Changes to the finalised copy of the proposed new Students’ Union Constitution, which is set to go to referendum this week, were made at the last Students’ Union Council. The changes regard the conversion of Executive Officers to Campaign Co-ordinators, and the addition of two new positions that will be elected independently of Union Council elections.
The new positions of Sports Co-ordinator and Societies Co-ordinator will be established under the proposed constitution, making them part of a collective group of Campaign Co-ordinators who represent the Union. The two new titles were established with the intention of improving the representation of student societies and sports clubs within the Union.
De Brún explained that the Sports Co-ordinator is to be elected upon nomination of the Athletics Council, and the Societies Co-ordinator by the Societies Council. “We wanted to make [the co-ordinators] people who genuinely represent the interests of societies and sports clubs within the Union, so we didn’t feel that council elections would be the best way to elect them … that was after some consultation with sports and society reps.”
As the sports clubs and societies of UCD are operated and governed independently of the Students’ Union, the Sports Co-ordinator and Societies Co-ordinator will serve mainly to represent the Athletics Council and the Societies Council respectively to the Union and to improve communication between all parties.
By being elected independently, the two co-ordinators are therefore less bound by Union policy than other SU campaign co-ordinators. “There are certain criteria that apply to all the co-ordinators that don’t apply to the Societies Co-ordinator and the Sports Co-ordinator” de Brún said, “in light of their means of election it wouldn’t be appropriate that council could pass policy that would be binding on them.”
The Societies Council of UCD was not consulted on the text of the proposed constitution. De Brún commented on the complicated nature of the Union’s standing with sports clubs and societies, saying that the current position of Sports Officer does not have a constitutional status, which is why it is now being written into the Constitution.
De Brún stated that the change was a “housekeeping technicality”, and that no major alteration had been made to the articles outlining the policy.