All Student Votes

All-student votes are the most powerful change mechanism that the students’ union operates. We can run two types of all-student votes:

  • Referendum: a cross-campus secret ballot in which students vote either yes, no, or abstain on the question
  • Preferendum: a cross-campus secret ballot in which students list the options in order of preference (which is how we run our Officer Elections)

All full members (registered Lancaster University students) can participate in an all-student vote, and at least 10% of members need to vote for it to be quorate. In a referendum, a simple majority (at least 50%) of students need to vote in favour of the proposal, and in a preferendum we use the Single Transferable Vote method.


How to call for an all-student vote

Any student can call for an all-student vote, but you will need to prove that you have enough backing for your proposal. Proposals can be supported by:

  • Student Jury: if the Student Jury debates an idea or policy proposal and can’t come to a decision, they can refer the idea to an all-student vote
  • A petition signed by at least 2% of full members
  • A majority vote of the Executive Committee
  • A resolution of the Trustee Board


Democracy Committee

The union’s Democracy Committee (Vice-President Union Development and all JCR Democracy Officers) is responsible for making sure all of our votes are run fairly and freely. They agree on the wording of the question, and what background information students are given to help you understand the proposal before you vote.



Once the all-student vote has been announced, the union will put out a call for Campaign Groups to represent the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ sides of a referendum, or each of the options in a preferendum. Any student campaigning for a side or option during an all-student vote will be deemed part of the respective Campaign Group. The groups are student-led, receive a campaign budget from the union, and must abide by campaign rules during the campaigning and voting period.


The union's official media and communications channels, the university, and student media groups will remain impartial throughout an all-student vote.