Osqledaren - Authorosqledaren@ths.kth.se
Do you know what the management team at THS is actually doing every day? 12 students work full-time in Nymble for a year, and their salary is partly paid by you! To make their work more transparent, we will start asking them tough questions in every future edition of Osqledaren.
Several positions in the management team are handed over in January: Studiemiljöansvarig | Head of Student Welfare, Evenemangschef | Event Manager, Head of THS International, Projektledare för | Project Manager for THS Armada & Projektledare för | Project Manager for SNNC. THS also gets a new Chef för utbildningsinflytande | Head of Educational Affairs. Get to know the newbies below before we ask all the current members of the team what they are up to!
1. I have a background in Landscape Architecture, and I was studying my masters degree in Environmental Engineering & Sustainable Infrastructure!
2. The International Reception in Fall, which is the biggest reception on campus where we get to welcome ~2000 students from all over the world! It's super exciting but also heartwarming to see so much diversity in one place, and contributing to it.
3. The inclusion & integration of international students in all aspects of Swedish student life!
4. Before applying for KL, I was a part of both the International Reception and THS MAIN, which gave me a good glimpse into life in the management team. With the past year being an extremely rewarding experience, especially during my time as Project Manager of the International Reception, I felt a strong urge to do more for the international community. My main motive was not just to give back, but to also work on improving the representation of international students at KTH and ensuring the sustainability of THS International.
5. From the perspective of the subgroups in THS International, I believe we require a structural change with the delegation of tasks amongst the leaders of each subgroup. This is something I'm keen on improving, not just for the sake of better dissipation of knowledge; but also to avoid burnout amongst the students.
1. I studied Architectural Light Design. I'm an Architect and am studying Lighting now
2. The big night! I am looking forward to the whole party and making sure it is amazing.
3. I want to make an SNNC that is as close to students as it is to companies. I want students to be a part of it and have fun, but also make it so the night is memorable for all.
4. I really enjoy the concept of SNNC and an afterparty made for students by students. I felt I could do a good job and really wanted the chance to do it.
1. Civilingenjör och Lärare
2. To work with topics that are meaningful and important to me as well as getting to do it with driven colleagues in KL.
3. I want to contribute to making it possible to resume work with issues that had to be paused during the time my position had a vacancy. The day-to-day work with education as a student representative is so important to make sure KTH evolves in a direction that benefits students and their education.
4. After my years of commitments within my chapter I still think the work is fun and important, and I have been thinking about KL for a long time so the step to apply was not a big one.
5. Within my area of THS I believe it is a problem that we in a few schools have a missing link in our chain of student influence in education. We need to find students who fill the important position as Skolrådsordförande.
1. Transport and Geoinformation technology. Basically data that has to do with maps and locations and analysis on that kind of data
2. To create a team of over 200 students that can together build Scandinavia's largest career fair and have a lot of fun in the process!
3. Great connections between students and employers and to leave THS Armada stronger than I found it
4. When I started KTH through OPEN in 2018 I had no idea what I wanted to do. Through Armada I found that out. This makes Armada one of the most important things at KTH for students' futures, and that's why I love to work with it.
5. Being such a big organisation including everything from chapters and spectacles to a restaurant with many full time employees, we are very good at putting up obstacles for each other. We need better, more solution oriented, communication and culture.
1. I'm studying the Civil Engineer in Computer Science programme, I'm currently doing my bachelors degree there.
2. The TentaPubs. The biggest events we host where thousands of students gather to celebrate that the exams are over.
3. I want to make bigger and better events for all the students at KTH. I want to leave the event group stronger than I found it.
4. During the years I have worked with the event operations at THS, I have seen it as fun, rewarding and very educational. That's why I sought the post as event manager to be able to contribute to developing the event operations even more.
5. That's a good question, ask me again in June.
1. Prioritising! I get a lot of things I am supposed to do and a big variety but I only have so many hours. It can therefore be very hard to have to prioritise and say no to people.
2. The people I get to work with. Most of all I enjoy the company of KL, the staff and students but one of the thing i find the most enjoyable and rewarding is to lead KL and be a part of their work and growth.
3. It depends on where in the organisation we look and what we compare it to. Overall I would say that they are not integrated enough, however there have been a lot of improvements and we are continuing to spread awareness and getting better. There are some parts of THS that are very well integrated though which gives me a lot of hope and that, I think, we can all view as an inspiration.
4. Would THS have as many members if we didn't have SSSB? The easy answer is no. I think a lot of our members come from the fact that they can get accommodations from SSSB, but that is also what we are here to do. THS exists to make all parts of student life better, from your education to your social life.
5. Basically everything. I probably won't have an answer to everything but I will know who you can ask if I'm not able to answer.
1. The half year report and the economic prognosis for the rest of this fiscal year.
2. Working and leading the group! It is a lot of fun to be a part of KL and being able to support the rest of the management team in their work. I have learned a lot and gained new perspectives, and it is very rewarding to see how everyone else developes and matures in their roles.
3. Barely. There are quite a few events and activities for the international students, but it is mostly separated from the rest of the student life at KTH. I want the international students to be able to take part in Swedish student culture, but it is not an easy task to make it more international while still retaining the essence of Swedish student life. I think it has to be something that the international students are a part of finding a solution for.
4. When is lunch at Nymble Restaurang finally getting cheaper for students? We want the lunch to be affordable and of high quality. That is not very easy and one way forward could be to differentiate the price for THS members more than we do today.
