Why run for election?

If you want to be involved in the Lent term elections, you’ve come to the right place! Running in an election can be a big decision to make, and the process may be incredibly daunting to some.

To help you make a decision, we’ve listed some of the reasons why running for an officer position could be the right choice for you:


  • You’ll pick up core skills and learn what’s important to you, just by campaigning. Regardless of the outcome, running as a candidate in elections can be an incredibly valuable experience. Writing your manifesto can teach you to think and write reflectively about your experiences as a student, and help you learn what truly matters to you. Manifestos, and campaign posters, are also an opportunity to summarise and promote yourself based on the skills and experience you already have. Meanwhile, campaigning is an opportunity to get creative while managing a budget. Previous candidates have used social media, posters, flyers, and even bed sheets to network with fellow students who you may not otherwise cross paths with. Finally, hustings will give you a chance to develop your public speaking and debating skills. Running as a candidate will challenge you to try something new, with the support of union staff when you need it.
  • An FTO position is a grad job like no other! Campaigning is a unique job interview, with the outcome decided by your fellow students. FTOs serve for a one-year term, with an annual salary of £19,202. Their duties involve serving as Directors and Trustees of an £8million charity, and working at top board level alongside the union’s Chief Executive, and the university senior management, shaping the organisation’s strategy and direction over the coming years. FTOs work closely with professionals in key areas such as finance, governance, policy, and HR. Similar experiences in other grad jobs could take years to reach! You can find out more about the FTO roles here.
  • PTOs and FTOs represent and act to improve the lives and experiences of their fellow students. As an elected officer, you will drive change, review and implement policy, and make real change happen for over 14,000 Lancaster students. You will lead, represent, advise, and support your peers and ensure that they are at the heart of everything the union does. Being an officer empowers you to speak up about things which others may forget or try to pretend isn't an issue – holding those with power accountable for actions which threaten the experience for students. Find out more about our PTO roles here!


You will be supported with dedicated staff and training, including:


  • Events and budget management
  • Campaign conception and delivery
  • Democratic structures and procedures
  • Welfare and support


You will gain key transferrable skills and experience, including:


  • Project management
  • Analytical and conceptual thinking
  • Business sense
  • Leadership
  • Activism
  • Negotiation and public speaking
  • Teamwork
  • Community engagement and impact
  • Student, national, and international politics
  • Academic welfare, and student experience and activities in higher education


Interested? You can find answers to FAQs and information on becoming a candidate here!

Not for you? That’s okay! You can still vote and elect your future representatives - find out more.