The first day of FUM 2019:2 had the theme “old-school” written all over it. Homemade dinner was served and no clickers or digital attendance lists were to be seen, so instead we had an old fashioned roll call in the beginning. On the agenda was the election of new leadership, but before these processes were initiated the former President of the council Ebba Fogelström had some good news to share; all of the previous minutes have now been adjusted and are ready to be archived!
With the watch list out of the way the meeting continued with messages from the board of UTN and the management team. The board had done a lot of work between FUM 2019:1 and this session, mainly with trying to streamline the process of handovers to new board members for everyone involved. The consistory representative reported that UTN has received permission to represent science and engineering students for three more years, hooray! The students at Uppsala University will also have the same influence as before in the process of electing the vice-chancellor (rector), a matter which was discussed intensively after our current vice-chancellor was chosen where the students’ opinion did not match that of the board. The heads of academic affairs also shared information about their ongoing effort to include more international students in the workings of UTN (international pub at Uthgård, among other things) and also informed the council about discussions regarding the new section rooms at New Ångström.
When all the messages were over, the largest point on the agenda by far was next: elections. The union council was filled to the brim with questions for all the candidates and even the elections where only one candidate was running took hours to complete in total in order to make sure that all candidates were sufficiently prepared to take on their respective tasks. Elected as our new President was Petter Elgh, a fourth year chemical engineering student who has previously been part of the reception of new students as Professor Spons in “Rekå” and who’s also been a representative in the Academic Senate. By electing Fredrik Örn from the engineering physics section as our Vice President, a quite animalic duo was formed by their respective surnames (Örn = Eagle, Elgh ≈ Elk). At this point the time was 22:30 and to round out the meeting our current consistory representative Sanne Rönning was elected once more to continue her work with the procedures, goals and strategies of the university. Many tired faces and a general wish to go to sleep finally brought the meeting to an end at 23:20.
Then came day two of FUM 2019:2 and clickers were brought and the attendance list had returned to the 21st century once more. The student council was focused and without drawn out discussions the elections proceeded effectively and two new internal auditors were elected; Max Netterberg from the STS programme and Ebba Fogelström from the physics programme. Two new members of the board were also elected, Adam Hallberg from the chemistry programme and Måns Bengtsson from the engineering physics section. There are still three seats left on the board, so make sure to apply before the next session in May! A dynamic duo was elected to the management of the union’s newspaper Techna as the previous chief editor Elizaveta Yakovleva from the engineering physics section was re-elected along with the previous writer and layout designer Carl Enlund from the IT section as the new assistant chief editor.
Even though more elections were held during the second day of the session than the first, this was not the main point on the agenda; that honor went to the discussions. Many important decisions stand before the student union in the future. The full time employees of UTN right now have to put themselves in an economically unsustainable situation in order to work for the union, and this is a problem that we must solve together. One suggestion is to introduce a membership fee, as all other comparable student unions in Sweden already have, and to give more information to the management team about how the students feel about this a new workgroup was appointed with the objective to compile the information from a previous survey which was sent out during autumn/winter of 2018.
The other points of discussion included the new strategic operations plan (the SVP) which has been under construction for a couple of months. The long term goals for UTN are described in this document, which are among other things increased recruitment and more transparency in the union’s inner workings. This preliminary new SVP was received very well by the student union, and a revised version will be voted on during the next session. To put an end to day two of the session as time was once more ticking away into the final hours of the day debates were held about the best way to coordinate all the student unions in Uppsala, and also about whether or not UTN should make public the number of people who apply for certain positions in order to increase transparency. Arguments for and against flew across the room and once the council and the speaker came to an agreement to end the meeting at 23:15, the entire agenda of FUM 2019:2 was finished. The next session takes place in May, until then we’ll see you around on campus!