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Student Officer Elections - SHU Staff Hub

Applications: Monday 30 January - Friday 24 February

Voting: Monday 6 March - Friday 10 March

Securing a strong team of Students' Union Officers each year benefits everyone - and Sheffield Hallam University staff are uniquely well-placed to help this happen.

Every staff member meets passionate, inspiring and dedicated students while working at Sheffield Hallam. It is these students who could make a genuine difference to the student experience as a Students' Union Officer. If you know a student who fits the bill, then you should let them know that you think they'd make an excellent Officer! There are two ways you can do this:

  • You can get in contact with them and let them know they'd make a great Officer. We think this is the most effective way of inspiring a student to apply! If you're unsure what to say to them, you can download our crib sheet below for inspiration.
  • If you're not confident you'd say the right thing, or don't have the time, you can submit an anonymous recommendation via our Recommend a Student form. This will pass the information on to our Democracy team who will take care of the rest.

Recommend a student Download crib sheet

Based on sector best practice and voter feedback, we’ve made some changes to the process this year.

Instead of nominating themselves, we’re asking students to apply, and instead of submitting a manifesto, candidates will submit an application. Rather than writing a free-form manifesto, we’ll be asking candidates to answer a set of questions relating to the roles.

The aim is to make the process more like a job application, which will be more familiar to students, and to make it easier for voters to compare candidates’ applications like-for-like.

Want to know more? Read on!

Elections overview

What's a Students' Union Officer?

Students' Union Officers are democratically elected representatives of the student body. They work full-time for the Students' Union, gathering students' feedback, meeting with University staff to talk about improvements to the University, and work on projects and campaigns to improve the student experience.

 

Officers are elected via an all-student vote in March, and the successful candidates work for the Students' Union full-time for one academic year (July-June) and are paid ~£20k (subject to cost-of-living increases) for the year. Any student (not just final years) can become an Officer.

 

You can read more about the six Officer roles on the Roles page above.

How does this affect me?

Having a strong team of Students' Union Elected Officers benefits everyone: students feel like their Union represents their interests effectively (and therefore have a better University experience), and the University benefits from gaining a stronger understanding of the Hallam student experience in real time, resulting in higher student satisfaction and, further down the line, higher NSS scores.

 

The Students' Union widely promotes the Elections and encourages students to consider applying; however, we think that one of the most effective ways of encouraging a student to consider becoming an Officer is when the role is recommended to them by someone they know and respect. Therefore, we'd like to encourage anyone who works with students to consider recommending the role to any student(s) who you think would do well in the role.

Why should I recommend a student?

Having a vocal and effective Students' Union is in the interests of everyone. It's also an amazing opportunity for the Officers themselves. For most Officers, this is their first full-time job, and we are confident that no other graduate job offers anywhere near the same level of responsibility and opportunity for development. This includes:

 

  • Being a Trustee of a charity
  • Gaining hands-on experience of strategy
  • Leading on multiple wide-reaching projects
  • Working alongside some of the most senior University staff
  • Networking and building influence within the University, the local region, and beyond

 

This might be daunting for some students, but for the right person, this role can open countless doors.

Who should I recommend?

There are no hard and fast rules to who would make a good Officer - Officers will have a wide variety of different strengths, weaknesses and interests - but we'd particularly like to see recommendations for students who have demonstrated:

 

  1. A genuine passion for the student experience
  2. Valuing the views of diverse groups of students
  3. Being able to constructively disagree with someone and work towards a common solution
  4. Pragmatism where necessary
  5. Being generally 'on it' - doing what they say they will, working on several tasks at once

 

We fully expect Elected Officers to grow into the role, so it might be that you know a student who shows potential in some of the above areas - they would likely make a great Officer as well.

 

Any current Sheffield Hallam student can become an Officer - however they must be willing to undertake a year of full-time (paid, of course) work from late June 2023 to 30th June 2024. In most cases, they can pause their studies to do this, and the University can sponsor a tier 4 visa extension if needed.

What should I say to them?

If you want to speak to a student to recommend them, but you'd like some prompts on what to tell them about, check out our crib sheet.

Which roles are available?

There are six Elected Officer positions at Sheffield Hallam Students' Union:

 

  • President: The President leads the Officer team and meets regularly with the University Leadership Team
  • International Students' Officer: The International Students' Officer represents the interests of the international student community at Sheffield Hallam
  • Wellbeing, Sport & Physical Activity Officer: The WSPA Officer acts as a lead contact for University sports teams and runs campaigns and projects that promote mental and physical wellbeing amongst students

 

The remaining three roles are perhaps the most University-facing of all the roles, which focus specifically on the student experience within each of the three Colleges. These are:

 

  • Business, Technology & Engineering College Officer
  • Health Wellbeing & Life Sciences College Officer
  • Social Sciences & Arts College Officer

 

The three College Officers are part of the Academic Representation System, working with the Department Reps and Course Reps to advocate for students' academic interests across the College. We think these roles could benefit the most from promotion by staff - if you know somebody who's a great Course Rep, or simply a passionate student, then this might be a great opportunity for them.

How can I recommend someone?

If you know of a student who would make a great Students' Union Officer, then you have two options:

 

  1. 1. Get in contact with them! A quick chat, phone call or email could be all they need to embark on a life-changing journey. If you do this, it would be great if you could let us know also, so we can keep a lookout for the name.
  2. If you're not comfortable doing that, or not sure you'll say the right thing, then you can also submit a 'Recommend a student' recommendation via the Students' Union website. These recommendations are completely anonymous and we can then provide the student with greater detail about what being an Officer entails, and how they can become a candidate in the Election. Even if they don’t apply, you could make their day!

What key dates should I be aware of?

The main dates you should be aware of are:

 

Aplications close: 24 February 2023

Voting period: 6-10 March 2023

 

Further information around dates is available to candidates on our Elections page.

Resources

Email signature

Encourage conversation by adding an applications graphic to your email signature. You can even link this to our Elections page so students can easily find the information they need. Just download the image and save to your computer for use.

Download email signature

Crib sheet

Not sure what to say to students about the role? Our crib sheet provides all this information.

Download crib sheet

PowerPoint slide

Add an Application or Voting slide to your presentation to encourage students to apply for a Student Officer role.

Download Application slides Download Voting slides