You’re coming to Congress? We can’t wait to meet you.
First time delegates at USI Congress are our favourite people. After all, someone who’s a first time delegate this year will some day be elected President.
As a result, we want you to enjoy yourself and take part as fully as possible. Every voice matters at USI Congress, and we want to hear you loud and clear.
This is your platform to set the tone and agenda for the whole student movement. Here are the documents you’ll need to take part.
What to bring
- Comfortable clothes for the debating sessions (4 days)
- Clothes you’d like to socialise in (3 nights, including a slightly fancier Congress Dinner)
- Any medications and toiletteries you’d prefer to have
- Night wear – you’ll be sharing a room
- Chargers for your electronic devices
Debating at Congress
There will be over 100 debates at Congress. They’ll all be published in advance on the Congress Hub.
Each one begins with a proposition (5 minutes) followed by an opposition (3 minutes) and as many rounds of speeches as the rules instruct (usually about three).
You’ll have a chance to speak. Just take a seat on either the proposition (left of the stage as you face it) or the opposition (right of the stage) and, so long as there are enough rounds left, you’ll be called upon to speak.
At the end of the debate there’s a vote. You’ll hold up your (green tipped) delegate card to vote. If you’re an observer, your card has a red tip and you can’t vote.
Leave the argument on the stage
When the debate is over and the vote is taken, let it go. People with differing views are what makes our Congress the birthplace of properly considered policy.
You may not fancy buying someone who voted a different way a pint, but remember we’re all together with different views to create change.
No such thing as wrong
Our movement contains unionists, nationalists, republicans, monarchists, Fianna Fáilers, Fine Gaelers, communists, feminists, Trump supporters and everything in between.
We all get along and debate on the issues, because we all have a right to be heard.
Code of Conduct
Lots of people work hard to make Congress a safe and enjoyable space for our members to lead our movement. This Code of Conduct will keep you right. Please study it carefully.
Being ready to take part
Delegates are at Congress to do an important job – representing the students of Ireland, and of your students’ union.
Congress starts at a set time every day. If you’re not on Congress Floor, we can’t begin. Be there on time.
You should get a good night’s sleep in order to take part. Your students have sent you to represent them, so make sure you’re able to do so with energy and sobriety!
A full safety statement will be read at the start of Congress. Any delegate not adhering to the safety protocols is at risk of being sent home by USI, and/or disciplined according to their own SU rules.
If you do something to endanger another delegate, expect to be sent home.
USI will co-operate fully and constructively with the relevant authorities in the event of any behaviour which results in the injury of a delegate – and anti-social behaviour.
USI believes wholeheartedly in the principle of explicit, ongoing consent for any sexual activity.
We expect and require all delegates to adhere to this at all times at our events.
USI is a diverse space – probably one of the most diverse spaces in Ireland. We need you to respect every delegate, staff member, committee member and facilitator equally.
Each delegate card holds a space for the delegate to indicate their pronoun. Delegates are asked to respect this where it’s availed of and where it’s used.
It should go without saying, but hate isn’t part of our Congress. Racism, sexism, ableism and the various ‘phobias need to be dumped before you arrive – because they will be challenged if they arise!