”The student union liaises with and on behalf of its members and promotes their societal, social and intellectual aspirations and those relating to studies and the status of students in society.” This is what the Universities act states.
Student unions are the advocates of students, and their duties include both running the everyday life of the community, and the political influencing. The allegation everything is political holds up. Advocacy is political.
On this super year of elections, the student movement has gotten properly into politics. With the help of representative democracy, a joint platform of the student unions has been created, and it all comes together in the National Union of University Students in Finland and the University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland’s joint educationprkl campaign. All of the election influencing we have done is based on this campaign’s main points; education, livelihood, mental health and climate.
Student unions and student bodies all over Finland have spent the last few weeks diligently by the phone. One of our most notable means of election influencing has been calling all the electoral district’s parliamentary candidates, telling them about our goals and gathering their views on our election’s main points. It has been rewarding talking to candidates, who have been genuinely interested in student matters, and who have asked for extra material afterwards, so that they can familiarise themselves with the matters more thoroughly.
Along phone calls, election influencing has been seen on campuses. TREY together with the student union of Tampere University of Applied Sciences have been ambitious by organising a series of election panels, where students have participated in discussions about significant matters. If you haven’t attended one yet, we strongly recommend that you head to the science election panel today. You can also meet the candidates at the election stalls at Keskustori in the beginning of April. Challenge the candidates and demand solutions directly from them!
It is good to remember, that politics and party politics aren’t the same thing. These get mixed up too often when we discuss what kind of politics a certain movement should have. The election campaign reaches the parliamentary candidates, regardless of their party. All lobbying is a step toward having the goals reach all the way to the government program. I hope that the conversations were so compelling, that our goals will also be remembered back in the everyday life of Arkadianmäki.
The student movements’ solution to highlighting climate politics has been, besides other means, direct influencing to the candidates. We have brought the problem up in discussions and demanded them to commit to solutions with tens, if not hundreds of hours of phone calls, meetings and election panels. This, if anything, is good politics and promotes the aims concerning studies and the status of students in society.
The science election panel is held on March 28, from 3-5 p.m. in Tampere University’s centre campus, in the main auditorium of the main building. More information here. (The event is only in Finnish.)
TREY’s #yoursolution series is a part of SYL and SAMOK’s #educationprkl election campaign. The three main points of the campaign are climate, education and livelihood. More information about the national campaign can be found here.