Instructions for this process
  • Below you will find the list and full text of all the motions proposed to Congress 2018.
  • Below that you will find the priority ballot form, which should be filled in by the President of your students’ union.  Only one form will be accepted per member organisation.
  • To use the form you should fill in all the requested details and click the box beside the name of up to 20 proposed motions you would like to prioritise for debate and renewal into the policy file for another three years.
  • Then click ‘register’ and the results will be sent to USI.  An email receipt will then issue to you.
  • All motions will be discussed.  This ballot simply selects the order in which they will be placed on the order paper in their sections.
  • Note that Steering Committee has not yet met to formally categorise the motions.  Wherever they are eventually categorised, they will be in the order prioritised.
  • All votes are equal.  If a motion gets more priority votes, it will go towards the top of the list.

 

Motions before Congress

Table of Contents

Academic Affairs and Quality Assurance

 

AAQA 1 : Integrated Pharmacy Masters Campaign

Proposed by University College Cork Students’ Union

Congress Notes:

A new integrated Pharmacy Masters’ degree has been introduced in Ireland, beginning with the Pharmacy class of 2020. As a result of the new masters, Pharmacy students are no longer authorised to receive payment for their mandatory placements in every phase of the degree. Additionally, they are no longer able to take an international placement, thus driving up the competitive nature of the placements in Ireland for many students. Fees have also increased substantially for the final year of the course to €7500; this fee increase places it in direct contrast with medicine students, who pay the same fee for all 5 years of their degree.

Congress Further Notes:

This issue affects all three schools of Pharmacy in Ireland, which includes students in University College Cork, the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, and Trinity College Dublin.

Congress Believes:

That all students should be paid a fair wage for the placement work they undertake as part of their degree courses, and that, following on from successful campaigns for nursing students in recent years, pharmacy students are entitled to the same right to payment, as they have been in the past.

Congress Therfore Mandates:

That USI campaign in favour of the restoration of paid placement for Pharmacy Students nationwide, and lobby relevant parties for the reduction of fees of the final year of Pharmacy Masters.

 

AAQA 2 :  Back to Education Allowance Strategy

Proposed by Galway – Mayo Institute of Technology Students’ Union

Congress:

Repeals 16 AAQA 1

Congress Adopts:

The proposed Amended Back to Education Allowance reform paper.

 

AAQA 3 : Placement and work based learning Strategy

Proposed by the Vice President for Campaigns

Congress notes

The significant number of students who complete placement or work-based learning elements in order to progress in their programme of study.

 

Congress further notes

The significant value that quality placement opportunities can have for students, but that they can also create pressure on students academically and personally.

Congress Adopts

The USI Placement and work based learning  Strategy

Congress Deletes:

13 AAQA 9​

 

 

AAQA 4 : Accreditation for Volunteering & Participation

Proposed by IT Tallaght Students’ Union.

Congress recognises:

The importance of student participation in extra-curricular activities such as clubs & societies, Students’ Unions, volunteering and civic engagement during their time in college, and the benefits that engaging in such activity brings about in terms of the overall personal development of the student.

Congress further recognises:

The continued promotion by Students’ Unions of students getting involved in these activities, and the associated advantages which can be conferred on students who have been active in these areas when seeking future employment.

Congress notes:

The development of modules and recognition within programmes which exist in some Higher Education Institutions to accredit students for their involvement and participation in these activities, in order to facilitate, recognise and encourage their non-academic as well as academic development whilst in college.

Congress therefore mandates:

The Vice President for Academic Affairs to work with the National forum for the enhancement of teaching and learning in higher education and other relevant statutory agencies to develop a national approach to accreditation to student volunteering and participation in other extra-curricular activity

Congress Repeals
Policy 13 AAQA 1

Congress adopts
The proposed revised policy

 

 

AAQA 5 : Turning STEM into STEAM

Proposed by LIT Students’ Union – Academic Affairs

 

Congress recognises:

Students and courses which fall under Art & Humanities in many cases are over looked due to a preference for STEM Courses by HEI’s and the Department of Education when funding and resources are distributed.

 

Congress further recognises:

Due to academic and institutional/department preferences towards STEM subjects and STEM research, courses, staff and students within Art & Humanities courses are at risk of course closure, job loss, lack of appropriate facilities and materials as well as a lack appropriate learning spaces which causes uncertainty and concern for thousands of students and professionals across the Island of Ireland. The preference of STEM subjects also sees students in creative courses being forced to pay out huge amounts of money for materials for project work even while still attending their college course.

Congress also recognises:

Employment opportunities in the future for Arts and Humanities are less threatened by technological advancements which has seen many jobs cuts due to people-power being replaced by machinery. Therefore employment opportunities for Arts and Humanities has more potential to be increased than many other fields.

Congress notes:

Where there is a possibility of improving employment opportunities for graduates USI should encourage and lobby for increased focus in relevant areas.

Congress also notes:

Closures of such courses in the areas of Art, Design, Art & Humanities would have a dramatically negative impact on culture, socio-economical circumstances for professionals and students as well as creativity in general.

Congress therefore mandates:

The VP for Academic Affairs and the President to ensure to include the above mentioned funding pressures in lobby efforts of the Department of Education in campaigns such as ‘Publicly Funded Education’ to give Art & Design as well as Arts & Humanities the same recognition as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and the same funding opportunities.

Congress further mandates:

The VP for Academic Affairs and the President to lobby the Department of Education to emphasise the importance of STEAM over STEM especially now in times of economic uncertainty and that research policy and funding should be addressed to place ART, DESIGN, ARTS & HUMANITIES at the centre of STEM.

 

AAQA 6: Creative Arts Student Network

Proposed by Institute of Art, Design and Technology Students’ Union

 

Congress notes:
Within USI MOs, there are many creative courses across the island of Ireland. Students within these courses struggle to network and communicate with one another at any level. Networking within the creative arts is essential for progression and identification of further development.

Congress further notes:

Graduates from Creative Arts courses tend to have less employment opportunities available in their field.  There is a lack of information directly available to creative arts students about specific financial supports available to them.

Congress recognises:

The need for support and promotion of such a network for creative arts students in all MOs.

Congress therefore mandates:
The VPs for Dublin Region, BMW Region, and Southern Region to work with relevant MOs to establish a Creative Arts Student Network to facilitate peer support and networking opportunities.

Congress further mandates:

The VPs for Dublin Region, BMW Region, and Southern Region to work on creating a list including a creative representatives from each relevant MO who will bring local creative issues to the national forefront.

 

AAQA 7 : Class representative best practice

Proposed by IT Carlow Students’ Union

Congress recognises:

Class representatives are the backbone of a Students’ Union in terms of providing a student voice on institutional activities.

Congress notes:

Class Representatives in some member organisations do not fully recognise the power they command.

Congress further notes:

The role of Class Representation, their elections and their implementation operates differently in each individual member organisation.

Congress mandates:

The VP Academic Affairs to coordinate a piece of research that establishes best practice across all third level HEIs in terms of electing, training and empowering Class Reps to perform their roles on a local level, bearing in mind the challenges posed by institution type and size.

Congress further mandates:

The VP AA and VP Campaign to develop a campaign, based on feedback from member organisations, to encourage students to run for class representative positions.

Congress therefore repeals 17AA6

 

AAQA 8 : USI Grant Reform Policy

Proposed by Vice President for the Southern Region

Congress Approves:

The adoption of the USI Grant Reform Policy.

 

AAQA 9 : Further Education and Training Strategy

Proposed by Union Development Working Group

Congress Adopts

The Further Education and Training Strategy.

 

AAQA 10 : Teaching Qualification for Lecturers

Proposed by Dublin Institute of Technology Students’ Union

Congress Notes:

That currently in DIT there is a policy that all lecturing staff must obtain a teaching qualification in the form of a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching through the Institute Learning, Teaching and Technology Centre within the first two years of appointment.

Congress Further Notes:

That it is a common concern raised among students that lectures neither have the required training or qualification to effectively teach a class.

Congress Believes:

That it is important that all lecturers are trained in how to conduct a class, correct assignments etc. effectively. This should be supported by the Institute in the form of training and continual support and guidance.

Congress Mandates:

The Vice President for Academic Affairs to work with the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning to implement a similar policy for all Institutes that would see all lecturers having to obtain or undergo a teaching qualification upon appointment.

 

AAQA 11 : Academic Supports for International Students

Proposed by the Vice President Equality and Citizenship

 

Congress notes

The increasing number of international students, from different countries, backgrounds and experiences, studying in Irish institutions.

Congress further notes

A lack of tailored support for international students, who face significant pressures of integration and often feel excluded in our institutions, including academic supports such as language and communication.

Congress recognises

The huge contribution our international students make to the social and academic life of our institutions, and the need to ensure their needs are catered for so that they can unlock their full potential.

Congress mandates

The Vice President Equality and Citizenship and the Vice President Academic Affairs to research and examine practices in institutions in academic support for international students.

Congress further mandates

The Vice President Equality and Citizenship and the Vice President Academic Affairs to lobby the Department for Education and Skills for international student access to tailored academic supports, including language support within the curriculum, without financial or other barriers.

AAQA 12 Anonymous Marking

 

Proposed by: Institute of Technology, Sligo Students’ Union

 

Congress notes

Anonymous marking is the correction of examinations by a lecturer without knowing the learners name first hand.

Congress further notes

Leaving Certificate students entering into third level education will have already had their leaving Certificate examinations corrected anonymously.

Congress Believes

Anonymous marking may reduce the perception of bias marking be it accidental or otherwise.

Congress Therefore Mandates

The Vice President for Academic Affairs to conduct research into anonymous marking and form USIs position on it, in order to assist MOs in lobbying for anonymous marking within their own HEI.

 

AAQA 13 : Postgraduate Students Strategy

Proposed by the Postgraduate Affairs Working Group

Congress adopts

The Postgraduate Students Strategy.

AAQA 14 : Mature Student Support

Proposed by IT Tallaght, Dublin Students’ Union

 

Congress Notes:

The work that USI does on behalf of mature students in the form of running an annual Mature Students Seminar. Most recently held in DIT Grangegorman in October 2017.

