August 2013

Month Archives

Press Release Date: 7th May 2013


NUI Galway Students’ Union Adopts Pro-Choice Policy

NUI Galway Students’ Union has officially adopted a Pro-Choice Policy in support of the national campaign for full reproductive rights, which includes a woman’s right to abortion, whether elective or medically necessary. The policy was decided by a referendum of NUI Galway students earlier this year. Over 70% of votes cast were in favour of the policy which also committed the Students’ Union to actively campaign, locally and nationally, for a woman’s right to choose.

The Pro-Choice policy means the Students’ Union now supports every woman’s right to make autonomous decisions about her reproduction, be it abortion or continuing with pregnancy, and that any such decision should be respected and facilitated. As a result, the ban on abortion in Ireland should be abolished in favour of a system that allows for abortion on request.

A referendum on any issue can be called in the Students’ Union once 500 students sign a petition in support of it. The proposal is then put to a referendum in which every student has a vote.

NUI Galway Students’ Union joins other Students’ Unions such as Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University who have also adopted a Pro-Choice Policy. The Union of Students in Ireland also has a Pro-Choice policy and at its recent annual congress passed a policy to engage with the Abortion Rights Campaign.

NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Paul Curley, said:

“Students have never shirked from topics that shape our society, and this is another example of students standing up to be counted. This referendum was requested by our members and conducted in a fair and democratic manner. The decision to adopt a pro-choice policy isn’t something that taken lightly, but it is the democratic decision of the majority. The Students’ Union is now committed to working with other Students’ Unions and organisations which hold a similar view to ensure that women will have the right to make a decision about their reproduction – whether that’s choosing to continue with a pregnancy or choosing abortion.”


For more information, contact:

Paul Curley, President, NUI Galway Students’ Union. Ph. 086 385 5502

Robin Pötke, NUI Galway Choice Society. Ph. 087 706 0715.

Ways to get involved:

Action on X Rally Saturday 18th May 2013 at 4pm in Dublin. Meet at the Central Bank and march to the Dáil.

Abortion Rights Campaign “Tell a Fine Gael” TD Campaign starts Thursday 9th May. More info.

Galway March for Abortion Rights Saturday 1st June 2013. More info.

Referendum on Students’ Union Position on the Issue of Abortion


On Thursday 7th March 2013 you will be asked to vote in a referendum on whether the Students’ Union adopt a Pro-Choice position in support of the national campaign for full reproductive rights, which includes a woman’s right to abortion, whether elective or medically necessary. The wording which will appear on the ballot paper, requiring a Yes / No answer, will be:

Do you agree with the following proposition:

That NUI Galway Students’ Union adopt a Pro-Choice position, in support of the national campaign for full reproductive rights, which includes a woman’s right to abortion, whether elective or medically necessary.

Furthermore, the Students’ Union will use every available measure to realise these rights on campus and nationally.

This referendum has been requested by 500 members of the Students’ Union as prescribed in the Students’ Union Constitution, Article 16.

Press Release: NUI Galway Students’ Union Adopts Pro-Choice Policy

Students’ Union & Class Reps Council


Students’ Union & Class Reps Council

The Students’ Union Executive is answerable to the Students’ Union Council. The Students’ Union Council consists of approximately 350 members representing every class in the University. The Council is essential to the running of the Union and is beneficial to the running of the University. It also helps bring students ever more closely involved with the workings of the Union and the University. The SU Council is used by the Union to inform students what is happening within the University and also to get feedback from students regarding any problems, suggestions or positive aspects they have found in the University.

The SU Council meets at least three times per semester and quorum for a SU Council meeting shall be fifty class representatives.

Each of the NUI Galway Colleges also has a College Class Representative Council together with a Postgraduate Council. Each College Council meets twice each semester.

The object of the College Class Rep Councils is to discuss individual faculty issues whilst Students’ Union Council discusses University wide issues. Class Reps is co-ordinated by the Vice-President/Education Officer who works with the SU Council Chair and the Convenors to ensure that every class is represented and heard. Feel free to make use of the SU Council to get your views across by approaching your class rep or and Officer.

Getting Involved

Becoming a Class Rep

They’re the “Voice of your Class” and represent the views of the majority of the class. They help to solve both individual and class-wide problems. If you decide to run for Class Rep, your responsibilities will include communicating between your class and the course lecturers, attending SU Council and your College Council meetings to help formulate Students’ Union policies and arranging class parties, hoodies etc. Being a Class Rep is good fun and a great addition to your CV. You also qualify for the ALIVE Certificate which is the NUI Galway Presidential Award for Volunteering

The Council consists of over 350 students representing classes in every year and every department. Every class should have a Class Rep. However, if your class does not yet have a rep then please contact the Education Officer at or become one yourself!

Join the SU Crew

Even if you’re not an elected Class Rep, you can still get involved in the Students’ Union activities. The Union regularly runs campaigns on campus, and we’re always looking for extra help. From somewhat intimidating tasks like addressing lectures to other jobs such as handing out leaflets or preparing documentation, there’s always something that needs to be done, so join in! If there’s a particular issue that you’re concerned about, let us know and we’ll try to help. Just call up to the Students’ Union offices in Áras na Mac Léinn, drop us a line by email or check our Twitter and Facebook .



