The ISSU Annual General Meeting provided an opportunity for second-level students from around Ireland to meet to discuss issues and concerns that are important to them and their schools. Students who attended the ISSU AGM got the chance to voice their opinions, create motions and elect students to the new National Student Executive for the following year.
Itinerary for the AGM
10:30 – 10:45 Registration
10:45 – 11:40 Liberty Hall Theatre – ISSU Introduction
11:00 – 11:10 Welcome to AGM
11:10 – 11:20 Keynote Address followed by Q&A session:
11:40 – 12:30 Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’ Sullivan TD
12:30 – 13:40 Assigned group with ISSU Officer – Group work & discussion topic
13:40 – 14:00 Liberty Hall Theatre – AGM protocol & Election speeches
14:00 – 14:20 Lunch
14:20 – 15:50 Connolly Area – Voting (Delegates only)
15:50 – 16:30 Liberty Hall Theatre – NSE Reports, Motions, NSE Plan Presentation
Liberty Hall Theatre – Election results & wrap up
Students were given Green or Orange badges after registration.
Green badges – This meant you were able to vote on motions/ constitutional amendments and the ISSU elections.
Orange badges – This meant you are an observer and would not be able to vote. This may be because more than two students were attending from your school or your student council has not yet joined the ISSU.
Also the National Student Executive officers wore blue badges. The ISSU AGM Facilitators wore yellow badges.
ISSU AGM 2015
Keynote Address from Minister for Education and Skills
Jan O’ Sullivan T.D
Speaking about her role as Minister for Education and Skills, Minister O’ Sullivan said:
“I believe that education is central to our idea of citizenship, our economic recovery and our social progress. Education has the capacity to transform our lives and our communities in a fundamental way.
As Minister for Education and Skills I have a duty to ensure that our policies and funding decisions support the continued growth and improvement of our education system and that all citizens, regardless of age, gender or social background have equal access to appropriate, quality education services.
I am also committed to ensuring that the skills element of my portfolio contributes to our economic recovery as we use every lever to ensure that people have the skills and confidence to return to work as job opportunities increase.
I have a challenging and exciting job. I have a clear vision of the role of education in modern Irish society over the coming years. However, I do not claim to have a monopoly of wisdom. I would be interested in hearing from your views by email to firstname.lastname@example.org I am also looking forward to working closely with each of the partners during my tenure as Minister.”
Group Work and Discussion Topic
Students were split up into groups and brought into another room. The groups were then introduced to their Group Leader who was also a National Students Executive officer. First all students in the group were introduced to one another by playing a game. Then each student in the group was given a chance to raise an issue or talk about things they felt strongly about. The Group Leader recorded all the issues and topics which were raised by the group. Then a member from each group was nominated to speak about what their group had discussed in front of all the students at the AGM.
Issues discussed by groups included:
• PE course in schools i.e. Not just football
• Irish examination for LC
• Junior Cert reform
• Career Guidance in schools
• CSPE course in JC
The students who ran for National Student Executive positions were allowed 2 minutes each to give their opinions and explain to students why they should get their votes.
The National Student Executive positions:
• Deputy President
• Education Officer
• Welfare and Equality Officer
• Irish Language Officer
• International Officer
• Campaigns and Communications Officer
• Student Council Support Officer
There were 18 candidates running for the above positions.
Only delegates who registered for voting and joined the ISSU are allowed to vote. Each member school has two delegates who can vote.
National Student Executive elections are done by secret ballot using the proportional representation single transferrable vote system.
ISSU Work Plan 2015 – 2016
The work plan is a plan of the main work that ISSU will undertake as an organisation for 2015 – 2016 year. This work will be mainly led by the National Student Executive but will also include the National Council, Regional Council of Schools and Student Council members at grass root level. It is important that the ISSU Work Plan includes everything that members feel should be ISSU’s main priorities for the year.
2014 – 2015 Priorities included:
• LGBT Rights Movement – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender
• Junior Cert Reform
There was one motion put forward from a school. This was
‘To support the continuing development, assessment, accreditation and certification by the State Examination Commission of the second-level examinations in Ireland.’
Other motions related to ISSU constitutional amendments andall motions were carried.
President: Rob O’ Donnell
Deputy President: Joanna Siewierska
Education Officer: Jane M. Hayes Nally
Welfare and Equality Officer: Isabelle Geraghty
Irish Language Officer: Liam Morris
International Officer: Gearoid Dardis
Campaigns and Communications Officer: Art O’ Mahony
Secretary: Helen Ryan
Student Council Support Officer: Alex Fogarty
Honorary President: Craig Mc Hugh
ISSU AGM 2015
Note to all members from outgoing ISSU President 2014 – 2015
Craig Mc Hugh
This year, our student voice is more relative than ever before. We are witnessing change within our second-level education system with the implementation of curricular reform such aswith the Junior Certificate and also discussions on voting at the age of sixteen has moved our student voice on to our national airwaves and into the pockets of citizens nationally through social media.
Last April I was elected President of the ISSU. I stood before a group of students just like you to make my case and to provide commitments as to why I should lead the ISSU. My key goal was to improve accessibility and relevancy. As a student lead organisation - I believe we should be proud to provide the persona and representation of the diverse student population that exists within our society. Chairing the National Student Executive (NSE), leading the ISSU and developing our agenda with the team this past year has certainly been challenging but equally rewarding. The opportunities the ISSU has created for all of us are of an indescribable nature. It has been an honour acting as the President of the ISSU and I am very excited to be returning as Honorary President for the 2015 – 2016 term; a year that I know will be filled with interest but also of change.
We have successfully built on our strengths as an organisation and have set out priorities for making ISSU as inclusive of an organisation as possible. One of the first decisions of the NSE this year was to declare support for the LGBT rights movement. As a student lead organisation we feel it is our responsibility to contribute to the formation of an equal Irish society and an equal second-level student environment. Following this and other international events to which we have been involved with we have developed our first ISSU Equality Policy.
As I have previously said, the next twelve months will be driven by change. The work plans set out for the NSE is fuelled with potential, and from what I have grasped the calibre of those going forward and leading the ISSU next are second to none. For next year’s team, I cannot stress how important membership development is. We need to be constantly thinking of how to expand our membership base and aim to engage on a grassroots level with second-level student councils and we need to always be striving to engage with our student representatives across the country.
Finally, I would like to thank you all for committing to taking the time from your Easter Break to come to Dublin for ISSU AGM 2015. It’s essential that these events are student led and student focused. It’s important that students turn out for events like these as it ensures students in Ireland are correctly represented on local and national levels.