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No Platform Policy

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Referendum on Students’ Union No Platform Policy

Do you wish to retain the No Platform Policy as passed by the Students’ Union Council on 7th November 2011?

No Platform Policy
Passed by NUI Galway Students’ Union Council, 7th November 2011

1. The Students’ Union will be mandated to automatically oppose any invitation
to members of the organisations listed below to speak at this university.

2. Students’ Union Officers shall be prohibited from sharing a public platform
with members of the listed organisations.

3. Organisations may be added and removed by ballot of NUI Galway Students’
Union Council. Proposals will be submitted by class reps or Students’ Union
Executive Officers.

4. The list of organisations under the No Platform Policy shall be reserved for
organisations that are deemed to be fascist and/or racist by the Students’
Union Council.

Organisations included in the No Platform Policy:
• BNP
• Combat 18
• Hizb ut- Tahrir
• MPAC UK (Muslim Public Affairs Committee)
• The National Front.
• Democratic Right Movement
• MPAC Ireland
• National Front parties from various other EU countries
• The Racial Volunteer Force (Splinter group from C18)
• Blood and Honour
• British Movement/British National Socialist Movement
• Column 88

NUI Galway Student Entrepreneurs Compete For €20,000 Prize Fund!

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NUI Galway Student Entrepreneurs Compete For €20,000 Prize Fund!

The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards competition is now entering its second stage as six finalists battle it out for a €20,000 investment fund to turn their ideas into reality.Now in its fourth year, the competition seeks to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among the students of NUI Galway in both social and business enterprise.

Each of the six finalists, all NUI Galway students, now receives investment capital of €500 to develop their initial ideas further. A series of workshops hosted by members of the business community over the coming weeks will let the finalists  develop their ideas ahead of the final judging session in March. Galway City & County Enterprise Board, Online Marketing in Galway, Hammond Good Solicitors, Gareth Williams Accountant and Starlight Solutions are just some of the groups providing workshops.

Sean Kearns, President of NUI Galway Students’ Union, said:

 “We have been overwhelmed by the number and standard of entries to the NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards again this year. The entrants are testament to the exceptional initiative and creativity of students in social and business enterprise. At a time when real innovation and flair is needed, students are leading the way in creating the big ideas that will help fuel our recovery. The Students’ Union is delighted with the support that the Awards have received from the local business community and the university.”

The final six projects are:

1.    NUI Galway Student Managed Investment Fund

Operating a real-life financial portfolio under the guidance of industry experts and alumni, the NUI Galway Student Managed Investment Fund is an organisation managed by students, for the benefit of both the participants and the University as a whole. Martin Weitbrecht a final year BSc. Financial Mathematics & Economics student from Donegal, Conor Hanniffy a Masters in International Finance student from Athlone, Shane Reilly a final year BSc. Financial Mathematics & Economics student from Castlebar and Maurice Kelter a final year B.Comm (International) student from Tralee are behind the project.

2.    Student Talks

‘Student Talks’ is an online knowledge platform for students to communicate their ideas, connect with other students and find out about courses and careers. Student Talks was created by Brian Slattery from Dublin who is completing his Psychology PhD.

3.    Shuffleupagus

Margaret Tallott has developed Shuffleupagus which is a simple game for everyone who is learning Irish. Margaret is from Belmullet, Co. Mayo and is in the fourth year of her Phd in the Department of Management.

4.    MyStudySheets™

MyStudySheets™ provides downloadable, course-specific study aids in mathematics to second and third-level students, aiming to radically improve student grasp of key concepts. MyStudySheets™ was developed by brothers Enoch and Issac Burke from Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Enoch is a 2nd Year BA student in History, German, Sociology & Politics and Isaac is in his 2nd Year of a PhD in Pure Mathematics.

5.   Loyal-T Stamped

Loyal-T Stamped seeks to revolutionize the way we collect and redeem customer loyalty points through a visually striking user friendly application. Nathan Regan and Fergal Walsh are both final year Mechanical Engineering students and Galway natives. They have developed Loyal-T Stamped with Gearoid O’Connor a final year Computer Science and Information Technology student also from Galway.

