Student voice heard on Aalto Board Nomination Committee
Suvi Vendelin’s position as a student member is a new position on the Aalto Board Nomination Committee. Having a student member on the nomination committee has been an advocacy goal for Aalto University Student Union and included in a policy paper for years. For almost as long, we have discussed how student representation is included in the process of selecting the Aalto Board. The student member has the right to speak on the committee but no right to vote.
The Board Nomination Committee of Aalto University is a group of representatives elected by Aalto’s highest decision-making body, the Aalto University Academic Affairs Committee, including representatives of Aalto’s founding members and professors who go through interviews of applicants to the University Board. The Board Nomination Committee makes a proposal to the Academic Affairs Committee on the person to be elected to the Board. The proposal must, of course, be as responsible and good a choice as possible.
”As a student on the Aalto Nomination Committee, I can directly influence discussions about what is expected of the Aalto Board. The Aalto Board can influence the operations, strategy, larger policies and goals of the entire university. It is important for the Aalto Board to understand students’ daily lives, experiences and needs when preparing major plans and strategic decisions,” says Vendelin.
To ensure continuity, the three-year terms of board members end in stages, so the work is annual. The selection process takes a year. Vendelin says that nomination committee duties also include independent information retrieval, as it is useful to know more extensively how Aalto University operates and what kind of experts are wanted for the Board.
”It is extremely interesting to see what the wishes of the Academic Affairs Committee and the Aalto Board have been and how the Aalto University is expected to profile itself through personnel selection. I have become hugely curious and enthusiastic about advocacy work,” rejoices Vendelin.
Vendelin encourages students who wish to influence the future of Aalto University to challenge and question, ask questions and boldly express their own wishes for studies. It is advisable to attend meetings of advocates in your own field and contact the persons in charge of study affairs or students on the boards of associations.
”The world is evolving, and studies must also evolve. Students often have the freshest perspective on their field and its challenges.”