Submissions for referenda are now open >>

What is a referendum?

A referendum (plural = referenda) is a direct vote in which all full members of the Union are asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal on a range of questions put forward by students at Sussex. Students are asked to vote “yes” or “no” to a particular question; the outcome of which shapes the Students’ Union, ensuring that it is student-led. Brexit is an example of a referendum at a national level. 

You can see previous referenda run at Sussex and the rules and guidelines for more information.

Our upcoming referenda dates >>

How does this work at Sussex?

There are three ways to submit suggestions:

Referendum requests will be considered first by Union Council or Executive and if approved, will progress to a policy Panel. This panel will consider the factual accuracy and legality of the question. If the panel is satisfied, the question will be sent to referendum. 

The result of a referendum is only binding if it receives 450 or more votes unless it has a potential financial impact on the Trading Company. There is an agreement between the trustees and company directors that for new policy that affects the financial sustainability of the company then there needs to be a 5% turnout for it to be taken on as Union policy.

Key dates for the Spring Term:

  • Deadline to submit referenda topics: 22nd February
  • Deadline for referenda arguments: 8th March
  • Voting opens: 15th March at 9am
  • Voting closes: 19th March at midday

Read everything about our Autumn Referenda 2020/21

View referenda rules and guidelines »

How to submit suggestions »

What’s the process?

How to vote

Once a referendum request has been approved it can be voted on. You can vote either 'Yes' or 'No'. At the moment there are no referenda but once that changes and voting opens, we'll provide you with a link to vote here (and announce this on all our channels, too).

Having trouble voting?

If you have any problems voting please email [email protected] as soon as possible so we can resolve these for you.

If you have any complaints about the conduct of campaigners or the referenda process, you can contact the Returning Officer at [email protected] . Complaints about campaigners must be raised no later than one hour after the close of voting, and complaints about the referenda process must be raised no later than one week after voting closes. You can find out more about complaints under section 4.40 of the Rules.