frequently asked questions


In this election, the student population will elect 4 GSU Officers (Paid and full-time) and 16 Faculty Officers (Voluntary and part-time: 4 per faculty).
You can run for the GSU Officer role no matter what year you are in. The role does have a lot more time commitments when campaigning during the election. If elected, you will need to be able to start your job as GSU Officer on June 17th.

The Faculty Officer role is voluntary and undergone alongside your studies, so you need be continuing your studies for the 2019/2020 academic year.
In October 2018, we asked you how you want to be represented at as a member of the Students’ Union by voting on four proposals to change our democratic system. All four changes passed, and now we are implementing your new system. This new system is reflected in job descriptions, Officer roles and responsibilities.

Key changes to note for this Election are:
- All candidates will be running against each other for the four available GSU Officer roles. The top candidate will have the opportunity to become the “President” and the other three winning candidates will become the “Vice Presidents”. (see more information in Proposal 1 )
- If you are elected as a GSU Officer, you will need to work closely with your team to decide who takes on which responsibilities (such as committees and meetings).
- If you are elected as a GSU Officer, you will need to ensure you work on Student Priorities while you hold your role. Again, you will need to work closely with your team to decide who does what. (see more information in Proposal 2 )
Greenwich Students’ Union uses Single Transferable Vote (STV), a representation system in which a person’s vote can be transferred to a second or third choice (according to their stated preference) if their first choice is eliminated during the vote count. It is essentially preference voting where students rank candidates in order from 1 to however many candidates are running.
If you want to understand more, take a look at this YouTube video explaining how another SU used STV.

How does STV affect campaigning?
The most important aspect of STV is that a voter ranks candidates in order of their preference. This means if you speak to a student who has already decided not to vote for you as their first choice, then you can convince them to make you their second choice. It could make all the difference when determining the result if their favourite candidate is eliminated before you.
What does an open position mean?
This means that the GSU officer roles have not been defined into set remits (yet) and candidates run with the goal to be elected as one of the four Full-Time Officers.

How are they elected?
All candidates will run for a GSU Officer role (four elected) and the four candidates with the highest number votes through STV (Single Transferable Voting) will be elected.

How are remits decided?
Once elected, the GSU Officer team will decide during the first month as to which remits each of them would like to take on; matching their manifestos, interests, experience and skills. The remits will encompass Education, Activities and Welfare.

How is the President selected?
The GSU Officer candidate who receives the most votes in the election will be offered the remit of President. All candidates will be asked when nominating if they would accept this remit if they received the most votes. The final decision on who accepts this remit will not be made until after the results and the GSU Officer team meeting.
Directing a charity with a multi-million-pound turnover
The Students’ Union is a registered charity and exists to makes students’ lives better at Greenwich University, by offering services which include: representation, support, development and entertainment.

Representing nearly 20,000 student members to the University as well as locally and nationally
GSU Officers represent the concerns and views of individuals, groups or the whole student body on issues such as welfare, academic, social and financial. GSU Officers will need to work on “Student Priorities” that have been set by students for the SU to work on. Please see the 2019/2020 Student Priorities that were identified by members through research and selection from all campuses.

Making up the majority of the Students' Union Board of Trustees
Along with three external trustees, the GSU Officers are members of the Students' Union's Board of Trustees and have legal and financial responsibilities.

Developing the strategic direction of the Union
The Board of Trustees is responsible for the broad direction of the Union and works with the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive to ensure a successful long-term approach to the development of the Union. The SU is currently in its second year of the 2017-2020 plan.
Please see The Big Plan which entails the values, mission and objectives of the Students’ Union.
GSU Officers
Yes. This is a full-time paid position of £24,000, where if elected, you take a year out of your studies (or afterwards if you run in your final year) from June 2019 to June 2020 to undergo the role.

