The Electoral Commission regulates the conduct of electoral process by producing electoral regulations, which form an Electoral Regulation Manual.
The Electoral Commission shall put in place regulations governing the conduct of candidates and campaigners in respect of elections and referendums, which shall include regulations requiring candidates or campaigners not to breach University regulations or the law.
Membership of the Electoral Commission shall be comprised of not less than five and not more than nine members.
The Electoral Commission shall meet as often as it considers appropriate but at least once per semester.
As per article 14.3 of the MSU Constitution, there shall be a Returning Officer Team which shall execute and implement the regulations of the Electoral Commission in conducting and supervising the process of all Union elections and referendums.
The Returning Officers
The Chief Returning Officer and the Deputy Returning Officer, to be known jointly as “the Returning Officers”, shall appoint such Presiding Officers, polling clerks and other personnel as they consider necessary and shall make all arrangements as they consider necessary in the discharge of their duties subject to the provisions of this Constitution and, in as far as they consider to be reasonably practicable, in accordance with the Electoral Acts as amended.
The joint powers of the Returning Officers may be exercised by either of them acting alone, subject to the right of the Chief Returning Officer to overturn or countermand any decision or action of the Deputy Returning Officer. Any power reserved exclusively to the Chief Returning Officermay only be exercised by the Chief Returning Officer.
The Chief Returning Officer and the Deputy Returning Officer shall be appointed by the Election Ratifcation & Appeals Committee.
Chief Returning officer
The Chief Returning Officer shall:
- Hold no offcership or staff position in any of the Union; Maynooth University; or Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth; and all their associated campuses, enterprises, and companies; and shall not be a member of the Union’s Board of Trustees
- Be appointed for a three-year term. There shall be no limit to the number of terms for which an individual may be appointed as Chief Returning Officer.
Deputy Returning Officer
The Deputy Returning Officer shall:
- Jointly with the Chief Returning Officer supervise all elections and referendums, and who shall be primarily responsible for the administration of said elections and referendums. In the event of a disagreement, the Chief Returning O?cer’s decision shall be taken.
- Be appointed for a one-year term. There shall be no limit to the number of terms for which an individual may be appointed as Chief Returning Officer.
The Returning Officers shall report to the MSU Student Senate. These reports shall be in the form of Aide Memoirs.
Returning Officer Bio
Richard Hammond A.L.C.M., B.C.L., Dip.Arb., Dip.Fam.Law, Dip.Not.L., LL.B., LL.M., R.T.M.A., E.T.D.A., A.M. (CEDR), CIArb. Med., T.E.P., FRSA, FCIArb., Notary Public, Solicitor & Senior Counsel.
Richard Hammond is a Senior Counsel (being in the first coterie of solicitors ever to be elevated to that status by the Government of Ireland on 1st September, 2020) who practises as a solicitor with his spouse Joyce A. Good Hammond at Hammond Good, Solicitors & Notaries Public, Mallow, County Cork where he is a partner. He holds B.C.L., LL.B. and LL.M. degrees from University College Cork, a Diploma in Arbitration from University College Dublin and a Diploma in Family Law from the Law Society of Ireland. He is a Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and is a member of the Society of Estate & Trust Practitioners. He is also a European Trademark & Design Attorney, a Notary Public, and an Accredited Mediator (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution). He works in general practice and specialises in succession law and professional regulation, whilst also having strong interests in insolvency, intellectual property, arbitration and mediation. He teaches regularly in these areas at the Law School of the Law Society of Ireland. Richard has had articles published in the Gazette of the Law Society of Ireland and in the Irish Probate Law Journal, and has contributed to course textbooks published by the Law School of the Law Society of Ireland.
Richard is a member of the Council of the Law Society of Ireland. He is involved in a number of its committees including the Probate, Administration & Trusts Committee (former Chairperson), the Mental Health & Capacity Task Force (current Chairperson), the Education Committee (current Vice-Chairperson), and the Gazette Editorial Board. He served for four years on the Law Society of Ireland’s Complaints & Client Relations Committee, including two years as a Divisional Chairperson. He served for three years as Chairperson of the Professional Indemnity Insurance Committee, and was a member of the Future of Solicitor Education Review Group (the Peart Commission). Richard is a former President of the Southern Law Association, which dating from the 1870s is the second-largest solicitors’ bar association in Ireland representing solicitors in the City and County of Cork.
Having a strong interest in professional regulation, Richard is currently a member of the Fitness to Practice Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, Deputy Chairperson of the Preliminary Proceedings Committee of The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, and a member of the Standing Committee on Regulation of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland. He is also an Appeals Officer under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016, a member of the Irish Prison Service’s Panel of Serious Complaints Investigators, and a member of the External Appeals Tribunal of the Irish Red Cross. Richard has acted as chairperson of an Enquiry Committee under s.933 of the Companies Act 2014 and a Preliminary Investigation Committee under s.934 of the Companies Act 2014 for the Irish Auditing & Accounting Supervisory Authority.
Richard was previously President of the Union of Students in Ireland, a member of the Higher Education Authority, a member of the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (now Quality & Qualifications Ireland), and served for four years as the Chairperson of the Occupational Therapists Registration Board. Outside of professional activities and academia his interests include country walks with his spouse and children, reading, current affairs, supporting Cork G.A.A. teams and the Liverpool F.C. soccer team.
