bust that jargon.

With elections nominations open, you’re bound to have heard a whole bunch of complicated terms being banded around. We want elections to be as accessible to as many people as possible, so to help you jump straight in, we’ve come up with a list of words that we think might need explaining a little more. So here’s a quick guide to help you un-muddle any complex campaigning conversation with ease.


Ballot

The slip where a voter places their vote and marks their choice. Unlike national elections, we use online ballot papers during the voting period.

Campaigning

The act of attempting to gain votes in an election through a variety of means, including using social media, banners, and talking to students.

Candidate

A person running for a role.

Canvassing

Similar to campaigning, this is the attempt to gain votes from the electorate.

Craftivism

Using artistic materials in order to create banners, posters, and other materials in order to campaign.

Electorate

The individuals able to vote in an election. For student groups, this means any student who is a fully paid member of the group in question.

Hustings

A form of interview or debate for candidates. This often takes shape in the form of a Question Time event, it will be down to the current committees to organise these sessions. More guidance can be found on the elections page here.

Incumbant

The individual who currently holds a role.

Returning Officer

The individual responsible for ensuring fairness in the elections. For this election, this role is filled by the Students’ Union’s Head of Membership Support and Engagement and the role of Deputy Returning Officer will be filled by the Students’ Union’s Deputy Head of Membership Support and Engagement.

Term

A period of approximately 12 months where the elected individual is in office.