Our Constitution

Young Greens Northern Ireland Constitution

1) Name and Aims

The name of this organisation is Young Greens Northern Ireland (YGNI). We campaign for Green principles across Northern Ireland, in accordance with our “Aims & Vision” document, and work in co-operation with other Young Green groups internationally, such as FYEG.

YGNI is the youth wing of the Green Party in Northern Ireland (GPNI), and supports the aims of the Party. YGNI has the right to disagree with Green Party policies if its membership or Executive Committee agrees to.

YGNI aims to support and represent young people within the Green Party in Northern Ireland, providing political education and assistance to young members, and influencing Green Party policy and structures. YGNI also takes part in its own campaigns both within and outside Universities and Colleges in which it is active.

2) Membership

Membership of YGNI is open to everyone from the ages of 16 to 30; people who join YGNI automatically become Green Party in Northern Ireland members, and all GPNI members under the age of 30 are automatically members of YGNI. Members of Green University/College Societies are not automatically GPNI members, but will be given the opportunity to become Party members. Members are subject to GPNI procedures, as members the Party.

Members of YGNI have full rights to attend meetings and participate in the structures of YGNI, including voting and standing for election to the YGNI Exective Committee (see point 3.1).

A list of members is kept by the Secretary of YGNI, who is to be contacted by GPNI’s Membership Secretary with details on new members of GPNI under 30. The Secretary should also contact GPNI’s Membership Secretary with details of new members who have joined through YGNI. Members are contacted via YGNI’s Mailchimp newsletter and YGNI’s email address at younggreens@nigreenparty.org.

3) Structure

YGNI’s Chair represents Young Greens on GPNI’s Executive Committee, which meets monthly and communicates online. If the Chair cannot attend a meeting, they may nominate another Young Green to attend and represent them.

YGNI is made up of Young Green University/College Societies and the wider Young Green membership (this may be expanded to local Young Green groups in future). Each Young Green Society’s Chair is automatically a member of the YGNI Executive Committee, though if they can’t attend a YGNI EC meeting, they may nominate someone from their Society to attend in their place.

3.1) YGNI Executive Committee

The YGNI Executive Committee (EC) runs Young Greens Northern Ireland on a day-to-day basis, organising events and meetings, making statements, running campaigns, and deciding how to influence the Green Party.

The YGNI EC should be gender-balanced, consisting of no more than 50% men. To assist this, the following guidelines apply to elections to EC:

(i) Contested roles should include at least one female candidate, or nominations process to be extended by a further 2 weeks

(ii) YGNI to ensure selection processes are run in a non-discriminatory fashion.

The Executive Committee is elected at YGNI AGMs (see point 4) by members of YGNI, all of whom may vote for or stand in elections to various roles.

The following roles are elected to the EC at an AGM:

Chair: The Chair’s role is to oversee the general running of YGNI, to assist and direct the EC, and to act as a spokesperson for YGNI. The Chair should also (along with the Secretary) cooperate with GPNI’s Treasurer in getting funding from the Party for events and expenditure of YGNI.

Secretary: The Secretary’s role is to keep minutes and agendas of YGNI meetings, to send these documents to relevant members, and to manage correspondence between the EC and general membership. The Secretary also keeps a list of YGNI members, in cooperation with GPNI’s Membership Secretary.

The above two roles must be elected before any of the following positions are filled.

Social Media/Comms Officer: The Comms Officer’s role is to manage YGNI’s social media accounts and its website, and to create public statements from YGNI in consultation with the rest of the EC.

International Officer: The International Officer’s role is to keep contact and create cooperation with other Young Green groups internationally, principally through contact with FYEG (Federation of Young European Greens), which the International Officer is expected to stay in touch with.

Equalities Officer: The Equalities Officer’s role is to make sure YGNI is accessible to people from racial and ethnic minorities, different religious beliefs, LGBT+ people, women, those with disabilities, and those with dependants, and to assist the EC in being representative of these groups.

Campaigns Officer: The Campaigns Officer’s role is to plan and help execute the particular campaigns and issues that YGNI will be working on for the near future, in cooperation with the rest of the YGNI EC.

Social Officer: The Social Officer’s role is to organise social events for YGNI members (especially new members) to meet up in a relaxed, friendly and open atmosphere, and get to know one another.

Ordinary Members: Ordinary Members don’t have specific responsibilities, but they sit on the EC and have votes and influence on it. Up to 2 Ordinary Members can be elected, unless all other roles in the EC have been filled, in which case, up to 5 may be elected.

Members seeking election to the EC must put themselves forward before or at an AGM; the YGNI EC is expected to make provisions for members to put themselves forward prior to the AGM.

If there are more than two candidates for one role at an AGM, the election is made through an Alternative Vote system.

If not all roles are filled, the EC must allocate remaining roles among its members at its first meeting after an AGM.

If positions become open between AGMs, the EC can co-opt someone in for the role.

Group/Society Reps are elected to the EC by their respective groups, so are not elected at YGNI AGMs.

4) Meetings

YGNI aims for at least 1 Young Green-specific event to take place every fortnight; this can be a general meeting of young greens to discuss policy, a YG-organised talk or workshop, or a social meet-up for new and prospective members.

The YGNI EC should aim to meet once a month, and remains in contact online. The EC is encouraged to hold open meetings for young greens and consult general membership online, when it’s realistic to do so.

YGNI Annual General Meetings (AGMs) must happen at least once every 18 months, but it is recommended they take place annually. They must be open to all YGNI members, who are free to vote and stand for election for the Executive Committee. If members cannot attend an AGM, they may nominate themselves for election to roles on the EC prior to the AGM, by contacting the YGNI Secretary or Chairperson beforehand.

Nominations for EC positions should open 4 weeks before AGM. The AGM/Conference should be announced 6 weeks before the date on which it’s held.

Motions may be submitted by Young Greens at AGMs, to alter this Constitution, or to alter the Young Greens’ “Aims & Vision” document. These must be submitted before the AGM, and will be voted on by the membership present.