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Council Standing Orders

UCD Students' Union values:

Acting with Integrity

Showing Compassion

Empowering Students



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Standing Orders of the Students’ Union Council


Order I

  1. Meetings of Council shall take place at least once per month during Semesters 1 & 2, on such a day of the week as shall be determined by Council at its first meeting each year, which shall take place no more than one week after the Union Council Elections.
  1. When at the end of an academic term, a meeting on the day determined would take place not more than four working days after the last day of term, it shall be decided at the last meeting but one to bring forward the final meeting so that it will fall within term.


Order II

The Order of Business at such a meeting of Council shall be as follows:

(a) The declaration of a quorum by roll call.

(b) Minutes arising of the previous meeting.

(c) Matters arising.

(d) Motions on notice.

(e) Items for Discussion

(f) Items for Noting

(g) Items for Approval

(h) The reports of each Executive Officer

(i) Questions on notice.

(j) Questions not on notice.

 (k) All discussions deferred to the instant meeting from any previous meeting, which

discussions shall include the hearing of the report of any committee of Council and

the taking of any vote consequent upon such report or discussion.

(l) Motions not on notice.

(m) Submission of motions to be on notice for next meeting.

(n) Any Other Business.


Order III

  1. Orders II (d), (e), (f) & (g) shall have been submitted at the previous Council meeting or within one week of the relevant meeting.
  1. Motions on notice shall be in writing and be signed by the proposer and seconder, who shall be members of Council and in attendance at the relevant meeting.
  2. Items for discussion, items for noting, and items for approval shall be in writing and signed by a proposer only
  1. The Secretary to Council shall, subject to the supervision of the President, prepare the order paper three days before the meeting.
  2. The order paper shall be made available to all UCRs three days before the meeting.
  1. An emergency motion shall be a motion concerning matters, which have arisen since the time for submission of motions on notice has expired. An emergency motion should concern a matter, which, at the discretion of the Chairperson, must be dealt with prior to the next Council meeting.
  1. No emergency motion may be put which demands expenditure of more than €255. This may be overturned by a two-thirds majority vote of Council, provided that a quorum of Council members has voted.
  1. Executive Officers’ reports must be issued in writing at least two days prior to the relevant Council meeting.


Order IV

1.      No business shall be transacted or discussion begun at any meeting of Council until the Chairman has counted and declared a quorum in excess of that declared in accordance with Article 7.6 of the Constitution.

2.      In the event of Council becoming inquorate during a meeting the Chairperson shall adjourn the meeting until the Council becomes quorate. Should s/he have reasonable grounds to believe that Council will not become quorate during that meeting, s/he shall declare the meeting closed.


Order V

1.       At the beginning of the meeting, the chairperson shall cause to be recorded the presence or absence of each member.

2.       On the failure of any member to answer the calling of his/her name, the Secretary shall declare whether s/he was prior to the meeting, in possession of written notice of the expected absence of the member, and shall cause a note of whether or not s/he received such notice to be entered against the name of the absent member.

3.       When the names of all members have been called, the chairperson shall sign the record which shall be witnessed by the Secretary.

4.       The record so signed shall not be amended and shall be filed by the Secretary in two special attendance files: one to be kept in the General Office of the Students’ Union and the other to be kept in the President’s Office.


Order VI

1.      On the discussion of any motion the order of speaker shall be:

(a)                The proposer.

(b)               Any speaker against the motion

(c)                If, and only if, there has been a speaker against the motion any further speaker in favour or against or on the motion, beginning with the one in favour and alternating thereafter, subject to order XIX.

(d)               No person shall speak more than once on the motion, except as provided by Order VI.1 (e).

(e)                The proposer or seconder of the motion (but not both) may be heard in reply.

2.      If no speaker wishes to speak against the motion, there shall be no further discussion after the proposer has spoken.

3.      Except as provided for at VI.2 above by a vote by show of hands shall be taken immediately upon the summation, such a vote shall be on the motion incorporating any amendments thereto.