6.    The Big Yellow Thing

The Big Yellow Thing (originating from NUI, Galway) is an artistic project that aims to create modern and exclusive apparel for students, staff, visitors and alumni of all National Universities of Ireland. Michelle Campion from Tuam, Co. Galway developed The Big Yellow Thing and is studying the MSc. in Neuropharmacology.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony dinner on Saturday 29th of March in the College Bar, NUI Galway.

NUI Galway SU Enterprise Awards 2014 Now Open – €23,000 Prize Fund

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SU Enterprise Awards 2014 €23,000 Prize Fund
The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards aim to unlock the potential of the students of NUI Galway to invest in their own futures today.
If you have an idea for a new business or a social enterprise then this can be the competition that can allow you to realise your goal. Students are invited to sketch out the initial proposals for their project or business and to draw up the plans they hope will make their idea a reality. The finalists will be given the chance to take their ideas forward and to set about implementing their projects with the assistance of a financial allowance, workshops and clinics.
The overall winner will receive a direct investment of €10,000 in their project to really help get it off the ground in addition to further guidance and mentoring to help bring the project forward, while two runners up prizes, each valued at €5,000 will also be awarded. The six final projects going through to the second stage of the competition will each receive a €500 bursary.
Closing Date for Submissions is 5pm Friday 17th January 2014. More information, submission template and competition rules are available here:

https://www.su.nuigalway.ie/index.php/student-enterprise-awards

NUI Galway SU Supports “We’re Not Leaving” Campaign

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NUI Galway Students’ Union is supporting the We’re Not Leaving – Galway campaign and encouraging all students to attend the Youth Assembly in Dublin on Saturday the 9th of November. We are providing a return bus to the assembly and tickets are on sale for €2 from the Students’ Union now. We will be leaving at 9am on Saturday. 

Aims of the assembly:

– To build a campaign that unites students, young workers and the unemployed to address the youth crisis.

– To produce a youth charter, which articulates demands to be placed on representative bodies, the state and society and which articulates a divergent social vision from the path of austerity Ireland on behalf of young people.

– To build a democratic infrastructure on the basis of this charter that can reinvigorate youth politics locally and nationally.

You can also attend the Galway meeting this Thursday 7th November 2013 at 8pm in the Victoria Hotel.

Referendum RPC05/1-USI Guide

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On Thursday 7th April 2005, you will be asked to vote in a referendum (RFC05/1) that will decide on the future of NUI Galway Students’ Union affiliation to the Union of Students in Ireland, and also whether or not the Student Levy should be increased from September 2005.

It is important to remember that this referendum is not solely about paying €5 extra in the Student Levy, but also about NUI Galway Students’ Union’s participation in the national representative body for students in Ireland. This information sheet outlines the facts relating to the “mechanics” of the referendum and what the potential outcomes are. This sheet does not provide a case for or against the motion, nor on NUI Galway Students’ Union’s participation in the USI, nor does it give direction on whether you should vote for or against the motion. The “Yes” and “No” campaign teams will publish these arguments over the next few weeks.

NUI Galway Students’ Union asks that you read this information carefully and inform yourself fully of both sides of the argument in advance of the referendum.

What is the motion?

The motion is as follows: “That Article 6 sub-section i.B. be retained in the Constitution of the Students’ Union of the National University of Ireland, Galway (hereinafter referred to as “the Students’ Union”), thereby extending its affiliation of the Students’ Union to the Union of Students in Ireland (hereinafter referred to as “the USI”);

and that the Student Levy at National University of Ireland, Galway be immediately increased by €5 per annum to pay increased affiliation fees to the USI and to cover all costs associated with the participation of the Students’ Union in any events organised by, or relating to, the USI, with the balance being added to the Students’ Union representational budget.”

What does this mean?

This entire motion will not appear on the ballot paper, but instead you will be asked to vote on whether you agree (“Yes”) or disagree (“No”) with the motion.

A “Yes” vote would mean that NUI Galway Students’ Union would remain affiliated to the Union of Students in Ireland and that the Student Levy would be raised by €5 to cover all costs associated with membership of the Union of Students in Ireland.

