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1 7 0 2 S N O I T

TOGHCH ÁIN CH OM HA

SU EL EC

#NUIGSU17

S A LT

INN 2017 É L AC M NA

WILL YOU RUN?

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SU Elections 2017 / Toghcháin 2017 FULL TIME

OFFICERS

Nominations Open: Nominations Close: Election Day:

PART TIME

OFFICERS

Nominations Open: Nominations Close: Election Day:

✓President ✓Vice President/Education Officer ✓Vice President/Welfare Officer 10am Thursday 16th February 2017 5pm Wednesday 22nd February 2017 Thursday 2nd March 2017

✓ Oifigeach na Gaeilge ✓ Equality ✓ Societies ✓ Clubs ✓ Postgrads ✓ Mature Students ✓ Five College Convenors 10am Thursday 23rd February 2017 5pm Wednesday 1st March 2017 Thursday 9th March 2017

✓ Clubs’ Captain ✓ Societies’ Chairperson Nominations Open: Nominations Close: Election Day:

XXXX XXXX XXXX

✓ Students’ Union Council Chairperson

Elected at the last SU Council meeting of the academic year on Monday 2nd March 2015 to 27th February 2017. Only registered Class Reps are eligible to vote in this election.


Contents / Clár na nÁbhar What’s it All About?........................................................................... Céard atá i gceist leis?

4

Students’ Union Officer Positions........................................... Oifigigh Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn

7-15

Why Should You Run?....................................................................... Cén fáth ar chóir duit dul san iomaíocht?

16

How Do You Run? ............................................................................ Cén chaoi ar féidir leat dul san iomaíocht?

17

Running A Campaign ........................................................................ Feachtas a rith

18-19

Busting The Myths ............................................................................ Na scéalta gan bhunús a dhíbirt

20-21

The Rules ............................................................................................ Na rialacha

22

Voting Information ........................................................................... Faisnéis vótála

23

Election Statistics ............................................................................. Staitisticí maidir le toghcháin

24-27


What’s it all about? The Students’ Union is an independent body whose function is to represent its members and promote, defend and vindicate their rights in the University and elsewhere. Every student, on payment of the student levy, is automatically a member of the Students’ Union. As a result you are entitled to avail of all the Union’s services. Those services range from advice on welfare and education to the Students’ Union Shop and the College Bar. In addition to those services, the Students’ Union represents you on all university committees. It also works with the university to ensure your voice is heard and that any concerns you have are raised. Students’ Union officers advise, lobby and speak on your behalf from orientation through to graduation. The Students’ Union Executive Committee runs the Students’ Union on an on-going basis and is responsible for the day to day representational functions and activities.The Executive is made up of fifteen officers who are nominated and elected each year by you, the members. The Students’ Union Executive is responsible for providing you with information and advice covering the whole spectrum of student life from academic issues to issues regarding accommodation and equality.

STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

Mission “The mission of the Union shall be to represent its members and promote, defend and vindicate the rights of its members at all levels of society.”

4


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Students’ Union Officer Positions There are three full-time officers and twelve part-time officers.

Full-Time Positions 1. The President 2. The Vice-President / Welfare Officer 3. The Vice-President / Education Officer Full-Time Officers work full-time and take sabbatical leave from their studies if they have not completed their course. They are paid an annual salary of €24,000 (gross).

Part-Time Positions 1. The Equality Officer 2. The Postgraduate Officer 3. The Mature Students Officer 4. The Irish Language Officer 5. The Societies’ Chairperson 6. The Clubs’ Captain 7. The Students’ Union Council Chairperson 8. Convenor of the College of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies 9. Convenor of the College of Science 10. Convenor of the College of Engineering & Informatics 11. Convenor of the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences 12. Convenor of the College of Business, Public Policy & Law

What do the officers do? The responsibilities of each officer are outlined in the Students’ Union Constitution.

7


Students’ Union Officer Positions STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

President i.

S/He shall act as Chairperson and shall have responsibility to uphold this Constitution and the terms of reference of all Union companies.

ii.

S/He shall be responsible for liaising with the appropriate staff members of the Union, the Union’s companies and with University management.

iii.

S/He shall have responsibility for the day to day finances of the Union in conjunction with the senior staff member and shall report to the Finance Committee on those issues.

iv.

S/He shall also be responsible for ultimate coordination of Students’ Union campaigns

v.

S/He shall be required to act as a member of the Boards of Directors of companies owned by or related to the Union.

vi.

