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The Guild’s Democratic structures were reformed in 2014, when a more participatory form of student democracy was established, which uses consensus decision-making. 

Our Democracy now involves 3 levels:  

  1. Change It: where students can submit ideas for things they want to change to make University life better 
  2. Guild Summit: where these ideas are discussed and voted on by students 
  3. Preferendums: where a cross-campus ballot is required 

Change It

Got an idea to make University life better? Use ‘Change It’ and we could help make it happen. 

Change It is a platform that gives each and every student the opportunity to share ideas which will have a positive impact on your time at University. Tell us what your suggestion is – no matter how big or small – and we will use our democratic processes to support your suggestion every step of the way. Your idea could be the next catalyst for change on our campus – submit your idea here and students could be discussing your proposal at our next Guild Summit. 

How It Works

Log in and tell us your idea:

Your idea will usually appear on our website the next working day. Students will then be able to vote and comment on your idea. Once your idea has received 20 'up votes' – which tells us other students like and support your idea - we will get to work.

This can look like:

  • Get to work:For simple and operational ideas at the Guild, we will get to work to action these.
  • Support on a larger scale: For simple and operational ideas at the University, or in the wider city or country, we will pass on and put our support behind your idea
  • Discuss at Guild Summit: If your idea is complicated or political, or where there is likely to be a range of views about the topic, it will be passed through our democratic processes, starting with Guild Summit.
    • If Guild Summit agrees on how to proceed with your proposal it will go to Board of Trustees for final approval
    • If it divides opinion, it will go to a Preferendum. If your idea is supported by this process, it will follow the above steps.

We will keep you up to date with progress about if and when we plan to bring your idea to life, and opportunities for you to further feed into this.


The number of down-votes on a Change It idea does not impact whether the idea progresses through our Democratic processes. It is there to allow students to show their disagreement with the proposal, giving us more information about students’ view on your idea. Students who, down-vote an idea will be contacted to be given the opportunity to speak or campaign against the idea.

There are two kinds of submissions you can make via the website:

  • Idea – Students can submit an idea if they want the Guild to have policy on a particular issue, or campaign or work on a particular matter. Ideas can be about a wide range of things, including the Guild, University or the wider community and world. Submitting an idea is the way to get the matter discussed at the Guild Summit.
  • Supporton a larger scale: For simple and operational ideas at the University, or in the wider city or country, we will pass on and support your idea
  • Petition – Guild petitions can be used as part of a campaign, usually to lobby the University, Government or other organisation. It is a platform that allows you to gather the signatures of thousands of students who may support your campaign and illustrate the general feeling regarding an issue, to apply pressure and influence change.

Petitions can also be used for other purposes, as laid out in our Articles of Association. This includes being able to challenge the outcome of Guild Summit.

Guild Summit:

Guild Summit is our democratic decision-making body, where students can discuss and vote on ideas submitted to Change It. Guild Summit uses consensus decision-making, and is committed to finding solutions that everyone supports and that no one is actively opposed to. If Guild Summit can’t come to consensus on an idea, a student vote will be held. This enables all students to express their view on the matter, via a campus ballot. This is either a Preferendum or Referendum.

Summit is made up of 50 students, who are selected at random by a computer system based on gender, mode of study, level of study, ethnicity and mature students. This makes sure we reflect the different groups of students at the University of Liverpool. The selected students are contacted by email and asked to attend. If they can’t attend, another student who fits into the same groups will be invited to attend instead.

At each meeting, the selected Guild Summit members will discuss students’ ideas and the evidence they have provided. All ideas must be submitted via Change It at least 2 weeks before the next Guild Summit. If an idea is received after this deadline it may be referred to the following Summit meeting.?

All selected students who take part will be needed for approximately three hours for the Guild Summit meeting and will be paid £25 and given refreshments.

There are four Guild Summit meetings during the academic year:

  • Tuesday 24th October 2023
    (ideas for consideration at this Summit must receive 20 upvotes by 10th October 2023)
  • Tuesday 28th November 2023
    (ideas for consideration at this Summit must receive 20 upvotes by 14th November 2023)
  • Tuesday 13th February 2024
    (ideas for consideration at this Summit must receive 20 upvotes by 30th January 2024)
  • Tuesday 23rd April 2024
    (ideas for consideration at this Summit must receive 20 upvotes by 9th April 2024)


A Preferendum is an all student vote, that will be held if a student’s idea divides opinion at Guild Summit. Summit will identify the different options which are causing debate at the meeting, and these will be put to a campus-wide ballot for one week. This enables all students to express their views on the matter.

All students can get involved with and vote in Preferendums. When a vote is announced, all students will be informed, and invited to join a campaign team, to campaign for their preferred option. At least 3% of University of Liverpool students must vote in order for the result to be valid.

The results of any student vote will be passed onto the Board of Trustees for final approval.

These votes will usually be held as Preferendums. These are votes where there are more than two options to vote on. Students can rank these options, allowing them to indicate their preferences.

A Referendum will be held if the Trustee Board feel that it is clear that the matter under discussion is a binary choice, and that there is not a logical third (or fourth) option.

If you’re not satisfied with the decision made by Guild Summit, you can petition for a Challenge Preferendum. You can do this by collecting signatures from students who support the idea to challenge the decision. This can be done online or by hand, and at least 1% of University of Liverpool students must sign it. You must complete this and hand it into our Reception within one week of the Guild Summit’s decision. Valid student numbers for each student must also be provided.


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