Referendum on Restructuring Students’ Union Ofﬁcer Roles
On Thursday 23rd January you will be asked to vote in a referendum on whether or not you support the restructuring of students’ union ofﬁcer roles.
The wording which will appear on the ballot paper, requiring a Yes / No answer, will be:
Do you agree with referendum motion (Executive Committee Composition) proposed by the SU Council on 25th November 2019?
The proposed amendment to the NUI Galway Students’ Union constitution, if passed, will result in the following:
1. The creation of a part-time Equality Ofﬁcer position on the Students’ Union Executive Committee
2. The abolition of the following students’ union part-time ofﬁcer roles
• Mature Students Ofﬁcer
• SU Council Chairperson
• International Students Ofﬁcer
• Gender and LGBT+ Rights Ofﬁcer
• Disability Rights Ofﬁcer
• Ethnic Minorities Ofﬁcer
3. The renaming of the Clubs’ Captain position to Clubs Officer
This referendum has been requested by 500 members of the Students’ Union in accordance with the Students’ Union Constitution, Article 16.
FAQs About the Referendum
When will the Referendum take place?
The Referendum will take place on Thursday 23rd January. Polling will be from 10:00am to 5:00pm in Smokey’s Café. You will need to bring your NUIG student ID with you to vote.
Remote Vote will also be available for those that won’t be on campus to vote. Details on how to vote and how to register for Remote Vote will be advertised in advance.
What wording will appear on the ballot paper?
The wording which will appear on the ballot paper, requiring a Yes-Tá / No-Níl answer, will be:
Do you agree with referendum motion (Executive Committee Composition) proposed by the SU Council on 25 November 2019?
An bhfuil tú ag toiliú leis an rún reifrinn (Comhdhéanamh an Choiste Feidhmiúcháin) a mhol Comhairle Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn an 25 Samhain 2019?
What are the main changes if the Referendum is passed?
The proposed amendment to the NUI Galway Students’ Union constitution, if passed, will result in changes to Article 7 of the Students’ Union Constitution which describes the roles of the Student’s Union Executive Committee.
Those changes are:
- The creation of a part-time Equality Ofﬁcer position on the Students’ Union Executive Committee
- The abolition of the following students’ union part-time ofﬁcer roles
- Mature Students Ofﬁcer
- SU Council Chairperson
- International Students Ofﬁcer
- Gender and LGBT+ Rights Ofﬁcer
- Disability Rights Ofﬁcer
- Ethnic Minorities Ofﬁcer
- The renaming of the Clubs’ Captain position to Clubs Officer
Where did this proposal come from?
The proposal is the product of a review and consultation process which began last semester. The process was discussed at Students’ Union Executive Committee meetings and SU Council meetings and was also widely featured on social media.
The consultation process informed the proposal which was circulated to members of SU Council in November and then formally proposed at an SU Council meeting later that month. SU Council voted in favour of the proposal being put to referendum, which will take place on Thursday 23rd January.
Why reduce the number of part-time officers?
In 2018 a number of new part-time officer roles were created to bring the total number of officers to nineteen. Over the past two years it has become clear that nineteen officers is unsustainable. It has been difficult to recruit candidates for all position and there have been an increased number of by-elections to fill uncontested positions, or vacant positions following resignations.
There are also logistical challenges to arranging Executive Committee meetings at times that suit all nineteen officers, which has led to meetings not taking place, or low attendance. This stunts the work of the Union and it is very unfair to the constituents of a particular role if an officer does not have the opportunity to attend executive committee meetings. It can be dysfunctional and unproductive and can lead to communication challenges when all officers don’t get to contribute to decisions.
What will happen to SU Council Chairperson?
The proposal seeks to abolish the SU Council Chairperson as a part-time officer, but there will still be an appointed SU Council Chairperson. Currently, the main role of the SU Council Chairperson is to chair SU Council meetings in an unbiased manner. The Executive Committee reports to SU Council, so there is potential for the independence of SU Council to be compromised.
This change will strengthen the voice of SU Council.
SU Council has the authority to create the role of an independent SU Council Chairperson, and appoint somebody to that role.
It is envisaged that the person appointed to that role will not be a member of the Executive Committee, or SU Council, but will have sufficient experience and knowledge of the Students’ Union. They could be a former Class Rep or former SU Council Chairperson. SU Council will be responsible for the appointment and it can create the role in a schedule of the constitution.
Will the Students’ Union still campaign on equality issues?
Yes! The student movement has a long and proud tradition in tackling equality issues and that will not change. The Union’s mission statement, “to promote, defend and vindicate the rights of the members at all levels of society” is based on the principle of equality and everything we do seeks to uphold mission.
If the referendum is passed, the part-time position of Equality Officer will be reinstated. The full-time Vice President Welfare and Equality Officer will continue to have equality as part of their brief to complement the work of the Equality Officer.
The combination of a full-time Vice President Welfare and Equality Officer and a part-time Equality Officer will ensure that all students are equally represented under the nine grounds of equality, not just some.
