Elections

At the Students’ Union, all our student leaders are democratically elected to ensure that they’re truly representative of the students they work for. We support three main sorts of elections:

  • Course Reps, who represent issues in your subject/department
  • Group signatories, who lead clubs/societies
  • Surrey Decides, where the Officer team is elected to run the Union itself

Surrey Decides

Our student election is known as Surrey Decides and is the largest democratic event of its kind, when all the Union Officers are elected by a vote that takes place every year.  It is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd and become a student leader, no matter what stage you are in your studies or your previous experiences – any student can take part.  

We are so proud of all the success of our elections over the year, and we have seen students stand as officers and take the lead in their Students’ Union, achieving some amazing things.  You could be a part of Surrey Decides next year and lead the changes you want to see.   

The Roles

The Union is led by a team of 26 Officers, including full-time Sabbatical Officers (‘Sabbs’ – the 4 VPs and President) and part-time Officers. These Officers work in  four Zones – each one for a different aspect of student life:

  • Voice for students that have something to say. We’re the Zone that lead on democracy, student opinion, and ensuring national representation for Surrey students.
  • Activity for getting involved in clubs and societies, and supporting your personal development. We’re the Zone that helps support student groups, remove barriers to participation, and create opportunities for students that want to develop themselves.
  • Support for students who are passionate about supporting others, and creating opportunities for other students to support one-another. We’re the Zone that covers equality and diversity, support for wellbeing, and operates academic advice at the Union. 
  • Community for bringing students together and finding a home away from home. We’re the Zone that organises showcase events, represents students in the local community, and lead on things like volunteering and fundraising. 

Which Officer Are You?

VP Community

The VP Community leads the Community Zone, which is all about bringing people together and creating a home away from home. Working with a team of five part-time Officers, this VP is perfect for someone who's passionate about entertainment, volunteering and fundraising, and working with the local community.

Here are some of the things that the Community Zone have achieved:

  • 2019/20 2013 Created and introduced Rubix Black Cards 2013 a membership card for year-round access to Rubix events
  • 2018/19 2013 Surrey Volunteering platform was launched to enable organisations to advertise their opportunities to students
  • 2014/15 - Brought back Free Fest 2013 a free music event on campus to integrate students and the local community

The VP Community is a full-time, paid role.

Community Zone

This is one of the five part-time roles available in the Community Zone, which is all about bringing people together. Working with the VP Community and the other part-time Officers in the Zone, this role is perfect for someone who cares about showcase events, representing student locally, and helping students find a home away from home. The part-time Community Zone Officer with the most votes will also sit on the Union's policy-making body, the Executive Committee.

Here are some of the things that the Community Zone have achieved:

  • 2019/20 2013 Created and introduced Rubix Black Cards 2013 a membership card for year-round access to Rubix events
  • 2018/19 2013 Surrey Volunteering platform was launched to enable organisations to advertise their opportunities to students
  • 2014/15 - Brought back Free Fest 2013 a free music event on campus to integrate students and the local community

This is a part-time, voluntary role.

RAG Chair

This is one of the five part-time roles available in the Community Zone, which is all about bringing people together. Working with the VP Community and the other part-time Officers in the Zone, this role is perfect for someone who cares about getting students engaged in fun activities to encourage raising money and giving to charity. The RAG Chair is responsible for selecting the Union's chosen charities for the year and will also sit on the Union's policy-making body, the Executive Committee.

Here are some of the things that the Community Zone have achieved:

  • 2019/20 2013 Created and introduced Rubix Black Cards 2013 a membership card for year-round access to Rubix events
  • 2018/19 2013 Surrey Volunteering platform was launched to enable organisations to advertise their opportunities to students
  • 2014/15 - Brought back Free Fest 2013 a free music event on campus to integrate students and the local community

This is a part-time, voluntary role.

VP Voice

The VP Voice leads the Voice Zone, which is all about students that have something to say. Working with a team of five part-time Officers, this VP is perfect for someone who's passionate about democracy, student opinion, and working to represent Surrey at a national level.

Here are a few of the successes achieved by the Voice Zone:

  • 2019/20 - A campaign platform launched to support student-led campaigning on campus
  • 2017/18 - The Southern Unions Network was created to share research/ideas and champion regional issues affecting students at Surrey
  • 2015/16 - University of Surrey Lettings was founded in partnership between the Union and the University

The VP Voice is a full-time, paid role.

Voice Zone

This is one of the five part-time roles availible in the Voice Zone, which is all about students that have something to say. Working with the VP Voice and the other part-time Officers in the Zone, this role is perfect for someone who cares about democracy, student opinion, and ensuring that Surrey students are heard by the University. The two part-time Officers with the most votes will also sit on the Union's policy-making body, the Executive Committee.

Here are a few of the successes achieved by the Voice Zone:

  • 2019/20 - A campaign platform launched to support student-led campaigning on campus
  • 2017/18 - The Southern Unions Network was created to share research/ideas and champion regional issues affecting students at Surrey
  • 2015/16 - University of Surrey Lettings was founded in partnership between the Union and the University

This is a part-time, voluntary role.

President

The President sits at the very top of the Union and is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Union. As President, you chair the Union's charitable Board of Trustees and sit on some of the highest Committees within the University. If you're passionate about issues across the whole student experience, then President could be an incredible opportunity!

Here are a few of the successes achieved by Presidents:

  • 2017/18 - Successful lobbying for the creation of the Hive and further central support services
  • 2018/19 - Reviewed the University Bursary scheme to include more students
  • 2017/18 - Introduced an active annual Black History Month calendar

This is a full-time, paid position.

