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Blog: Lessons for the future strategy – Helga through the eyes of followers!

A few weeks ago, Helga asked Instagram followers’ opinions around three themes: Helga today, Helga in the future, and Helga’s values. Thank you to everyone who participated and responded actively, we cannot develop our operations without the views of the main target group, i.e. members and students!

We asked in the theme “Helga today” what kind of organization Helga is most seen as in the moment. Of the options, 3/4 received very evenly matched responses, i.e. advocacy/influencing, event organiser and informer/communicator. The strong distribution of votes around three options indicates that Helga is seen as a diverse organisation and that we are subject to many expectations and aspirations in this area. It is brilliant because the student union is responsible for serving its members extensively and responding to the wishes and needs that are presented. It is noteworthy that in the English answers, advocacy and influencing were less even in terms of response rates with others. We can perhaps assume that advocacy and influencing is not shown equally to English-speaking students and require us to take a more active approach. In the open answers, praise came especially for the quality of communication and the enrichment of the community through events and club activities, among other things. The things that are least liked/perceived are for example, the importance of developing cooperation between campuses. In addition, attention was paid to the lack of English-language communication, especially on the event side. We thank you in particular for these critical comments, because bringing the problems experienced to the attention is a way of tightening up change and focusing on what is perceived to be Helga’s weaknesses. We take this feedback especially into account both in the future strategy and also in our daily activities.

Helga in the future and the question of what kind of organization Helga should be above all highlighted in the responses to the desires to increase celebrations (incl. nonalcoholic) as well as leisure activities. In addition, there was a desire for more advocacy and influencing, and the hope that Helga would communicate more about the issues that mattered to students and that membership would gain more benefits was also very close. We can see that the dream Helga is different and one direction was not particularly pronounced. Of course, this poses challenges to what we prioritize in our operations in order to increase our value to the members as equally as possible. But on the other hand, Helga has never been, and must never be, just a party organization or communicator – our strength lies in versatility. The open answers highlighted the desire for equality, for example between campuses and sectors, as well as stronger things to do together. And I fully agree on this, more to working together to build a strong Helga community!

Helga’s values are openness and student orientation, free education, equality and sustainable development and responsibility. The last thematic survey was about values and, in particular, how well they are reflected in our operations or whether they are visible. Nearly half of the respondents felt that openness and student orientation were most visible in activities – equality took second place. On the other hand, sustainable development/responsibility and free education were considered to be the least visible. Helga’s values play a role in acting as a backbone and mirroring our actions in terms of whether we implement our operations sustainably from the point of values as well. In the next strategy period, we must also consider updating values and what kind of community of values we want to build. The current values are reflected in Helga’s decision-making, but the values belong to the whole community, and making them more visible will be the next step!

On behalf of all Helga actors, I would like to thank you for your answers and feedback! Helga will renew its strategy during this year and Helga’s representative council will decide on the new strategy in autumn. If you have any wishes for us at any time or want to give ideas/feedback, don’t hesitate to contact us! We are here for our members and there will be no major reform without you. So remember to be active, and if you are really excited, you can of course apply to the Representative Council or the Board next autumn to make an even better student union with the help of our new upcoming strategy.

Diana Murashkina
Chairperson of the board

If you are studying in Haaga-Helia you can join your Student Union!

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