Applying to become a board member in the Student Union Helga
The search for Haaga-Helia’s student union Helga’s board has begun! The Helga Board of 2021 will be elected at the assembly meeting of the new Representative Council. The assembly meeting of the new Representative Council will be held on November 25, 2020 at 3:00 pm. Location of the meeting will be announced later. You can apply to the Helga board in advance by submitting a written free-form application by email to the Representative Council (firstname.lastname@example.org). It has been a tradition to hold a session for the board applicants, where the Representative Council has the opportunity to get to know the applicants more and ask questions from the applicants. This is held in the assembly meeting of the new Representative Council.
In this article, we summarize what kind of activities Helga’s board is doing. We wanted to also share this year’s board members’ own experiences!
Helga’s processes are divided into four different categories – Advocacy, Community, Support and Communication. Each board member is allowed to choose the tasks they prefer from those 4 different categories.
If you plan to apply to the Helga board, please reserve the training period 30.11. – 4.12.2020 from your calendar.
What do we do at Helga?
In the advocacy team, you get to advance the interests of the student. The Advocacy Team advocates for students ’interests within the UAS, locally and nationally. This work is done through regular meetings with the people working with UAS management as well as various stakeholders, such as political youth and student organizations.
The work of the advocacy team is best reflected in the silent advocacy work that renews and develops the UAS’ operations in the long run. One result of long-term work is the FSHS (Finnish Students Health Service) reform, which student unions have been pushing together for years.
The advocacy team co-operates with other student unions in the Helsinki metropolitan area in a co-operation body, where the aim is to make more effective lobbying together. For example, co-operation body produces statements and opinions and sets out common positions for national decision-making. The same co-operation body also created an urban policy program in 2020, which was also introduced by the student union Helga, after it was approved by the Representative Council at its meeting as an official guiding document.
The advocacy team can also work on influencing FSHS or, for example, by lobbying or organizing election panels next year’s municipal elections.
If advocacy events are in your interest, in the advocacy team you can organize a WelfareAppro, Eetvartti or other advocacy events.
You can also use your communication skills in the advocacy work. You can write the Eetu newsletter, which can be subscribed to by all student activists working in Haaga-Helia who are interested in advocacy.
The team has an advocacy specialist who supports and trains board members in operations. The specialist ensures that the student union and its board are familiar and competent in pursuing the interests of the student union.
“The advocacy team gets to actually get their hands dirty to improve the well-being and interests of students. This year, I have been involved in making urban policy program, met with other representatives of the student unions advocacy groups and have been involved in creating different statements. ”
“The year has been extremely instructive as I primarily wished to make and produce events for students. However, I also managed to challenge myself in the interests of advocacy and I have enjoyed it insanely much! ”
The community includes all activities related to the community and student participation opportunities and, of course, their continuous development. Among other things, the community team does everything related to tutoring: recruitment, training, and otherwise acts as the closest link to tutors.
The Community team is also responsible for club activities, interactive student theater Helgan Speksi and our international action groups IDS and ESN.
The community team also includes local and national sports advocacy. Sports advocacy is done by communicating with our sports service Zone and the Finnish Student Sports Federation and participating in their discussion events. The community team members produces various student union events such as Wappu, Orientation Week’s climax, Freshers’ day and Annual Gala.
The team has its own specialist who supports the board and holds, for example, quarterly “start-up meetings” to plan what the process needs and how will the process be even better that year. The processes of the Community team are overseen by one of the Vice Chairpersons of the Board.
“With the processes of the community team, one can be sure to have a chance to get in touch with different people. Working in a community team has developed my social skills. Developing the UAS community is interesting and rewarding ”
“In the community team I have had a chance to participate in extracurricular activities and working groups that have been designed for all common events Haaga-Helia students.”
The support team includes all student union’s support functions. The support team actually includes all those processes and activities that are not directly under Advocacy, Community, or Communication. Such processes include membership benefits and cooperation agreements, product orders, and campus godparenting. Helga Point and the products sold there are also the responsibility of the support team.
In the support team, you can also organize trainings for local associations.. And if, for example, you are interested in developing campus lounges that is also part of the support team! The support team plays a significant role in what products the student union sells and how local activities are developed on our campuses.
The team has its own specialist who supports the board and holds, for example, quarterly “start-up meetings” to plan what the process will look like that year and what needs to be done to make the process a success. The processes of the support team are overseen by one of the vice chairpersons of the board.
“In the support Team, I have learned just the skills that I believe I need in the future. For example, cooperation agreements and the resulting negotiations. I believe I have developed my emotional intelligence, as many of the processes require a lot of different kinds of interaction.”
“The functions of the support team have been those where I have genuinely gotten close to another student and heard what he/she would like the student union to do. In fact, personally, I especially enjoyed the startweek where we held customer service point in the UAS lobby. There were laughs, a good mood and happy students. ”
The communications team is the only team in which not all members are directly involved. The communications team consists of a specialist, a vice chairperson and a selected number of board members. In 2020, the communications team had 4 members. The communication team consists of people who want to make communication in its various forms and develop in it.
The communications team takes a lot of time from the board members involved. The intention is to reduce the processes of other teams from the board members involved in the communication team.
The communications team’s processes include making newsletters Splash, maintaining websites, implementing a communication strategy, developing a brand, designing and producing marketing materials, developing communications, updating and maintaining Helga presentations, and communicating Helga’s operations with process managers. In the communication team, you get to influence how the student union communicates outwards and in what ways it narrates its activities.
All activities are done more or less together with the specialist, depending on how much support the team members themselves want. Working in a team does not require previous communication skills, but genuine interest and motivation in communication is enough, everything else is taught and learned!
“Working in the communications team has been my absolute favorite this year. It’s wonderful to make visions and come up with fun and eye-catching posts. While doing communication, I have had good laughs with everybody. What is rewarding about communication is that the result of the work is easy to see and it inspires to develop it all the time. ”
“Communication was a topic that interested me a lot in board. However, I myself have never studied the communication field and I was a little afraid to take responsibility for something I really don’t know much about. It’s been crazy to notice how professional I have become and how much I have developed. Especially in the making of the communications strategy has been a learning experience and I am even considered switching to study communications ”
Who can apply?
This is not a job ad where you need 30 years of experience and 5 different degrees. As a Helga board member you don’t need any experience or education. Real excitement to work for students wellbeing and commitment to work are ALWAYS enough.
In Helga you can develop in areas that you have not done before in working life. Helga’s purpose is to offer every board member an opportunity to do tasks according to their own wishes. We are a learning organization and we are always working in accordance with that principle. Any candidate does not have to be a perfect package with all the knowledge. Everyone can and will progress during the year and learn lots of new things.
From above you read about different tasks on the Helga board. We hope that all our applicants are interested in some process mentioned above. You can tell in your application which tasks you find interesting. We hope that you will keep an open mind for all the different tasks in Helga board. The official distribution of tasks and responsibilities happens in the board’s organization meeting next year.
There is a chance that next year we’ll be having an executive board with high commitment to work daily for our students. This means that all the board members must be capable to work flexibly. Board members must work in daytime but also in the evenings. Our target is to organize meetings in the office hours when our staff is still working.