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Running Online Elections, Hustings and Committee Meetings

For those who were unable to hold in person elections at an AGM, or still have vacant committee positions for 2020/21, the Union will be running online bye-elections in Term 3. Nominations and voting will be open as follows:

  • Nominations open: midday Monday 27th April
  • Nominations close: midday Friday 8th May
  • Voting opens: midday Monday 11th May
  • Voting closes: midday Friday 15th May

The aim is for your club/society to have a fully elected committee ready for handover and to take office on 12th June.

The Union is here to support you throughout the process, so if you have any queries don’t hesitate to contact us at su.activities@ucl.ac.uk

Please continue to check your emails and the Presidents & Treasurers Newsletter for updates and other important information.

Promoting elections to your members

Once you have completed and submitted the Term 3 Bye-Elections webform, we will put your positions online. Please note this is a manual process and will be done in batch before nominations open. You will need to send the link to nominations, with instructions to your members.

You must download your membership list from the Union website. Simply log in to the website using your UCL login, go to your directory page, click on the ‘Members’ tab and then click on ‘Export in Excel’.

You can the cut and paste your members email addresses into an email. Remember to ‘bcc.’ all email addresses so you adhere to GDPR and do not share members details with others, without their permission.

The email should be sent from your official club/society UCL email address (which you should have linked to your UCL email account). Don’t forget to remind all visiting and associate members, they cannot nominate themselves or vote. (The far right hand column on your membership list on the website shows you who is an associate/visiting member.)

You should promote your elections/opening of nominations on any social media platform you have e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. and on your club/society website, if you have one. However, do remember this is not a substitute for the all member email, only a supplement. An official all member email is the only way to guarantee all members have been contacted.

Don’t forget to give everyone regular reminders of when nominations and voting open and close, as each of the dates listed above approach.

Running Online Hustings

We encourage you run online hustings for your upcoming elections.

You could do this as a live hustings through Microsoft Teams (all UCL students have access) but remember you’ll need to put some ground rules down, and agree a format in advance so people don’t just talk over each other.

Remember to just make sure you give all candidates a fair chance to answer – it’s useful to have a format where they get 2 minutes to answer each question.

Also, remember to take in to account many of your members may be international students who have already returned home and will be in different time zones, so it may be difficult to schedule a live event at a time suitable to all members.

Due to the size of many clubs and societies, in terms of membership numbers, live hustings events might not work for you. We recommend that once nominations open you invite members to submit questions for all candidates standing for each position.

Once nominations close, you compile the questions, removing any inappropriate ones, and send them to each candidate, with a deadline to submit answers prior to voting opening.

Each answer should be restricted to the same time limit e.g. 2 minute video per question.

If any candidate using any inappropriate language etc. You should inform them that their answer will not be posted due to this, and give them a short opportunity to record a new answer prior to voting opening.

You should then post all answers by candidates online prior to voting opening on an appropriate forum e.g. your club/society website, Instagram account etc. You should then, as before, send an email to all members with the link, via your official club/society UCL email account.

Running Committee Meetings and Handover Online

It’s a great idea to continue with club/society committee meetings during this difficult period in order to make sure your club/society is in the strongest possible position when we come back for the new academic year. It’s also a good way just to stay in touch with your fellow committee members.

We’d recommend scheduling them every couple of weeks, but really they should be as regular as your committee feels is appropriate.

When scheduling meetings be aware if some of your committee members commitments, and if they are in different time zones, so they are at time suitable to all.

Use an appropriate forum for meetings. Remember you have access to Microsoft Teams via your UCL account, which is a great format for small meetings. You could also use Zoom for larger meetings, or Skype if your committee is only 4 or less.

Whichever format you use, try agreeing a set of rules on how the forum is used. e.g. appropriate language, no talking over each other, muting microphones while others speak etc.

Perhaps have a rotating chair. Instead of the President being responsible for organising each meeting, arrange for each committee member to take it in turns. It keeps everyone involved. Set out a list of meeting dates and chairs well in advance so everyone has plenty of time to prepare.

The chair should be responsible for:

  • Asking for agenda items several days in advance of meeting
  • Publishing agenda prior to meeting
  • Compiling and sending minutes/action points from meeting

You can use the following templates for producing both agendas and minutes:

Agenda template

Minutes template

Handover

Once you election results have been announced it would be a good idea for the current committee to schedule a series of handover meetings between the incumbent members and the committee elect.

This could be discussed and a schedule agreed within an online committee meeting.

Each committee member could be tasked to produce a handover document for their successor. They should then be tasked to arrange at least one meeting with their successor prior to the last committee meeting before the 12th June handover date.

Tips for handover document and discussion

  • If you created one, include any development plan you submitted/discussed with the Union.
  • Outline what your aims were for the year, which aims you achieved, which you didn’t and why. 
  • Discuss what you learnt in your role, particularly anything unexpected.
  • Discuss the main challenges of your role.
  • Discuss your successor’s aims and aspirations for the role. 
  • Most importantly try to give them the benefit of your experience over your time in the role.