A “No” vote would mean that NUI Galway Students’ Union would disaffiliate immediately from the Union of Students in Ireland and that the Student Levy would not increase.

What is the Union of Students in Ireland?

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is the national representative body for students in Ireland.

Do you think we should be part of the national Union?

There are arguments both for and against remaining affiliated to the USI. However, as outlined above, this information sheet is not intended to argue those points. That is the responsibility of the “Yes” and “No” campaign teams.

Why does one motion contain two parts?

The motion contains two parts because one part of the motion is dependent on the other, i.e. if NUI Galway Students’ Union is to remain affiliated to the USI, the Student Levy must be increased to pay the additional affiliation fees because there is no alternative source for this income.

Why must students pay increased affiliation fees?

In March 2005, the National Congress of the USI voted to increase the affiliation fees for students from €2.86 and €1.43 per full- and part-time student per annum respectively to €5.00 and €2.50 per full- and part-time student per annum respectively. As a result of this, the affiliation fee that NUI Galway Students’ Union must pay to the USI increased from approximately €34,000 per annum to approximately €65,000 per annum.

Unfortunately, the budget of NUI Galway Students’ Union is not sufficient to pay the increased charges. This is why the students of NUI Galway are being asked if they wish to increase the Student Levy to cover these additional costs.

Will the Student Levy decrease if the referendum fails?

No. The affiliation fees for USI are not currently paid from the Student Levy, but rather from the Non-Tuition Charge (i.e. the €750 charge). If NUI Galway Students’ Union were to disaffiliate from the USI, the appropriate portion of the Non-Tuition Charge would be re-allocated elsewhere.

If necessary, the University’s Student Services committee would decide where the money would be re-allocated. In this situation, NUI Galway Students’ Union would propose that this portion of the fee should be added to the Union’s representational budget, but there is no guarantee of what will happen.

Why increase the Student Levy by €5?

Although the affiliation fees have increased by €2.14 and €3.57 per full- and part-time student respectively, there are substantial costs involved in being an active affiliate of the USI. For example, the cost of sending a full delegation from NUI Galway Students’ Union (21 delegates, two observers) to National Congress 2005 will be almost €10,000. There are also numerous other activities such as National Council, working groups, training and other events throughout the year. The budget of NUI Galway Students’ Union cannot sustain these costs into the future.

Is NUI Galway Students’ Union taking a stance?

The NUI Galway Students’ Union Executive is elected to represent, support and advise the members of NUI Galway Students’ Union, i.e. the students of NUI Galway. Because of this, the Executive has decided to take a stance on this referendum. However, this stance is partly dependent on the outcome of several key motions at National Congress 2005, so a final decision will not be confirmed until after these motions are discussed. National Congress runs from 29th March to 1st April 2005.

Why is the referendum being held now?

NUI Galway Students’ Union has been aware of the increased affiliation fees since March 2004 and that a referendum must be held to address this funding shortfall. However, in August 2004, the USI appointed a group to review the USI Constitution and to present its findings to National Congress in March 2005 for discussion and decision.

In light of this, NUI Galway Students’ Union felt it appropriate to await these findings to allow for a full and balanced discussion on the current referendum motion.

Why not increase the Student Levy for clubs, societies, etc.?

This referendum is not related to any matter other than the USI and associated affiliation fees. However, it is the intention of NUI Galway Students’ Union Executive to review the level and sources of funding for clubs, societies and other groups in NUI Galway during the 2005/06 academic year.

When does polling take place?

Polling will take place from 12:00-20:00 on Thursday 7th April 2005.

Further Information

Further information on the referendum is available from the Students’ Union offices. An open debate on this referendum is being organised by the Political Discussion Society and will be advertised soon.

Return to:

Motion RFC05/1

Referenda Index

Referendum RFP03/1

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On 13 November 2003, the Executive Committee of Comhaltas na Mac Léinn called a referendum (number RFP03/1) of its members under Section 18, Sub-section B.(i) of its Constitution to be held on 27 November 2003 on the motion below.