Congress Regrets:

That this is not sufficient in representing and supporting mature students in college as their needs are very different to the general student population.

Congress Further Regrets:

That Mature Student Ireland is not transparent and effective in their current representation and support of mature students in their respective Institutes.

Congress Mandates:

The Vice President for Academic Affairs to work with MOs to lobby their respective Institutes to provide support for mature students, especially for those who do not have a Mature Student Office.

Congress Further Mandates:

The Vice President for Academic Affairs to work with Mature Student Ireland to improve how they currently support mature students nationally.

 

AAQA 15: The Marketisation of Third-Level Education

Proposed by the Vice President Academic Affairs

 

Congress notes

 

Efforts by Governments and Higher Education Institutions, both in Ireland and internationally, to create a competitive environment in third-level education, especially in Higher Education.

 

Congress further notes

 

That this effort to marketise education damages the ethos of education as a social and public good.

 

Congress recognises

 

The USI’s efforts to campaign and lobby for publicly funded education and protect education as a public good.

 

Congress believes

 

That in Ireland the student movement is not proactively discussing or raising the dangers of marketisation and commodification of education, and must be better equipped to do so.

 

Congress mandates

 

The Vice President Academic Affairs to develop clear policy guidance on the negative consequences of marketisation both locally and nationally, and to work with the Vice President Campaigns to create toolkits for Member Organisations to recognise and campaign against marketisation in their institutions.

 

AAQA 16 : The Quality of Teaching in Irish Higher Education

Proposed by the Vice President Academic Affairs

 

Repeals 14 AAQA 10

 

Congress notes

 

The efforts of USI to support the work of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education to date, and the strong partnership that the two organisations have fostered with one another.

 

Congress further notes

 

USI’s involvement with significant work around teaching quality, including: the National Learning Impact Awards, especially the Teaching Heroes Awards; collaboration on the enhancement of assessment; developing the Student QA Reviewers Pool; and supporting the development of the National Student Training Programme.

 

Congress applauds

 

The significant work of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education to develop The National Professional Development Framework for All Staff Who Teach in Higher Education, based on the model of reflective practice.

 

Congress believes

 

That the National Professional Development Framework should be recognised by students as the national tool for improving and enhancing teaching quality and academic staff support.

 

Congress further believes

 

That the National Professional Development Framework requires cultural change within our institutions, and in order for it to be implemented effectively, it requires significant buy-in from across the sector, including senior managers, statutory agencies, institutional staff, and Students’ Unions.

 

Congress mandates

 

The Vice President Academic Affairs to work to support and lobby for the implementation and resourcing of the National Professional Development Framework.

AAQA 17 : European Education Area

Proposed by: Vice President Academic Affairs

 

Congress notes

 

The proposed European Education Area (EEA) and new “Sorbonne Process”.

 

Congress notes with concern

 

That this new EEA is being developed by the European Union, and may potentially create conflicts of interest with the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the further development of the Bologna Process, of which USI is highly supportive.

 

Congress believes

 

That judgement on the EEA should be reserved, but that without concrete proposals from the European Commission, the EEA my create a “two-tier Bologna”.

 

Congress further notes

 

The potential creation of a European Student Card.

 

Congress notes with concern

 

That this Student Card has not been clearly defined, and may represent a move to hold student data at a European level, without real consultation from students.

 

Congress mandates

 

The Vice President Academic Affairs to liaise with the European Students Union and continually update National Council on developments.

 

Congress further mandates

 

The Vice President Academic Affairs and Vice President Welfare to ensure the voice of USI members is heard through the pilot of the European Student Card being rolled out by the Confederation of Student Services in Ireland.

 

AAQA 18 : National Student Partnership Agreement

Proposed by: Academic Affairs Working Group

 

Repeals 17 AA5

 

Congress notes

 

Efforts to date to enhance student engagement in their education through the work of the National Student Engagement Programme, of which USI is a proactive partner.

 

Congress further notes

 

The increasing awareness of the concept of students as partners in their education, and developments both locally and nationally to embed the student voice in all aspects of our institutions.

 

Congress believes that

 

Developing ‘Student Partnership Agreements’ between Institutions and Students’ Unions is a positive and constructive avenue through which student participation, representation, and engagement can be fostered, while ensuring the ethos of Students’ Unions as autonomous decision-making organisations is protected.

 

Congress further believes that

 

There is significant appetite to take a national approach to student partnership.

 

Congress recognises

 

The commitment by the Minister for Higher Education to work with USI to develop a national approach to the student voice, both through a Framework on Supporting Students’ Union, and through the exploration of Student Charters and Partnership Agreements.

 

Congress mandates

 

The USI President and the USI Vice President Academic Affairs to work with the Department for Education and Skills, and all other relevant stakeholders, to lobby for and develop a National Student Partnership Agreement.

 

Congress further mandates

 

That any development of a National Student Partnership Agreement should proactively engage students from across the USI membership at every stage.

 

AAQA 19: Class Rep Recognition

Proposed by Academic Affairs Working Group

Congress believes

 

Class Representatives form the backbone of SU and institutional activities in terms of providing a representative student voice within an institution.

 

Congress notes

The role of class representatives is increasingly being recognised by the HEA and QQI, through national initiatives such as the National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP).

 

Congress further notes

Class Representatives involvement is crucial to the success of such programmes and this involvement needs to be commended and recognised.

 

Congress recognises

Student time is becoming increasingly scarce due to the nature of semesterisation, and that therefore it is not always possible for them to fully and actively engage with programmes such as the NStEP, and the other functions associated with the role of a class representative.

 

Congress therefore mandates

The USI VP Academic Affairs to work with the HEA and QQI to look into the feasibility of rolling out formal recognition in the form of accreditation for the position of class representative, similarly to how standard modules are accredited. This accreditation would not replace credits required to complete the learning outcomes but would however add on the the students’ degree as additional credits.

 

 

 

 

Union Organisation

 

UO 1 : Location of National Council

Proposed by Galway – Mayo Institute of Technology Students’ Union

Congress believes:

That all MOs should have an equal chance of hosting meetings of National Council

Congress therefore mandates:

The President to ensure that the location of National Council, should cycle between regions, ensuring that a full cycle of the four regions must be concluded before an MO from a previous host region may reapply. A lottery system should be used if more than 1 MO from a region is interested in hosting.

Congress therefore deletes:

15 UO21 National Council Decentralisation

 

UO 2 : Constitutional Development Support for MOs

Proposed by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union

Congress notes:

That all Member Organisations are governed by their constitutions.

Congress Recognises:

Constitutional drafting and reform is a specialist undertaking, which requires significant time and expertise.

Congress notes with Concern:

The lack of national infrastructure available to MOs considering Constitutional Reform.

Congress therefore mandates:

The President to investigate the feasibility of developing a national infrastructure for Constitutional Reform for Member Organisations.

 

UO 3 : Union development intern

Proposed by the Vice President for Campaigns

Congress notes

As per the union development strategy, it is the duty of USI to take lead on improving development of the local member organisations and the union as a whole.

Congress further notes

The union development strategy further outlines 3 phases over three years of work in this area. Currently this work is undertaken by the VP for Campaigns.

Congress recognises

The amount of work within union development in USI is not feasible to be looked into fully by one officer on their own.

 

Congress therefore mandates

The President to explore the possibility of hiring a union development intern to assist the VP for campaigns in implementing this strategy and to further develop the work in union development brief.

 

UO 4 : Sub-committees of National Council

Proposed by IT Carlow Students’ Union

Congress recognises

The importance of having members of National Council elected to sub-committees with specific purposes.

Congress notes

That these members are elected as representatives from each region to perform tasks such as but not limited to planning and evaluation. The members of National Council that are elected to sub-committees are accountable to National Council.

Congress further notes

That USI runs many events to improve participation from underrepresented groups at events, in elections and other initiatives.

Congress mandates

For minutes of sub-committees of National Council meetings, including attendance registers are available to National Council.

Congress further mandates

USI to promote gender balance on sub-committees of National Council.

UO 5 : USI Commercial Strategy

Proposed by Vice President for the Southern Region

Congress believes

That USI should create a Commercial Strategy for the organisation.

Congress also believes

The implementation of this strategy is fundamentally important to the future development of USI, in terms of meeting strategic financial targets and adding value to USI membership.

Congress Mandates

The President of USI to oversee the creation and implementation of a USI Commercial Strategy.

Congress repeals

14 AF 2, 14 AF 3

 

UO 6 : Access breaks at Congress

Proposed by Dublin Institute of Technology Students’ Union

Congress notes:

Long hours without breaks decreases attention span and productivity on Congress floor.

Congress further notes

That the increase in productivity from short breaks improves delegate performance and engagement.

Congress therefore mandates:

That there must be a break each day during USI Congress between lunch and dinners. These breaks must not exceed 15 minutes.

Congress acknowledges:

That according to the constitution, “no formal business shall be conducted after 10:30pm”.

 

UO 7 : Access breaks at Congress

Proposed by Dublin Institute of Technology Students’ Union

Congress notes:

Long hours without breaks decreases attention span and productivity on Congress floor.

 

Congress further notes

That the increase in productivity from short breaks improves delegate performance and engagement.

Congress therefore mandates:

That there must be a break each day during USI Congress between lunch and dinners. These breaks must not exceed 15 minutes.

Congress acknowledges:

That according to the constitution, “no formal business shall be conducted after 10:30pm”.

UO 8 : USI Rep/Ambassador

Proposed by Institute of Technology Tralee Students’ Union

 

Congress Notes

The importance of student input from a grassroots level within USI.

 

Congress Also Notes

That students are often unaware of the work being undertaken on their behalf on a national level.

 

Congress Mandates

The relevant regional officers to work with MO’s to recruit a USI rep/ambassador to liaise with USI to disseminate the work being done by USI on a national level to their student body.

 

UO 9 : General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Proposed by Maynooth University Students’ Union

Congress Notes

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on the 25th May 2018, replacing the existing data protection framework under the EU Data Protection Directive.

Congress Notes with Concern

The lack of visible work being done by USI Officerboard on preparing MOs for the introduction of GDPR.

Congress Notes with Alarm

That the introduction of GDPR will hugely impact the running of autonomous MOs in the absence of GDPR data sharing agreements.