S/He will represent Union members on University committees.

vii.

S/He shall be the Chief Executive Officer and chief spokesperson of the Union.

viii.

S/He shall be the principal delegate to the National Council and Annual Congress of the Union of Students in Ireland.

ix.

S/He shall also be required to give a mandatory report on work carried out at each Executive meeting.

8


The President co-ordinates the activities of the Students’ Union and works with University Management to achieve the best academic environment and quality of life for NUI Galway students. The President is responsible for the Union’s finances, co-ordination of Union campaigns and acts as the chief spokesperson of the Union. The President sits on a wide range of university committees including Údarás na hOllscoile, Finance Resource Committee and Standing & Strategic Planning Committee. The President is also appointed to the boards of the following companies for the duration of their term: •

Students’ Union Commercial Services Ltd: A company owned by the Students’ Union which manages Sult, Students’ Union Shop, Smokey’s Café, The Hub Café, The Wall Café and Caife na Gaeilge.

Seirbhísí Comhaltas na Mac Léinn Teo: A company owned by the Students’ Union responsible for producing Students’ Union publications.

College Campus Radio Ltd: A company responsible for Flirt FM

Cumann Céimithe na Gaillimhe Aonad Sláinte do Mhic Léinn Teo: A company responsible for managing the Student Health Unit.

9


Students’ Union Officer Positions STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

Vice President / Welfare Officer i.

S/He shall have responsibility for providing information and educating the general student body on welfare issues and to this end shall initiate campaigns on relevant and pressing Welfare issues.

ii.

S/He shall also provide a confidential listening and referral service for members of the Union

iii.

S/He shall represent members on various University committees.

iv.

S/He shall also organise and chair the Welfare Forum.

v.

S/He shall also be required to give a mandatory report on work carried out at each Executive meeting

The Welfare Officer assists students with problems in areas of accommodation, childcare, study, health, finances and social welfare. He / She works closely with on-campus accommodation companies and residents associations. He / She sits on a wide range of university committees including Safety Committee, Discipline Committee and the University Centre Planning & Management Group. The Welfare Officer also organises the Welfare Forum and a variety of high profile campaigns such as Mental Health Week and SHAG Week. Dealing with individual student queries is a large part of the Welfare Officer’s job. The Vice President / Welfare Officer sits on the following committees: • Discipline Committee • Financial Aid Fund Allocation Committee • Health Unit Board of Directors • Crèche Committee

10


STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

Vice President / Education Officer i.

S/He shall have ultimate responsibility for the coordination of the CRC in conjunction with the relevant staff members.

ii.

S/He shall provide a confidential listening and referral service for all Union members.

iii.

S/He shall represent members on various University committees.

iv.

S/He also has responsibility for keeping the Executive and general student body informed on relevant educational issues.

v.

S/He shall be responsible for dealing with individual requests from students.

vi.

S/He shall also organise and chair the Education Forum.

vii.

S/He shall also be required to give a mandatory report on work carried out at each Executive meeting.

The Education Officer assists students in areas such as grants, exams, the library and computer facilities. He / She works with University Management to improve academic services for students. He / She sits on a variety of university committees including Academic Council, Academic Standing Committee, Discipline Committee and Academic Planning Resource Committee. The Education Officer also co-ordinates the SU Council and organises the Education Forum. Dealing with individual student queries is a large part of the Education Officer’s job. This year, the Education Officer also plays a central role in implementing NSTEP, the National Student Engagement Programme. • • • •

The Vice President / Education Officer sits on the following committees: Academic Council Exam Appeals Committee Library Committee 11


Students’ Union Officer Positions STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

The Equality Officer i.

S/He shall have responsibility for the promotion of equal opportunities and equal participation for all members of the Union.

ii.

S/He shall initiate relevant campaigns to highlight and address difficulties facing students arising from societal and / or campus inequalities.

iii.

S/He shall be responsible for promoting integration in all student activities

iv.

S/He shall provide a limited number of hours weekly for the purposes of consultation and referral for Union members.

v.

S/He will represent Union members on various University committees.

STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

The Postgraduate Officer i.

S/He shall be responsible for developing Union policy on postgraduate education.

ii.

S/He shall represent the interests of Postgraduate Students

iii.

S/He shall promote their full involvement in the academic and social life of the university community and the University.

iv.

S/He shall work primarily in conjunction with the VicePresident / Education Officer.

v.