Got a question or comment?

We’d love to hear from you.

EXPLORE Innovation Initiative
Students’ Union
Áras na Mac Léinn
NUI Galway

Get in touch with the EXPLORE Coordinator, Amber Walsh Olesen, at or 091 494290

Free Disability Legal Information Clinic


The NUI Galway Disability Legal Information Clinic, the first of its type in Ireland, is a free, confidential, accessible, drop-in legal information service on issues related to disability. The clinics are staffed by trained student volunteers who will be supervised by a legal practitioner and a staff member of the University’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy.

The Disability Legal Information Clinic is a partnership between the University’s student-run Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC) and NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy.

Clinics will be held on the first Wednesday of each month beginning on 5 October 2011 from 6pm to 7.30pm in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy Centre, NUI Galway. Clients with particular accessibility requirements (e.g. a sign language interpreter) should contact
For more information see or contact

Advantages of BER for students


From 1st January 2009, a BER (Building Energy Rating) Certificate is compulsory for all houses or apartments being offered to rent. This has significant implications for students.

Main advantages of BER for students

  1. Improved tenant comfort
    (A B2-rated house will be much easier to heat in December than an F-rated house and there will be less chance of mould growth or condensation)
  2. Reduced running costs for the year
    (A better rated house will have lower heating and electricity bils)
  3. Better for the environment
    (A better energy rating means lower CO2 emissions that cause climate change, less fossil fuel consumption, less pollution)

    Other advantages:

  4. Landlords are legally obliged to have a BER for any property they are renting
    (Ensure landlords comply and do their bit for the environment)
  5. Promotes local job creation
    (Many construction jobs could be created in upgrading the current energy inefficicent housing stock)
  6. Reduces potential impact of Carbon taxes on fuel bills
    (Carbon taxes may be introduced in the next budget)
  7. Less money leaves the Irish economy
    (Energy efficiency reduces imported oil and gas, Kyoto fines etc.)

For more info go to

Home Safety

Fire Safety Tips

  • Get smoke alarms and test them regularly – €15 is a small price to pay to protect yourself. Put it somewhere it can be heard all over the house. Get a second one if you have to.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in your kitchen.
  • Make sure that all electrical appliances, sockets and leads are in good working order. Don’t overload sockets.
  • Never turn your back on a frier. Don’t use water on a chip pan fire.
  • Check that your cooker is turned off and put out an open fire before you go to bed.
  • With an open fire, always use a fireguard and make sure the room is ventilated.
  • Plug out appliances, especially the television, before going to bed.
  • Smokers, use proper ashtrays and don’t smoke in bed.
  • Roll, don’t fold, an electric blanket if you’re storing it.
  • Keep heaters away from furniture and curtains and don’t move them when they are on. Make sure there’s ventilation in rooms where you use them.
  • Have an escape plan. Know how you and your housemates would get out if you had to.
  • Don’t leave your phone charger in the socket when it’s not in use
  • Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless poisonous gas and is a common yet preventable cause of death from poisoning. Carbon Monoxide detectors can be bought for around €30 in a DIY store.

Burglary Prevention

Most day-time burglaries take place in unoccupied homes. Windows are the most common means of entry in domestic cases. When leaving the house, close any windows which can be climbed into. Make sure you don’t leave valuables where they can be seen through the window. Secure your windows, doors, sheds and garages and don’t cut more keys than you have to! If you have a spare, give it to someone you trust. Don’t leave obvious signs of a vacant apartment such as closed curtains during daylight hours. Just in case you are broken into, you should mark your property so it can be identified. Don’t leave loose cash at home and keep bank cards in a safe place. Consider insuring any valuables you have such as laptops, Playstations etc.
The Gardaí in Galway can be reached on 091 538000 or in an emergency ring 999 or 112.

Basic Accommodation Info


It’s important that you know the basics. You are entitled by law to a rent book and lease. You can get these in the Students’ Union Office or download a Letting Agreement if you don’t have them already. Make sure to know the details of the lease especially with respect to overnight guests, bin charges and any television license. If something goes wrong, which it easily can, this will make your position stronger. You can avoid most problems if you make an inventory list when you move in, noting any damage to the premises, and get the landlord to sign this. Don’t forget that your conduct in your residence is something which is covered by the University Code of Conduct.

You Must:

  • pay the rent and any other specified charges including TV license!
  • make sure no damage above normal wear and tear occurs to the accommodation;
  • notify the landlord of any repair requirements
  • allow access for repairs to be carried out and by appointment for routine inspections;
  • keep the landlord informed of the identity of the occupants
  • not engage in or allow anti-social behavior
  • not act, or allow visitors to act in a way that would invalidate the landlord’s insurance;
  • not cause the landlord to be in breach of statutory obligations
  • not alter, improve, assign, sub-let or change the use of the dwelling without written consent from the landlord
  • NOT engage in any form of anti-social behaviour. You are responsible for all the guests in your home, so if they cause trouble, you’ll have to pay for it. Check with the landlord if there are any set conditions on noise and house parties (we cannot stress this enough).

