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Policy Proposals Guide

Policy Proposals are a brilliant way for a single student to make a big change to the Union as a whole! Let us know what your bright ideas are and see what kind of legacy you can leave behind at LSESU.

The basics

A Policy Proposal is a proposed change to the Union's policy. Policy Proposals can be submitted on anything ranging from decisions taken by LSE or LSESU, to wider national or even international concerns.

How do I write and submit a Policy Proposal?

Any member of the Students' Union can submit a Policy Proposal so why not go for it? Every Proposal needs three things:

  1. A title. Make it short, easy to understand and a question. For example: Should LSESU make elections paperless?
  2. A clear issue. explain the issue in simple terms, and include references for any facts or stats. For example: LSESU provides free printing for election candidates in Michaelmas and Lent term elections (LSESU Election Rules Document 2018) which means a huge amount of paper used twice a year.
  3. A solution. Again, it's important to keep it simple and realistic! For example: LSESU should work to phase out unnecessary paper usage with the aim to go paperless by 2025.

If the Democracy Committee submits your Policy Proposal to the Student Panel, LSESU will contact you directly to let you know the date that it’ll be debated.

At the Student Panel you’ll need to present your policy. You should be ready to take questions from students and discuss any suggested changes to the proposal offered by other students.


Your proposal will then be voted on by the Panellists. If 75% or more think your policy should be introduced, it passes. If 75% or more think that your policy should not be introduced, it fails (although you can still propose your policy again at future Student Panels). If less than 75% consensus is reached amongst the panellists, your proposal will go forward to the next Town Hall.

If your proposal is passed on to the Town Hall, you will present your proposal again, after which a week of campaigning will commence. An all-student vote will then be administered over 24 hours, where all students have the opportunity to vote for our against your policy. If more than 50% of votes are in favour of your policy, it will become official SU policy until the end of the next academic year.

  • Check the proposal you want to propose isn’t Union policy already. All LSESU policy is available online.
  • Make it relevant to students. People will vote for something that will positively benefit them, so show how your policy directly affects students. If your policy is about a national or international issue, try and relate it to LSE life.
  • Be realistic. Your proposal should be practical, realistic and achievable.  Proposing that the Union should lobby LSE to give every student a laptop, for example, is likely to be a waste of time. If the proposal does have a financial impact, consider if it’s viable or if the financial impact could be offset.
  • Gather support before submitting your Policy Proposal. If it’s clear that the policy has widespread support among students, it’s much more likely to succeed.
  • If your proposal goes forward to an all-student vote, be prepared to campaign. Putting up posters, writing articles and leafleting are all great campaigning tools. But the most important thing you can do is to talk to students directly and explain why it’s in their interests to support you.
  • Be accurate. Remember to give sources for any quotes, statistics or facts. The Democracy Committee is likely to send your proposal back if it believes you’ve provided inaccurate information or information that isn’t properly referenced or backed up.
  • Be aware of restrictions. Your proposal can't explicitly spend the resources of the union, as this is this is the remit of the Trustee Board. Proposals also cannot name, or make identifiable, staff of the union, or determine the overall strategy of the union. Finally, motions cannot compel LSESU’s ordinary members to do anything or compel any outside organisation to do anything - this INCLUDES the school. For example, a proposal couldn’t demand LSE to extend its holidays, but it could mandate the union to lobby for this change.

The Student Panel Chair will call you up give you each approximately 2 minutes to speak (the exact timing depends on how many proposals need to be debated).

Make sure you’re on time, and know what you want to say. It’s a good idea to have some notes written down. Concentrate on speaking in defence of your proposal, as persuasively as you can!

If anyone wants to speak against your proposal, they can either notify the Democracy Committee in advance, to ensure that they definitely have an opportunity to speak, or just put their hand up on the day. They will also have about two minutes to put forward their opposition.

The Democracy Committee will also invite experts and people with lived experience of the issue you are proposing to provide a rounder perspective of your proposal. If you have any recommendations or suggestions for individuals to speak in relation to your proposal, please message

Following the initial opening statements from the proposer, any opposers, and the invited speakers, there is time for questions from the Student Panellists. After this, the Panellists will discuss amongst themselves the merits of the proposal, potentially putting forwward adaptations to the proposal which will be approved or denied by the Democracy Committee.

The Student Panel Chair will then ask for a show of hands from the Student Panellists, on whether they support or oppose the Policy Proposal. This show of hands will determine whether the policy is approved, if it falls, or if it is passed on for discussion at the Student Town Hall.

If your policy goes forward to all-student vote, campaigning is the best way to ensure your proposal receives the support required to become policy. You’ll build a consensus surrounding your issue and give your policy greater weight and importance.

Here are some ways you might want to engage people:

  • Contact The Beaver to secure media coverage of your campaign
  • Organise a photo opportunity with your campaigners
  • Use social media to get your message out
  • Come into the SU Office to book a stall on Sheffield Street

LSE has a strong history of campaigning and at LSESU we’ll support you in any way we can, for Policy Proposals and wider LSESU or national campaigns. Please contact the Representation Team on to find out how we can help.

You will hear back from the Democracy Committee within a week of your submission. If your Proposal is progressing on to the Student Panel you will be informed a minimum of 1 week in advance.

Useful terms

Democracy Committee

Five elected students who are responsible for ensuring that democracy functions properly within LSESU.

Policy Proposal

A suggested policy put forward that students debate and then vote on. If the proposal passes it becomes official LSESU policy.


The student who disagrees with the Proposal and argues against it.

Order paper

The agenda for Student Panels and Town Halls. This will be made available online ahead of the meetings.


The person who submits the Policy Proposal. They need to give their name and student ID number.


The number of students who must vote on a Policy Proposal (at an all student vote) for the result to be binding.

When you submit a proposal you will receive acknowledgement within one working day. The proposal will be forwarded onto Democracy Committee within five working days (this will normally be much quicker).

Once a proposal is with Democracy Committee they will respond to the proposer within three working days with feedback, explaining which feedback is optional and which is mandatory for the proposal to be heard.

The Democracy Committee will inform you when they need to receive the finalised proposal by in order it to go to the next Student Panel.

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