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Chair of the Board

Chair of the Board

At this time last year, my time as a LTKY board member was coming to an end. During that year I was responsible for business affairs, working life and remote-campuses Turku and Lahti. This year was so memorable, that I was feeling sad when autumn progressed and a new board would be chosen soon. At that time I also realized that I still haven’t given everything I got for our dear student union. This made it clear, that I would apply for chair of the board. At that time I still had no clue how this year would turn out to be. 

What a chair of the board does and how my year has been?

The duties of the chair of the board are so variable that it is hard to give an exact answer. The first thing that comes to mind is that the chair of the board works beside the board by helping and showing support to other members. Chair of the board also runs the board meetings as well as Heimoneuvosto, which consists of quilds. He/she also stays in touch with SYL and other student unions, takes part in stakeholder meetings and communicates with council, just to name a few. Besides these I have done recruiting, attended several meetings, visited Lahti many times, renewed our rules and website, and worked with different contracts. Compared to a normal year, there are also several events and annual celebrations around Finland. It is impossible to get bored when being a chair of the board! 

Author with the chairs of other student unions
During the year I met the chairs of other student unions regularly either at SYL office in Helsinki or via Zoom
The author the mayor of the city of Lappeenranta Kimmo Jarva and our general secretary Antti Ilmavirta
It was nice to start this year by signing a contract with the city of Lappeenranta. In the picture there is also the mayor of the city Kimmo Jarva and our general secretary Antti Ilmavirta

I have been asked how it is like to be the first chair (possibly ever) that has cancelled Finland’s longest wappu and LTKY’s annual celebrations. Well, at least I have made history. Of course I have felt sad about everything we have been missing this year, not for myself, but for the sake of our student community. Having said that, this year still has been extremely educational. I can also be proud of our board members, who have made their best to promote student wellbeing and sense of community even in these hard times. 

The board in PoWi Cup
We've also had fun, LTKY board at powicup

What does it take to be a chair of the board?

As a chair you probably are the first one to hear the good and the bad feedback. You have to be ready to make decisions with short notice and you have to keep up with what is happening in Skinnarila and also at the national level. This includes a lot of responsibility, but it gives a lot more than what it takes. Even with the most difficult (corona)times your board and LTKY employees will be always there to help you.

Even though I have tried to avoid graduating, with wistful feelings I have to leave the LTKY community. LTKY has been a big part of my life for nearly two years, and I feel that there is no other place I would have gained this much valuable experience as I have gained from here. Even if you are not interested in working as a chair of the board, no matter which board position you choose, you will guarantee a memorable experience. 

Anna Hirsimäki

The author is the chair of LTKY’s board.

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