In addition, this referendum will have absolutely no effect on the excellent work being undertaken by societies like Impacte Soc and GigSoc who have been the most significant contributors to equality policy formation and equality campaigns in NUI Galway.
The abolition of some part-time officers is not trying to reduce the importance of some issues. The overall reduction in officer numbers will streamline the work of the Union and allow more issues to be discussed and addressed.
What’s happening to the Clubs Captain?
There is no change to the role of Clubs Captain. The proposal is to change the name to Clubs Officer to give the role full officer status and to convey the importance of the role. It is sometimes seen that the role of Clubs Captain is to report to the Executive Committee as a club captain, but the role is about representing clubs’ interests. The title change seeks to promote the gravity of the role.
Will this decision be final?
No. The beauty of the Students’ Union is that it is reactive and adaptive to its members needs. If a particular element is not efficiently delivering for the Union’s members, it can be changed by the members.
If you have any further questions about the referendum please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in getting more involved?
What Will You Do In 2020?
Learn Sign Language
Have the Best Summer Ever
Raise Money For Charity
Run For Election
Learn To Save Lives
NUI Galway Students’ Union Outraged by University Foundation’s Wasteful Spending
NUI Galway Students’ Union is outraged and condemns the University Foundation’s wasteful and frivolous spending which came to light following an investigation by the Charities Regulator. The Foundation Office is charged with raising money for the University from philanthropic sources and also from the Alumni Fund. Graduates are encouraged to make regular donations with the assurance that donations are used for scholarships and to enable students who are facing crisis or financial hardship to remain at University. The mission ‘to transform the lives of students and support research that enhances the lives of people across the globe’ has not been strictly adhered to. The revelations that huge sums including €30,000 on taxi trips, with the majority being return journeys from Galway to Dublin, €48,000 on business class flights, on average €385 a night in a mix of four and five star hotels, €61,000 on Galway races tickets and €10,000 on international Ireland rugby matches, has evoked feelings of anger and disgust.
Clare Austick, Students’ Union President said: “We expect better from an institution like NUI Galway that should be setting an example of good corporate governance and efficient management of resources. Instead, we see money that could have been used to support vulnerable students being spent on business class flights to five star hotels. This week students sitting exams have to pay for transport to off campus exam centres which should be provided by the university. For commuting students, and students not familiar with the city, this is an added source of stress, and they don’t have the luxury of personalised transport to ‘ensure they are not tired and can give their best’. The University needs to take action to reassure its many donors that their money is being used for the purposes it was donated. We are asking for a commitment from the university that this will not happen again by allowing a student representative to oversee the accounts of the board.”
Start planning your best summer ever!
The NUI Galway Working & Travelling Abroad Fair takes place 12pm-3pm Wednesday 29th of January 2020 in Áras na Mac Léinn.
Exhibitors include J1 Visa Companies, Travel Companies, Volunteering/Adventure Companies and Internship/Training Companies.
For more information contact email@example.com
NUI Galway does not endorse or affiliate with any external companies exhibiting at the fair.
The 2020 Clubs’ Ball will take place from 7pm on Tuesday 24th of March in The Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill.
Limited number of Early Bird Tickets on sale online now for just €32.50! Get yours now before the price goes up to €40
Red Carpet Entrance
3 Course Dinner
Day 2 entry to Electric
and lots more surprises to be announced!
*Over 18’s Event – ID will be required on the night*
Christmas Holiday Arrangements 2019
NUI Galway Christmas Holidays are from Sat 21st Dec 2019 to Sun 12th of Jan 2020 (inclusive)
Semester 2 Teaching starts on Mon 13th of Jan 2020. Academic Dates for the rest of 2019/20 are available HERE.
- The Students’ Union Office will close on Fri 20th of Dec and reopen at 10am Tues 7th Jan.
- The Students’ Union Engineering Desk will reopen at 11am on Mon 13th of Jan.
- The Students’ Union Cloakroom will close at 6pm on Fri 20th of Dec and reopen at 9am on Thurs 16th of Jan.
- Sult will close on Fri 20th Dec and will reopen on Mon 6th Jan.
- Smokey’s Café will close at 5pm on Fri 20th Jan and reopen Mon 6th Jan.
- The SU Shop will close at 5pm on Fri 20th Jan and reopen Mon 6th Jan.
- The Wall Café will close at 5pm on Thurs 19th Dec.
- The James Hardiman Library will be closed Sat 21st Dec to Weds 1st Jan inclusive.
- The Reading Room will be closed on Weds 25th and Thurs 26th of Dec.
- The Student Health Unit will close at 4.30pm on Fri 20th Dec and will reopen Weds 8th Jan.
- Sin Newspaper will be back with a new issue on Tues 16th of Jan.
- Flirt FM will close at 5pm Tues 17th Dec and will reopen Thurs 9th Jan.
- The Socs Box will close on Fri 20th Dec and reopen Mon 6th Jan.
- For details about Computer Suite Access over the holidays check HERE
Beannachtaí na Nollag agus Athbhliain faoi mhaise.
We hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
See you all in 2020!
