‘Votes for trees’ is the strapline for this year's Officer Elections.

Although this isn’t strictly true, we are funding moss planting in the Peak District and we will donate more money for every voter. So, if you’re on the fence about whether to vote in this year’s HSU Elections – this is your sign.

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Working in partnership with the University alongside Dr Joe Glentworth, Lecturer in Environmental Management and Environmental Science, and Owen Anthony, Head of Sustainability & Performance, we’ve been advised that planting moss is a great way to help biodiversity, reduce flooding, and help maintain carbon capture. As an organisation we’ve been thinking of ways to be more environmentally friendly – and what better way than to incentivise our students to vote by helping the planet.

This week we’ll get the first glimpse of our new HSU Officer candidates – get the inside scoop on who’s who and why they want your vote.

HSU Officers are elected each year by the student body and work full-time for us. View our current Officers and what they’ve been up to. There are six officers, one for each college (Business, Technology & Engineering, Health, Wellbeing & Life Sciences, and Social Sciences & Arts), as well as an International Students’ Officer, Wellbeing, Sport & Physical Activity Officer, and a President. They represent all students to the highest levels of the University and work to bring real change to the student experience.

This year's Elections will see voting week running from 4-7 March, with Elections Results Night held on 8 March from 5pm. Staff, students, and candidates can get their tickets for the event here.

Find out more about HSU Elections.


Ed Robinson said: We’ve had a brilliant turnout in candidate applications this year and I’m excited to see a good-spirited competition. We’re also happy to be partnering with the University to promote environmental sustainability.


Sphagnum moss is an all-round super plant and is great for carbon capture, promoting biodiversity, and reducing floods and moorland fires. In good condition, peatlands on the moors act as a carbon store which helps to protect local wildlife, tackle climate change, reduce flood risk, and clean the water that ends up in our reservoirs. Sphagnum moss can hold up to 20 times its weight in water which helps to preserve water on the moors, reducing the risk of moorland fires during the summer months.

Peatland restoration work is needed to reduce the damage caused by human activity over the centuries, such as pollution, high visitor numbers, and climate change. The results of this have left bare peat exposed in some areas meaning the peat can emit carbon and be worn away by wind and rain. Peat is a huge carbon store and when it’s destroyed, carbon is released making it a major factor to climate change.

If you would like any more information on our HSU Officer Elections, please get in touch with us at democracy@shu.ac.uk.