Congress Believes

That as the National Union, USI has a role to play in assisting MOs to be GDPR compliant.

Congress Therefore Mandates

The President of USI, or a nominee of the President of USI, to work with MO’s in drafting a framework to identify the key pieces of information, gathered by HEI’s, that are needed to be shared with MOs for the legitimate running and operations of MOs.

 

UO 10 : Student Levies

Proposed by Maynooth University Students’ Union

Congress Notes

That many MOs assist in the delivery of student levies for the HEIs.

Congress Notes with Concern

That sometimes promises or commitments made by HEIs in the lead up to student levy referendums are not always honoured or acted upon after the passing of referendums.

Congress Therefore Mandates

The President of USI, or a nominee of the President of USI, to draft a set of guidelines highlighting an indicative list of guarantees or assurances MO’s should seek and obtain from HEIs before deciding to engage in the implementation of a student levy for the HEI.

Congress Further Mandates

The President of USI, or a nominee of the President of USI, to collate and maintain an annual dossier of details on the current and any known proposed levy models, including but not limited too levy rate, levy lifetime, percentage contribution of levy funds to projects etc, within MOs as to keep a record of developments and changes as they occur.

Congress Further Mandates

Following on from the framework, the President of USI, or a nominee of the President of USI, to draft a sample data sharing agreement, relating to these issues, to be made available to MOs for their use.

 

UO 11 : Supporting strikes that do not affect Students negatively

Proposed by Maynooth University Students’ Union

Congress notes

The impact that industrial action in the public transport sector has on third level students’ welfare and ability to exercise their human right to education.

Congress further notes

The recent no fares strike on the bus network in Brisbane, Australia. A no fares strike is when public transport is still being operated by striking workers but users are not asked to purchase tickets or otherwise provide monetary payment for using the service. This form of strike is equally impacting on employers as an old-fashioned strike while having no negative impact on those using the service.

Congress believes

That this form of striking is best practice for industrial action as it is most student friendly.

Congress further believes

That trade unions in Ireland should embrace this form of striking as to minimise the negative impact their actions have on students. While Congress fully recognises the workers’ right to strike, any support to striking workers must be proportionate with USIs’ duty to advocate for its members.

Congress mandates

USI to only support no fares strikes and other similar student friendly strikes in public transport in the future

 

UO 12 Clean up of Policy Book

Proposed by the President of USI

Congress Recognises:

That the current USI Policy Book of 444 policies, contains many policies that are vague, duplicated and outdated.

Congress Believes:

For efficient day to day running of the organisation, mandates and policies need to be clear, relevant and achievable.

Congress also believes:

That long term goals of USI should have their own specific policies that can be amended Congress in the Future.

Congress Notes:

That organising hustings and Q&A forums with TDs has been successful as part of overall campaigns in advance of General Elections, as covered under 15 CZN 3.

Congress further notes:

That this has not been viable outside of elections years, but political engagement has been successful through Lobbying days

Congress therefore deletes:

17 UO8 Student Engagement with TDs

Congress Notes:

The constitution defines regional working groups as forums to inform and advise relevant members of the Officerboard, to formulate, review and implement policy and to share expertise and experience. Planning can be implemented in these committees

Congress therefore deletes:

17 UO21           Regional planning days

Congress Notes:

That this is currently the only committee mandated to take place at a meeting of National Council, although the majority of Entertainment Officers around the country are part-time and do not attend National Council.

Congress therefore deletes:

17 UO26           Entertainment  Committees at National Council

Congress Notes:

The training strategy adopted at Congress 2016 ensures that training organised is relevant, flexible and is based on feedback after training and from outgoing officers. It also ensures that there is not large number of mandates for training that cannot fit into a short space of time and result in poor attendance and engagement.

Congress therefore deletes:

11 UO 1 MONEY MANAGEMENT TRAINING

16 UO 16           Casework Training at SUT

17 UO9             Marketing Skills Training

17 UO17           Comms specific training

17 UO22           Trans* Training for Officers

Congress Notes:

Congress therefore deletes:

11 UO 5 MEMBERSHIP WORKING GROUP

Congress Notes:

This was investigated, another motion was passed and packs were provided for a number of year. This was not financially sustainable and the motion fell last year. This should no longer be active mandated.

Congress therefore deletes:

11 UO 8 FRESHERS’ PACKS

Congress Notes:

This is a role for the President, Finance Committee and is currently in the Constitution. This does not need to have a seperate mandate.

Congress therefore deletes:

11 UO 9 PAYMENT OF AFFILIATION FEES

Congress Notes:

This mandates USI to work on ensuring corporations pay close to, rather than the actual rate of corporation tax

Congress therefore deletes:

14 NA 3            CORPORATION TAX IN IRELAND

Congress Notes:

This mandate is vague with no specific actions

Congress therefore deletes:

13 NA 6            RESEARCH INTO THE CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS OF THE CURRENT CRISIS

 

Congress Notes:

This mandate is outdated

Congress therefore deletes:

13 NA 5             CROKE PARK AGREEMENT

Congress Notes:

The minimum wage is not higher that pre 2010 levels, we also have a policy on the introduction of a living wage

Congress therefore deletes:

11NA 6             MINIMUM WAGE

Congress Notes: The cost of congress is investigated each year by the Finance Committee with 4 elected members of National Council

Congress therefore deletes:

13 AF 3

Congress Notes: This has been included in the health promotion strategy

Congress therefore deletes:

14 wel 1            Update alcohol policy

Congress Notes:  The inclusion of Smoking Cessation within the Health Promotion Strategy, and a new one submitted by an MO for Congress 2018.

Congress therefore deletes:

14 wel 2            Smoking Cessation

Congress Notes: The passing of an updated version was passed at Congress 2017.

Congress therefore deletes:

16 wel 14          Bereavement

Congress Notes: Overlaps with 17 AA 4 and 17 AA 5

Congress therefore deletes:

13 AAQA 8           STUDENTS RIGHTS AND ENTITLEMENTS

Congress therefore deletes:

13 AAQA 9​

 

 

UO 13 : Review of committee meeting preceding National Council

Proposed by the Presidents’ Working Group

Congress Notes:

That there are currently 10 constitution committees that usually take place the day of, or before a meeting of National Council.

 

Congress Recognises:

The difficulty in holding each of these committee meetings in a short space without a significant number clashing.

 

Congress notes with concern:

That part-time officers, who do not attend National Council are unable to engage with these committees.

 

Congress therefore mandates:

The President to review the current structure of committees preceding National Council meetings.

 

Congress Further Mandates:

The President to investigate the possibility of some of these committee meetings taking place seperate to National Council with the option of Video Conferencing.

 

UO 14 : Historical Record of the Mandate Manual and Policies

Proposed by the Presidents’ Working Group

Congress notes:

That currently, the USI Mandate Manual is a live document that is constantly changing.

Congress Recognises:

The importance of organisational memory in USI

Congress Mandates:

The President to ensure that a historical record of the Mandate manual for each year is recorded and made available online.

Congress Further Mandates:

That historical records of all policies and strategies are recorded and made available online after Congress each year.

 

UO 15: Pre Budget Submission

Proposed by the Presidents’ Working Group

Congress notes:

That the Government accept submission on budget proposals each year.

Congress mandates:

The President to ensure that USI submit a pre-budget submission, based on mandates from congress, and that a Lobbying day is organised to discuss this submission with members of the Oireachtas. This is to take place before the Dáil’s Summer recess each year.

Congress therefore deletes:

11 UO 3

 

UO 16 : Gender Equality on Finance Committee

Proposed by the Vice President for Equality & Citizenship

Congress notes

That gender balance at USI finance committee is an ongoing issue.

Congress believes

That USI should be a positive force for promoting the participation of our self-identifying female members at all levels.

Congress notes

The president nominates 4 people to finance committee; three qualified people from outside the Union, who are not members of the Union but may be serving Trustees, who can contribute by virtue of their experience, and one former President of the Union.

Congress mandates

The President insofar as practicable, to ensure their nominees are gender balanced.

 

UO 17 : Officer Report Transparency

Proposed by IT Tallaght, Dublin Students’ Union

Congress notes:

That Officer report transparency is important when it comes to trusting the good work done by the Officerboard.

Congress therefore mandates:

Officerboard to provide their expenses claimed and annual leave taken on their officer report at each National Council.

 

 

Welfare

WEL 1 : Counselling and Mental Health Support for Students’ Union Officers.

Proposed by LIT Students’ Union – Welfare

 

Congress recognizes:

The toll a year in Students’ Union can take on the mental health of a sabbatical officer and the negative impact this can have on their working ability and their personal lives.

 

Congress also recognizes:

Sabbatical Officers quite likely experience Vicarious Trauma, due to the nature of their work.

 

Congress notes:

Currently if a sabbatical officer wants to seek counselling, this service can only be availed through on campus services or seeking it externally. This can prove to be costly when it is externally sourced and in many cases it is not appropriate for an SU Officer to avail of services internally as it may negatively impact on working relations within Institutes and Universities.

 

Congress also notes:

Most Aid organisation/NGOs/ support organisations have a form of Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or Supervision in place; which exists to alleviate Vicarious Trauma or any personal difficulties faced due to the nature of the work, and that officers could greatly benefit from a similar set up.

 

Congress further notes:

The success of video doc and that a similar service could work for counselling. The possibility of counselling being offered online would also help to facilitate officers who are seeking support but may struggle in terms of finding time to attend sessions.

 

Congress therefore mandates:

The Vice President for Welfare to explore the possibility of providing free counselling services and mental health support to all USI and SU sabbatical officers throughout their term with an additional number of de-brief sessions to follow on from the end of an officer’s term.

 

WEL 2 : Online Student Assistance Fund

Proposed by Institute of Art, Design and Technology Students’ Union

Congress notes:

The Student Assistance Fund is distributed through different application processes across HEIs.

While some have the resources to accept applications online, many do not. This can cause a drain on resources dealing with applications for both institute staff and SU officers, and ultimately prolongs the amount of time it takes to provide students in financial need with support.

Congress recognises:

An offline application process can exclude some access students and students studying abroad from accessing the SAF.