Votes in Favour – 1974
Votes Against – 820
Total Valid Poll – 2794
Spoiled Votes – 44
Total Poll – 2838
Result – Passed

The full motion text is as follows:

“The members of the Students’ Union, National University of Ireland, Galway authorise the Executive Committee to negotiate with University Authorities an increase in the student levy payable by each individual student strictly subject to the following conditions:-

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

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Referendum RFC04/1 – Vice President

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On 5 February 2004, the Executive Committee of Comhaltas na Mac Léinn called a referendum (number RFC04/1) of its members under Section 18, Sub-section B.(i) of its Constitution to be held on 19 February 2004 on the motion below.

Votes in Favour – 741
Votes Against – 154
Total Valid Poll – 895
Spoiled Votes – 38
Total Poll – 933
Result – Passed

The full motion text is as follows:
“That the Constitution of the Students’ Union of the National University of Ireland, Galway, passed by referendum on 18th April 2002, be amended as follows:

ARTICLE 6: STRUCTURE

Section (i):

Replace the words “Schedule II” with “Article 19”.

ARTICLE 7: OFFICERS

Section A:

Insert “The Vice-President / Campaigns and Communication Officer” as subsection (iv);
Delete sub-section (vi) “The Press and Communications Officer”;
Re-number accordingly.

Section D:

Remove the word “two”.

ARTICLE 8: INDEMNITY

Replace the word “executive” with “execution”.

ARTICLE 9: GENERAL MEETINGS

Section E:

Delete the word “Ordinary” between “not less than three College days before the” and “General Meeting at which they are to be discussed”.

ARTICLE 10: CLASS REPRESENTATIVES COUNCIL

Section G:

Delete existing section.

Replace with: “The CRC shall hold at least one meeting per fortnight in both semesters one and two.”

ARTICLE 11: THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section A:

In sub-section (i), replace “committees” with “committees, and shall be the Chief Spokesperson of the Union”.
In sub-section (v), replace “Equality Assistance Officer of the University” with “appropriate University personnel”.
In sub-section (v), insert “S/He will represent Union members on various University committees.” after “referral for Union members.”
In sub-section (vii), replace “Disability Liaison Officer of the University” with “appropriate University personnel”.
In sub-section (vii), insert “S/He will represent Union members on various University committees.” after “consultation for Union members.”
In sub-section (viii), insert “S/He will represent Union members on various University committees.” after “for the position.”
In sub-section (ix), insert “S/He will represent Union members on various University committees.” after “to educate students on environmental issues.”
In sub-section (x), insert “As such, the Union recognises the Societies’ Chairperson as the Chief Representative of the University’s societies.” after “relevant University Committees.”
In sub-section (xi), insert “As such, the Union recognises the Clubs’ Captain as the Chief Representative of the University’s clubs.” after “relevant University Committees.”
Insert “The Vice-President, who shall act as Campaigns and Communication Officer. S/He shall with the President have responsibility for the co-ordination and administration of various campaigns in conjunction with the relevant members of the Executive Committee. S/He shall also have responsibility with the Secretary for informing and communicating Students’ Union campaigns, events and notices to members, and to the internal and external media. S/He shall represent members on various University committees, and shall have special responsibility for members on out-lying campuses. S/He shall be responsible for the non-editorial organisation and administration of all Union publications. The ultimate responsibility for Publications shall rest with the Publications Committee, without prejudice to Article 11, Section K, sub-section (iv). The Vice-President shall also be required to give a mandatory report on work carried out at each Executive meeting.” as sub-section (v);
Delete sub-section (vi) “The Press and Communications Officer”;
Re-number accordingly.

Section C:

Add “of the representational activities” after “for the day to day running” and before “of the Union”.

Section D:

Delete Section D in its entirety.

Section K:

Replace the word “two” with “the” in subsection (i).
Insert “The Publications Committee. This shall comprise of The President, the Vice-Presidents and the Secretary ex-officio and the relevant staff members appointed by the Board of Directors of Students’ Union Commercial Services Ltd. The duties of this committee are to oversee the non-editorial organisation of all Union publications and to decide on any matters relating to such which are not specifically covered in this constitution and it’s schedules, or in the Articles of Association or Memorandum of Association of Students’ Union Commercial Services Ltd or Seirbhisi Comhaltas na Mac Léinn, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe Teo.” as subsection (iv).
List the Committees and Fora in the order of:
Education Forum
Welfare Forum
Elections Committee
Publications Committee
Re-number all sections of this article accordingly.

