The purpose of this guide is to provide information about how you can apply to become a member of TREY’s Executive Board. This guide serves as a concise introduction to what the Student Union of Tampere University (TREY) does, what positions of trust the Executive Board has, and how you can apply to become a member of the board.
Student Union of Tampere University in a nutshell
The Student Union of Tampere University (TREY) protects the interests of the 18,000 students of Tampere University, facilitates the work of student associations, provides services for its members, and contributes to creating a sense of community. All of us 18,000 students are what constitutes the Student Union. As stated in the Universities Act, the main task of a student union is to liaise with and on behalf of its members and to promote their societal, social, and intellectual aspirations.
The highest decision-making power in the Student Union belongs to the Council of Representatives. Its 49 members are elected every two years in the council elections. The Council of Representatives appoints the Executive Board and outlines TREY’s policies, such as the strategy, budget, and plan of action. All TREY’s members have the right to attend council meetings. All students who are enrolled as present have the right to vote and stand as candidates in the council elections.
The Executive Board holds administrative and executive power in the Student Union. The board’s term of office is one calendar year. The Executive Board engages in long-term student advocacy work, manages the Student Union’s day-to-day activities, and is in charge of the implementation of the Plan of Action. The Executive Board exercises general executive power within the limits set by the Student Union’s rules and the council’s decisions. The board also represents the Student Union in dealings with members, associations, and external stakeholders. The Executive Board is accountable to the Council of Representatives for all its actions.
The Student Union has 16 employees. To learn more about TREY’s staff, visit page Staff members on TREY’s website. The Student Union’s employees support the Executive Board’s decision-making and actively engage in advocacy work at the University, in the city of Tampere, and on the national level.
How TREY’s Executive Board works
The Executive Board consists of a chairperson and a maximum of 11 other members. The size of the board is decided by the Council of Representatives when appointing the board. Each board member is in charge of one or more sectors. The Student Union has several sectors from events to educational affairs and from communication and international affairs to social affairs. The board members work in cooperation with the Student Union’s specialists and other employees.
Despite the sector division, most of the board work consists of working together to develop the Student Union and its activities.
During the semesters, the Executive Board holds meetings roughly once a week. To support its decision-making process, the Executive Board holds weekly morning sessions to go through the agenda together.
The Chair’s job description includes representational work, decision-making, and the management of the office (especially the Board) together with the Secretary General. On a weekly basis, the Chair, together with the Vice Chair and the Secretary General, prepares the agenda for the Board meeting, as well as leads the morning sessions and the meetings. The everyday work life includes discussions with the board members, representation meetings and their preparation, as well as monitoring and planning the Action Plan. The Chair also works in communications a great deal!
The Vice Chair acts as part of the main sector and in close cooperation with the Chair and the Secretary General. Weekly work includes, for example, preparing meetings and decision-making, leading the work of the Board and representing it in various meetings. The focus of the work depends largely on the agreed division of labour, but the job description may include, for example, community or advocacy work.
Board members, including the chairperson and the vice chair, are collectively in charge of the Student Union’s operational activities. The Executive Board manages the Student Union’s day-to-day activities and works in close cooperation with the Student Union’s staff.
Each board member is in charge of their own sector or area of responsibility, which defines a framework for their tasks. Despite the sector division, the board members are responsible for the Student Union’s activities as a whole and for matters related to advocacy work and community building, in particular. This means that in addition to working in your own sector, you will also have the chance to participate in many other tasks! The Executive Board collectively acts as a supervisor for the Student Union’s employees, making recruitment decisions and discussing changes in job specifications and other employment-related matters.
The board members’ areas of responsibility include educational affairs, social affairs, development of association activities, international affairs, events, communication, corporate cooperation, financial affairs, member services, urban advocacy, environmental affairs, and tutoring.
The Executive Board distributes the tasks in the first board meeting. If necessary, the board can redefine the division of roles during the year.
Some board members are also in charge of other student bodies. These student bodies are groups made up of students who have been elected or who work in a particular position in a subject or hobby association or club. These bodies include Syndikaatti, the group of chairpersons of subject associations and guilds; Hovi, the group of tutoring organisers; and Viestintäfoorumi, the group of communication organisers of associations.
The board members responsible for educational affairs carry out the Student Union’s educational affairs advocacy work. The everyday life of the sector consists largely of different meetings, preparation of advocacy work, communication and spending time learning more about different themes of the sector. Under the sector are, for example, the Student Union’s halloped activities, development of education and teaching, university administration and national educational affairs advocacy.
Social affairs refer to advocacy work to ensure that the prerequisites for studying are met. Indeed, smaller sectors of social affairs are engaged in advocacy work: housing, urban advocacy, physical activity, livelihood, equality, well-being, health and sustainable development. In particular, the work focuses on interest group cooperation, various working groups, advocacy planning, communications and familiarity with the themes of the sector.
