Awesome that you are interested in reading more about HallOpEds! Let’s go through the official part first:
HallOpEd, ie the student representative of the administration, is the student representative elected by the Student Union Representative Council to the Academic Council and other separate administrative units.
It sums up nicely in one sentence, but what does this bureaucracy jargon mean in practice?
Each school has its own Academic Council, which deals with matters related to all degree programs in the school. These matters include deciding on doctoral students’ dissertation permits and extension periods of docentships. In addition to HallOpEds, the Academic Council includes professors and the Dean of the School.
Oh my, we didn’t get beyond the intricacies of bureaucracy here. So let’s get straight to the point: what does HallOpEd do and what kind of person is suitable as HallOpEd.
HallOpEds are students’ “secret agents” within the university administration. HallOpEds acts as the voice of the students in making decisions related to them. Now you may be wondering how dissertation permits for doctoral students apply to a so-called “normal” student. In addition to dissertation permits, the Academic Council decides, among other things, on course additions and the structure of the academic year in degree programs. In short: this administrative body decides which courses you, as well as other fellow students, will take for your degrees.
But what kind of a person is suitable for HallOpEd? HallOpEd is a person who is genuinely interested in influencing common issues and is sometimes willing to do a little undercover work on unfamiliar things. As a HallOpEd, you don’t have to know and solve everything on your own, but you have an extensive support network of other HallOpEds, guild members responsible for advocacy, and of course not forgetting the valuable support provided by the student union. Issues and problematic situations are resolved in one support network in monthly meetings before council meetings, meaning you do not have to fight windmills alone. Previous experience in the role of a guild’s trustee or lobbying, for example, is to your advantage, but the most important thing is the right attitude and the will to influence.
Some may view the Academic Council as a formal rubber stamp, but this view is outdated at the least. The Academic Council is a powerful channel for highlighting faults in teaching, for example, without forgetting your ability to make an impact as a student.
So you’re interested? Absolutely awesome! Send the application and join the influential crowd. Did I forget to mention? A monetary reward is also promised for each Council meeting. So no stick without a carrot.
Armi “Irma” Rissanen
The author is a HallOpEd and student active.