ARTICLE 19: REVOCATION

Insert the following new Article, between the existing Articles 18 and 19.

“19. COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES
The Students’ Union shall incorporate a company limited by guarantee and known as “Students’ Union Commercial Services Ltd”, (known hereafter as “the Company”).
The Company will be responsible for the Commercial activities of the Students’ Union, to include but not exclusively, Siopa na Mac Léinn, Concourse Catering, Bar Catering, Publications/Seirbhísí, Entertainments and the General Office Area. The Company shall be responsible for all Student Union bank accounts in operation at present with the exception of the Representational Account which shall be the full responsibility of the Students’ Union Executive.
The Company shall be responsible for the day-to-day running and financial management of the Students’ Union Club, but responsibility for the overall policy of the Club shall remain with the Bar Management Committee of the Students’ Union Club.
The Company will be entirely owned by the Students’ Union and will be responsible to the Students’ Union in respect of all matters which come under the control of the company.
The Students’ Union Executive shall appoint a Board of Directors who will oversee the running of the Company.
The Board of Directors shall comprise of the following:
The President of the time-being of the Students’ Union.
The immediate outgoing President of the Students’ Union. Where S/He is not available, a person nominated by the President of the time-being shall act in this role.
Three external board members, independent of the Students’ Union to be appointed by the Students’ Union Executive.
A member of staff of the Students’ Union elected from amongst the Managers by the Students’ Union Finance Committee.
The Students’ Union President’s position on the Board of Directors is contingent on his/her holding of the office of President of the Students’ Union. The immediate outgoing Students’ Union President’s position on the Board of Directors is contingent on S/He having held the position of President immediately prior to the current President of the time. The Students’ Union Executive Officers shall be obliged to resign their positions on the Board of Directors at the end of their term of Office or alternatively twelve months after taking up their position on the Board of Directors.
The member of staff appointed by the Students’ Union Finance Committee as the ex-officio member of the Board of Directors shall hold the position of secretary to the Board. S/He shall be a non-voting member of the Board. This member of the Board shall sit as an ex-officio member and shall be secretary to the Board of Directors.
The Executive of the Students’ Union will appoint three external members to the Board of Directors of the Company. Preferably, these nominees shall be graduates of NUI Galway. These members will hold their office by way of a three yearly contract issued by the Student Union Executive. In the event their contract is not renewed, they shall be obliged to resign from their position on the Board of Directors. It is envisaged by the Students’ Union Executive that the external board members appointed by them should possess expertise in the areas of finance, administration and personnel management and in such other areas as the executive shall from time to time deem appropriate.
The President of the Students’ Union of the time-being shall act as the chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Company.
The Board of Directors shall meet at not more than eight-weekly intervals, on a date set by the Board.
At these meetings the Administrator shall be required to report to the Board on the performance of the Commercial Activities.
Nothing in this document shall in any way infringe or take from the rights and privileges enjoyed by the employees of the Students’ Union or by contract employees of the Students’ Union, at the time of passing this document or anyone on leave of absence from the Students’ Union at the time of passing of this document.

Re-number all Articles accordingly.

SCHEDULE II OF THE CONSTITUTION

Delete this Schedule.”

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Referendum RFC05/1 (USI)

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On 10th March 2005, the Students’ Union Executive called a referendum (number RFC05/1 (USI)) of its members under Article 18 of its Constitution to be held on 7th April 2005 on the motion below.

Votes in Favour – 879
Votes Against – 145
Total Valid Poll – 1024
Spoiled Votes – 19
Total Poll – 1043

Result – Passed

The full motion text is as follows:

“That Article 6 sub-section i.B. be retained in the Constitution of the Students’ Union of the National University of Ireland, Galway (hereinafter referred to as “the Students’ Union”), thereby extending its affiliation of the Students’ Union to the Union of Students in Ireland (hereinafter referred to as “the USI”); and that the Student Levy at National University of Ireland, Galway be immediately increased by €5 per annum to pay increased affiliation fees to the USI and to cover all costs associated with the participation of the Students’ Union in any events organised by, or relating to, the USI, with the balance being added to the Students’ Union representational budget.”