This community-centric sector is almost as diverse as the more than 170 associations that make up TREY. The sector runs all kinds of functions and processes on a continuous, weekly, monthly and annual level. Because there is a lot to do, there are often 2-3 board members in the sector.
When working on the Associations sector, you get to participate in the organisation of many different events: meetings of Syndikaatti, which consists of Chairs of subject associations, Association Coffees on topical topics, a community reward event at the TREYHEM Gala, the Associations’ Kick-off seminar day, which trains new association actives, and other trainings.
More than €150,000 in grants will pass through the association sector during the year. The amount consists of TREY’s own operating grants and project grants, as well as proposals for the distribution of the University’s international and cultural grants and student house foundation support. The sector makes the calls for applications, processes the applications and prepares the proposals for the Board meeting.
Other association related services run by the sector include association facilities, warehouses and other facilities, space reservation rights, and multidisciplinary advisory and consulting services for association activities. Advocacy can also be done in this sector, for example, in connection with grants awarded by the university, the associations’ own and shared facilities, and the facility use agreement.
It should also be mentioned that the sector also supports the establishment of new associations, prepares proposals for new association positions, and facilitates the work of student association sponsors.
The academic year calendar, student cards, rental vans, board games, the list goes on; as the name suggests, Member services is responsible for the services provided to more than 18,000 student members. The everyday life of the sector revolves around service offices, and the task of the board member is to develop existing services, as well as to brainstorm new ones. The sector also meets with partners such as TTMK, which facilitates vans, and the Perinneseura, which produced the calendar again this year. From the perspective of the board member, this independent and light sector offers room for spontaneous projects; for example, this year the board member has been working on a problem guide that supports tutoring.
Communications and brand
The communications sector is responsible for the Student Union’s communications and brand and their coordination. We implement everyday communication and support sectors in communication needs. The sector is also involved in the communication of larger entities such as campaigns and major events. Communication is coordinated by the institution responsible for communication, the Communications Forum. This year, the board members in the sector have had the opportunity to develop models for everyday communications, invest in representative body communications, shoot TREY News, meet interest groups, and consult the Visiiri editorial board.
The Student Union needs volunteers. The purpose of the sector is to make volunteering possible and fun for everyone. The sector is responsible for developing operations and innovating together with other sectors. The work of a board member includes supporting board members who facilitate working groups, e.g. in peer support moments and supporting sectors in matters related to volunteers. Streamlining volunteer processes and developing a rewarding culture are the everyday life of the sector! The 2023 board members have, among other things, been able to guide the future guidelines of the institutions, launch Nakki-volunteer overall badges, organise a joint event for the working groups, recruit volunteers, work on rewards for the nakki-volunteers and develop the TREYHEM Gala.
The campus development sector is responsible for matters related to campus development at Tampere University. The role of the sector is to ensure that the different interests of students are taken into account when developing the campus. The sector regularly meets actors who decide on the university’s major campus lines and participates in the university’s campus development workshops. Campus development also participates in the university’s security-related processes by meeting with the security team and participating in processes that increase campus security and comfort. The sector works closely with the association sector in matters in regards to facilities.
As its name suggests, the event sector runs the Student Union’s event machinery! This sector implements advocacy from a community perspective and activities focus on maintaining and developing the student culture of the university community. Usually the sector consists of 1-2 board members as well as TREY event producers.
The workload is large and it covers, among other things, the Biggest Wappu in Finland, the annual celebrations, as well as Newcomers’ Orienteering and Tutor’s Night. In some events, work is done together with other sectors, such as the association sector or tutoring. Activities in this sector are very cross-sectoral with different themes and topics of communication, volunteers and events, which makes working very diverse.
The corporate cooperation sector is responsible for the corporate cooperation agreements with TREY. The sector has one board member and TREY’s sales and marketing coordinator, and agreements are made from one-time deals to over-year contracts. The nature of cooperation varies depending on the cooperation partner. Contracts can be made, for example, through communication or event visibility and can be monetary or, so to speak, pro bono deals.
Cross-sector cooperation is most often conducted with event-rich sectors, such as the event, tutoring or association sector. In addition, the sector maintains TREY partnerships and meets regularly with marketing teams from major partners.
Unlike the name might suggest, the International Affairs sector does not take care of all the matters having to do with international affairs but instead it works on them in cooperation with other sectors. The work of this sector includes meetings and cooperation, especially with the University’s international mobility services and the National Union of University Students in Finland, sometimes also with International House Tampere. Some themes that this sector works on include student mobility, integration, home internationalisation, multilingualism and communality. In the coming year, the EU elections will also employ the international sector, where one board member will work together with the specialist on educational affairs and international affairs next year.
