SU Elections 2020 - what is RON?

Sunday 23-02-2020 - 19:08

To voters - a message from your Students' Union

In the current election for your 2020/21 Students' Union Officers and Trustees, there is an active campaign supporting Re-Open Nominations. Below we're aiming to share information so that you as voters know what Re-Open Nominations means, and can make an informed vote about how best to achieve the change you want. 

This campaign has arisen because a group of you are critical of some things at your Students' Union and want to change them. Your SU is here to be directed and challenged by your discussions and ideas - the critical ones like this, as well as the friendly ones. It’s why we run elections and it’s why your vote matters so much. This is where you decide who runs your Union.

If Re-Open Nominations wins an election, it means the role will be vacant for an undefined period of time, until the election can be re-run. You should vote for the candidates (which includes Re-Open Nominations) you think will work on the things you believe matter, and do the best job of bringing about the changes you want to see. We’d encourage all voters to consider how they want Durham SU and Durham University to be better, read the manifestos of the candidates and vote accordingly.

Voting is what matters - no matter who you vote for (or if you vote for RON). Ready to vote? Find the candidates and the voting link here. 

More about what Re-Open Nominations means

RON stands for Re-Open Nominations. If Re-Open Nominations wins an election, it means no candidate wins and the role will be vacant for an undefined period of time, until the election can be re-run. Re-Open Nominations is a candidate in all elections so that if a voter believes there is no other candidate running who is willing or able to make Durham better for students, they can say so. It is an avenue for protesting against the manifestoes of the candidates who have put themselves forward for a position.

Under Durham SU’s current governance structure, Re-Open Nominations has never won an election. As such there is no precedent, nor is there any specific guidance on if Re-Open Nominations wins an election, how the second round of the election for that role is to be run fairly, and this would have to be determined. In order to re-open nominations the balancing of several needs must be considered, such as; a fair period of notice to students, a reasonable nominations period for candidates, a lead up to voting period which enables voters to access and consider candidates and a voting period which is as accessible as possible to as many voters as possible (e.g. outside of busy or holiday periods for the majority).

The Returning Officer for the election, along with Durham SU’s Assembly, Board of Trustees and Durham University all have oversight of election governance and would have input into the governance of re-running an election for any position for which Re-Open Nominations won.

No matter which candidate you vote for, raise your voice and cast your vote! You can find the candidates and the voting link here. 

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