The student union comprises two distinct groups: the Representative Council and the Board. Within the Representative Council, 21 individuals wield the highest decision-making authority, while the Board, consisting of 8 members, manages day-to-day affairs, engages in influential work, and organizes various events. Both the Representative Council and the Board are elected annually, serving for a calendar year. The Representative Council appoints the Board, and the Board’s primary responsibility is to execute the decisions made by the Representative Council.
In simplified terms, the Representative Council determines the framework for activities, including budgeting and action planning. Conversely, the Board collaborates with employees to put these action plans into motion and makes decisions that support and facilitate their implementation.
Active dialogue creates new perspectives
Active communication between the Representative Council and the Board is a crucial aspect of the student union’s functioning. This is evident in several ways, such as the Board’s regular participation in Representative Council meetings, where they have the right to speak and be present. The Board’s chair ensures the presence of Board members at all Representative Council meetings, and during these gatherings, financial oversight is also addressed. Additionally, the Representative Council receives summaries of discussions and decisions made during Board meetings.
“It’s crucial for the Representative Council to have insight into how the Board allocates its time,” emphasizes Jutta Pantsu, who currently serves as the Chair of the Representative Council. She adds, “The Board is always welcome to attend Representative Council meetings, enabling them to listen to discussions and actively take part in them.”
Aino Kouri, the Chair of the Board, underscores, “The Representative Council’s ultimate authority in major policy decisions and its ability to question the Board’s actions adds a layer of diligence to our work.”
Together we are more
Conversely, the Representative Council actively participates in Board meetings. The presiding members of the Representative Council are granted right to speak (editorial note: right to speak is a meeting term) and are invited to attend Board meetings, where they actively engage in board discussions.
Reflecting on the collaboration with the Board, Jutta adds, “Our partnership with the Board has highlighted the tremendous dedication and versatility of this year’s Board members. They engage in a diverse range of activities, and it’s been an incredible opportunity to follow their decision-making process and engage in meaningful discussions. It’s truly been a privilege to connect with intelligent and witty individuals whom I might not have met otherwise, all thanks to my role in the Representative Council and my position as Chair.”
Jutta continues, “The effectiveness of the Representative Council hinges on the commitment of its representatives. While we are already collaborating extensively with the Board, our active involvement in the Representative Council can broaden our cooperative efforts.”
Collaboration extends beyond the realm of presidium; as a member of the Representative Board, you have the chance to immerse yourself in various activities. The student union frequently receives interview requests and invitations to participate, which are also shared with the Representative Council. Delegates have even taken part in campus tours and contributed to event organization.
Membership of the council as a stepping board
Engaging with the student union can be inspiring. Just ask Silja, a current board member.
“My involvement with HAMKO has spanned both the Representative Board and the Board itself,” says Silja.
“I initially applied to join the Representative Council during my first year of study, with no prior knowledge of how the student union operates or what opportunities it presents. In 2021, I served on the Representative Council, where I received valuable preparation for organizational tasks. Being part of council, I had the possibility get to connect with students from diverse campuses, fields of study, and year groups.”
“As a council member, you can can get involved in various activities. Like participate in student union events also as a organizer’s position and even assist with communication efforts. We are open to all possibilities, and new ideas for collaboration are embraced with enthusiasm. Your level of activity and personal interests play a significant role. Through the Representative Council, I found myself assisting the previous board in organizing HAMKO’s annual gala last year, and it was an enriching experience. My background in representative council and local associations eventually sparked my interest in organizational activities, leading me to apply for a position on the student union’s board,” Silja tells.
The application period for the Representative Council is currently open and will remain so until October 16th at 12:00 (noon). You don’t need to be a superhero or an expert; students from all fields and campuses are encouraged to apply.hamko
“I can confidently attest, based on my own experience, that learning by doing is the way to go, especially in organizational work. If you have even the slightest interest in getting involved, I urge students to run for council. You won’t regret it, as it opens numerous opportunities to enhance your skills and gain valuable experience,” Silja enthusiastically encourages.