Make the new online voting system for new committees optional

by Clare Bennett 30 January 2018, 11:53

Category: Societies

Voting closed

At their meeting on the 2nd May 2018 a 2/3rds majority of Union Council voted to veto this motion. Societies and Sports teams will be consulted if any future changes to voting for group committees is proposed. 

1 Dislikes

It's unfair that without consultation we are being forced to use the new online voting system which is getting rid of traditions for many socieites that date back years. For many of us it was one of the highlights of the year when the society gets together and votes on paper for their new committee and the old committee goes outside, counts up the votes and announces it as a group - their last big thing they organise as a committee. The new way of releasing the votes by email to the whole society at the same time completely ruins the family feeling of being all together to announce the results and then celebrate together afterwards.

Committee roles are far more important than a mere 200 word manifesto online as many societies have had 5-10 minute pitching sessions where the candidates speak about why they are most suitable for the roles, this cannot be achieved in this word count. 

If we can be trusted with tens of thousands of pounds to spend, why can't we be trusted to vote for new committees?

I propose the system becomes optional so that committees of societies with strong "family traditions" won't end their hard-working year on just an email.



  • Default avatar
    Liam Mcloughlin   wrote, 30-01-2018 - 13:43

    Another example of how the union is eroding the individuality of societies in it's attempt to control every aspect of how they are ran (without consultation by the seems of things). Does the Union not understand that the more they are seen to 'control' societies, the more they ruin them? There is a legitimate cause for concern (for example, society drama) that has led the union to want to take this action. But trying to overly democratise a society is not how they should try and solve the issue. Societies concern should be the subject matter, not playing politics for committee positions, which is what this online voting system will introduce (or increase). If they wan't to really democratise societies, why not extend the premise for how societies are funded? With funding split by society membership numbers rather than by union goals? Or even, why not have the student body vote on how much money each society is funded through an online system? - I can tell you why, because it would be a shit-show, and online voting systems are not the solution to everything. Of course, for the union to go back on an unpopular position would cause someone's ego to be bashed. So I don't see them actually taking reversing action on this. Student politics, sadly, isn't often the platform for pragmatism.

  • Default avatar
    Joseph Smith   wrote, 30-01-2018 - 13:43

    Rugby League are fully behind this... We are insulted by the lack of notice and the lack of consultation from the SU.

  • Default avatar
    Hasan Sadrazam   wrote, 30-01-2018 - 13:54

    As Chairman of SURL I feel that the online voting will just case more hassle and problems for the teams, year on year teams at the uni manage to elect people who have the clubs intrest at heart and want to help develop the clubs. I feel that online committee elections should be optional I think the su should be addressing other issues within the uni.

  • Default avatar
    Clare Bennett   wrote, 30-01-2018 - 14:00

    Forgot to mention in the description I am Chairperson of Almost Famous Theatre Company and my committee is behind me too

  • Default avatar
    Jon-Connor Lyons   wrote, 30-01-2018 - 16:08

    As the Vice-President and Arts & Media Officer of the University of Salford Students' Union I completely agree with Clare. I was only made aware of this last week and am so glad Clare, who leads one of our most active student societies, has come forward to oppose this. The fact no consultation was done is my biggest issue, Union Exec (the 5 Sabbatical Officers) did not make this decision either nor did the Student Council or even the Trustee Board. I will be doing everything in my power as a member of the Student Council to support this and Clare- if you need any help lobbying the Student Council members to vote for this on the 28th February just send me a message on Facebook. In solidarity Jon-Connor Lyons

  • Default avatar
    Liam Shaw   wrote, 30-01-2018 - 17:32

    As Secretary of Shock Radio, Salford University’s largest society, I wholeheartedly disagree with the decision to make elections online only. We want someone to run the station with passion and creativity and a 200 word manifesto is simply not an acceptable way to judge this. I also fear that Online elections will result in popularity contests and members will simply elect someone that they recognise. Please reconsider this decision.

  • Default avatar
    Harriet Ruddick   wrote, 30-01-2018 - 23:38

    As Chair of the Business Society and a Salford SU Trustee, I am outraged by this decision and the fact nobody has been consulted. I sit on Societies Exec and I also did not know about this. This decision also stops people running for the position of Sabbatical Officer as Committee elections take place at the same time. I fully support this motion.

  • Default avatar
    Jamie Fisher   wrote, 31-01-2018 - 13:19

    We must be robust and united as a student body in our opposition to this decision to impose this new voting system upon our society’s. Allowing the students union to take actions like this without at least consulting our democratically elected representatives and sabbatical officers fundamentally goes against the democratic principles on which our union should be based, students need to be able to trust our SU and this breaks down that bond of trust. Society's are small communities within our university, they all have their nuances and practices. It is not the SU's place to interfere with that. I give my full support to this petition, this move must be opposed in the strongest possible ways.

  • Default avatar
    Ruby Tebbs   wrote, 31-01-2018 - 13:43

    I am a part of the almost famous committee with Clare and have been for two years. Every society is different and the way we run out elections reflect that. For a society such as ours a 200 word manifesto is no where near enough to adequately assess whether someone is right for the role. We are a very involved society where our committee members have constant contact directly with our members they need to be approachable, creative people who truly care about ensuring every single show we put on is the best it can possibly be. Our committee picks shows for the society to do and listens to pitches from directors in order to choose who to put in charge of running our shows. These are skills that cannot be proven with a simple 200 word manifesto. The SU have made many changes to the way societies run even in just the two years I have been doing this and every one of them seems to be in order to take away our authority to make the decisions that we were elected to make.

  • Default avatar