It is often said that it is important to listen to students in the decision making of the society. In the same sentence it is mentioned that students themselves should influence the society and decision making. The question is, does a possibility for this exist and is there any concrete meaning and results for all this work?
Student influencers, student influencing, lobbying, self-importance and so on. A dear child has many names. It is undeniably true that it is an everyday part of our society and decision making. It is easy to notice in the city council for example when someone uses arguments to explain why something should be done differently and these reasons are sourced from a certain organisation or individual. On the other hand, we can be sure that almost every time a decision that concerns students is made in the council, the student board or university student’s union has voiced the opinion of the students regarding that decision. We can hold the lobbying done as an example when students were to be made to pay for health care as a means of saving money. This did not realize however due to student organisations voicing their concerns about the decision to the political groups in the council. Yet again influencing was of use.
What kind of options for influencing for the students are there in Turku? I’ll reveal a secret to all of you, there are endless possibilities! Finland is the promised land of unions, associations, and activism. We have something for everyone here if you are willing to help or act.
One of the easiest ways for students to begin influencing is to join TUO as a member and take part in board elections. Through this it is made possible to influence the lobbying that student board does. On the other hand, you can join the different faculty organisations and get to influence things that affect all of us through there. Every single organisations and unions need new thoughts and ideas to improve their functions.
Throughout the city there are all kinds of different unions. There are those involving student politics, politics in general, supporting animal rights, among others. An organisation that suits to your own interests is surely out there. The only thing required is the courage to jump on board and I am encouraging you all to make the jump.
After starting my studies in Turku UAS I became interested in influencing. I quickly found a suitable place to do so. A year passed in an instant and second term was tempting me. I ended up continuing my work in TUO in lobbying and advancing the causes of students, but to accompany this responsibility I got another one from the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) students of Turku. Student politics got close to my heart and thus I wanted another place where I could further my causes.
In summary = Student influencing is worth it, so you should try it too! ;)