Chair

The Union Chair is the only part-time position that doesn't sit in one of the Union's four Zones (Community, Activity, Supoprt, and Voice) - instead, they lead on things like policy making at our Executive Committee and Officer accountability. The Union Chair also sits on the Union's charitable Board of Trustees, making them a Director for the charity itself. If you're passionate about making the Union the best it can be, then you should think about running for Union Chair!

This is a part-time, voluntary position.

VP Support

The VP Support leads the Support Zone, which is all about supporting students as well as those who want to support others. Working with a team of five part-time Officers, this VP is perfect for someone who's passionate about wellbeing, diversity, and representing students on the support services available at Surrey.

Here are a few of the successes achieved by the Support Zone:

  • 2019/20 2013 Welfare Watch launched to protect and support students on Rubix nights out
  • 2019/20 2013 New policy introduced so that students with chronic illnesses don't have to provide evidence every single time they apply for ECs
  • 2017/18 2013 Nightline service launched

The VP Support is a full-time, paid role.

Support Zone

This is one of the five part-time roles available in the Support Zone, which is all about students that want to support others. Working with the VP Support and the other part-time Officers in the Zone, this role is perfect for someone who cares about wellbeing, inclusion, and helping students that want to support others. The two part-time Support Zone Officers with the most votes will also sit on the Union's policy-making body, the Executive Committee.

Here are a few of the successes achieved by the Support Zone:

  • 2019/20 2013 Welfare Watch launched to protect and support students on Rubix nights out
  • 2019/20 2013 New policy introduced so that students with chronic illnesses don't have to provide evidence every single time they apply for ECs
  • 2017/18 2013 Nightline service launched

This is a part-time, voluntary role.

VP Activity

The VP Activity leads the Activity Zone, which is all about getting involved and supporting students' individual development. Working with a team of five part-time Officers, this VP is perfect for someone who's passionate about sports and societies, increasing participation in activity, and helping students develop skills.

Here are a few of the successes achieved by the Activity Zone:

  • 2019/20 - Free Swimming at SSP for students who are non-Sports Park members
  • 2018/19 - Launch of "Employable Me" with the aim to getting students involved with extra-curricular activity, gaining skills and boosting their careers
  • 2017/18 - Increased transport budget to enable sports teams to travel to BUCS competitions and external training venues for free

The VP Activity is a full-time, paid role.

Team Surrey Chair

The Team Surrey Chair is one of the five part-time roles available in the Activity Zone, which is all about getting involved and supporting students' individual development. Working with the VP Activity and the other part-time Officers in the Zone, the Team Surrey Chair leads on developing sport at Surrey and increasing participation with sports or physical activity. The Team Surrey Chair also sits on the Union's policy-making body, the Executive Committee, and coordinates Sports Standings throughout the year.

Here are a few of the successes achieved by the Activity Zone:

  • 2019/20 - Free Swimming at SSP for students who are non-Sports Park members
  • 2018/19 - Launch of "Employable Me" with the aim to getting students involved with extra-curricular activity, gaining skills and boosting their careers
  • 2017/18 - Increased transport budget to enable sports teams to travel to BUCS competitions and external training venues for free

The Team Surrey Chair is a part-time, voluntary role.

Soc Chair

The Surrey Societies Chair is one of the five part-time roles available in the Activity Zone, which is all about getting involved and supporting students' individual development. Working with the VP Activity and the other part-time Officers in the Zone, the Surrey Societies Chair leads on developing societies at Surrey and increasing participation with extracurricular activity. The Surrey Societies Chair also sits on the Union's policy-making body, the Executive Committee, and coordinates Society Standings throughout the year.

Here are a few of the successes achieved by the Activity Zone:

  • 2019/20 - Free Swimming at SSP for students who are non-Sports Park members
  • 2018/19 - Launch of "Employable Me" with the aim to getting students involved with extra-curricular activity, gaining skills and boosting their careers
  • 2017/18 - Increased transport budget to enable sports teams to travel to BUCS competitions and external training venues for free

The Surrey Societies Chair is a part-time, voluntary role.

Activity Zone

This is one of the five part-time roles available in the Activity Zone, which is all about getting students involved in extracurricular opportunities and developing new skills. Working with the VP Activity and the other part-time Officers in the Zone, this role is perfect for someone who cares about reducing barriers to activity and creating opportunities for students to gain skills.

Here are a few of the successes achieved by the Activity Zone:

  • 2019/20 - Free Swimming at SSP for students who are non-Sports Park members
  • 2018/19 - Launch of "Employable Me" with the aim to getting students involved with extra-curricular activity, gaining skills and boosting their careers
  • 2017/18 - Increased transport budget to enable sports teams to travel to BUCS competitions and external training venues for free

This is a part-time, voluntary role.

Course Reps

We support over 500 Course Reps at the Students’ Union – these are students in every year of every course who volunteer their time to represent the voice of students in their subject area.

Depending on your level and subject area, your Course Rep election may take place at the start of the academic year, or towards the end of Semester 2 (for the following academic year). If you’re interested in finding out more, check out the information we have on the Course Rep programme or get in touch!

Club and Society Committees

We work with over 150 student groups at Surrey – each one has a committee of at least 3 students who are elected at an ‘Annual General Meeting’ (AGM). If you’re a current student and not graduating this year, then you’re eligible to stand for the role of President, Vice-President, or Treasurer for any student group.

AGMs take place from March each year; the details of the timetable will be advertised several weeks in advance.