Blog: The impact I could make as a student surprised me

Emma Hulkkonen's blog about influencing as a student
Emma Hulkkonen, Vice Chair of OYY Board

Things happen around us in one way or another anyway. You can either complain about the decisions, or be active in making them better. As a fresher, I joined the activities of my subject organization so that I could develop it and be a part of the community of the organization. I was particularly interested in matters related to education. I pretty quickly realised that the work in the student organisations is important, but it is quite far away from the tables where the decisions are made. This is when I made the decision to apply as a halloped, or student representative.

I was elected to several positions to represent students. At first I did hesitate about how qualified for the job I am, not knowing anything other than my own student experience. As soon as I started working, I realised that it was my own experience as a student that was one of my most important tools to be a good student representative.

As a student representative, I have reminded the professors and other staff on many occasions about the students’ daily lives. Students are not a homogenous group but a diverse group of different people. In addition to this, I have been able to influence the teaching arrangements of our faculty, as well as being a part in electing the dean and dean of education of our faculty. I have also brought the concerns of student organizations and equality and diversity issues to the attention of our faculty. What I have enjoyed most, however, is that I have been able to award the best thesis from our faculty.

Depending on the working group or organ, students might be just a small part of everyone involved in the decision making. However, the power of students is in the fact that with just our presence, we remind the others about taking us into consideration. We are the watchdog who makes sure that the development is good for students, and our point of view is not forgotten.

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