The University of Sussex Students’ Union has opened up nominations for its NUS, Treasurer and Executive elections, despite them not taking place for another five months. Although nominations for Autumn’s elections for Student Reps and for the Representative positions normally open in time for Freshers’ Week, nominations for other positions are normally opened in January, roughly four to six weeks before the elections take place.

The change is part of a bigger reform of the way Student Union elections are run, including possible changes to the points-based system used to ensure students running for a position aren’t able to buy their way into office.

Commenting on the change, Student Union President Annie Pickering said: “A short nomination period is largely a hangover from when we issued paper nomination forms. We’re always trying to raise the profile of elections and increase participation, so we thought it would be easier for people to submit a nomination at any time.

“We know from our research that many students think about nominating themselves well before the elections, so now they can do it when it suits them, rather than waiting until the spring. Candidates have the option to withdraw themselves prior to the elections if they change their mind.”

When asked about other possible changes to the elections system, Annie said: “We’re always making changes to the elections process to make it easier for people to take part. Other changes this year include simplifying the rules for candidates and improving how students are involved in spreading the word about elections.

“These changes will be communicated to students during the year and we hope this will make participating in the elections easier for candidates and that more students will be aware of the positions available.”

Those interested in running for a Students’ Union role can nominate themselves and find more information on their website.