Congress further notes:

SUSI’s upcoming move to an online application process in the interest of a more accessible system for students.

Congress therefore mandates:

The Vice-President for Welfare to lobby the HEA to move towards providing an online system for SAF applications to institutions should they wish to adopt it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEL 3 : Cap on Student Accommodation Prices on USI platforms

Proposed by Institute of Art, Design and Technology Students’ Union

Congress notes:

That there is a national housing crisis and student accommodation shortage.

Congress applauds:

That USI have launched homes.usi.ie and are a part of the national Housing Coalition.

Congress proposes:

Alongside the excellent work that USI does at the moment regarding accommodation, they need to also set a precedent for the housing and economic conditions that they envision.

Congress therefore mandates:

USI impose a cap on the price of the accommodation that they will platform.

Congress further notes:

That the price of accommodation fluctuates depending on the economy, and so this proposed cap will also fluctuate.
The amount can be amended accordingly by the VP Welfare each year in accordance to national rental prices.

WEL 4 : Drug awareness and harm reduction campaign

Proposed by IT Carlow Students’ Union

Congress recognises

The importance of running an engaging national campaign on drugs awareness and harm reduction.

Congress notes

Some of the material used to bring awareness to this topic is not very engaging for students in third level education.

Congress mandates

The VP Welfare to work with Sesh Safety, The Loop and other relevant organisations to develop and run a drugs awareness and harm reduction national campaign by the end of the first semester.

Congress further mandates

The VP Welfare to provide training and guidance for member organisations on how to develop suitable policies within their Higher Education Institution on drug awareness and harm reduction models.

Congress therefore repeals 16wel12

 

WEL 5 : Crisis Counselling Access

Proposed by Dublin Institute of Technology Students’ Union

 

Congress notes:

The importance of young people to seek help from mental health services, despite the difficulty in accessing them due to unacceptable wait times.

Congress further notes:

Short term free public crisis counselling services are inaccessible to those who are currently in the care of the HSE and awaiting appointments that are potentially months away.

Congress Mandates:

The Vice President for Welfare to lobby the HSE to provide a list of mental health organisations that mental health professionals and case workers can refer people to when wait times are too long.

Congress Further Mandates:

The Vice President for Welfare to lobby the HSE to negotiate with short term counselling services to accept patients currently under the care of the HSE for counselling.

 

WEL 6 : Timetabled Wellness Hours

 

Proposed by Waterford Institute of Technology Students’ Union

 

Congress notes:

The success of wellness hours in certain MO’s of USI in educating students in regards to a holistic lifestyle and also giving space and potential for personal development whilst in an extremely academic driven Institution.

 

Congress further notes:

The USI Mental Health Survey will give a rounded view of what ways students are struggling in regards to their mental health and thus this information could be used to see in what regard Wellness Hours could be targeted to address these issues.

 

Congress mandates:

The USI Welfare Officer to develop a proposal document based on the USI Mental Health survey outlining the benefits of timetabled Wellness Hours on students from a holistic lifestyle approach with a focus on student retention, mental health and wellbeing. This document would be intended to be used by MO’s in a hope to establish scheduled wellness hours in their Institute.

 

Congress further mandates:

The USI Welfare Officer to lobby the relevant educational bodies to incorporate scheduled wellness hours as a national objective for Third Level Institutions.

WEL 7 : National Niteline Service

 

Proposed by Waterford Institute of Technology Students’ Union

 

Congress notes:

Niteline is a confidential listening and information service. The key principles of Niteline are to provide a service that is confidential, anonymous, non-judgemental and non-directive. Niteline is usually run by trained students for students who need someone to talk to and there are successful examples of this in MO’s of USI.

 

Congress further notes:

A National Niteline where any student from any college could avail of this service would be extremely beneficial to students as this service would have the potential to reach out to a wider student base. A service like this would help students whom have a difficult circumstance that they are trying to deal with and may be the first point of contact for many of them.

 

Congress mandates:

The USI VP for Welfare to investigate and develop a best practise model for running a Niteline service.

 

Congress further mandates:

The USI VP for Welfare to develop a USI National Niteline Service ran by students for students in order to be able to offer every student this confidential listening and information service.

 

WEL 8 : Regional Food Banks

 

Proposed by Waterford Institute of Technology Students’ Union

 

Congress notes

Food banks acquire donations of edible but unmarketable food from the food industry. Food can be donated due to a wide variety of reasons; they may be mislabelled, overproduced, test -market items and products with short code dates or even sometimes at the end of the day canteens in colleges throw away food that is perfect for consumption.

 

Congress further notes

Students who are struggling financially could be able to get some food from a food bank at the end of the day.

 

Congress mandates

Regional Officers to assist local MO’s in setting up food banks for students in financial hardship, with their college canteens or other external sources.

WEL 9 : Student Assistance Fund Access

Proposed by Institute of Technology Tralee Students’ Union

 

Congress notes

The essential assistance the SAF (Student Assistance Fund) provides to students.

 

Congress further notes

According to the SAF Guidelines “students participating on a second qualification at the same or a lower level are not eligible for funding.”

 

Congress notes with concern

The barriers to accessing the SAF for these students could be detrimental to continuing their studies.

 

Congress therefore mandates

The VP Welfare to work with the HEA to seek inclusion for these students so they may be eligible to apply for the SAF

 

WEL 10 : Engagement with Irish Student Health Association (ISHA) members

Proposed by: Institute of Technology, Sligo Students’ Union

 

Congress notes

That the health and wellbeing of the members of each MO is of great importance to USI.

 

Congress further notes

Student health services are very important part of HEI’s throughout country by caring for and engage with many students on a daily basis.

 

Congress Believes

That engaging with member organisations of the Irish Student Health Association is very beneficial to ensure that health and wellbeing campaigns run by USI are fully exposed to students and one clear consistent message is communicated throughout the country.

 

Congress Therefore Mandates

The Vice President for Welfare to communicate all relevant health & wellbeing campaigns in advance with ISHA and member organisations of ISHA

 

WEL 11 : Smoking Cessation Campaign

Proposed by: Institute of Technology, Sligo Students’ Union

Congress notes

USI,HSE & DRUGS.IE have run campaigns on the dangers of drug use, but have neglected to highlight the dangers of smoking regular tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes and how addictive they are.

Congress Believes

That educating students about the dangers of smoking regular tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes may lead to a decrease in use.

Congress Therefore Mandates

The Vice President for Welfare to carry out comprehensive national campaigns on smoking cessation and the dangers of smoking.

 

WEL 12 : International Student Visa

Proposed by IT Tallaght, Dublin Students’ Union

Congress Notes:

That international students have to get a visa every year regardless of the length of their academic tenure.

Congress Further Notes:

That international students studying in other countries such as the United Kingdom are given student visas for the full term of their academic tenure as opposed to an annual renewed visa.

Congress Mandates:

The Vice President for Equality and Citizenship and Vice President for Academic Affairs lobby the Department of Justice and Equality and the Garda National Immigration Bureau to provide international students in Ireland with visas that last the duration of their period of study under the course they applied to.

 

WEL 13 : Abusive Relationships, Sexual Violence & Harassment

Proposed by the Vice President for Welfare

 

Congress Notes

The suffering that is caused by the many levels of abusive relationships, sexual violence and harassment.

 

Congress Recognises

That several national organisations are doing work in the area of domestic violence, sexual harassment, violence, and emotional abuse, and the USI should build partnerships with them in order to ensure students are part of their target audiences moving forward.

 

Congress Mandates

The VP Welfare to roll out a national information campaign that is inclusive of all genders and none around abusive relationships, dating abuse, sexual violence and harassment in a similar fashion to the the “Too into You” campaign.

 

Congress Also Mandates

The VP Welfare & VP Campaigns to create a toolkit for MO’s on sexual harassment to be disseminated alongside an awareness campaign.

 

Congress Further Mandates

The VP Welfare and VP Equality & Citizenship to develop a partnership with the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) in their project work nationally to end sexual violence and harassment at third level.

 

Congress therefore deletes

17 EQ 4 – Expansion of “2in2u” Campaign.

 

WEL 14: Health Promotion Strategy

Proposed by the Vice President for Welfare

 

Congress Notes

The Health Promotion Strategy that was adopted by USI Congress 2016.

 

Congress Commends

 

The work undertaken by Officerboard at that time in relation to this strategy.

 

Congress Mandates

The adoption and implementation of the updated Health Promotion Strategy 2018-2021.

 

WEL 15: Cura Disassociation

Proposed by the Vice President for Welfare

 

Congress Notes

The support that pregnant people may need during a crisis pregnancy is non-judgemental, unbiased and factual.

 

Congress Notes

Cura does not provide contact details for abortion clinics, or information on abortion services.

 

Congress Notes with Concern

That Cura only provides two options during pregnancy counselling which can cause unnecessary pressure and lack of knowledge to make an informed choice.

 

Congress Mandates

The Vice President for Welfare to ensure that all information disseminated from USI is from organisations that provide all options to those seeking counsel on information relating to pregnancy.

 

Congress also Mandates

USI and the Vice President for Welfare to officially dissociate from Cura by ensuring information from them is not disseminated in any USI materials or campaigns relating to Cura.

 

WEL 16 : Cyberbullying Policy

Proposed by Welfare Working Group

 

Congress Notes

The adoption of the USI Cyberbullying Policy which was adopted at congress 2017.

 

Congress also Notes

How quickly issues change in the cyber community and how USI policy must be kept up to date to reflect that.

 

Congress Mandates

For the adoption of a new updated Cyber Bullying policy which will be reviewed every 12 months.

 

Congress also mandates

The deletion of the older version of the cyberbullying policy.

 

WEL 17: Expert Consent Advisory Group

Proposed by Welfare Working Group

 

Congress Notes

Existing USI policy on Train the Trainer consent workshops to be rolled out by USI.

 

Congress Notes with concern

The severity of issues surrounding consent that students across the island of Ireland face on a daily basis.

 

Congress also Notes

The work undertaken by other organisations on consent and the level of expertise and experience they hold in this area.

 

Congress Mandates

The VP Welfare to organise an expert advisory group to advise on the roll out of Train the Trainer consent classes.

