Notice of Referendum

Student looking into the distance to the right of the camera. Brightly lit signage glows yellow, red

Hallam Students' Union's Representative Committee, made up of the Officer Team and the Elected Representatives, have voted to hold a Referendum to ask Hallam students if they are happy with some proposed changes to how the Union is run.

The referendum question that will be asked is:

Should Hallam Students' Union change its democratic processes in line with the recommendations made in the Democracy Review?

With the possible answers being:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

All members of the Union will be entitled to vote in the Referendum.

As per our Articles of Governance, 1,500 students need to vote in the Referendum for it to be valid, and 75% of votes need to be "yes" for the Referendum to pass.

The referendum voting period will be held alongside the Officer Election voting period, from Monday 4 March 09:00 until Thursday 7 March 17:00, with results being announced Friday 8 March from 17:00.

Full Referendum Proposal

This Union notes:

  1. That a review of the ways in which students tell the Union what to work on (a Democracy Review) was carried out in November and December 2023. This included extensive research of student views via a survey and focus groups.
  2. That you can read the full report.
  3. That the recommendation of the Trustee Board, including the Officer Team, is to change the structures in line with the recommendations of the report.

This Union believes:

  1. That many Hallam students are time-poor, and that Hallam Students' Union's current model does not reflect the pressures of those who commute, work part-time, have caring responsibilities, or are undertaking vocational training.
  2. That Hallam students want research-led policymaking to inform the work of the Students' Union.
  3. That Elected Officers should work alongside career staff and other experts to develop policy positions through extensive student consultation.
  4. That the decision of which policy is a priority and the accountability of elected officials should be the responsibility of students.

This Union resolves

  1. To change the structures of the Union from the academic year 2024/5 in line with the recommendations.
  2. To delegate the drafting of Byelaws to the Officer Team for approval by the Union Council before the end of the year. Should the Union Council not approve a set of Bye-laws, this shall be delegated instead to the Union Trustee Board.


Why is Hallam Students' Union holding a Referendum?

At Hallam Students' Union, we've been working on making some changes to enhance how we represent Hallam students. This project, which we called our Democracy Review, aimed to ensure that every Hallam student, irrespective of their background, can have their say on what matters to them, and tell the Union what we should be focussing on. The Referendum seeks your opinion on accepting the recommendations from this review.

Who wrote the Democracy Review, and how was it conducted?

We teamed up with Nick Smith Consulting, an expert in Students' Unions, to conduct the Democracy Review. In November 2023, Nick engaged with Hallam students through a survey, which garnered responses from over 1,700 students, and various focus groups attended by around 60 students, Officers, and staff. Nick developed the recommendations based on the information he gathered through this process.

The Democracy Review report was sent to the Board of Trustees, and the Trustees have approved the report.

Where can I find Nick Smith's full report on the Democracy Review?

You can read Nick Smith's detailed report outlining the findings and recommendations on how Hallam Students' Union can better serve its students below.

Read full Democracy Review report

How can I get involved?

We can facilitate a "Yes" and a "No" campaign, so if you are strongly for or against the changes, please get in contact with us at