4.      The vote shall be by roll call vote if a petition of not less than ten members of Council is presented to the Chairperson  prior to the vote taking place.

Order VII

Amendments to motions may be proposed and seconded in writing in the following form: “We wish to amend the motion under discussion by deleting/adding the words ‘………’ so that the motion would then read ‘………’”

An amendment in this form shall suspend discussion on the main motion.

Discussion and voting on the amendment shall be as if it were a main motion and governed by Order VI above except that no discussion shall take place, if the proposer of the main motion accepts the amendments.

Amendments to amendments are not accepted.

If an amendment is passed, discussion continues on the amended motion. If the amendment is defeated, discussion continues on the original motion.

No amendment negating a main motion will be put.

When discussion on an amended motion is being concluded the proposer of the motion shall be invited to reply under Order VI.1 (e).


Order VIII

A motion or amendment may not be withdrawn during the voting process on that motion or amendment.


Order IX

The following procedural motions may be moved:

(a)                A motion that the question  may be put now.

(b)               A motion that the meeting proceed to the next business.

(c)                A motion to refer (or refer back) a matter to another (specified) meeting.

(d)               A motion to refer a matter to a (specified) Executive Officer.

(e)                A motion to remit a matter to a private session.

(f)                A motion to adjourn to a private session.

(g)               A motion to raise Standing Orders for a (specified) period of time.

(h)               A challenge to the Chairperson’s ruling.

(i)                 A motion of no confidence in the Chair.

(j)                 A motion that the speaker no longer be heard.

(k)               A motion to re-adopt Standing Orders.

(l)                 A motion challenging the constitutionality of the conduct of business.

(m)             A motion that the motion be put in parts.

(n)               A motion that the question not be put.

(o)               A motion that a named person who has been ruled out of order on three separate occasions shall lose his/her speaking rights for the duration of the meeting.

Order X

Orders IX (a), (l) and (o) shall be put without discussion. In the case of IX (h) and (i) the Chairperson may speak in his own defence for three minutes but may not enter into discussion.

The proposer of any other procedural motion may speak for one minute and one other speaker may oppose for one minute, subject to Orders XIV, X.1 and X.3.

If the procedural motion refers to the substantive motion or an amendment on the floor, the proposer of the substantive motion or amendment shall have preferential speaking rights in opposing such a procedural motion.

In the case of IX (h) the Chairperson shall have preference to speak against the motion.


Order XI

If the order IX (a) is carried the Chairperson shall allow the proposer to reply and then put the question to a vote.


Order XII

When IX (h) or (i) are proposed the Chairperson shall leave the chair until the matter is decided.


Order XIII

Amendments may not be proposed to procedural motions except in respect of specified times and committees etc, such amendments shall be put without discussion.


Order XIV

No procedural motion may be moved in respect of another procedural motion.

Order IX (k) may be moved only when IX (g) has been previously passed.


Order XV

A point of information may be made to any speaker wishing to accept one by any member of Council.

A point of information must be used only for the purpose of giving a single relevant piece of information which seems to have escaped the speaker’s attention.


Order XVI

A point of order may be made by a member at any time provided s/he names their point of order.

A point of order must relate to the constitutionality or fairness or legality of the procedure of a debate.

A point of order may not be used to question the constitutionality of the subject matter, i.e. the motion or any action contemplated therein.

The Chairperson shall rule immediately on point of order, his decision being final fur the purposes of the decision in hand.


Order XVII

It shall be the duty of the Chairperson to use his/her discretion to decide whether or not any proceedings are within these standing orders. For the purposes of the discussion in hand the Chairperson’s use of discretion shall not be a ground on which he/she may be asked to leave the chair unless it is clear that his/her actions are motivated by an intention to influence the debate.



Where for any reason Council wishes to investigate or examine any issue in detail it may by motion appoint a committee of members to take on the task.

Any such motion shall specify the terms of reference to such a committee and its proposed membership.

No amendment may be proposed to such a motion except for the purposes of proposing a different membership.

Such a committee shall be of either three or five members of Council.