This is not an exhaustive list however covers the basics that you may come across in your time as a candidate
Elections common acronyms & terms A-Z
A - E
Board of Trustees: often referred to as 'Board'. The Trustee Board is the sovereign and governing body of the Union. It oversees the workings of Union Council and the Union Leadership Team and ensures that their actions are in keeping with the Union's charitable aims and objectives, it's constitution and the law. It also examines the Union's accounts and annual report and approves the yearly budget. Furthermore, it can create sub committees to consider and execute business away from the full board meetings.
Bye-Elections: if a position is unfilled or RON wins, a further election is needed to democratically fill the position.
Deputy Returning Officer (DRO): the DRO is selected by and reports directly to the Returning Officer (RO). The DRO is responsible for the conduct of elections and to receive complaints or appeals, and to ensure the good conduct and administration of the elections (see: Returning Officer).
Election Timetable: should clearly outline key dates and deadlines to do with the elections. For example, Nominations Open: Monday 10 February, 09:00.
eVoting: the online platform used by the Union to host the Leadership Elections and all other online elections at Imperial.
F - Q
First Past the Post: a method of voting in which there is a single candidate and RON standing in the election. Here everyone voting writes the name of their chosen candidate on a piece of paper. Whoever gets the most votes wins.
Husting: a hustings is a meeting where election candidates or parties debate policies and answer questions from the audience. Hustings aim to provide voters with an opportunity to hear the views of candidates usually in the run up to an election – The Electoral Commission.
Manifesto: a publication issued by a political party before a General Election. It contains the set of policies that the party stands for and would wish to implement if elected to govern – Parliment.uk.
Officer Trustee: often referred to as the 'OTs'; the five full-time paid students elected to represent you to College on issues affecting students. To learn more about what each Officer Trustee does in their role refer to the Leadership Election Candidate Pack (see: Sabb).
R - U
Re-open Nominations (RON): If voters do not want to vote for any standing candidates, they can choose to re-open nominations by voting for RON.
Returning Officer (RO): The person accountable for the conduct of elections and to receive complaints or appeals. The RO is the final interpreter of the Leadership Elections and may appoint Deputy Returning Officers (DROs) and other officials to ensure the good conduct and administration of the elections (see: Deputy Returning Officer).
Sabbatical Officer: often referred to as a 'Sabb'; a full-time paid student that takes a sabbatical year out of their studies to represent you to College on issues affecting students. To learn more about what each Sabbatical Officer does in their role refer to the Leadership Election Candidate Pack (see: Officer Trustee).
Seconder: someone who endorses a motion or petition as a necessary preliminary to a discussion or vote. Also considered a 'supporter' or 'champion'. In the Leadership Elections, a seconder will be another student who supports or endorses your nomination for a position.
Secret ballot: a ballot (voting) in which votes are cast in secret.
Single Transferable Vote (STV): a method of voting in which there are two or more candidates and RON standing in an election. Here the ballot paper lists the names of all candidates; votes put a ‘1’ next to their first choice of candidate, a ‘2’ next to their next choice of candidate and so on. This is the voting system used by the Union in the Leadership Elections via the eVoting platform. A worked example of STV and AV can be found on the Electoral Reform Society website.
Trustee: trustees have overall control of a charity and are responsible for making sure it’s doing what it was set up to do. Trustees are the people who lead the charity and decide how it is run.
Union Council: often referred to as 'Council', Union Council is the top student-led decision-making body in the Union. Council represents the voice of students to set the policy of Imperial College Union through bringing together student leaders (Representatives) from across all of our activities from Clubs, Societies & Projects to Liberation & Community. You can find minutes and papers from previous Council meetings here.