 

WEL 18: Financial Supports for FE Students

Proposed by Welfare Working Group

 

Congress Notes

That many students in Further Education suffer financial worries

 

Congress also Notes

The lack of supports available to students in FE institutions which can cause a lot of extra pressures.

 

Congress notes with concern

Students in FE institutions may be disadvantaged because of lack of financial supports such as ESF and the disability fund.

 

Students also Notes with concern

That it can create a barrier to students you may want to progress to Higher Education, further studies or training.

 

Congress Therefore Mandates

The VP Welfare to lobby the Department of Education and  to extend financial supports to FE Students.

 

 

National Affairs

NA 1 : Coalition for Homelessness and housing policies

Proposed by the Vice President for Campaigns

Congress notes

The coalition for homelessness and housing formed in 2016 with USI becoming members in 2017.

 

Congress recognises the coalition policies are:

  1. The housing and homelessness situation should be declared an
  2. An end to economic evictions: No loss of principal residency due to economic
  3. Regulation of the private rented sector. Security of tenure and rent certainty.
    Greater enforcement and inspection. Limit rent rises to a link such as the consumer price index. Public led provision of student accommodation. A charter of housing rights for all renters in the private sector (including students).
  4. A local authority led emergency response to the housing crisis addressing the issue of vacant units, including the use of compulsory purchase orders and the refurbishment of existing units to meet public housing targets.
  5. Public policy should aim to increase the output of public housing to an annual rate of 10,000 units per year by late 2018/early 2019 at an estimated cost of €1.8 billion per annum. At least three quarters of these must be provided by local authorities.
  6. Additional capital expenditure of €1,150 million in 2018 on top of 2017’s planned €655 million provided from the fiscal space available for 2018 and additional tax measures such as the fast-tracking of the vacant site levy and by borrowing. Greater flexibility as regards the application of EU fiscal rules for investment in public housing.
  7. An integrated strategy of well-planned mixed income housing provided by the local authorities on publicly owned land.
  8. Redirect the billions spent on subsidising private landlords to the provision of
    public housing while continuing and improving necessary rent assistance.
  9. The development of a cost rental model as a matter of urgency. Adoption and
    adaption of NERI’s March 2017 proposals for a European cost rental model.
  10. Land zoned for housing that is owned by local authorities should be used
    primarily to provide public housing by local authorities, instead of being made
    available to private developers.
  11. Decent pay and working conditions in the construction sector aiming for the use of unionised and direct labour.
  12. Full expenditure of improved funding for Traveller accommodation.
  13. Socially inclusive and energy efficient standards for public housing
  14. Steps taken to inscribe the Right to Housing in the constitution.
  15. An end now to emergency provision for families in bed and breakfast
    accommodation and the provision for them of suitable public housing. Improved and expanded hostel accommodation for homeless people on the street.

 

Congress therefore adopts

The current policies (as of 23 February 2018) of the coalition, which is inclusive of student specific housing issues.

 

NA 2 : Sustainability Targets and Carbon Tax

Proposed by the Vice President for the Border, Midlands and Western Region

Congress notes:

The United Nations states that climate change is one of the major challenges of our time and adds considerable stress to our societies and to the environment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

Congress further notes:

Since 1991, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has published an average of one such study a year regarding Carbon taxes. All have delivered the same message: raising the tax on carbon is a crucial policy instrument to tackle climate change. In 2010 a carbon tax was introduced in Ireland. The carbon tax applies to kerosene, marked gas oil, liquid petroleum gas, fuel oil, natural gas and solid fuels.

Congress notes with concern:

Ireland is expected to fail to meet their targets, made in agreement with the European Union, and despite both the ESRI evidence and the lack of progress towards achieving these targets, Ireland failed to increase the carbon tax in budget 2018.

Congress also notes with concern:

The decision not to raise carbon tax and diesel tax substantially in recent budgets, causes great concern to where Climate Change falls as a national priority.

Congress believes:

With public pressure, significant progress can be made regarding achieving these national targets.

Congress mandates:

USI to work in partnership with appropriate campaign groups to actively lobbying government on meeting sustainability targets.

Congress further mandates:

The USI President to directly lobby government to increase the carbon tax in Ireland.

NA 3 : 24/7 Cardiac Care for the South East

 

Proposed by Waterford Institute of Technology Students’ Union

 

Congress notes:

Waterford and the extended South East including the student population of the regionally have Cardiac Cover in University Hospital Waterford Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

 

Congress further notes:

The People of the South East are at a serious risk as are students with the lack of this essential facility which is currently being provided in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway as a 24/7 365 days a year service.

 

Congress Mandates:

The USI President and Welfare Officer to lobby the Minister for Health and any other relevant decision makers in the Government stating the absolute need for 24/7 365 Cardiac Care for the South East in UHW with the aim of this service being provided as soon as possible.

NA 4 : Seanad Reform

Proposed by the President of USI

Congress notes:

Prior to the 7th amendment, it was a constitutional requirement that three members of Seanad Éireann, be elected by the graduates of the National University of Ireland and three by the graduates of the University of Dublin (Trinity College).

Congress further notes:

The 7th amendment to Bunreacht na hÉireann passed by referendum on the 5th of July 1979 with a majority of 92.4%. This amendment allowed for six senators to be elected by the graduates of any institutions of higher education in any manner that might be determined by law by the Oireachtas (parliament).

Congress notes with concern:

That there has been no legislative change in reforming the University Constituencies since the passing of the referendum almost 40 years ago.

Congress believes:

That the current electoral system is elitist and is disengaged from the majority of citizens

Congress applauds:

The Manning report that was launched in 2015, recommending reforms to the Elections, powers and reforms of the Seanad.

Congress mandates:

The President to lobby the government to implement the recommendations from the Manning Report.

Congress further mandates:

The President to lobby for a proposed amendment to the constitution to reform the Seanad including, but not limited to, the removal of 11 seats being nominated by the Taoiseach and the stipulation that all voting be by secret postal ballot.

 

International Affairs

IA 1 : Graduate USA Visa

Proposed by the Vice President for the Border, Midlands and Western Region

 

Congress notes:

The popularity of the 1 Year USA Graduate Programme among Irish Graduates, which gives an opportunity to intern in the USA for 1 year without having any pre-arranged internship before travelling.

Congress believes:

The 1 Year USA Graduate Programme provides an excellent opportunity for Irish Graduates to gain invaluable experience in launching their careers.

Congress further notes:

The short timeframe graduates have to demonstrate their worth to employers, from beginning employment to requesting that employers being the sponsorship process.

Congress also believes:

Many participants of the programme are denied sponsorship by employers due to an insufficient amount of time to demonstrate their skills and worth.

Congress mandates:

The USI President to lobby the relevant Irish and US Departments (i.e. the US State Department, Department of Labour and Department of Homeland Security), to extend the one year limit to two years, if requested by a participant of the programme who is currently in employment.

 

IA 2: Justice and human rights for Palestine

Proposed by Queen’s University, Belfast Students’ Union

 

Congress notes:

 

That the state of Israel is involved in a brutal military occupation of the Palestinian territories

The occupation is responsible for systematic, widespread and ongoing human rights abuses against the local Palestinian population, including destruction of homes, theft of land and water resources, imprisonment without trial, torture of prisoners, and construction of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

That the State of Israel is in violation of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of the United Nations. The settlements have also been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice and the UK government with Amnesty International stating that “Israel’s settlement policy is inherently discriminatory and has resulted in grave human rights violations including destruction of homes, forced evictions, unlawful killings, arbitrary detentions and collective punishment”.

 

Congress believes:

 

That Israel should end its occupation of the Palestinian territories and allow the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with international law.

That the Palestinian people are entitled to the same human rights, dignity of person, self-determination, security and parity of esteem as all other peoples in the world today.

That a boycott of Israel’s entire regime of oppression, including all of the Israeli companies and institutions that are involved in its violations of international law, is a reasonable non-violent activity that can be taken to register opposition to such crimes.

That the Palestinian led BDS campaign does not target anyone or anything based on identity, but rather  based solely on complicity in denying Palestinian rights and that BDS is a strategy for effective solidarity, not a dogma or ideology and certainly not an attack upon Jewish communities or individuals.

 

Congress mandates Officer Board:

 

To inform MOs of the background to the situation in Israel/Palestine and to commemorate Palestine Solidarity Day, working with any relevant groups such as student societies and civil society organisations local to each of our campuses.

To support an Academic Boycott of Israeli Higher Education institutions complicit in normalising, providing intellectual cover for, and supporting settler-colonialism. This includes policies that amount to Apartheid, encouraging recruitment to the Israeli Defence Forces, and providing support to the militarist occupation of Palestine.

To lobby our university to divest itself from and terminate any contracts with companies that are complicit in the occupation of the Palestinian territories and violation of Palestinian human rights more widely

To join the global movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it ends the occupation and complies with international law.

 

Gaeilge / Irish Language

 

IL 1 : Updating of Language and Terminology – Uasdhátú Téarmaíochta agus Teanga

Rúin ón Grúpa Oibre/Motions from Irish Language Working Group

 

Tugann An Comhdháil Faoi Deara:
An sár-obair atá déanta ag an Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge le linn na bliana maidir le haistriúchán na dtéarmaí LADTA+ go Gaeilge.

Anuas air sin, tugann An Comhdháil Faoi Deara:
Go raibh an obair seo an-thábhachtach, agus in éineacht leis seo, rinneadh obair ag eagraíochtaí eile sa bhliain maidir le haistriúchán téarmaíochta go Gaeilge, mar shampla, téarmaíocht a bhaineann le cine.

Tuigeann An Comhdháil:
Chun reachtaíocht a scríobh in Éirinn, caithfear í a scríobh trí mhéan na Gaeilge, agus go bhfuil an leagan Gaeilge den dlí agus den bhunreacht mar ard-leagan dóibh.

Mar sin, sainordaíonn An Comhdháil:
Gur cheart don Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge obair leanúnach a dhéanamh maidir le haistriúchán na dtéarmaí atá chun cinn i gcúrsaí cothroime in Éirinn, agus gur cheart dóibh díriú isteach ar an téarmaíocht nach bhfuil mar fhócas i measc eagraíochtaí eile a bhaineann leis an Ghaeilge go speisialta.