Further information

For further information on this referendum, please read the RFC05/1 USI Guide

Referendum RFP06/1- Student Levy Guide

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In 22nd February 2006, you will be asked to vote in two Students’ Union referenda. These are numbered RFP06/1 (Student Levy) and RFC06/1 (Structures). This guide seeks to explain the RFP06/1 (Student Levy) only. Further additional documentation fully explains the other referendum, RFC06/1 (Structures).

NUI Galway Students’ Union asks that you read this information carefully and inform yourself fully of both sides of the argument in advance of the referendum. The full motion text is available here.

1. General information

This referendum seeks to increase the Student Levy (currently €68) by €40 from September 2006.

A “yes” vote would mean a €40 increase in the Student Levy from September 2006, in addition to the normal inflationary increase (approximately €7) – a total levy of €115. The additional proceeds would be divided out as explained below.

A “no” vote would mean that there would only be an approximate €7 inflationary increase in the Student Levy from September 2006 – a total levy of €75.

A quorum of 5% of Union members (approx. 700 students) is required to make the vote valid.

Polling takes place on Wednesday 22nd February 2006 in Áras na Mac Léinn from 10:00-20:00. You require your NUI Galway student ID card to vote.

2. Who decides how the Students’ Union funding will be distributed?

20% of the proposed increase (approximately €26,000) will be automatically allocated to Seirbhisi … Teo., the Union’s publications company, to support the Union’s publications (see point 5 below for further details). This will not mean an end to commercial advertising in the Union’s Diary and/or the Sin newspaper, but rather additional funding support. The company struggles to make ends meet each year; this increase would mean the Union would have to provide less direct support to the company, freeing up more time and funding to be spent on educational and welfare matters.

A further 20% will be allocated to the Union’s alcohol-free entertainment budget. The hugely successful Tuesday Nights Ents programme was only possible because of a significant grant from the Student Projects Fund. However, this grant funding was limited to three years and will expire in May. Alcohol-free entertainment is an uncertain business. As a result, the Union will require a significant budget each year in order to cater for the entertainment needs of those who do not participate in the events held in the College Bar, either due to personal preference or the law (e.g. under 18’s).

The remaining 60% will be added to the Union’s representational budget, i.e. education, welfare, equality, etc. Each year, the Union struggles to balance its books due to a severe lack of funding. In addition to this, referendum RFC06/1 (Structures) seeks to make significant changes to the structure and operations of the Union and will require additional funding to allow the Union to expand and grow in the future. The planned expansion includes the appointment of researchers and further administrative/secretarial staff.

These referenda are exclusive of each other, so in the event that (the other) referendum RFC06/1 (Structures) does not pass, the increased funding raised by this proposed levy increase will continue to be invested in the representational activities of the Union.

3. Who decides how the clubs and societies funding will be distributed?

In the case of the clubs, the Sport and Recreation Union (formerly known as the Athletic Union) will decide how the funding should be distributed. The Students’ Union Executive Committee will have no role in this.

In the case of the societies, the University Societies Committee will decide how the funding should be distributed. The Students’ Union Executive Committee will have no role in this.

Who decides how the Student Health Unit funding will be distributed?
The Board of Directors of ASML (see point 5 for further details) will decide how the money allocated to Student Health Unit will be distributed. It will all be spent on supporting current services and providing additional new services. The Students’ Union President is a member of this Board and will be involved in the proper allocation of the funding.

4. Why are two companies named in the motion?

There are two companies referred to in the motion text: Seirbhisi Comhaltas na MacLeinn, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe Teoranta (“Seirbhisi”) and CCG Aonad Slainte do Mhic Leinn Teoranta (“ASML”).

ASML is the company which runs the Student Health Unit. It is a distinct separate entity from the University and the Students’ Union, although its members and Board of Directors are made up of University staff and the Students’ Union President.

Seirbhisi is the company which is responsible for the production of Students’ Union diary, wall planner, the Sin newspaper and the Sin website. It is a separate legal entity from the Students’ Union, but is held in trust for the Union and produces only Union-related material.

