Ideas, Forums, Preferendums and Union Priorities

At SOAS Students’ Union, representing students' views is at the heart of everything we do. Students get to have their say over what the SU works on by voting for a Co-President that is passionate about the same things as them and by setting Union Priorities, which are objectives the SU is mandated to deliver. These priorities are decided by students and can cover a range of different things.


How it works:


Idea's For Change

Ideas for change are an opportunity for students to propose anything, from big structure changes, or quick wins. They can call for changes within SOAS SU, SOAS, and beyond. They can be used as a call for action on a particular issue, or relate to communicating an ideological standpoint.


Ideas must answer the following questions:

Facts: What is the issue you're trying to address and what do we already know about the issue?

Impact: How does this issue affect students and in what way?

Response: What would you like the students' union to do to address the issue and how can we take it forward?


Ideas for change must be no longer than 600 words. 


Once an idea for change is submitted it will be reviewed and published for up to one month. Students can then vote for the ideas that they think are most important. Once an idea reaches 25 votes it will be taken to a Union Forum. If it is decided that the idea falls within ordinary business the idea can be actioned without moving forward to a Union Forum. 


Ideas Portal

Your Ideas

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  • 11 score
    11 voters

    More microwaves for heating up food in the SU

      Currently there is only one working microwave in the SU, after the upstairs one was removed and the silver one downstairs stopped working this week. This is leading to long queues and making it harder for people to bring their own lunches which is a sustainable and cost effective way to eat lunch. Please replace the broken microwave and add a third one to make it easier and quicker for people to heat up their lunches :)
    No comments have been made.


    In order for your idea to be discussed at the next Union Forum it will need to recieve at least 25 votes by Monday the 20th March at midday. 


    Union Forums

    Union Forums are an opportunity for students to discuss and develop ideas for change. Once an idea reaches the threshold it will be taken to the next termly Union Forum. There are three Union Forums, each looking at a different types of ideas for change. 

    1. Influencing SOAS – for ideas that relate to the Institution and its provision
    2. SU Operations – for ideas that relate to the services of the Union, including clubs, societies and commercial services.
    3. SU Campaigns – for ideas that relate to the wider campaigning role of the Union and its membership, to influence the world beyond SOAS.

    During a Union Forum students can suggest amendments to the idea and propose alternative solutions. Once discussed at a Union Forum the ideas will move forward to Preferenda.

    In order for an idea to be discussed at a Union Forum the student who submitted the idea must attend, or nominate someone to attend in their place. If they do not attend the idea will be referred to the next Union Forum.


    The next Union Forums will be held on Thursday 23rd March, 4pm-6pm, JCR.




    A preferenda allows all students to vote for which solutions they would like to see become a Union Priority. During a preferenda students can vote in order of preference. There are three preferenda per year, with the first being used to decide the remits of the Preferenda Portfolio Officer roles. You can find out more about this process here. The remaining two referendums – one held in the spring term and one in the summer term – will decide the priorities that the SU will campaign on.

    During a preferenda there is an opportunity for students to campaign for a particular idea/solution, they can do this by asking their friends to vote for a specific option. There will also be an opportunity for students to submit a manifesto, a document outlining why students should vote for one of the solutions. These manifesto's will then be published for students to view when deciding which option to vote for. 

    Preferenda's are regulated by the Preferenda Rules, these are published prior to a Preferenda taking place and are overseen by the Governance Sub-Committee and Union Deputy Returning Officer. 

    The dates of the next Preferenda are:

    Manifesto Deadline Wednesday 19th April, 12pm
    Manifesto's published and Campaigning commences Monday 24th April, 10am
    Preferenda Opens Wednesday 26th April, 12pm
    Preferenda Closes Wednesday 3rd May, 12pm
    Preferenda Results Thursday 4th May, 12pm





    This webpage was last updated on: 14 Mar 2023 15:11