equity, we are going to stipulate a minimum nominal cost per print copy to be charged and if you are charged more, you claim the greater amount – please see the table below for cost details (The table is based on research of the partner college charges for students.)
A4 single sided
A4 double sided
A3 single sided
A3 double sided
How can I print and distribute posters?
The Students' Association displays candidate information on this website.
Candidates are responsible for the appropriate distribution of their posters. Our staff will not do that for you - However, we will be sharing website links to candidate information, with staff and encouraging them to share these links on their Brightspace area.
What is the guidance for Accommodation costs?
Try to be as resourceful as possible, and use friends/family/couches where available. We do not expect you to claim accommodation costs with the limited budget provided, so please do not put them on your expense form.
What can I spend as a candidate during my campaign?
The budget for all candidates (regardless of position) is up to £35 for campaign materials (which can be reimbursed once we receive a validated expense form), and a £200 non-reimbursed travel budget. For island residents, the travel budget will be £350. Receipts must be shown for both budgets when submitted by the end of the election period.
Now that Bus Travel is free for under 22's - How do I note travel discounts?
Consider the car/mileage example – any saving or discount is an ‘in-kind’ cost, candidates should note the full-price ticket cost on their expenses claim, as if no discount has been applied.
Car sharing – How is the mileage claimed?
Any journey to facilitate campaigning should be claimed, as any candidate in the car will benefit from the journey – so even if you are car sharing, those in the car (if travelling for campaigning) should ALL claim the 30p per mile.
Those in the car should put the mileage cost down on their expenses. However, for the person who is the passenger, this is an ‘in-kind’ cost, as they are not driving and paying for the fuel, but they are benefitting from it assisting their campaign.
What is the Word count on items that are not candidate materials?
There is only a word count on the candidate materials provided to the Students' Association for promotion, i.e. your manifesto (500 words) or film (1-minute limit.)
If you choose to produce something else with a higher word count, in the hope students will make the time to read it, then you are welcome to. However, you will need to promote these items yourself and not through the Students' Association.
Do current officers need to take annual leave?
We will be flexible if an officer wishes to attend meetings related to board and committee work or if they have pre-booked commitments that will be organisationally difficult to miss – please speak to your staff member/line manager to negotiate this.
Otherwise, please book your leave for the campaigning and voting period as soon as possible.
I'm a Joint Student, who can I vote for?
Where a student is studying a joint degree, they will be enrolled/registered at one Academic Partner college. From the data provided by UHI to create the election, we can indicate where the student is enrolled and that will be where they can vote. E.g. if enrolled at Perth, but part of their joint course is with Moray, that student will only be able to vote for Perth and Regional candidates.
This rule is the same if someone is enrolled at 1 Academic Partner but studying remotely, e.g. enrolled with Moray, but studying remotely from Shetland – this student can only vote for Moray and Regional candidates.
I am running unopposed, should I still campaign?
All students are encouraged to campaign as much as possible, even if they are running unopposed. We want to try and engage students as much as possible with these elections and campaigning is a big part of that. As well as this, if voters don’t agree with the points in your manifesto, they will have the option to vote for RON (re-open nominations,) so it is in your best interest to engage with students and drive up the voter numbers. All staff will be promoting the candidates and RON equally when speaking to voters, so ensure that you are still actively trying to drum up as many votes as possible.