S/He will represent Union members on various University committees.

12


STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

The Irish Language Officer i.

S/He shall be responsible for the promotion of the Irish language and culture amongst the members of the Union.

ii.

S/He shall enforce the policy set out in Article 18.B.

iii.

S/He shall support the work of the Irish language societies on campus.

iv.

S/He shall be proficient in Irish. The Elections Committee may, before an election, demand an Irish Language Officer candidate to demonstrate his/her fluency and literacy in Irish. The Director of Spoken Irish in NUI Galway (or a person nominated by the Director) shall adjudicate. A lack in fluency or literacy shall deem that candidate ineligible for the position.

v.

S/He will represent Union members on various University committees.

STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

The Societies’ Chairperson i.

S/He shall have the responsibility of liaising between the University’s societies, the Union, and the University.

ii.

S/He shall also help and advise societies and voice their concerns and needs on relevant University Committees.

iii.

As such, the Union recognises the Societies’ Chairperson as the Chief Representative of the University’s societies.

iv.

S/He shall also organise and chair the Societies’ Forum.

13 13


Students’ Union Officer Positions STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

The Clubs’ Captain i.

S/He shall have the responsibility of liaising between the University’s clubs, the i. Union, and the University.

ii.

S/He shall also help and advise clubs and voice their concerns and needs on relevant University Committees.

iii.

As such, the Union recognises the Clubs’ Captain as the Chief Representative of the University’s clubs.

iv.

S/He shall also organise and chair the Clubs’ Forum.

STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

Students’ Union Council Chairperson i.

S/He shall chair the meetings of the Students’ Union Council.

ii.

S/He shall represent all class representatives on the Executive Committee.

iii.

He/she shall work with the College Convenors to see that each class in the University has a class representative.

14


STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

College Convenors i.

They shall act as the chairpersons of each relevant College Class Representatives Council (‘College Council’).

ii.

They shall represent their College’s class representatives and students at the Executive Committee.

iii.

They shall work with the Chairperson of Students’ Union Council to see that each class in the University has a class representative.

15 15


Why Should You Run? You will directly impact on the student experience The Students’ Union has a huge impact on the lives of students. Whether it’s fighting for longer library hours over Easter so that you can complete that all important dissertation, or being part of a national campaign for student rights – as a Students’ Union Officer you have the ability to greatly affect the lives of students. You will help fight for thousands of students One of your most important roles will be to represent students. From diverse issues such as learning & teaching, to students being treated as equal citizens in the community, you will ensure that the student voice is heard loud and clear. You will be a leader of a unique organisation As a Student Leader you will be one of the fifteen people responsible for leading the Students’ Union. You will have the opportunity to shape the direction and work of an organisation in a way you may never have again. Complete with professional staff to support you, you have a great opportunity to make some big changes. Employability and Experience Being involved in the management of an organisation with over 16,000 members before you leave college puts you in a great position. You will develop skills in leadership and organisation and learn about finances, democracy, education, event management and a whole host of other skills. From negotiating agreements with the University to giving presentations to thousands of students; from leading campaigns to create positive change, to working as part of a team of leaders; these are skills which will help you out in the incredibly tough job-market and make you stand out from the crowd. The roles are really what you make of them; if you are elected you get the chance to make the role your own. No matter which role you go for, you’ll gain experience of chairing meetings, leading campaigns, managing budgets, communicating and team building.

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How Do You Run? Eligibility Are you a registered student and have you paid the student levy? If you can answer yes (and chances are you can!) then that’s it. You are eligible to seek nomination. Choosing a Position The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to run for a full-time or part-time position.A full time position means you’ll have to take a year out from your studies if you are not due to finish this summer. However, parttime positions are flexible and can fit around your studies. Secondly, take a look at each role and the full job description. All positions offer varied responsibilities and experience. Think about the skills you might have that would make you a good candidate for a position.Talk to the current officers about their experiences in the role and what they have experienced.

Nominating yourself To nominate yourself, you must complete a nomination form with the details and signatures of at least 20 members of the Students’ Union. Nomination forms are available from the Students’ Union office and Students’ Union website. Completed nomination forms must be returned to the Students’ Union office before the close of nominations. The deadline is very strict! Don’t leave it until the last minute. Submit your nomination form as soon as you have it completed and spend time planning your campaign. Remember to get a few extra people to sign your nomination form to allow for any mistakes. Students can nominate as many candidates as they wish. In addition to submitting your nomination form, you are also required to submit a picture of yourself for the ballot paper. It’s a good idea to use the same picture that you will use on your posters. The picture must be of you! Animations or logos will not be accepted.

