If you hear about the Students’ Union campaigning to have the Library hours extended or organising a protest for third level fees then this is because Class Reps have voted to commit the Students’ Union to certain policy in Council.
Students’ Union Council is where the decisions are made by your Class Reps on what actions the Union should take or what stance the Union should take on an issue. Voting is done on things called “motions”, which contain a “mandate”, which basically tells one or more of the Officers of the Union to do something. If members of Council vote in favour of a motion then it becomes Union policy for 2 years. The Oversight Commission (OC) is tasked with ensuring that policy and mandates are followed up on by the Officers that you have elected. A motion can be brought by 2 members of Council or by any 10 students in College.
Council is also a forum for and provides for direct communication between students and their elected representatives. All Sabbatical Officers are required to give a report to each Council and any student can ask questions to the Officers. Certain positions, particularly positions on the two Executive bodies, are elected at Council. Positions on both College and Union committees are also elected here. Discussion Items can be brought by any student to spark debate and discussion on any topic affecting students.
SU Council is run by the Electoral Commission (EC) and the policy is organised by the Oversight Commission. The Chair of the EC is also Chair of Council and the Chair of the OC is also Secretary to Council. This year the Chair of Council is Ciara Coughlan and the Secretary is Meadhbh Costello.
Voting members of Council include all the Class Reps, School Convenors, members of both Executive Committees, Sabbatical Officers and GSU. However, all students are welcome to come along to voice their opinion, to bring motions or discussion items and to tell the Union Officers what they want from them.
Submitting a Motion
Motions for Council must be submitted no later than four days before a meeting of Council. Motions can be proposed and seconded by any two members of Council (i.e. Class Reps and other SU officers) or by any ten members of the Students' Union (i.e. any students).
Be aware that you cannot mandate an individual (e.g. Jack Leahy) to do anything. You can only mandate an officer to do something (e.g. the Education Officer). Mandates are usually valid for two years following the year after their introduction.
Also please note that you should not use the word "must" or phrase things in a very final way. The officers do their best to fulfil mandates, but some things that seem easy turn out to be impossible, so please don't make their life too hard by telling them they "must" do something.
All motions should be submitted to Meadhbh, the Secretary to Council, by emailing email@example.com.
Academic Year 2013/2014