ELSU Constitution

  1. Article 1 - General Provisions:
    1. The Name of this Organisation shall be ‘the English Language Students’ Union of Ireland’, shortened to ELSU, and henceforth referred to as 'the Union'

    2. The membership of the Union shall consist of students and sympathetic non-students, everyone is welcome, regardless of their level of English, their origin, nationality, race, colour, religion, socio-economic status, gender, sexual or political orientation.

    3. For the purpose of this Constitution, a member is defined as one who is currently enrolled in any English language course in Ireland or someone who attends meetings on a regular basis.

    4. Regarding constitutional amendments, these can only happen at an AGM or an EGM when there is a quorum of at least 50 people in attendance physically or online.

    5. The Union members will do their best to facilitate both in-person and online participation as appropriate and as needed.

    6. ELSU documents must not discriminate on the basis of level of English, origin, nationality, race, colour, religion, socio-economic status, gender, sexual or political orientation.

    7. ELSU members must ensure that GDPR requirements are well known about among the membership and adhered to.

    8. To ensure that language is inclusive and make sure no one is left out due to any language barrier.

    9. To have no bias for or against any school or educational facility, though in instances of mistreatment and malpractice the Union reserves the right to name a school in private and public communications. Schools may also be rated based on quantitative and qualitative research to assist students in choosing the best school for them.

    10. Members will not tolerate any form of hate speech. Members must endeavour to inform and educate others about not using any language that discriminates against any group of people or individual.

    11. That there is to be no selling of products or classes within the Union.

    12. We aim to be as multilingual as possible and to have members from various countries represent different issues and experiences as well as being able to provide support to those with lower levels of English.

    13. To include as many people as possible and extend the benefits of the Union to those outside of Ireland, whether they have been students here before or planning to come to Ireland in the future.

  2. Article 2 - Purpose
    1. To represent and fight for English Language Students’ rights in all aspects of their experience as a student, worker, their health, living conditions and wellbeing (physical, mental and emotional).

    2. To encourage student and broader societal awareness and involvement so as to help to identify and resolve any issue that might arise.

    3. To be accessible and accountable to all English language students studying or who studied in Ireland. Regardless of what jurisdiction or Country a member is in, each student's rights or issue will have just as much of a priority and support offered to them as anyone living in Dublin or any other county on the island of Ireland.

    4. That all members must be sympathetic to students affairs, this means any anti-student and anti-worker attitudes or behaviour will not be tolerated as we are constituted solely for the purpose of improving and supporting students and ensuring each student’s experience here in Ireland is a positive one.

    5. To make it clear how students can help support each other and defend themselves, as well as making their rights known in relation to school, living, accomodation and worker rights

    6. To ensure that decisions taken at meetings are agreed by a majority present and disseminated to all of those who are entitled to this information

  3. Article 3 - Organisation
    1. The Committee

    2. ELSU members will choose a minimum 10 committee members - Maximum 20, with 5 as a quorum for committee meetings. Responsibilities of each committee member are to be defined after their election, at the AGM, or after their subsequent nomination and election. The committee must meet regularly as well as host regular meetings with the broader membership and provide regular updates for all members.

      Essential committee positions are:

      • Chair
      • Secretary
      • Treasurer
      • Equalities Officer

      Members should not usually hold more than one of these positions. The committee must ensure that elections for the above positions are carried out fairly and democratically and in the event of a committee member stepping down, must facilitate timely by-elections. Proper financial records must be maintained, which includes non-audited accounts returned quarterly and audited accounts returned annually; the Union should ensure that it elects auditors, usually at the same time as its committee officers.

      The entire committee must be dissolved and re-elected at each AGM. New membership, changing roles and responsibilities is to be actively encouraged but is not obligatory. The Union structure and practices must be ones in which encourage members to get involved and have their say. Representatives from each school are encouraged to regularly attend meetings. We ask that the schools and the government actively support and encourage union participation among the national student body, understanding that an ever-improving student experience is a common goal for everyone.

      Union organisation and practices must allow for membership participation, democracy and a sense of ownership of the Union. An inclusive, vibrant union life will increase participation and agency, with members having a direct influence over decision making thereby making the Union directly relevant to them. Strong membership participation in meetings, with a focus on equalities, will ensure that members are active in the community, assisting in building, as well as defending ELSU across the island of Ireland and internationally. In cases of dispute, grievance and discipline it is an aspiration of the Union that committee members take responsibility in providing representation including at appeal hearings. All members of the Union have an obligation to promote equal opportunities and tolerance inside and outside their schools and workplaces. Taking action to stamp out sexism, racism, classism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination, without putting themselves or others in needless danger.

      The Union should play a part in the broader student and labour movement locally and internationally, including affiliating with general unions such as USI, SIPTU and Unite.