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We’re a bigger part of your university life than you have probably realised. With that in mind, voting for student leaders that you think will steer the Union in the right direction and do a good job of making us a place for all students. 

Here are 10 of the things that the student leaders have an influence on and why picking the best candidate for the job is so important!

Your extra curricular activities are important

We do lots of things, but our clubs and societies are by far the biggest point of engagement. Over 28,000 memberships have been bought so far this year and more still have been volunteering. We are regularly inspired by the passion and commitment that you guys put into these activities. But they can’t run without a Union that is functioning well - good student leaders mean that we can continue to improve the services and facilities that make the activities that you love possible.

We could be better

As a Union, we are fully aware that there is room for improvement. We know this because when we are falling short, you tell us so. The best way for us to get better is to have that voice in the room before we make the decisions your not so keen on. Elected officers are a part of all Union decision making, so if you elect the ones that you believe will be able to make the right calls when they come up and will have the get up and go to spend time around campus asking you what you think, your Union can be a better place.

How Union money is spent matters

The Union is a charity and as such, we have two main sources of income. A grant from the university and money we make in the cafes, bars etc. This money pays for everything we do - from our advice service to our campaigning activity. Many of the officers you elect will have access to that money to make good things happen for you, so make sure you read the manifestos and how they would spend their budgets. Full time officers are also paid a £25,000 a year salary to represent you, so you should elect someone you have confidence in.

There are lots of changes going on in the world

Although it may feel like it, UCL is not a bubble. There are lots of changes going on in the education sector, and having peers who are up to speed with them, how they will affect us and what we can do about them is essential. An example? The government require UCL to report on international students’ attendance in order for them to qualify for their visas, so UCL have decided to bring in a system to monitor the attendance of ALL students. This one-size-fits-all approach is straight out of 1984 and would cost £600,000+ to implement. What’s more, is UCL would then use those records to enforce their policy on barring anyone with less than 70% attendance from taking assessment. 

Did UCL tell you that? Of course not. That’s why you need student leaders. When your current reps heard, they decided to spread the word and take action before it’s too late.

Full time officers have the ear of some very important people

Full time officers have regular meetings with the people with the power to dramatically change your university experience. They have access to key decision makers in UCL senior management, in each faculty, and each academic department. Electing students that you think are tuned into your concerns, who will be able to negotiate when the university isn’t keen to give you what you need and who is committed to being a good ambassador of the intelligent, informed students we have here, is a must. Take a look at what senior staff say about working with elected leaders.

The people you elect can make a difference

Over the past few years, student leaders have secured fixed fees for international students, pay increases for postgrads who teach, 100s of additional revision spaces during exams, a better deal for students in the renovation of the Institute Bar, expansion of the on campus nursery, an end to transcription fees, finally a timely release of the summer exam timetable and fought for students’ prayer spaces. With the right leaders in charge, we can create real change. So who will it be?

What now?

Meet the candidates

The first step to getting involved with the Leadership Election is to check out the candidates. Go to this page to see which positions you can vote on and who wants to represent you in those role. 

You can also meet them quite literally by coming along to our Question and Answer event, where all of the full time candidates will be answering your questions. (Can’t make it? Submit your question in advance and we’ll ask it for you - there will be a full recording of the event available from 28 February).

Vote before 8 March

Voting is online and will be live from midday on 1 March to midday on 8 March.

Our system of voting is called STV, which stands for Single Transferable Vote. This means you order candidates by preference, from the one you’d most like to win to the one you’d least like, and if your preferred candidate gets knocked out (by having the least over all votes), we’ll transfer your vote to your next preference. 

You can cast your votes at any time and vote for as many positions as you’re eligible for or as few as you like.

Get the results

We’re having a reveal of who has been successful and we’d love you to come along. There will be victories and commiserations and the chance to meet your new student leaders.