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Malvinas Democratic Success Story

Carl Housten - Authorcarl.housten@osqledaren.se

Malvina - Photographermalvina@malvinakth.se

Last fall we wrote quite the critical article regarding Malvina, the network for female and non-binary students at KTH. What's happened since then? We spoke to them to find out.

Our previous article commented on the lack of democracy in their association and the importance of transparency and due process whilst claiming to represent 2000 female and non-binary students at KTH- effectively being the largest voice for gender equality on campus.

Recently, they've recruited a new election committee, opened applications for their next board, and updated their statutes. (which are publicly available on their website) Best of all- they members have been granted voting rights at annual meetings. Every single thing we brought up in our previous article has been changes- and even a few more things.

Late February they sent out a newsletter on the subject- and it was quite self-critical. “More democracy - Before the changes were implemented, our so-called members had very limited possibility to influence Malvina. Instead, it was the board that made all the decisions, including choosing the next board. From now on Malvina will implement a new members list, and if you become a member, you will be invited to our annual meetings and also have the right to vote.”

They also announced that they will be reducing the size of their board, in order for the operations to be more member-driven. The board members “...have the possibility to recruit additional project groups.”, as stated in the newsletter.

This is quite the success story. Congratulations to the board of Malvina for working out the kinks in their association! We spoke to Emilia Rieschel, one of their two presidents.

How has the response been since announcing these changes?

- It’s been surprisingly quiet. We expected to recieve more feedback than we have had, it’s mostly been those closest to the board and a few members at events that we’ve had. We’ve worked with this since the fall and everything has been very positive. People have appreciate the work we have done. Although the interest for improving regulatory documents generally isn’t very high.

Has the work gone well thus far? Have you managed to elect an election commitee?

- Yes, we have! We have an election commitee consisting of 5 people. Recruitment for the next board will be opening on Monday February 28 so we’ve had a lot of meetings with the commitee for them to gain insight in our operations. They are very excited for their interviews so I have high hopes.

- THS contacted us about our statutes right before your previous article was published, since then we’ve been hard at work.

How do you expect these changes to effect the operations of Malvina?

- It will have a fairly large impact. Primarily- we now have annual meetings where we expect to recieve a lot of motions. There’s a whole new opportunity for members to participate in the association.

- We also elected to make the board smaller: since the demand for events and from companies has been larger than what the board has been able to handle. This will be the largest change to the operations- how Malvina is structured and who participates in carrying out the operations. It’s no longer just the board- it’s everyone.

Anything else you’d like to add?

- We in Malvina are thankful for this having been brought up. It is not fun to work with statutes. I did not become the chairman to work with statutes. But this is the most important work we have done this year.

- In the beginning. before THS contacted us, we didn’t see this as a problem. We have viewed it as the board doing all the work for the members sake. Our cooperations with THS have been great from the start and we’ve recieved all the help we’ve needed.

- It has been difficult to restructure the association and still have time for our usual operations, but now I am thankful for having gone through with it and that the whole board participated. It gives us nothing but opportunities to grow.

Publicerad: 2022-03-23

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Ansvarig utgivare: Carl Housten
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