Your Landlord’s Obligations:

  • allow the tenant to enjoy peaceful and exclusive occupation i.e. not enter without permission. (If you rent a room, then s/he can access common areas of the house)
  • carry out repairs, subject to tenant liability for damage beyond normal wear and tear
  • insure the dwelling, subject to the insurance being available at a reasonable cost
  • provide a point of contact
  • promptly refund deposits unless rent is owing or there is damage beyond normal wear and tea
  • reimburse tenants for expenditure on repairs that were appropriate to the landlord
  • provide a rent book / written letting agreement or lease
  • enforce tenant obligations
  • not penalise tenants for making complaints or taking action to enforce their rights
  • register the property for rent with the Private Residential Tenancies Board. They can be contacted on 01 6350600 or

These respective obligations must be adhered to whether or not there is a lease or written agreement – landlords and tenants cannot contract out of them. Additional obligations, however, can be included in a lease. If you encounter a problem with your rented accommodation you can also contact Threshold on 091 563080.

Without a Fixed-Term Lease

The landlord can terminate without specifying grounds during the first 6 months, but once a tenancy has lasted 6 months, the landlord will be able to terminate that tenancy only if any of the following apply:

  • the tenant does not comply with the obligations of the tenancy
  • the dwelling is no longer suited to the occupants accommodation needs (e.g. overcrowded)
  • the landlord intends to sell the dwelling in the next 3 months
  • the landlord requires the dwelling for own or family member occupation
  • the landlord intends to refurbish the dwelling
  • the landlord intends to change the business use of the dwelling

If a tenant wants to terminate a tenancy and move, the tenant must give the landlord notice in writing.
A phone call, text message, or even an email will not do. Even if the landlord is agreeable to a tenant’s oral notice to leave, it is recommended that the tenant follows up the oral notice with a formal written one. A tenant who does not serve the landlord with formal written notice endangers their deposit. If a written lease is in place, the tenant could also be held liable for the remainder of the rent owed for the rest of the lease period. The notice must be in writing and signed by the tenant. It should specify the date of service and the date the notice will expire. An example of a notice can be found here. Download Notice of termination of tenancy letter

The following is the time to be given for a notice to quit:

  • Less than 6 months : 28 days
  • 6 or more months but less than 1 year: 35 days
  • 1 year or more but less than 2 years: 42 days

Fixed-Term Lease

Remember that if you agree to stay until the end of May or until another stipulated time, you cannot contract out of this. Be aware that if you leave before this date, you may be breaking your contract and are liable to lose your deposit at least. Remember a contract doesn’t necessarily have to be written down; a verbal agreement is legally binding! You also cannot use your deposit as the final months rent. Some landlords might let you but they don’t have to.


Your entitlements depend on the agreement you made with the landlord. You should, if possible, get a written agreement stating what exactly you will receive for your money. If the landlord tells you before you move in that there is a curfew and you agree to move in then you
have to stick to the rules set down. There are no laws as to whether you have to give your room to a son or daughter at weekends or holidays. You should try and set all the rules down at the beginning. There are guidelines available on the University Accommodation Office website

Letting Agreement


When you enter into a tenancy agreement, you are making a legally binding commitment. It it important to read any document carefully before you sign it and consider the nature of the commitments you are making. If you are unsure, seek further advice.

Download a copy of our Letting Agreement as well as being legally binding it provides a useful inventory so you can list your accommodation contents and what condition they’re in when you first move in. This will come in very handy when you’re looking for your deposit at the end of the year.

Moving out of home


Don’t buy everything new. Trust us, you’ll find much better things to spend your money on before too long. The cheapest way to get by in college is to raid base camp. When you arrive, you probably will have brought the essentials. However, there are a few things that are sometimes forgotten. To combat this we compiled a list of them that you should ‘borrow’ next time you go home. Sme of them prove hard to forget – you’ll only run out of loo roll once! Other items might not come to mind so quickly, such as a needle and thread. They come in handy when you’re all dolled up for a night on the town and realise your top has a rip in it.

So next time you go home, bring this list with you and tick the following items as you ‘borrow’ them;


Cling Film Bin Bags
Non-perishables (rice,pasta etc.)
Lasagne Dish
Kitchen Roll
Tea Towels Washing Powder
Tupperware Cleaning Supplies
Tin Foil
  Tea Pot
Washing-up Liquid
Tea Bags


Bleach Toothpaste Toilet Brush Toiletries Face Cloths
Bath towels Toilet Roll Shampoo A fully stocked medicine box  


Bedside Extra blanket Small mirror Hot water bottle


Torch Clothes Horse Hammer Sewing Kit Clothes pegs Screwdriver Waterproof jacket & trousers
Spanner Candles Batteries (AA’s & AAA’s) Umbrella Firelighters Light Bulbs Plunger