 

Congress Notes
The excellent work done by USI VP for Irish Language this year regarding translating LGBTQ+ terms into Irish.

Congress further notes
That this work was very important, and that alongside it there has been work by other bodies this year translating terminology into Irish, such as terminology related to race.

Congress understands

That in order for legislation to be written in Ireland, it needs to written into the Irish language, and that the supreme form of the law and constitution are the Irish Language versions.

 

Congress therefore mandates

That the VP for Irish Language work continually on translating terminology that is at the fore front of social justice issues in Ireland and that they focus on terminology that may not be the focus of other Irish Language groups.

 

IL 2 : Cumas na gComhaltas maidir le toghadh Oifigeach Gaeilge- Union Capability regarding Election of IL Officers

Rúin ón Grúpa Oibre/Motions from Irish Language Working Group

 

Tugann an Comhdháil faoi deara:
Go bhfuil sár-obair curtha isteach ag na hoifigigh Ghaeilge in Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn, agus go cuireann siad go mór le hobair a gComhaltas agus le hobair Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn go hiomlán.

Anuas air sin, tugann an Comhdháil faoi deara
Nach bhfuil oifigeach Gaeilge in achan Aontas/Comhaltas, agus is minic nach bhfuil easpa Oifigeach Gaeilge mar an chloch is mó sa phaidrín ag comhaltais éagsúla.

Tuigeann an Comhdháil
Nach bhfuil sé ar chumas ag achan Aontas/Comhaltas Oifigeach Gaeilge a bheith acu go fóilleach, agus go bhfuil, i gcásanna, riachtanais níos práinní acu i gcomhthéacs na gcampas ar a bhfuil an Comhaltas ag obair (mar shampla, ní bheadh ranganna/cúrsaí Gaeilge ag achan ball-eagraíocht).

Mar sin, aisghaireann an Comhdháil
13 G 6

Mar sin, sainordaíonn an Comhdháil
Gur cheart don Leas-Uactarán don Ghaeilge tacú le grúpaí eile ar champas a bheadh in ann cuidiú leo ina n-obair: Oifigigh Chultúrtha, Oifigigh Idirnáisiúnta, agus araile. Ba cheart ról an oifigigh Gaeilge a chur chun cinn, ach caithfear tuiscint nach bhfuil toghchán an oifigigh sin ar chumas achan Comhaltas go fóill.

 

Congress notes
That excellent work has been done by the Oifigigh Ghaeilge in the Union of Students in Ireland, and that they contribute greatly to the work of their unions and USI in general.

Congress further notes
That not every Union has an Oifigeach Gaeilge, and frequently the lack of this officer is not the most urgent concern for those Unions.

Congress understands
That not every Union has the capability to elect an Oifigeach Gaeilge yet, and that, in cases, there are more urgent needs to be addressed in the context of the campuses on which these Unions are functioning (for example, there would not be Irish classes/courses in every member organisation).

Thus, Congress repeals
13 G 6

Therefore, Congress mandates
That the Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge should also support other groups on campus that would be able to assist them in their work: Cultural Officers, International Officers, and others. The role of an Oifigeach Gaeilge should be promoted, but it must be understood that the election of said officer is not a reality for every union yet.

 

IL 3 : Scéim Teanga AMLÉ a chur i bhfeidhm – Implementation of USI Irish Language Scheme

Rúin ón Grúpa Oibre/Motions from Irish Language Working Group

 

Tugann an Comhdháil faoi deara
Nach bhfuil scéim leanúnach nó soiléir ag Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn maidir le cur chun cinn na Gaeilge san eagraíocht faoi láthair.

Anuas air sin, tugann an Comhdháil faoi deara
Gur cheart go mbeadh scéim lárnach i bhfeidhm a thabharfaidh treoir don LU don Ghaeilge ina ról, agus a thabharfaidh leanúnachas do chur chun cinn na Gaeilge san eagraíocht ar fad.

Tuigeann an Comhdháil
Gur doiciméad oibre é seo, agus go bhfuil na tnútháin réasúnta go leor ag an phointe seo, toisc nach bhfuil scéim teanga ag an Aontas faoi láthair, agus go gcaithfidh tógáil ar an obair seo as seo amach.

Mar sin, aisghaireann An Comhdháil

14.GA.3

Anuas air sin, sainordaíonn an Comhdháil

Ar an LU don Ghaeilge, i bpáirt leis an Uachtarán, chun cinntiú go mbeadh an scéim seo curtha i bhfeidhm san eagraíocht, agus go ndéantar athbhreithniú ar an doiciméid go bliaintiúil ionas gur féidir leis an LU don Ghaeilge athruithe a chur i bhfeidhm sa todhchaí.

 

Congress notes
That the Union of Students in Ireland does not currently have a continuous or clear scheme regarding the promotion of the Irish language within the organisation.

Congress further notes
That it is right that there is a central scheme in operation that would direct the LU don Ghaeilge in their role, and that would give continuity to the promotion of the Irish Language in the entire organisation.

Congress understands
That this is a working document, and that the expectations therein are reasonable at this point, since there is no scheme in operation at the minute, and that this work must be built upon in the future.

Thus, Congress repeals

14.GA.3

Therefore, Congress mandates
The LU don Ghaeilge, along with the President, to certify that this scheme will be implemented in the organisation, and that this document will be reviewed on a yearly basis so that the LU don Ghaeilge can amend if needed inthe future.

 

IL 4 : An Coiste Cultúrtha a chruthú mar Fho-Choiste- An Coiste Cultúrtha as another Subcommitee of NC

Rúin an LU don Ghaeilge

Tugann an Comhdháil faoi deara

Gur éirigh leis an Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge an chéad Choiste Cultúrtha a thoghadh i mbliana, tar éis easpa fada.

Tuigeann an Comhdháil

Gur éirigh leis an Choiste sár-obair a dhéanamh agus naisc luachmhaire a chruthú idir gaeilgeoirí agus lucht suime na Gaeilge.

Anuas air sin, sainordaíonn an Comhdháil

Gur cheart an Coiste Cultúrtha a chruthú mar Fho-Choiste den Chomhairle Náisiúnta agus go mbeadh na baill tofa ag an chéad Chomhairle Náisiúnta achan bliain.

 

Congress notes

That the Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge succeeded in electing thefirst Coiste Cultúrtha this year, after a long absence of such.

Congress understands

That the Coiste succeeded in doing good work and creating new links between Irish speakers and those interested in Irish.

Therefore, Congress mandates

That An Coiste Cultúrtha would be created as a subcommittee of National Council, and elected at the first National Council of the year, every year.

IL 5 : Tuairisc ar Oideachas na Gaeilge – Report on the Education of Irish

Rúin an LU don Ghaeilge

 

Tugann An Comhdháil faoi deara

Go bhfuil neart polasaithe ar an fhód maidir le foghlaim agus oideachas na Gaeilge i meánscoileanna an deiscirt, agus gur chuimsigh na rúin seo mórlach na rún don LU don Ghaeilge go stairiúil.

Anuas air sin, tugann An Comhdháil faoi deara

Go mbaineann tábhacht agus conspóid ar leith le teagasc na Gaeilge ag an dara leibhéal, le Gaelscolaíocht, agus le measúnú na teanga go ginearálta.

Tuigeann An Comhdháil

Go bhfuil neart polasaithe a bhaineann leis an oideachas ar an fhód, agus gur cheart tuairisc nó polasaí amháin a chruthú, ag tarraingt ar an dáta is déanaí chun polasaí sruthlíneach amháin a chur ar fáil a théann i ngleic le ceist na Gaeilge sa chóras oideachais.

Mar sin, aisghaireann An Comhdháil

16 IL 2, 16 IL 3, 13 G 7, 11 NA 3, 11 NA 4

Mar sin, sainordaíonn An Comhdháil

Ar an LU don Ghaeilge polasaí Oideachas na Gaeilge a chruthú ag cur ceist na Gaelscolaíochta, na hArdteiste, agus araile, san áireamh.

Congress notes

That many mandates exist regarding the learning and education of the Irish language in the secondary schools in the south of Ireland, and that these motions have historically encompassed many of the mandates of the Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge historically.

Congress further notes

That the question of Irish language education is both controversial and important at the second level, in the context of Gaelscoileanna, and with the question of assessment in general.

Congress understands

That many mandates related to education are currently in existence, and that it is right to produce one report or policy, drawing on the most recent data to create one streamlined policy that will deal with the question of the education of the Irish language.

As a result, Congress repeals

16 IL 2, 16 IL 3, 13 G 7, 11 NA 3, 11 NA 4

Therefore, Congress mandates

The Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge to create a policy/report on the education of the Irish language, taking Gaelscolaíocht, the Leaving Certificate, etc., into account.

 

IL 6: Cur Chun Cinn Teanga Comharthaíochta na hÉireann/Promotion of Irish Sign Language

Rúin an LU don Ghaeilge

 

Tugann an Comhdháil faoi deara
Gur aithníodh Teanga Comharthaíochta na hÉireann mar tríú teanga oifigiúil i stát na hÉireann sa bhliain seo ag Dáil Éireann.

Anuas air sin, tugann an Comhdháil faoi deara
Go bhfuil níos mó ná mionteanga amháin in Éirinn, agus gur cheart fáilte a chur roimh Teanga Comharthaíochta na hÉireann mar an tríú teanga oifigiúil.

Tuigeann an Comhdháil
Gur cheart don Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge bheith aireach ar mhionteangacha eile sa tír seo, agus gur féidir tacú leis an Teanga Comharthaíochta go héasca mar chuid d’fheachtasaíocht.

Mar sin, sainordaíonn an Comhdháil ar
An Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge an Teanga Comharthaíochta a thacú ina ról, agus chun ar a laghad ócáid amháin a chur ar siúl a thabharfaidh léargas ar an teanga agus deis do lucht na teanga sin a dteanga a chéiliúradh.

 

Congress notes
That Irish Sign Language has been recognised as a third official language in the Irish state in this year by Dáil Éireann.

Congress further notes
That there is more than one minority language in Ireland and that the ISL should be welcomed as the third official language of the state.