For legal reasons, the direct beneficiaries must be named, hence the full company titles in each case.

5. Why is “dissolution” mentioned?

There is a chance that ASML will be absorbed into the University in the near future and that Seirbhisi will be merged with the Students’ Union. If either of these events happens, the motion text means that there would not be a need for a further referendum to re-direct the proceeds of the levy, but rather that the Executive Committee could (only) re-direct it to the new health unit or publications department(s).

6. How much money is involved?

The proceeds from the 2005/06 levy were divided as follows (figures are approximate due to rounding): Euro (2005/06)
Per head Total
Sports clubs 7 90,300
Societies 7 90,300
Students’ Union 7 90,300
USI 5 64,500
Áras na Mac Léinn 15 193,500
Student Health Unit 6 77,400
Flirt FM 4 51,600
Student Projects Fund 17 219,300
Total 68 877,200
Contributing students 12,900

In addition to the allocation from the levy, sports clubs, societies and the Union receive grants from the non-tuition charge, totalling €86,000, €63,133 and €6,079 respectively in 2004/05 (2005/06 figures have not been confirmed yet).

If the proposed €40 increase is approved, the budgets of the sports clubs, societies, Students’ Union and Student Health Unit would each increase by approximately €130,000 for the year 2006/07.

7. Other related information

The Union and the University have agreed that the €100 increase approved by referendum in November 2003 for the construction of the new sports and societies’ centres will now start in September 2007 and not, as previously agreed, in 2006.

8. When will payment of this levy end?

The levy will continue to be paid until a referendum of the members of the Students’ Union votes to alter the terms of the levy.

9. Further information

Further information on the referendum is available from the Students’ Union offices or from the Students’ Union President – su.president@nuigalway.ie

10. Where and when does polling take place?

Polling will take place from 10:00-20:00 on Wednesday 22nd February 2006 in Áras na Mac Léinn.

Return to:

Motion RFP06/1

Referenda Index

Referendum RFP06/1 (Student Levy)

Uncategorized

The Executive Committee of the Students’ Union of the National University of Ireland, Galway hereby gives notice of a referendum – number RFP06/1 (Student Levy) – of its members under Article 18 of its Constitution to be held on Wednesday 22nd February 2006.

Votes in Favour – 409
Votes Against – 376
Total Valid Poll – 785
Spoiled Votes – 7
Total Poll – 792
Result – Passed

The motion text is as follows:

“That the members of the Students’ Union of the National University of Ireland, Galway (“the Union”) authorise the Executive Committee to negotiate with University authorities an increase in the Student Levy payable annually by each individual student on registration subject to the following conditions:-

That the said increase, which would be payable in addition to the current Student Levy, will total €40.00 per student.
That payment of the said increase will commence in September 2006.
That the said increase of €40.00 be apportioned as follows:-
€10.00 be allocated to the Union, to be further allocated as follows:-
20% be allocated to the provision of entertainment in an alcohol-free environment on campus;
20% be allocated to Seirbhisi Comhaltas na MacLeinn, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe Teoranta as a contribution to that company’s publications. In the event of the dissolution of that company, this allocation will be directed towards the cost of the Union’s publications by whatever means deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee;
The remaining 60% be allocated to the representational activities of the Union to be used as deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee;
€10.00 be allocated to CCG Aonad Slainte do Mhic Leinn Teoranta (Student Health Unit) to be used as deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors of that company. In the event of the dissolution of that company, this allocation will be directed towards the cost of providing a student health centre on campus, by whatever means deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee;
€10.00 be allocated to the NUI Galway Sport and Recreation Union for distribution to the recognised sports clubs by whatever means deemed appropriate by that body;
€10.00 be allocated to the NUI Galway University Societies’ Committee for distribution to the recognised student societies by whatever means deemed appropriate by that body.
That the said increase be index-linked in line with the current mechanism used in the annual calculation of the Student Levy.
That the said increase be payable until such time as the Union decides by referendum of its members to alter or terminate the terms of payment of the Student Levy.”
Further information
For further information on this referendum, please read the RFP06/1 Student Levy Guide