The Tutoring sector is, as the name suggests, in charge of the tutoring in our university. This sector organises the tutor application periods for spring and autumn, and also organises training for the new tutors and the Tutoring organiser in cooperation with the university.
The everyday activities of the sector vary a lot. The largest amount of work accumulates in the autumn around orientation week, when new students arrive on campuses.
In addition to meetings and training sessions, the sector also organises events. Tutors are welcomed to the team in the Tutors’ Night and tutors’ Christmas party. In autumn we also organise the legendary Newcomers’ Orienteering in autumn for all Freshers and international students. The sector is also responsible for its forum Hovi. Hovi consists of the Tutoring organisers from all the associations that organise tutoring. Hovi meets a few times a year to discuss current issues and in order to get to know each other.
The everyday activities of the Financial Affairs sector is routine, as payroll and financial administration are in the hands of our skilled employees. This year’s chart of accounts reform will make it easier to monitor our economy and it enables the sector to present monthly data on the student union’s use of money to the Board. The sector has a lot of room for innovation and development, which the board member can implement according to their wishes.
What does it take to become a board member?
TREY’s board is a so-called working board, which means that board membership is a paid full-time job. When you apply, keep in mind that working in the board and studying at the same time can be challenging in terms of time and stress management.
Board members are expected to
- be interested in influencing societal issues and working in an advocacy organisation
- be interested in promoting a sense of community among students at Tampere University
- be willing to understand social phenomena and have the ability to take in new information about them
- have the ability to network
- be able to commit to the job: board membership is a paid full-time job that lasts one year
- have cooperation skills: we are a small work community where board members work in close cooperation with each other, their partner, and other colleagues
- be able to work evenings and travel (depending on what your position and priorities are).
Why should I apply for TREY’s board?
As a member of TREY’s board, you will have the chance to
- advocate matters that are important to students of Tampere University at local and national level
- be at the core of local student culture and help develop a wide range of activities and events for our community
- learn about and deepen your knowledge of advocacy work and organisational activities.
You will also
- acquire an extensive career network and learn useful career skills
- get a partner to work with and get support from.
“Applying for TREY’s board was the best decision I made during my studies. In one year, I learned a great deal about myself, my sector, and many other things as well. Above all, I found new friends with whom I have been through a lot: spending one year together welds you together unlike anything else.” – TREY alumni 2019
“On TREY’s board, I was able to contribute to the student community in a professional environment. Working on the board was fun and collective, but it was also challenging and meaningful work to promote the well-being of students. I got to see my efforts turn into something tangible!” – TREY alumni 2019
How to apply for the Board
All members of the Student Union of Tampere University can apply for a position in TREY’s board. We welcome applicants of different genders and backgrounds. TREY’s board is appointed in accordance with the policies approved by TREY’s Administrative Committee. You can learn more about these policies on TREY’s website on page Steering documents.
If you are interested in becoming a member of TREY’s board, you should first fill in the application form found in the call for applications to gain visibility for your application on TREY’s communication channels. Applications will be given to the Council of Representatives in their entirety to support their decision-making process.
As part of the application process, you can submit application documents and materials and participate in TREY’s board applicant introduction session and the council’s interview night.
The Council of Representatives appoint the board for the following year in their first meeting at the end of November. The board and the chair of the board are elected in a different way.
Electing the chair of the Executive Board
The chair of the Executive Board is elected by voting. You can apply for the board until the beginning of the council’s first meeting. The chair candidate must be nominated and proposed to the council in the meeting to enter the candidate in the chair election. If you want to stand as a candidate to become the chair of the board, make sure that one of the council members nominates you. Council members hold a vote, and votes will be counted according to the single transferable vote system. The election of the chair of the board will be carried out before electing the rest of the board members. The non-elected chair candidates can apply for the board later in the meeting.
Appointing the Executive Board
The Executive Board is elected using the list system. This means that council members propose a list that includes all the candidates they would like to elect to the board. Council members cast their votes for lists, and the votes will be counted using the single transferable vote system.
What support does TREY offer to applicants?
Before the first meeting of the Council of Representatives, the board applicants can benefit from services that TREY offers to candidates.
As a candidate, you will be offered visibility on TREY’s communication channels, including an introduction page for board applicants. TREY will also hold various events and sessions where applicants can explain their views and themes to the Council of Representatives and the members of the Student Union. Some of these events are public, others are held between council members and board applicants.
If you have any questions about the Student Union, board work, or the application process, you can contact the team responsible for the board election process, the chair of the board, or the Secretary General. They are happy to answer any questions you may have about applying. Current board members are also happy to help if you have any questions about what it is like to work on the board on a daily basis. TREY’s specialists can fill you in on content-related questions.
We’re glad that you are considering becoming a member of our board!