Society and Sports Team Elections

Societies and Sports Teams are led by officers who work to organise events and bring students together. To make sure that everyone has an opportunity to become a society or sports team officer, club and society members will vote to elect their new committee leaders every year. Typically Club and Society Elections are held in Term 3, unless you're a new or postgraduate group. 

Any SOAS student can run in an election and it is a great way to get engaged with your club or society, take more responsibility and offer a brilliant professional experience that can benefit you throughout your career. 

Great news! We can now run your society elections for you making it easier than before*. 

All we need is three things from officers of a society; 

  1. A list of the officer positions for your society  

    • minimally this will be President/Sports Captain, Treasurer and a Secretary and as well as someone responsible for welfare** 

    • You can add extra positions if you need them 

  2. A timeline of when you want your elections to run  

    • Decide dates for when nominations open, when nominations close, when voting opens, and when voting closes.  

    • We recommend you give your members at least one week to nominate themselves and at least one week to cast their vote.

    • An example election timeline is as followed: Nominations open 1st December 10am. Nominations close 7th December 10pm. Voting opens 8th December 10am. Voting closes 14th December 10pm. 

  3. A list of the Nominees for each position after the deadline you set 

    • Once you set a deadline for nominations for the officer roles you need to email your society and make them aware so they can nominate themselves and know when to vote 

* All elections will run online, through the SU website. No elections/ voting are permitted to take place in person, however you are welcome to host hustings where nominees discuss their manifestos. Please submit an event form for this! 

** See roles list for more information 



Who can run in an election? 


You can only run in a committee election for your society if you fulfil ALL of the below criteria:  

  • You have paid your membership fee to the society at the time of running in the elections  

  • You are a current student member at SOAS (see Schedules of Constitution 1.1)  

  • You will remain a currently student at SOAS for the duration of your time on committee  

This criteria means that any associate/ alumni/ staff/ graduating members will not be permitted to run in an election for your society.  

All members of your student group must be given the opportunity to nominate themselves in the election. This means you should send an email, using the messenger function in your admin tools, to all of your members saying how they should nominate themselves and by when. 



What are the core officer roles? 



The President is the leader and main spokesperson for the club/society, taking responsibility for managing the committee and the affairs of the club/society. The President ensures that the committee functions properly, that there is full participation at meetings, that all relevant matters are discussed, and effective decisions taken, communicated and enacted. 

Responsible to: Your club/society committee, Co-President of Activities & Events, and members of your club/society 



The treasurer acts as the club/society’s finance manager and has ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the club/society’s financial matters run smoothly. 

Responsible to: Your club/society committee, Co-President of Activities & Events, and members of your club/society 



The secretary of the club/society is the key information and reference point for the President, committee, and members as well as the named contact for communications with the Students’ Union, University and external organisations. 

Responsible to: Your club/society committee, Co-President of Activities & Events, and members of your club/society 


Welfare Officer 

Societies and Clubs are, and should be, sites of nourishment and enjoyment where students can benefit from new experiences, opportunities, friendships and pleasure. The need for societies and clubs is especially important as, increasingly, university is a site of struggle, hardship, and intense pressure which is detrimental to student wellbeing. 

Therefore, in the spirit of promoting general wellbeing, destigimisation and treatment of poor mental health, and collaboration between student groups, having a welfare officer is of great benefit to students. A welfare officer will greatly increase visibility of welfare issues, provide the Co-President of Welfare & Campaigns Officer a direct point of contact in each society and club, with whom they can liaise and disseminate messages. As well as serve as an extra signpost to accessing important wellbeing services for students who need them. 

If there is a failure to elect a Welfare Officer, the role can be included in another mandatory member of the officers – president, secretary or treasurer. 



Who can vote in the election? 


Any paid member of your society who is a current student at SOAS can vote in the elections. Elections must be open for all members, not just officer members.  

No associate members can vote in committee elections, only student members can vote. 



What if someone has a concern with how the election was conducted? 


If anyone has any concerns with the running of the election, please email and we will help resolve any issues. This may mean investigating candidate conduct, answering election queries, restarting the election, disqualifying candidates or other disciplinary actions. 



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