Faculty Officers
No. This a voluntary position, which if elected, you do alongside your studies for the next academic year from May 2019 to June 2020. If you live outside of London, we do offer travel reimbursements when you are attending meeting at other campuses.
As soon as you are elected, we will start getting you accustomed to your role (Don’t worry, we make sure this fits in with your studies).
All GSU Officers and Faculty Officers will have a two-day residential training in May to understand more about their role, the SU and their new team. Further to this, all Officers receive training opportunities throughout the summer.
GSU Officers will have an induction period for the first month of their role and in July go on an extensive four day Residential to understand more about their role as trustees of the Students Union.
I am a Postgraduate/Part-time Student
We highly encourage postgraduate students to run in elections, especially considering that you make up 46% of the student population. One of the four Faculty Officer roles are in fact reserved for a Postgraduate to ensure the SU can successfully improve the experience of all postgraduates, whether that is doctoral or taught programmes.
The SU will always try and accommodate postgraduates standing for GSU Officer roles. If you are doing a PG (Taught) you may, with permission from your supervisor, be able to defer until after your sabbatical year as a GSU Officer, or work as a Faculty Officer part-time during the summer for instance for example.
If you are a PG (Research), you will have to speak to your supervisor and Head of Department, in the first instance. The University is supportive of the Full-time Officer posts (recognised in the Education Act 1994), and considers interruptions for students who are funded by the University. If your funding is from a research council or other external organisation, you will have to contact that agency to discuss a funding and research break. You should, of course, establish that the University and funder are happy before standing.
The SU can provide advice, support and guidance to achieve help you stand. Please reach out to for guidance and support through this process.

I am an International Student
Yes. If you are elected into the post as a GSU Officer, you can get an extension of your Tier 4 visa without having to return home.
You can get further information and guidance from the Advice Team by e-mailing

I am about to go on Placement
The SU can support you in a Faculty Officer role while you are on placement. You will need to make sure your employer is flexible in allowing you to attend faculty meetings during working hours. If you are thinking of running for a GSU Officer role you will need to ask if your placement can be deferred for a year as you will be working full-time (37.5 hours a week).
If you have any issues, please speak to a member of the Elections team by e-mailing, or a member of the Advice team by e-mailing

I am a Student Parent
The SU prides itself on supporting staff with caring responsibilities through its childcare benefits package, flexible working hours and 25 days of annual leave (excluding bank holidays and extended Christmas leave). If you have any issues, please speak to a member of the Elections team by e-mailing, or a member of the Advice team by e-mailing

I am a Nursing Student
If you are a studying a nursing degree, please get in touch with your head of department and the SU Advice service on how the Full-Time Officer role could be done without affecting your NMC qualification.
You can e-mail a member of the Advice Team at

I’m still not sure?
Please feel free to get in contact with us at, ring 0208 331 7629, or visit our Dreadnought Office (Greenwich Campus) to discuss your situation.
1. Read more information
You can find more information on our elections page which includes important dates, candidate resources and understand what the benefits are of running.

2. Talk to someone
Feel free to talk to any current officers or an SU staff member who can give you more information and advice about running. If you wish to talk to someone in confidence and privately, feel free to arrange an 1-1 by emailing .

3. Attend a Thinking of running session
We have drop in sessions throughout the nomination period which you can find out more information.

Tuesday 5th February, 2pm-4pm: Avery Hill Campus (Southwood GSU Office)
Wednesday 6th February, 12pm-2pm: Greenwich Campus (Dreadnought GSU Office)
Thursday 7th February, 11am-1pm: Medway Campus (GK Union, Reception)

Please e-mail if none of these times work for you, and you would still like to find out more.

4. Nominate yourself
Nominations will open at 10am, 28th January where you can nominate yourself on our website. Make sure you do this by 5pm, 14th February. Don’t leave it until the last minute otherwise you might not get your nomination in on time.

5. Submitting Your Manifesto (300 words)
As well as nominating yourself, candidates will need to submit a manifesto by the 4pm, 20th January. Your manifesto is an essential part of running for this role. This document is your ‘guarantee’ to students, and tells students why they should vote for you.
More information can be found on our Manifesto Guidance page

6. Remember Mandatory Candidate Briefing Dates:
Candidate briefings are mandatory. If you do not attend or make other arrangements you may be disqualified.

• Medway Candidate Briefing/Training: Friday 15th February
• Greenwich Candidate Briefing/Training: Tuesday 19th February

If you cannot attend either of these dates but wish to stand, please e-mail as soon as possible so we can make other arrangements.