FAQ's and Mythbusting

Have a concern or question about running? Below, we have busted some myths about our elections and how to stand for them! If we haven't answered your question, feel free to get in touch with us here.

How will elections work as we are in lockdown?

We know that our elections will look a little different this year, but we will be carrying out all events associated with the election online. Candidate campaigning will also be carried out online. We will ensure that we are as fair as we possibly can be and will continue to engage all students.

How will I be able to campaign during lockdown?

We know that candidates and members are very much used to campaigning in the physical space. However, this year we will be ensuring that all candidates campaign online. We have taken additional steps this year to ensure that we are engaging and capturing as many of our students online, so campaigning online, whilst different, should not be daunting and will by no means be any 'trickier'. We have the resources available for all potential candidates to prepare fantastic campaign material and ensure that manifestos reach our postgraduate membership.

"You have to be a great public speaker to run for election"

Absolutely not. Working at the KPA is a very friendly and informal space, so you do not need to be fantastic at public speaking to be able to carry out any of the roles. Public speaking is a skill that the KPA can provide the opportunity to strengthen, it is by no means a requirement of the job!

"But making a manifesto is really hard..."

This really does depend on the individual candidate, but some top tips for creating a manifesto are as follows. Think about all the skills you have, why you want to be an officer and what things make you passionate about the postgraduate experience at Keele. If you are worried more about the "design" or "creation" of the manifesto itself, 'Canva' is a really great and FREE platform you can use to make your manifesto stand out!

How many officer roles are up for election this time?

We currently have all of our full time officer positions, our part time officer and all 4 of our voluntary roles open. This means there are plenty of roles you can chose from! For a full list of officer responsibilities and duties, click here. 

"Okay so this time I want to run for a voluntary officer position, does that mean I can't run for full-time officer positions in the future?"

You can run for a voluntary officer position as many years/times as you like provided that you are a registered postgraduate student at Keele. You can only run for a full-time paid sabbatical position for a maximum of 2 years. So, in theory, you could be a voluntary officer 'x' amount of times and then run for a full time sabbatical officer position should you wish. 

"I am an international student on a tier 4 visa, can I be a sabbatical officer?"

Yes, you can be a full-time paid sabbatical officer if you are on a tier 4 visa, there is a clause in being a sabbatical officer that enables you to do this. If you want to be a volunteer or part-time officer, you just need to be mindful of the hours of work you are undertaking for the KPA if you have other part time responsibilities. If you are worried, you can get in touch with Keele's friendly visa compliance team here.

"Can I still study alongside being a  full-time sabbatical officer?"

It is not advised that you do this. Being a full-time officer is a 39 hour a week role, so we do not recommend trying to complete a full time postgraduate course alongside your role. Many of our full time sabbatical officers opt for a leave of absence during this time. Within the "special conditions" of the full-time sabbatical officer contract, you are allowed to undertake up to a maximum of 4 hours per week of study to contribute to your ongoing academic plans. Whilst this measure is in place, 4 hours a week is not enough time for you to commit to a full time role and full time postgraduate course. You can talk about your options with your supervisor, school or student services to make arrangements. 

"What is a charity trustee?"

As a charity trustee, your duties are to follow these six different guidelines: 

1. Ensure your charity is carrying out it's purposes for the public benefit. 

2. Comply with your charity's governing document and the law. 

3. Act in your charity's best interest. 

4. Ensure your charity is accountable. 

5. Manage your charity's resources responsibly. 

6. Act with reasonable care and skill. 

For more detailed guidance on what it takes to be a charity trustee, click here.

Don't panic though! - If you are elected as an officer who is also a trustee of the KPA, full training will be given during handover. You will also be able to access training throughout the year, covered by the KPA, should you want it.