The Executive is elected annually and act as a collective authority with collective responsibility for the day to day operation of the Union, in addition to each officer’s own portfolio.
All ordinary members of the Union are eligible to run for an Executive officer position in the Unions annual elections.
The Executive is comprised of Full Time Officers and Part Time Officers.
Full-Time Executive Officer Positions
Every year, 4 students are elected to work full-time to improve the lives of students at Maynooth University (MU) and Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth (SPCM). They are the voice of Maynooth students, and as part of the Maynooth Students’ Union (MSU) Executive play a key role in shaping education, engagement, student welfare and services at the University, and lead MSU as an organisation to make sure it is doing everything it can for its members.
Don’t worry if that sounds like a big step up - you’ll get plenty of support along the way! MSU has a staff team with professional skills in everything from commercial activity to research and events planning. Most importantly, they are experts in helping students like you to learn and develop so you can be as effective as possible in your role.
MSU President: is the official spokesperson for MSU and represents students in terms of how they interact with MSU through democracy, communications and services, and leads on finance issues, administration and delivering MSU’s annual plan of work.
MSU Vice President Education: represents students on all aspects of academic and educational support matters and ensures that all students’ voices are represented on academic issues within MSU and University.
MSU Vice President Welfare & Equality: represents students on accommodation, finance, equality and wellbeing issues, and ensures that all students’ voices are represented on welfare issues within MSU and University.
MSU Vice President Student Life: represents Clubs & Societies at all levels with MSU and University, and leads on support for Clubs & Societies, volunteering and community engagement.
Part-Time Executive Officer Positions
Every year, 6 students are elected to work part-time to improve the lives of students at Maynooth University (MU) and Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth (SPCM). Together with the 4 Full-Time officers they form the MSU Executive and play a key role in shaping education, engagement, student welfare and services at the University, and lead MSU as an organisation to make sure it is doing everything it can for its members.
The roles are part-time and voluntary and you must be a current MU or SPCM student to hold one of these positions. But don’t worry - support will be put in place to ensure you are able to effectively deliver as part of the MSU Executive team.
Arts Celtic Studies and Philosophy Faculty Convenor: chair of their Faculty Council and liaison with the Executive on matters relating to students of their Faculty.
Social Sciences Faculty Convenor: chair of their Faculty Council and liaison with the Executive on matters relating to students of their Faculty.
Science and Engineering Faculty Convenor: chair of their Faculty Council and liaison with the Executive on matters relating to students of their Faculty.
Oifigeach na Gaeilge agus Gnóthaí Cultúrtha: promote the use of Irish language within MSU and represent the interests of relevant international, linguistic and cultural groups to the Executive.
Postgraduate Representative: responsible for dealing with issues relating to the education, welfare and student experience of postgraduate members of the Union.
Doctoral Postgraduate Representative: responsible for dealing with issues relating to the education, welfare and student experience of doctoral postgraduate members of the Union.
How do I put myself forward?
It all starts with a Nomination Form!
Nominations are opened for Executive positions early in Semester 2. These positions take up office on July 01st for the following Academic Year. Any positions not filled in these elections will be filled by means of a Bye Election. Keep an eye on our socials and website for details of election nominations UPDATE: Nominations are now open!
Each year MSU looks for students who wish to play a significant role in the democratic operations of the organisation. A number of elections are held in order to elect the student representatives that will form MSU Student Senate and run MSU on behalf of the students of Maynooth University and St.Patrick's College, Maynooth.
Senator roles are voluntary and you must be a current MU student to hold one of these positions. MSU Student Senate sits at least 3 times per Semester. During these meetings you get to formulate and vote on student policy and shape the direction of MSU on behalf of our members.
Every year, students are elected into MSU Student Senate positions. Together with the 4 Full-Time and 6 Part-Time Officers officers they form the MSU Student Senate and play a key role in representing the needs and views of students, overseeing the work of MSU and informing MSU policy.
Why should I run?
Keep MSU heading in the right direction.
MSU exists for its members - that’s students like you! - and it is important that it develops and grows to keep supporting the student body. Your insight into the student experience at Maynooth will help ensure that decisions the Executive makes are in the best interests of our members.
Represent the needs of different student groups.
In order to ensure the diverse student population is represented on Student Senate some of the roles have a particular focus. For example; the Green Campus Senator would have an interest in green issues etc.
Draft Policy on behalf of MSU.
A key function of Student Senate is to consider and draft policy that will guide the direction of MSU on behalf of its members. This policy is written, discussed and then voted upon by Student Senate, so you will have direct involvement.
How do I put myself forward?
It all starts with a Nomination Form!
Nominations are opened for a certain amount of Senate positions early in Semester 2. These positions take up office in September for the following Academic Year. Any positions not filled in these elections will be filled by means of a Bye Election. Certain positions which could not be filled in the March elections, such as First Year Senator, will also be elected at this time. Keep an eye on our socials and website for details of election nominations UPDATE: Nominations are now open!
MSU Executive and Senate Election Results, Nov. 02nd 2020
Download: Election Results [PDF]
MSU Executive and Senate Election Results, Mar. 12th 2020
Download: Election Results [PDF]