Student Votes are an opportunity to get feedback from the whole student body, or a specific selection of students, on a variety of topics. There are two types of Student Vote.

All Students Vote – The entire membership of the Union is eligible to vote. This is likely to be an issue where the outcome would affect all students, or every students’ opinion is required.

Student Vote – This is where a defined groups of students are asked a specific question that relates directly to them. For example, 1st Year students may be asked a question, or students studying in the Faculty of Humanities.

Student Votes can be called by a Zone, Senate or petition of 250 students.

Autumn 2016 - All Student Votes

As part of our new democratic structure, we ran a series of All Student Votes in October 2016 order to gain student input on a variety of issues.

These votes were governed by the by-law approved by Democracy Zone. Please click here to view the by-law.

4831 students voted in the Autumn 2016 All Student Vote. You can view statistics about the vote here

Union Brand

We ran two votes on the Union’s brand, which were called for via petition last academic year. We asked:

  • Do you prefer the name SUSU or Union Southampton (Us.)?
    • SUSU 3328 votes
    • Union Southampton (Us.) 1407 votes
  • Do you prefer the old SUSU branding or the new Us. Branding?
    • Old SUSU branding 2154 votes
    • New Us. branding 2557 votes

“As an organisation led by students for students, we believe that you have the right to set the direction of the Union. This vote is a great opportunity to shape the way the Union looks and feels. Take this opportunity to have your voice heard!”

Alex Hovden, Union President
A Fact File has been created to provide key facts about the above two questions. You can view the fact file here

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees have been in the news a lot lately, and we decided to ask another question that relates to fees and how this has impacted your decision to go to University. The question is –

  • Following the introduction of the £9,000+ fees, do you consider yourself to be at University primarily to learn or to attain a qualification?
    • To learn 1911 votes
    • To attain a qualification 2669 votes

“Since the introduction of fees the question has been repeatedly asked; is the primary function of a university to provide a qualification, and therefore contribute to how employable a student is, or is it to act as a centre of research and learning? We’re asking for your opinion on this issue, and will use the results when we consider campaigns and projects on issues, including tuition fees.”

Elliot Grater, Vice President Education

Union Campaigns

We also gave the opportunity to answer a ‘preferendum’ question too, allowing you to have a direct say over what campaign you think is most important for you this year.

  • The Union is running these four campaigns this year, which one is most important to you?
    • Campaign for student housing quality 735 votes, fourth place
    • Campaign for fair tuition fees 2329 votes
    • Campaign for sexual consent awareness 894 votes, third place
    • Campaign for mental health and wellbeing 2302 votes, second place

“We want to make sure that your Union is focused on issues you consider to be the most relevant in your lives. Answering this question will show us which of our campaigns you feel will make the biggest difference to you this year.”

David Allwright, Vice President Welfare

If you find that the issues behind any of these questions are particularly important to you – be it about the direction of the Union, the state of higher education or about mental health – then we would encourage you to run for a Senate or Zone Open Place position. You can find out more, and nominate yourself, at unionsouthampton.org/elections!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you having these All Student Votes?

This year we are introducing a new democratic structure, with utilising Student Votes being a key part of that. The question relating to the brand was specifically called by petition at the end of last academic year. The other two questions relate to significant issues in student life.

When will I be able to vote?

These votes will be open from the 17 October at 12:00 to 18 October at 16:00.

How will I be able to vote? Will it be available online?

Voting will be available online at www.unionsouthampton.org/vote. There will be voting booths at a variety of locations (TBC) as well.

When will we know the outcome of the All Student Votes?

The voting system is online and means the outcome will be announced on the evening of 18 October.

Does the number of votes matter?

An All Student Vote question can only be decided when at least 10% of the Full Members of the Union have voted.

For a Student Vote, at least 10% of the specific selection of Full Members are required to have voted.

What is a Full Member?

Every undergraduate and postgraduate student at University and the Full-Time Officers of the Union.