Student Elections 2022: How to Write Your Manifesto

If you're considering submitting your application for the Student Elections 2022, this guide to writing your manifesto is for you.

Beds SU

By Beds SU

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Manifestos are a key part of the application process and are published to voters to help them decide who to vote for.

Your manifesto is your opportunity to sell yourself to voters, your chance to tell them all about your skills and experience that make YOU the best candidate for the job. 

For many voters – especially this year, with national lockdown – your manifesto may be the only “contact” that a voter has with you before they vote.

To help our voters compare candidates more easily, our manifestos consist of 3 key questions that all candidates are asked. These questions also come with word limits to ensure fairness.

Writing your manifesto

To get started, download the Manifesto Template (Word Doc). We strongly recommend that your use a word processing application (such as Microsoft Word, available for free to all UoB students) so that you can spellcheck your manifesto before you submit it through the online form (the form will not identify errors). We are not able to amend manifestos after submission, so you might like to get someone else to proofread your work for you as well.

We may reproduce individual answers (i.e. just question 2, without the others, example given below) to help voters compare candidates, so we do not recommend referring to previous/subsequent answers in your responses (i.e. do not say “as I mentioned previously…”).

Top Tips for writing your manifesto

  • Be honest! In this day and age of internet and social media, people can easily check out your credentials, so it’s risky to claim to have been a part of an organisation or a project if someone might be able to disprove this. 
  • Make your manifesto understandable, make sure it’s clear and coherent. Beds SU represents a diverse student body. Be mindful of using any language that is specific to your social group as this could alienate voters. Try to make it understandable to everyone and avoid jargon specific to your area of study or general interests. 
  • You might want to consider reading up on the information about the Union available on the Beds SU website, especially the news articles. Promising to deliver change that has already been achieved could make you look poorly informed. 
  • Think about slogans and hashtags, if your campaign is going to include a catchy or recognisable slogan, you may want to consider adding it to your manifesto so that students recognise it when they vote. Before you commit to a hashtag, make sure you research it first! You don’t want to end up jumping on someone else’s campaign. 
  • Shout about your strengths! If you believe you’ve had experiences at UoB that make you a stronger candidate, put it in. You are competing for a job, after all. 
  • Be yourself, people are much more likely to support you if you seem genuine. Think about telling students who you are, even the most popular student won’t know every member. 
  • Do not use any lewd or crude language. Not only could this breach the rules, but voters might also see it as a lack of professionalism that’s needed to lead Beds SU. 
  • Don’t use this as an opportunity to insult any individual, Beds SU, or the University. There’s a difference between highlighting the change you want to see and being outright offensive. If you want to talk about change, think of yourself as a critical friend that can encourage change.