Democracy Committee Minutes - 11/12

11th December 2020

Present: Ben Margolis, Torkel Loman (Chair), Joshua Jones, Richard Danylyuk, Matt Kite (Secretary)

Apologies: Charlie Innes

  1. Review of feedback from elections this term.
    1. The Committee reviewed feedback from elections conducted in Michaelmas term. Points considered were:
      1. That running so many elections for academic representatives for the first time was a significant achievement and that there had been significant successes in electing these roles, but that the changes had also presented challenges.
      2. There was a sense from feedback that the website was unintuitive to use
      3. There had been human errors in data input and setting the time of the voting
      4. There had been feedback on presentation of results and how this could be made clearer
    2. The Committee resolved to:
      1. Conduct user testing of the website in the Lent term in order to improve the user experience
      2. Progress with implementing further automation of the election setup process in order to reduce the possibility of administrative or data input errors.
      3. Implement a two person approval process for configuration of elections.
      4. Provide additional information on how to vote including:
        1. Preparing a “how to vote” explainer video and signposting this before voting
        2. Amendments to the ballot rubric to provide greater clarity at the point of voting
      5. Investigate the possibility of producing diagrams for explaining vote outcomes where these are complicated eg NUS delegate, and to share example elections diagrams
      6. Investigate possibility of improvement of format of automatically generated results sheets to be clearer and more in line with ERS STV guidance
  1. Review of the By-Laws
    1. The Committee resolved to progress with a review of the SU’s By-Laws to ensure that the new governing documents were working well in practice and to learn lessons from experiences in the first year of the new SU.
    2. The Committee also agreed its intention to review PG engagement with democracy in line with the aims of the Cambridge SU project, and resolved to look at this after the Lent Elections.
    3. The Committee agreed to divide up the by-laws amongst itself for a more detailed review and proposals for changes, with further discussion of these at the first meeting of Lent Term