Referenda & Petitions

Sometimes when you are campaigning to make change or want to flag an issue, it helps to get the support of your fellow students in order to demonstrate strength of feeling. This can be done in many ways, but two ways you may want to consider in addition to gathering quotes or putting out a survey is creating a petition or starting a referendum. Read below to find out how you can do this:


A petition can be requested by any member of the GSA at any time. A petition can be used to gather support for a certain issue or can be designed to trigger one of the democratic processes below:

  • To hold a referendum of a specific question
  • To hold a general meeting about an issue where every student can vote
  • To appeal a decision made at Association Council
  • To remove a Student Sabbatical Officer

If you would like to run a petition please email with full details of what you would like your petition to be on. Upon the receipt of a written request being made, the Representation and Democracy Coordinator will ensure that the petition is open and available to sign within 3 working days. Petitions will be open for exactly one week and will close the same time on the same day in which it was open. As part of requesting a petition, you will also be able to access the GSA campaigns budget to help with encouraging other students to sign the petition.


Referendums are used to put key topics and questions to a vote by the GSA membership! A referendum shall be held if triggered by a petition signed by 2% of members and shall take the form of a secret ballot in which members are asked to either vote yes, no or abstain to a motion.

If you would like to hold a referendum, please email to discuss further. Upon the close of a successful petition to trigger a referendum, voting shall begin no less than 15 clear days. Provisions will also be made for members to debate the motion before the beginning of voting.