On 13 November 2003, the Executive Committee of Comhaltas na Mac Léinn called a referendum (number RFP03/1) of its members under Section 18, Sub-section B.(i) of its Constitution to be held on 27 November 2003 on the motion below.
Votes in Favour – 1974
Votes Against – 820
Total Valid Poll – 2794
Spoiled Votes – 44
Total Poll – 2838
Result – Passed
The full motion text is as follows:
“The members of the Students’ Union, National University of Ireland, Galway authorise the Executive Committee to negotiate with University Authorities an increase in the student levy payable by each individual student strictly subject to the following conditions:-
- That the said increase which would be payable in addition to the current student levy will not exceed €100.00 per annum.
- That the said additional student levy will be payable for a specified period of time only, such period not to exceed eighteen years and will thereupon cease unless an extension is authorised by the members of the Union.
- That the said additional student levy will be used solely to fund the construction of the proposed Sports Centre, Societies Centre and ancillary developments.
- That the said Executive Committee is fully consulted and satisfied with all aspects of the planning, construction, operation, usage and financing of the said Developments for however long the said Developments may be in operation.
- That the Sports Centre will comprise of, inter alia, a substantial gym, an indoor heated 25 metre swimming pool, indoor squash courts, indoor racquetball/handball courts, indoor arena, outdoor tennis courts, indoor running track, refreshment area, changing rooms and showering and toilet facilities, lockers, health spa, sauna, meeting facilities, and the Executive Committee will be fully consulted on all proposed elements of the said building.
- That the existing Sports Centre situate in the Aras na Mac Leinn building of NUI Galway be converted to a Cultural and Society Centre and will include, inter alia, a multi purpose hall with full catering facilities, a photographic dark room, performing arts space, a cinema, societies administration offices, art exhibition area/art room and other facilities to be agreed with the University Centre Planning Group and that all such facilities will be made available to the University Societies.
- That the said additional student levy will not become payable until the following have been attended to:-
- The Executive Committee is provided with a copy of the site map together with an Engineers Report confirming the proposed site is suitable for the proposed Sports Centre; and
the Executive Committee is provided with a copy of the plans and specifications relative to the said Sports Centre at least three weeks prior to the application for Planning Permission being lodged with the Planning Authority; and
- That if the Executive Committee is not satisfied with the proposed plans and specifications that they may notify the University Authorities of their objections within one month of being furnished with the Plans and Specifications and that the said Plans and Specifications be adjusted to take into account all reasonable requirements made by the Executive Committee; and
- That as soon as all aspects of Planning, design, specifications and construction have been agreed upon that an application is made to the Planning Authority for a full Grant of Planning Permission.
- That all queries raised, if any, by the Planning Authority are dealt with as expeditiously as possible and
- That as soon as the full grant of Planning Permission issues that the Executive Committee is furnished with a copy thereof.
- That the Executive Committee is furnished with copies of all authorisations as are necessary to be provided by the Udaras na hOllscoile, NUI Galway authorising the proposed Sports Centre, Cultural Centre and associated ancillary developments.
- That the Executive Committee will be fully informed of the names and address of the Architects, Engineers and Construction Company/ies and others employed in respect of the proposed Sports Centre and be permitted at all times to consult directly with same.
- That the construction of the proposed all phases of the development be completed as soon as possible and that same be fully completed and operational as efficiently as possible.
- That all students who pay the additional levy but have graduated prior to the completion of the development obtain a preferential rate on the membership fee payable for graduate membership, which will be equal to the rate charged on Student membership and that this preferential rate will be charged for a period of time equal to the period of time the levy was paid by that individual student prior to the facilities of the Developments being available for use.
- That Údarás na hOllscoile will, within twelve weeks from the date of the Referendum, formally establish the University Planning Group as a University Committee with full and proper terms of reference for the purpose of dealing with all aspects in relation to the construction and operation of the said development said University Planning Group to comprise the President of the University, three University nominees to represent the Planning and Construction and four students who will include the Students Union President, the Clubs Captain and Society Chair and a nominee of the Executive Committee.
- That the President of the Students Union together with the Clubs Captain will have seats on the Committee of Management set up to manage the said Sports Centre and that it will be open to the Students Union President and the Clubs Captain to attend each and every meeting held by the said Committee of Management and that they will have a vote each equal in voting capacity to the other members of the Committee.
- That the President of the Students Union together with the Societies Chair will have seats on the Committee of Management set up to manage the said Societies and Cultural Centre and that it will be open to the Students Union President and the Societies Chair to attend each and every meeting held by the said Committee of Management and that they will have a vote each equal in voting capacity to the other members of the Committee.
- That the membership fee payable by students for a membership of the said developments will be minimal and will at all times be less than that required of applicants for membership who are not University students.
- That payment of the said additional levy will not commence prior to September 2005.”
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