Congress understands
That the Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge should be mindful of other minority languages in this country, and it is possible to support the ISL easily as a part of campaigning.

Therefore, Congress mandates
That the LU don Ghaeilge should support the ISL in their role, and to at least organise one event that will give an overview of the language and give an opportunity to the users of the language to celebrate the language.

 

IL 7: Gaeltacht Requirement for Student Teachers

Proposed by St Angela’s College Sligo Students’ Union

Congress Notes

The high cost of attending courses in the Gaeltacht combined with the difficulties student teachers face when registering with the Teaching Council. When registering with the Teaching Council, obstacles facing students are not limited to cost. Students must prove their Gaeltacht experience in order to gain a teaching council number.

 

Tugann An Comhdháil Faoi Dheara

Na deacrachtaí móra atá ann le haghaidh an mhic léinn mhúinteoireachta agus iad ag iarraidh clarú leis an gComhairle Mhúinteoireachta. Chomh maith leis sin bíonn sé an-chostasach dóibh. Ní hamháin teoraineacha airgeadais atá i gceist. Caithfidh an mhic léinn mhúinteoireachta fianaise a léiriú  chun uimhir a fháil.

 

Congress Understands

The need for clarity on what can be described as a verifiable Gaeltacht experience. Both work and study placements undertaken in the Gaeltacht have the capacity to enhance a students’ academic and personal development.

 

Anuas ar sin, tugann an Comhdháil faoi dheara

 

Cén sórt tréimhse Gaeltachta atá ag teastáil agus conas is féidir fianaise a thabhairt. Is féidir le tréimhse Gaeltachta cumais acadúil agus forbairt phearsanta na dalta  a fheabhsú

 

Congress Therefore Mandates

The VP for the Irish Language and the VP for Academic Affairs to lobby the Teaching Council and the Department of Education for achievable learning outcomes, clarity and increased financial support.

 

Mar sin, sainordaíonn an Comhdháil

An LU don Ghaeilge agus an VP AA stocaireacht a dhéanamh ar an Roinn Oideachais agus an gComhairle Mhúinteoireachta chun torthaí foghlama, soiléire agus níos mó tacaíocht airgeadais.

 

This motion repeals:

15 GA 3 and  12 AA 6

 

IL 8 : Inclusion of Irish in USI roadshows

Proposed by National University of Ireland, Galway Students’ Union

Congress commends:

All the work USI has done thus far on the promotion of the Irish language

Congress also notes:

The need for Irish to be integrated into all campaigns run by USI

Congress mandates:

The Leas Uactaran don Ghaeilge to work with relevant policy officers, to create elements of USI roadshows that use the Irish language, and to roll these out in MOs where appropriate.

 

 

 

Equality

 

EQ 1 : Gender Recognition of Students

Proposed by Institute of Art, Design and Technology Students’ Union

Congress notes:

Trans and non-binary students have difficulty changing their name and gender on college records such as exam results, roll, student cards etc.

Congress recognises:

The considerable distress that not being able to be recognised as who they are can have on trans and non binary students.

Congress Notes:

The work ongoing of the Gender Recognition Act Review Committee examining the Gender Recognition Act 2015 due to be complete by Summer 2018.

Congress applauds:

The Vice President for Equality & Citizenship recent submission to the Gender Recognition Act Review and the current work being done in MOs on Gender Identity and Expression Policies.

Congress therefore mandates:

The Vice President for Equality & Citizenship to campaign for a system-wide agreement from CAO level upwards, regarding the facilitation of name-changes as well as the inclusion of non-binary identities.

Congress further mandates:

The Vice President for Equality & Citizenship to lobby the HEA (Higher Education Authority) to set up a working group with the USI, THEA (Technological Higher Education Association), the IUA (Irish Universities Association) and the Department of Education to identify a robust and agreed system-level framework, so that applications for name-changes while the student is attending their third level institution is met with a consistent response regardless of institution, rather than a case-by-case, ad-hoc, and discretionary reaction that often depends on the staff member the student speaks to.

 

EQ 2 : Mature Student Campaign

Proposed by Vice President for the Southern Region

 

Congress notes

The large numbers of mature students attending third level education and the difficulties they face.

 

Congress applauds:

The success of events such as Mature Student Conventions/Seminars provided by USI in the past.

Congress mandates:

The Vice President for Equality and Citizenship to run a Mature Student Seminar annually in the first semester of each academic year.

 

Congress Notes

That events for matures students may be inaccessible due to other commitments of potential attendees.

Congress further mandates:

The Vice President for Equality and Citizenship to create an online forum for mature students in order for them to still obtain the benefits of networking at a regional and national level.

Congress also mandates:

The Vice President for Equality and Citizenship to continue their work in supporting the development of mature student officers and societies in MOs.

 

Congress further mandates:

The Vice President for Equality and Citizenship and the Vice President for Campaigns to create a support document for local MOs which should include, but is not limited to, information on running their own mature student events, information to help development mature student supports on campuses and other links to mature student organisations.

 

Congress repeals

14 EQ 1, 12 OU 12, 15 OU 13, 12 OU 12.  (SIC)

EQ 3 : Transgender Health Care

Proposed by Dublin Institute of Technology Students’ Union

Congress notes:

Transgender and Non Binary people are people who don’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. These people may seek medical methods of transition to make them more comfortable, and for many people this is necessary for both personal safety and for mental stability.

Congress further notes:

The work done by transgender and non-binary activist groups and USI in their submissions to the Gender Recognition Act to give people the right to self-determine their identity.

Congress notes with regret:

Transgender and non-binary people are currently unable to dictate their own need for hormone therapy, and need to be given a diagnosis under an outdated ‘medical-diagnostic model’.

Congress mandates:

The Vice President for Equality and Citizenship lobby the HSE to provide training for healthcare professionals in Ireland in transgender issues and their healthcare needs.

Congress further mandates:

The Vice President for Equality and Citizenship lobby the Minister for Health to replace the current medical-diagnostic model of treating transgender and non-binary people in place of an informed consent model, to allow people to declare and receive the treatments they need.

 

EQ 4 : Gender Equality Audit

Proposed by the Vice President for the Dublin Region

Congress notes

That self-defining women are still significantly under-represented in Students’ Union politics, as well as politics nationally. For the year 2017/2018, less than 20% of Presidents in USI affiliated Students’ Unions were women.

Congress recognises

The ongoing work being done within Students’ Unions to encourage more self-defining women to run for elected positions within their Students’ Unions.

Congress applauds

The Women Lead Projects rolled out this year and in previous years by USI and the continued growth in participation of these projects.

Congress further notes

The importance of data collection to further develop the Women Lead Project.

Congress therefore mandates

The Vice President for Equality & Citizenship to conduct a gender equality audit of Students’ Unions and their structures to support and inform the ongoing work of USI in this area.

 

EQ 5 Gender Recognition in Ireland

Proposed by  Institute of Art, Design and Technology Students’ Union & the USI Vice President for Equality & Citizenship

Congress notes

Trans and non-binary students have difficulty changing their name and gender on college records such as exam results, roll, student cards etc.

Congress recognises

The considerable distress that not being able to be recognised as who they are can have on trans and non binary students.

Congress notes

The work ongoing of the Gender Recognition Act Review Committee examining the Gender Recognition Act 2015 due to be complete by Summer 2018.

 

Congress applauds

The Vice President for Equality & Citizenship recent submission to the Gender Recognition Act Review and the current work being done in MOs on Gender Identity and Expression Policies.

Congress therefore mandates

The Vice President for Equality & Citizenship to campaign for a system-wide agreement from CAO level upwards, regarding the facilitation of name-changes as well as the inclusion of non-binary identities.

Congress further mandates

The Vice President for Equality & Citizenship to lobby the HEA (Higher Education Authority) to set up a working group with the USI, THEA (Technological Higher Education Association), the IUA (Irish Universities Association) and the Department of Education to identify a robust and agreed system-level framework, so that applications for name-changes while the student is attending their third level institution is met with a consistent response regardless of institution, rather than a case-by-case, ad-hoc, and discretionary reaction that often depends on the staff member the student speaks to.

 

EQ 6 : Universal design for learning

Proposed by National University of Ireland, Galway Students’ Union

 

Congress notes:

Learning materials used in lectures, tutorials, and for study are frequently inaccessible to students with different requirements

Congress recognises:

The universal design for learning approach campaigns for more user friendly, varied and accessible materials for students who have a physical/ hidden disability, mental health condition, student parents, and students whose first language is not English.

Congress mandates:

The VP E&C to work with relevant organisations to support the implementation of UDL wherever possible.

 

 

 

Citizenship

 

CZN 1 : USI Environmental Sustainability Strategy

Proposed by Vice President for the Southern Region

Congress Approves:

The adoption of the USI Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

 

CZN 2 : Ending Direct Provision

Proposed by the USI Equality & Citizenship Committee

 

Congress notes

Asylum-seekers and their children have spent years living in an institutional setting that was designed to be a short-term solution. They are accommodated by the State in residential institutions, under a reception system known as ‘Direct Provision’. Direct Provision is intended to provide for the welfare of asylum seekers and their families as they await decisions on their asylum application. The majority of asylum seekers spend over 4 years in Direct Provision waiting for their application to be processed.

Congress further notes

That there are thousands of children and young people currently within the system, many of them aspiring to attend a third level or further education institution in Ireland. There has been a very low uptake of the scholarships available to those in Direct Provision to attend third level.

 

Congress commends

The work of Students’ Unions around the country in raising this issue on their campuses and localities through direct action campaigns, protests, and working with campus student groups in targeting commercial operations associated with Direct Provision to condemn their complicity in the system and to educate the public and students eg. Aramark off our Campus and the USI ‘Avoca Jam’ in 2017.

 

Congress Condemns

The system of Direct Provision as it currently stands in Ireland.

 

Council therefore mandates

The USI VP for Citizenship & Equality and the President to campaign for the abolition of the system of Direct Provision, campaign for the end of deportations, and for the introduction of a humane reception system in line with international best practice

 

Council Further Mandates:

The USI VP for Citizenship & Equality and the President to campaign for the universal right to work and accessible education for those in Direct Provision.