Students’ Union Work Towards Sustainable Campus
NUI Galway Students’ Union this week distributed over 3,000 free Keep Cups to students as part of their Wind Down Week events. Each student receiving a Keep Cup signed a sustainability pledge showing their commitment to adopting more environmentally friendly lifestyle choices. Keep Cups are the world’s first barista standard reusable coffee cup.
For over 10 years the Students’ Union has been offering a discount of 10 cents on hot drinks in the SU outlets (Sult, Smokey’s Café, The Wall Café and the SU Shop) at NUIG where customers bring their own reusable mug. The free Keep Cup initiative aims to encourage even more students to get into the habit of saving money, and the environment, every day.
Clare Austick, Students’ Union President said: “One of the major concerns among our students is climate change. NUIG students have been very involved in our sustainability working group this year and were eager to sign the sustainability pledge. We received funding for the Keep Cups from the NUI Galway Student Projects Fund and are delighted with the positive response to them. They can already be seen in use across NUIG and this is a great step towards creating a more environmentally responsible campus.”
NUI Galway Students’ Union Wind Down Week / Seachtain Scíthe Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn
Relax, Unwind, De-Stress and Breathe
Faigh faoiseamh ón strus agus lig do scíth
Monday 2nd December / Dé Luain 2 Nollaig
- 8am-9am Free seated Yoga Meditation in The View. Get tickets here.
- 12.30pm-3pm Get your free SU Keep Cup + sign the Sustainability Pledge outside reading room/library
- 1pm-2pm Free seated Yoga Meditation in The View. Get tickets here.
- 6.30pm-8pm Stress Less Have More Success In Exams. Free talk in AM200 Fottrell Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building. Aidan O’Flynn, Sports Psychologist & Psychotherapist, will speak about coping with stress during exam time. Michael Day, Sports Nutritionist, will have tips on eating to perform during exams.
Tuesday 3rd December / Dé Máirt 3 Nollaig
- 8.15am-8.45am Free Mindfulness Practice in Clinical Science Institute Room 2012
- 9am-10am Free Yoga Class in The Space. Get tickets here.
- 12pm-2pm Snowflakes and Angels. Join the NUIG Knit & Crochet Group in The Space to learn to crochet/knit snowflake or angel ornaments. €5 donation to COPE Galway. Bring own yarn/hooks/needles if you have them! Includes free tea/coffee.
- 12pm-3pm Get your free SU Keep Cup + sign the Sustainability Pledge at the Engineering Building
- 1pm-2pm Learn how to Hula Hoop in the View. Free class get tickets here.
- 3pm-4.30pm Colouring! Take a break and drop in to the Art Room for some colouring in + sweets!
- 3.30pm Christmas Tree Lighting outside Áras na Mac Léinn with choir singing, hot beverages, pastries and festive cheer!
Wednesday 4th December / Dé Céadaoin 4 Nollaig
- 12pm-3pm Charity Cake Sale & Pet Farm at Áras na Mac Léinn
- 12pm-2pm Animal Ambassadors in Meeting Rooms 1&2 Áras na Mac Léinn. Meet their Soothing Snakes, Silly Spiders, Lovely Lizards, Mysterious Mantids and Super Snails!
- 1.15pm-1.35pm Free Mindfulness Practice in Seminar Room 5, 2nd Floor Áras Moyola
Thursday 5th December / Déardaoin 5 Nollaig
- 12pm-2pm Get your free SU Keep Cup + sign the Sustainability Pledge at Smokey’s.
- 3pm-4.30pm Colouring! Take a break and drop in to the Art Room and Hub Central for some colouring in + sweets!
More information from / Tuilleadh eolais ar fáil ó firstname.lastname@example.org
Students’ Union Welcomes University of Sanctuary Designation
NUI Galway Students’ Union has today welcomed the designation of NUI Galway as an official University of Sanctuary. The University of Sanctuary campaign is an initiative to make NUI Galway more inclusive to refugees, asylum seekers and members of the Irish Travelling Community. Scholarships have now been offered to members of these marginalized groups to attend the University.
The campaign began in 2016 and was student led from it’s inception. The Students’ Union has been involved in the process through running awareness campaigns and sitting on the steering committee. The designation will improve access, inclusion and visibility of students from ethnic minority communities at NUI Galway.
Clare Austick, Students’ Union President said: “We are so proud that NUI Galway is now an official University of Sanctuary. This campaign has been student led from the beginning and the Students’ Union has been proud to support it. It’s so important that the University is seen as a welcoming and accessible space for all our students from every background and circumstance.”
Pictured (left to right): Imelda Byrne, Joseph Nyirenda, Mayor Mike Cubbard, Aidan Harte, David Stanton (Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration), Suzanne McKane, Ciaràn Ó hÓgartaigh, Tiffy Allen, Anne Scott, Clare Austick
If there’s something you want to highlight, or if you want to ask about something, it’s simple! Just get in touch with the Students’ Union by using #TellTheSU
Maybe you want to get something off your chest or complain about something on campus. Is there something that you think needs to be sorted? Then #TellTheSU #InisDonChomhaltasé
You can find us on social media or fill in a comment card at our #TellTheSU Boxes around campus.
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