Me, a student representative?

The year is 2018 and the merging of the universities and students unions of Tampere is approaching. But who will advocate for students in the new faculties or in the new universitys administration in general? In the spring of 2018 the biggest student representative-project that TTYY and Tamy had ever seen was started. And yes, this had to be implemented without knowledge of what these organs do. 7 faculty councils, education council, societal interaction council, appeals committee. In these organs there is almost a combined amount of 90 places for student representatives. In addition there are 5 places in the Academic board which were fortunately chosen before the huge swarm of application rounds. With a few secondary application round all student representative or halloped places were filled. And with that student representation in the new university was guaranteed. The autumn of 2018 will be in the history books for many reasons: establishment of the new student union TREY, selection of its first board of representatives and the executive board and also the first halloped megasearch.

The selection of student representatives for administrative organs, especially the organs named in the Universities Act and rules of procudure, is set in the law as the student unions task. For TREY working with hallopeds encompasses a lot more than just selecting them. It is keeping in contact with student representatives regularly and gathering them together to share thoughts. Hallopeds are an important part of the student community since they give students a voice in places where it is needed. Developing education, co-operation with societal matters, keeping up with the faculties, deciding on universities academic matters. In these issues students have been active participants in developing the university. Seeing the work student representatives do is wonderful, since they do a lot of great advocacy. Not just for improving the situation of the students, but the whole community.

In the halloped megasearch there is almost 100 places to apply for this autumn. In January 2021, the new hallopeds will start their work in their respective organs. Hopefully current hallopeds will reapply, but it has been exciting to see first and second year students applying this year in the secondary application rounds. Hopefully this trend continues this year in the megasearch. Working as a student representative is not only using educational affairs jargon, it is a chance to improve our university community. I find it a shame that I didn’t begin getting into halloped-work and educational affairs at the start of my studies I started my journey in educational affairs at the end of my studies, with the motivation of improving them. I could have influenced my own studies, and not just the studies of my future peers, if I had gotten into advocacy work earlier.

Why do we constantly remind students of our halloped-work and assert that its worth it to apply? Because it is the easiest way to influence, for example, the quality of your own degree programmes education. Hallopeds are coordinated by the student union and our associations. No matter what route you are taking to apply for a halloped position the most important thing is not your knowledge of higher education politics. The most imporant part is your motivation and will to affect change. Anyone can learn how to speak educational affairs jargon so all you need is motivation and interest in being a student representative. Remember that you can always get more information about this subject by being in contact with the student union’s educational affairs sector or current hallopeds.

The summer is a great time to think about one’s own goals, wants and motivation. After the summer in the end of August we begin the halloped megasearch and together we will ensure that students will continue to be active influencers in the university’s administration. Enjoy the summer and be ready to follow TREYs communications about megahalloped search in the autumn!

With happy summer wishes,

Tiia Virtanen, TREYs educational affair specialist.