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Running a Campaign To be successful in an election you will need to convince the electorate that you are the best person for the job, and that you understand students and will represent them on issues that matter to them. The election campaign begins at 6:00pm on the Sunday before the election. That gives you Sunday evening and three full days before Election Day. Remember, all registered students are entitled to vote, so canvass everybody! Here are a few things to consider for your campaign:

Campaign Team To run a good campaign it is advisable that you get a team together to support you.Your team will provide valuable support to you during the election week. Ask your friends to give you a few hours support and arrange times that suit them. Some people might not want to help with canvassing, but they might be able to help with postering. Get whatever help you can! The more people you can communicate with, the better chance you will have. Ask one of your friends to be your Campaign Manager. It will be their job to handle logistics and manage your campaign team. Manifesto Your manifesto outlines your policies, plans and ideas for what you would do if elected. Talk to your friends and classmates about what they would like to see the Students’ Union do.Think about what your plans and how you would go about implementing them. You don’t need to think of all the details, but it’s probably best to avoid promising everything without having some thought behind your ideas. Don’t let anybody talk you out of an idea that you think is worthwhile and doable. Your manifesto should be exciting and should set your goals for the year, not your first day.Above all, make sure your manifesto is relevant to students. Your manifesto should also include something about yourself and why you are the best person for the position you are seeking. Include a photo so people know who you are. For consistency, it is a good idea to use the same photo that will appear on the ballot paper.

18


Speak to Students Talking to students is the number one method for convincing them to vote for you. Posters, flyers.T-Shirts and gimmicks will only do so much.You need to get out and canvass voters. Most election candidates will tell you it’s the hardest part of an election, but it’s also the most important part.Take some time to think about what you want to say to voters. The most obvious question you’ll be asked is why anybody should vote for you, so make sure you have an answer ready.Talking to students does not mean shoving a flyer in their face: it means dialogue, asking questions and communicating your policies and ideas. Don’t forget to balance the need to engage with the need to be efficient – you will need to reach a lot of people in a short space of time.This is where slogans can come in handy, especially if it jogs someone’s memory when they are looking down a long list of names on a ballot paper. Lecture shout outs are also a great idea for speaking to a lot of students, but you will need the lecturer’s permission first. Students want to know what you plan to do and how it will affect them. Simply saying “vote for me” is not enough. You need to say why. Referring to something you are already doing (before you’ve even been elected) or something you have already done is a great way to show that you mean what you say.

Posters, leaflets and other promotional material Make sure your promotional material is eye-catching and gives a clear message to students. Check that there are no spelling or grammatical errors and that your name appears clearly! It sounds obvious, but be sure to factor in some time to get feedback (and free proof reading!) from your friends. T-Shirts are always very popular, especially during full-time elections. Be realistic when ordering T-Shirts. Count how many people you actually have on your campaign team and avoid overbuying. Remember that T-Shirts are only effective when they’re seen, so try to recycle them amongst your campaign team and friends who are actually on campus during election week. You can make your own T-Shirts very cheaply, or you can have them professionally printed. Advertees is a local T-Shirt printing company who support many students’ union activities with great deals. Check out www. tees.ie Social media and websites are also great promotional tools and unlike postering and flyers, websites and social media pages are permitted to go live before the start of the campaign. Just remember not to overdo it. It’s very easy to bombard people, especially on social media, which might lose you more votes than you gain. 19


Busting the Myths! Most students avail of, or benefit from, a Students’ Union service every day. Whether it’s having a pint in Sult or getting help appealing an exam result, the Students’ Union plays a bigger part in students’ lives than most students realise. However, many students are not aware that the Students’ Union is a democratic organisation and that it is run by ordinary students who are elected each year. Here are a few myths and misconceptions about running in an election and being a Students’ Union Officer. “You need to have been involved in the Students’ Union before you can run in an election” No you don’t! Many Students’ Union officers’ election campaign is their first involvement in the Students’ Union. Full training and handover is provided to ensure you get up to speed before you start. “I’m not popular enough to win” It is not about popularity! The campaign begins at 6:00pm on Sunday evening and the election takes place on Thursday. That gives plenty of time to knock on doors, go table to table in the canteen and Sult and talk to thousands of students. Add in a few hours from your friends to hang posters and you will be as well-known as any other candidate. Hard work trumps popularity in any election. “You have to spend a fortune on a campaign” Not true! The electorate will respond better to honest hard work than ostentatious gestures. Most candidates print posters and flyers, and with a little time spent contacting printers, you’ll be surprised what you can get for your money. Use your materials wisely and you will keep your costs to a minimum. Think about what clubs and societies do on societies day. A few packs of cheap lollies can go a long way to breaking the ice with potential voters. “My class are on work experience, so they won’t be able to vote for me” Remote Vote is a system that allows students to vote online during normal polling hours. There’s only one requirement – students must register to use Remote Vote in the days leading up to the election. Once registered, students can vote online from anywhere during polling hours. It’s ridiculously easy to do and it means everybody can vote.

