Selection of student representatives is a statutory task of the Student Union.
1. Among the students of the university there is a student union, which shall have self-government. The purpose of the student union is to act as a link between its members and to promote their societal, social and intellectual aspirations and their aspirations regarding studies and students’ status in society. The student union shall participate in the performance of the educational mission of the university referred to in Section 2 by preparing students for an active, cognizant and critical citizenship.
2. The especial duty of the student union shall be (1) to nominate student representatives to the administrative bodies of the university referred to in Chapter 3; (2) to nominate student representatives to the student financial aid board of the university referred to in Section 9 of the Student Financial Aid Act (65/1994); and (3) contribute to the performance of the tasks relating to students’ primary health care referred to in Section 17 of the Primary Health Care Act (1326/2010) and Chapter 13, Sections 11 – 14, of the Health Insurance Act (1224/2004). (Amendment 1349/2010) (The Universities Act 558/2009)
The existence of the Student Union and students entitlement to vote is therefore something that has been found to be such an important matter from the point of view of the Finnish academic community that it has been enshrined not just as a privilege of students, but as a legal obligation as well. This obligation should not be slighted, but rather cherished!
The administration of the university benefits from the student representatives in administration. When considering reforms, the voice of the student is important because the other members of the university community often don’t know what it’s like to be a student these days: what the largest obstacles to smoothly-running studies are, what things students would like to be developed, and so on. Sometimes, it’s most important to be present, to be interested and to show that to the rest of the university community.
Application and selection to be a student representative
AYY has guidelines for the selection and application of Hallopeds. In these, there are detailed procedural instructions for applicants and for decision-making. Through the Student Union, representatives are also sought for bodies other than those in accordance with the Universities Act and the University’s own regulations, in which case the body provides the opportunity for both a public application procedure and filling places by the Board of AYY, without an open application procedure.
The Board of the Student Union appoints the representatives for the bodies. The Board also grants resignations from the bodies. The selections are prepared by the Student Union’s specialist of academic affairs, who starts the search and takes care of announcements. They can ask special status associations for statements on applicants before making a proposal to the Board of the Student Union. The associations follow their own operating procedures in giving recommendations.
The specialists of academic affairs makes the positions available for applications well before the beginning of the serving term, and without delay in the middle of the serving term in the case of a replacement search. The application period is in a public application procedure for at least 10 days. Vacancies will be announced officially on the notice board of the Student Union and, in addition, by e-mail, on the web pages and through other appropriate methods. When the position in question is that of an actual member, the deputy member of the resigning member can be asked about their willingness to become an actual member, and then the position of a deputy member will also become available in the search. The application is submitted with an electronic form, but it can also always be submitted in written form directly to the Student Union. The search can be continued if no formally-qualified applicants come along before the end of the application period.
The Board of the Student Union will select the student representatives in administration in accordance with its decision-making authority, hearing the proposal of the preparing worker. When the search in question is a replacement search, the Board generally grants the resignation of the person who requested it in the same meeting and appoints a new representative. After that, the worker announces the selection and passes the details of the person selected to the body.
Resigning from the position
A Halloped works as a student representative until the Student Union grants the representative the right to resign, their term ends or they are no longer a student (e.g. they graduate). Resignation is applied for by delivering a written resignation request to the specialist of academic affairs (for example, an e-mail), which establishes the contact details and the reason for resigning. Terms end automatically, so it is not necessary to resign when they end.