Myths & Truths - Arts SU Elections 2022

The Arts SU Elections are taking place very soon! Applications are now open for you to put yourself forward to stand for a representative position. We know that there are some misconceptions about running and voting, so to help you out we have put together some information to clarify what is true and what is false.

 
The Arts SU Elections are taking place very soon across UAL. 
Applications are now open for you to put yourself forward to stand for a representative position by going to Leadership Elections (arts-su.com) 
We know that there are some misconceptions about running and voting, so to help you out we have put together some information to clarify what is true and what is false. 
 
 
 

1. I’m not qualified or good enough to apply in the elections. 

FALSE  

There are no qualifications or specific experiences you need to apply in the elections. All you need to be is a UAL student with a passion for representing student views and making a positive difference.  
We have an experienced team of staff at Arts SU who work with our elected representatives, providing support and training throughout the year they are in post.  
All candidates are supported through the election process with one to one sessions, guidance and mentoring.  
 
 

2. Nobody cares about the elections.

FALSE   

With the pressures of cuts to arts funding across the UK, clear inequalities in education and a squeezed cost of living situation for UAL students – the representatives elected will be key in making decisions on behalf of the student community to ensure the SU and University address these issues.  
 
We know students care deeply about the issues affecting them at University and want to have the power to determine who they entrust with the responsibility of representing their views and experiences.  

 

 

3. Student elections don't affect me.

FALSE See the source image

Every UAL student has the power to make changes to the University experience.  
 
Whether you decide to stand or vote in the election, making your voice known makes a difference.  
The Student Officers (full-time, paid) also become Student Trustees of the Students’ Union charity which has an annual turnover of £2 million and a membership of 18,500 students across the six UAL colleges.  
The Student Officers and School Representatives make decisions collectively as a group and individuals affecting students' academic studies, social community, welfare support, campus development and representing the experiences of the student community.  
 
 
 

4. Not all students are represented equally at UAL.

TRUE  

We are always committed to working towards equality and ensuring we represent all student voices at UAL. But we need to be self-aware and know where we can do better.  
We know that international students and Black, Asian, Minority & Ethnic students need to be represented more in decision making spaces across the University and representative roles to effectively listen and respond to their experiences at University.  
Facts like this are similar to other areas of the student community such as Postgraduates, Students with caring responsibilities and Mature students.  
Every student who stands in the election will have experiences and ideas that others can relate to too. We want all students to have the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences to stand for a representative position.  
 
 

5. Student Officers get paid £27,272. 

TRUE 

People don’t always realize that our Student Officer roles are paid an annual salary of £27,272 and are undergone as a full-time job from June 2022 to June 2023. You become an employee of the Students’ Union with 25 days of annual leave (incl additional Bank Holidays and Closure Days), flexible working hours and extensive professional development throughout the role.

This is a yearly academic cycle to represent students over the entire academic year and a fantastic job opportunity to develop yourself, the student community and UAL.  

6. I must be in my final year to apply to be a Student Officer. 

FALSE  

You do not have to be in your final year of study to stand for a Full-Time Officer position in the election. You apply for the role and if elected, we will support you in taking a pause in your studies, for you to do the role over the academic year and then you can continue your studies once you finish your one-year term.  
For the School Representative (Part-time voluntary) role , you undergo the role alongside your academic studies over the next academic year – therefore you will need to be a studying over the 22/23 academic year. 
 
 

7. Representatives don’t make change 

FALSE  

Student Officers have made incredible changes to UAL over the last few years. Just in the last year, Officers have worked on  
 
  • Framing UAL Anti-Racism Strategy  
  • Ensuring over 4000 UAL students who applied for Extentiating Circumstances could self-certify their evidence during the pandemic  
  • Lobbying successfully for a Student Hardship Fund during the pandemic 
  • Launching Decolonizing projects across courses 
  • Organizing events, pop ups exhibitions across the colleges (Black History Month, LGBTQ+ History) 
  • Supporting student enterprises, showcases and professional development 
The list is endless. Find out what the current Officer team have been working on at Your Officers (arts-su.com) . Past SU wins for students can also be found at Campaign Wins by Arts SU (arts-su.com)  
 
 

I want to find out more, where do I go? 

That's easy, simply give us an email at democracy@su.arts.ac.uk and we will get back to you with more details. All our role descriptions, details about the elections and benefits of applying can be found on our website. 
We are also running drop- in sessions which you can sign up too at:

Wednesday 16th February, 2-3pm - Register Here 

Friday 18th February, 12-1pm -  Register Here