20


“Students’ Union Officers can’t achieve anything in a year” Officers can definitely achieve considerable success within a year – whether it’s lobbying the University for improved services or organising major events, their influence can be felt throughout all aspects of university life. Of course there are some things that you may not fully achieve within your term, but that doesn’t mean they cease to exist! “Final year students can’t run in elections” The only criterion to run in an election is that you are a member of the Students’ Union at the time of the election.

21


The Rules The rules governing elections are outlined in Schedule 1 of the Students’ Union Constitution. The main rules regarding publicity are contained in Schedule 1, Section G. A copy of the Students’ Union Constitution is available on the Students’ Union website. If you’re not sure whether something is permitted or not, just ask. Contact elections@su.nuigalway.ie

STUDENTS’ UNION CONSTITUTION

Section G:

Publicity in connection with Elections and By-Elections 1.

Sponsorship or endorsement by a commercial entity is not permitted in any form. Sponsorship or endorsement includes, but is not limited to: • Branding, names or logos appearing on promotional material or t-shirts. • Gifts, vouchers or passes for commercial entities.

2.

A candidate shall not distribute, nor cause to have distributed, any promotional material until 6:00pm on the Sunday before the election. Lecture Addresses are also prohibited until that time.

3.

Each candidate, or their nominee, must attend a daily meeting with the Elections Committee during election week.

4.

Any candidate who does not comply with the provisions of this Section of the Constitution shall be deemed ineligible for election to any post on the Executive Committee of the Union for that set of elections.

5.

The Elections Committee will interpret the Election Regulations as they see fit and the decision of the Elections Committee is final.

22


Voting Students can vote in person at a Polling Station, or electronically by using Remote Vote. Polling stations and opening times of specific stations will be advertised by the Students’ Union in advance of the election. To vote at a polling station, a student needs to present their NUI Galway ID. No other form of identification will suffice. Polling hours are 10:00am—8:00pm.

Remote Vote Remote Vote is a facility to allow students to vote online. It’s particularly useful for students on satellite campuses like An Ceathrú Rua or Shannon, and students on work placement. The system is accessed via the Students’ Union website and is easy, secure and confidential. Students simply log in using their campus account. The only requirement is students must register to use Remote Vote before Election Day. If students do not register in advance, they will not be able to use the Remote Vote facility. Students’ Union elections are conducted under the Single Transferable Vote Proportional Representation System (Electoral Act of Ireland 1923, Amendment Act 1963).

23


Full-Time Election Statistics Turnout 2009-2016

Average Number of Votes Per Hour

24


Part-Time Election Statistics Turnout 2009-2016

Average Number of Votes Per Hour

25


Statistics

3,082 2,005

Average turnout in Full-Time Elections

Highest number of first preferences received by a single candidate – President 2016

31

Amount of first preference votes between first and second candidates – VP Education 2014

950 203 236

Average turnout in part-time elections

Average number of votes cast using Remote Vote

Average number of votes cast in first hour of polling in Full Time Elections

25


Results 2016 President Quota: 1,246 CANDIDATE

1ST COUNT

McGovern, Jimmy Moran, Cillian RON

2,005 374 111

Vice President / Education Officer Quota: 1,257 CANDIDATE

1ST COUNT

2ND COUNT

Sherlock, Cathal Gaffney, Niall Keane, Niamh RON

1,022 773 694 26

1,256 1,028 -

Vice President / Welfare Officer Quota: 1,255 CANDIDATE

1ST COUNT

Khan, Daniel Ryan, Catherine RON

1,475 982 52

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NUI Galway Students' Union Elections 017  

A guide to the 2017 Students' Union Elections.

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