Jargon Buster.

With elections nominations open, you may have heard some complicated language being used. We want elections to be as accessible to as many people as possible, so we’ve created a list of words and terms to give you some clarification.


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


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


A person running for a role.


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


The individuals able to vote in an election. At Royal Holloway, this means any student who is a member of the Students’ Union. Unless you have opted out, you are automatically a member of the SU, and are therefore eligible to vote.


Committees of student representatives responsible for the development, scrutiny and maintenance of policy and plans in their area, identifying where work should be undertaken. Our Executives are:

  • Education
  • Wellbeing, Community & Diversity
  • Societies, Sports & Opportunities

Each Executive is chaired by a full-time Sabbatical Officer, supported by student representatives from student groups, our academic reps and Student Collectives.


The individual who currently holds a role. For example, Henn Warwick is currently the incumbent for the position of President.


A document outlining the aims of the candidate, including policies and goals for their year in office.


The process of putting yourself forward for a position. Once you nominate yourself you will become a candidate.

Officer Elect

A newly elected individual who will soon be beginning their term, they can also be referred to as an incoming officer.

Outgoing Officer

An individual currently occupying a role or position, who will leave at the end of their term.

Returning Officer

The individual responsible for ensuring fairness in the elections. In this set of elections, this role is filled by the Head of Membership Engagement. The role of Deputy Returning Officer will be filled by the Student Voice Manager, assisted by the Representation and Democracy Coordinator and the Interim Senior Academic Communities Coordinator.

R.O.N (Re-open Nominations)

An option on each of the roles. This is selected when a voter does not wish to vote for any of the candidates, and instead believes that nominations should be reopened for a new batch of potential candidates.

Sabb / sabbatical officer

One of the four officer positions (President, VP Education etc.) that you can run for. Each officer holds their position for one year, or two if they run for re-election and are successful. They lead on the Union’s campaigns, sit on important College committees, and are a big part of the decision-making processes within the SU. They are also trustees of the Students’ Union and sit on the Board of Trustees.


The previous name of the current Student Communities and Community Officers - this was changed following a student vote during the Community Officers Referendum.

STV (Single Transferable Vote)

The voting system used by the Students’ Union. This system gives voters the ability to rank their candidates in order of preference. You can learn more about STV with this handy video.


A period of approximately 12 months where the elected individual is in office. Sabbatical Officers can be in office for a maximum period of 24 months.