 

Council Further mandates

The USI VP for Citizenship & Equality and the President to campaign for the full enactment of the EU Receptions Conditions Directive.

 

 

CZN 3 : Support the 2018 Civil Society Repeal Campaign

Proposed by the Vice President for Equality & Citizenship

Congress commends

The work of Students’ Unions around Ireland as ‘Students for Choice’, and the lobbying effort thus far for an early referendum date in 2018, and to prepare students for the upcoming referendum in the Republic of Ireland.

Congress notes

USI’s membership of the coalition to repeal the 8th amendment and the national women’s council of Ireland, and the USI mandate to support the goals of the Abortion Rights Campaign, and the strategy for referendum laid out in the USI Students for Choice strategy.

Congress further notes

The need for USI to ensure that the voices of minority communities affected by the 8th amendment, including students, transgender and non-binary people, as well as migrants in Ireland, are to the fore of the public debate ahead of the referendum.

Congress supports

The civil society campaign led by the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment, the National Women’s Council of Ireland, and the Abortion Rights campaign.

Congress mandates

USI to support the National Campaign, and the Vice President for Equality & Citizenship and Vice President for Campaigns to further the successful development of ‘USI Students for Choice’ as the leading national voice for students during the campaign to repeal the 8th amendment.

 

CZN 4 : Voter Registration and Reform

Proposed by the Vice President for Equality and Citizenship

Congress recognises

There are several mandates regarding Voter Registration as part of the policy book.

Congress notes

A strategy covering voter registration and reform would be more efficient for a USI officers work, and would comprehensively deal with the topic, making the process of lobbying on the content easier.

Congress adopts

The Voter Registration and Reform Position Paper.

Congress mandates

The President and the Vice President for Equality & Citizenship to lobby the Department of  Housing, Planning and Local Government based on the USI Position Paper.

Congress therefore deletes

12 CZN 4 Voting Rights for Citizens Living Abroad

15 CZN 8 Voter Registration System Reform

15 CZN 1 Lobby for 3rd Level Centre Polling Stations

14 CZN 2 SERD

 

CZN 5 : University of Sanctuary

Proposed by National University of Ireland, Galway Students’ Union

 

Congress notes:

The places of sanctuary campaign encourages community groups and organisations to create a welcoming space for those seeking asylum.

Congress further notes

Higher Education institutions play a key role in welcoming students from different diverse backgrounds, and creating inclusive and understanding communities.

Congress recognises:

Many Universities and ITs have been awarded places of sanctuary/ University of Sanctuary status.

Congress therefore mandates:

The VP E&Q to disseminate information on the places of sanctuary initiative to MOs, and encourage MOs to apply for status where possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Constitutional Amendments

 

CA 1 : The Entertainments, Marketing and Commercial Committee

Proposed by the Entertainments Committee

Remove:

Article 7.1.5 and replace with: “7.1.5 The Entertainment, Marketing & Commercial Committee shall be a forum for its members to share expertise and ideas in relation to, but not limited to, the organisation, promotion and running of events and activities. The committee shall also be a forum to share expertise and ideas in relation to commercial activity, communications and marketing for Students’ Unions as a whole. It may be attended by the staff of USI or MOs, or by any guest by invitation.”

Insert:

Article 7.1.5: “References elsewhere in this constitution to the Entertainments Committee to be changed to ‘The Entertainments, Marketing & Commercial Committee.”

 

 

CA 2 : Democratic determination of affiliation fees

Proposed by Dublin Institute of Technology Students’ Union

Amend Article 2.2.2 to read as:

They have applied and been accepted as a Member Organisation according to the application procedure as defined in Schedule A and who pay affiliation fees as decided by Congress.

 

Amend Schedule B2.2 to read as:

The Annual Subscription for which a Member Organisation is liable shall be decided by Congress. It shall be calculated on the number of students represented by that organisation in the last completed academic year. Member Organisations shall pay and be liable for all full-time students and for those part-time students from whom they receive a fee. Where a student of a Member Organisation is by virtue of the course of study also considered as a part-time student in another Member Organisation, they shall only be affiliated through the Member Organisation in which they are registered as a full-time student.

 

CA 3 : Amendment of Extant Policies without Repeal

Proposed by the President of USI

 

Add to Article 4.1.6.2 at the end:

“Union Policy may be amended at each meeting of Congress”

 

Article therefore to read:

Union Policies

Formal adoption of Union policy occurs by motion at Congress with the policy document itself appended to the Clár. Union Policies shall be contained in a published Union Policy Manual and they shall automatically lapse after three years unless reauthorised by Congress.  Union Policy may be amended at each meeting of Congress.

 

CA 4 VP Postgraduate Affairs

Proposed by the Postgraduate Affairs Working Group

 

ADD to Article 5 in a convenient place:

5.X.1 The Vice President for Postgraduate Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the VP/Postgraduate) shall have responsibility, in a part-time capacity on the Union’s Officerboard, for the Union’s work on policy and engagement with postgraduate students.

5.X.2 The VP/Postgraduate shall assist the VP/Campaigns with campaigns in relation to postgraduate issues.

5.X.3 The VP/Postgraduate shall be Chairperson of the Postgraduate Affairs Committee.

 

Replace Article 5.4.1  with the following text:

 

“The Vice President for Academic Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the VP/Academic) shall have primary responsibility for the Union’s work on academic policy and quality enhancement on all post-secondary education, including, full-time and part-time students in Further Education and Higher Education, students on Labour Market Activation Programmes and Apprenticeships. They shall act as an advocate for the Union‟s education policy on a national and international level and shall assist the VP/Campaigns in relation to campaigns on education matters.”

 

Remove Article 5.4.3 and renumber if necessary as appropriate

 

Add to Article 7.1.2 where convenient and subsequently renumber provisions as necessary:

“The Postgraduate Affairs Committee”

 

CA 5 : Amendment to Schedule C: Number of motions to Congress

Proposed by IT Tallaght, Dublin Students’ Union

Amend Schedule C6.1 to read as:

Member Organisations may submit three motions. All members of the Officerboard and each Committee they chair may all submit three motions. From time to time National Council may establish ad hoc Committees/Conferences who shall have the power to submit up to five motions. – next council – national council decides

 

 

 

CA 6:  Correctly formulating the Electoral Commission

Proposed by the President of USI

 

Delete and then Replace Article 6 with the following:

 

Article 6: Steering Committee, Elections Subcommittee, and the Electoral Commission

 

The Steering Committee

 

6.1.1    Elections for Steering Committee shall be held every two years and shall be organised and supervised by the President. Each candidate must be proposed by a Member Organisation or the President.

Members of Steering Committee shall not be current members of the Union but shall have attended a previous Congress and shall have been a member of the Union.

6.1.3    There shall be ten elected members of Steering Committee together with the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of National Council pursuant to Article 4.2.9.  Vacancies can be filled by co-option and the term of co-opted members shall expire at the next Steering Committee election. Members are eligible for re-election.

Quorum for Steering Committee shall be half plus one of the total membership of the committee.

From their number, Steering Committee shall elect a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of Steering Committee.

They may form other subcommittees and divide necessary work as they see fit within their membership.  The quorum stipulated at Article 6.1.4 shall apply to any such subcommittee.

Unless dismissed, they shall remain in office until their successors have been elected.

6.1.8    Steering Committee shall order the business of Congress according to the provisions of the relevant Schedules and the direction of National Council.

Steering Committee shall chair the sessions of Congress and have responsibility for ensuring the running of Congress as laid out in the Constitution and Schedules.

The Elections Subcommittee

6.3.1    Steering Committee shall have an Elections Subcommittee to which four members of Steering Committee shall be elected by the whole of Steering Committee.

Quorum for Elections Subcommittee shall be half plus one of the total memberships of that subcommittee.

 

6.2.3    From their number, Elections Subcommittee shall elect a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson. The Chairperson of Steering Committee may not also chair Elections Subcommittee. The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of Elections Subcommittee shall be the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer, respectively, of the Union.

6.2.3    Elections Subcommittee shall be responsible for the running of all Union elections including inter alia setting deadlines for submission of nominations, receiving nominations, determining the validity of nominations and of candidates, organising hustings at Congress or National Council, organising polling, counting votes and declaring results in accordance with the terms of this Constitution.

6.2.4    Elections Subcommittee shall receive, investigate and adjudicate on all complaints relating to the running of Union elections; organise and chair Congress elections, make regular reports to Congress and National Council regarding Union elections, and act as a credentials vetting Committee for delegates to Congress.

6.2.5    For the avoidance of doubt, matters relating to the remit of the Electoral Commission shall fall outside of the scope of the Elections Subcommittee.

The Electoral Commission

6.3.1    Campaigning in the Officerboard elections, and any by-elections, shall be regulated and supervised by the Electoral Commission.

Elections for the Electoral Commission shall be held every year and shall be organised and supervised by the President.

6.3.3    This Electoral Commission shall be composed of two external members who shall not be members of the organisation but who shall each have attended USI Congress, one member of Steering Committee (as nominated by Steering Committee) and two members of National Council.  Each candidate must be proposed and seconded by members of the National Council or by the President and elections shall take place no later than the second National Council of the academic year.

6.3.4    The Terms of Reference for the Commission are prescribed at Schedule M of this Constitution.  If a member of National Council decides to seek nominations to run for a position on USI Officerboard, they will immediately cease to be a member of the Commission.

6.3.5    The Electoral Commission shall set regulations in relation to campaigning during USI elections and shall sanction any breaches of such regulations.

Add to the Schedules:

Schedule M to the USI Constituton

M.1    The electoral commission shall meet in the first semester

M.2    The electoral commission shall agree regulations to be followed by USI and candidates in elections throughout the year for USI’s officerboard.

M.3     The electoral commission shall adopt a suite of rules on:

 

M.3.1   The expenditure permitted per candidate in elections

M.3.2   The methods of campaigning to be accepted in campaigns

M.3.3   Any other aspect of the campaign which it seems prudent to the commission to regulate but which are not currently regulated by the Elections Subcommittee

M.4    The commission shall notify the adopted regulations no later than at the last meeting National Council of the first Semester.

M.5        No member of the electoral commission may also be a candidate for election

 

 

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