5. THS economy, how KL works, the union board. You can also ask me who might have an answer to your question, and I can probably point you in the right direction.
1. Balancing work on OL#2 with starting up a lot of other stuff: one group is working on a new or updated version of our website, another is developing our social media and we are recruiting web reporters at the same time!
2. I've gone from seeing KL as colleagues to seeing them as friends as well. I also love learning, and there is enough to learn about THS and KTH to fill at least 5 years!
3. Not at all. There are not enough opportunities in student life for Swedish and international students to meet and learn from each other, and we really need to work on that. There needs to be a broader discussion about this issue within THS and the chapters.
4. Is a physical magazine actually necessary? Maybe. Osqledaren has been an independent part of THS for almost 60 years - and it is extremely important for THS, creating transparency and investigating problems. Slowly shifting ressources from the paper magazine requires a replacement, and we're working on that. But it's a long process.
5. Publishing, writing, journalism, THS and OL history, and how to join Osqledaren or get your own articles (insändare) published! Also: anything that's wrong with THS
1. Finding a successor. Except that, it's to get a foot into FUNKA. We don't have a student representative in those forums and we don't get any invitations for the meetings that "FUNKA-gruppen" has (THS can still book separe meetings, but not be on their meetings to influence their work that impacts students).
2. You will grow. Grow as person, co-worker, friend and in knowledge.
3. Unfortunately not as much as it could be. In my role I work alot with this, so I'm hopeful that it's going to be better. KTH is slow when it comes to structural changes, but I've seen some changes in a positive direction just in one year.
4. Why do you think there was so little interest to apply for your position? I think there are many factors to this: my position is new, no one knew how this position would evolve, and just weeks before application date KF decided to make this position permanent. But also the ones I've talked to think that you have to have a ton of experience, but the truth is that everyone in the management team is unqualified, we're all students, and you will learn most of it during your mandate period.
5. JML, studerandeskyddsombud (Student safety representative), guidance and practical support in case of discrimination, FUNKA, student health, physical study environment, student welfare, support and guidance in cases of incidents (bullying, violence, conflicts with teachers or other student incidents). Other things that might regard prerequisite for studies
1. THS usually has two Heads of Educational affairs but during 2022 we had a vacancy. I have had to make tough priorities for what to focus on. The big challenge right now is picking up the dropped threads and getting back to fully representing the students of KTH.
2. Since you don't have to study at the same time as your position, you can really focus on the work you do and have the time to really have an impact. You learn a lot and really feel like you make a difference!
3. Coming to Sweden from a different country is always going to be challenging and I am very proud of the work both KTH and especially THS is doing to welcome them. But actually integrating those students is much harder and there is still a lot that needs to be done to get there.
4. Anonymous exams - what's taking so long? We were among the first to start discussing anonymous examination, yet KTH is one of the last universities that has not implemented it – that says a lot about how KTH works! The real issue is convincing KTH that this issue should be a priority. If they realised that, then it would be trivial to implement.
5. The different ways you as a student can affect KTH and make the education better for everyone. You can ask us what kinds of questions are current at KTH right now and how the education will work in the future. And there is plenty of juicy gossip as well!
1. A lot of stuff is going on regarding the chapter halls at the moment. Chapter halls are getting new terms of agreement from KTH and the serving permits are also getting updated. One of my major tasks is to be there for the chapters and it's difficult to have time for that when all of these things are going on.
2. The best thing about being a part of KL is the colleagues and the people I meet in my work. All of us in KL have a lot of experience from their student life, so we all bring a lot to the table. All of my colleagues are extremely competent in their area and I'm proud to be a part of the team!
3. Swedish and international students' integration is a tough topic. KTH, THS central and the chapters are doing a lot and are trying their best to improve the integration of international students but it's not as easy as it seems. I'm proud of the work we're doing, but in the end I think it comes down to individual mindset. Luckily changes can happen fast and we're getting better and I hope we keep improving with time!
4. How's the chapter hall move going? The first part of this process is to move Dekis. We got a suggestion for the new Dekis which is under investigation. Regarding the move itself my predecessor Hanna started collecting data and it is clear that some chapters want to move, some want to stay and some don't care. Right now my work consists of continuing her work to present to the Union Council. In my opinion transparency towards all members is the most important part of the work I'm doing.
5. Premises, Chapter halls, Security, How to arrange events on Campus, Student life, Student culture, Spexes, Sustainability and Pubs
1. I would say managing the timeline for every internal and external event together with the day-to-day work and finishing up all of my projects at the same time.
2. The best thing about KL internally has been all the memories created with all the coworkers in KL. In my role, it's creating all the amazing events together with Programgruppen [NKM, RN & Platoon DJs].
3. I would say it is good but can be better. I have made sure that everyone is welcome and made sure that programgruppen is so too. We have international students who work with us and we have English translation for all of our events.
4. Are there too many alcohol-focused events at THS? I would not say that. The goal is not to make people drunk, but to create an envoirement where people can relax and let loose (which we all know can be needed sometimes). We always make sure people that don't drink alcohol feel welcome and we always have alcohol-free variants of the whole drink supply. There are a lot of events which I don't arrange that are alcohol free, organized by other union associations and KL.
5. How to arrange events in Nymble that involve alcohol, renting event equipment (wardrobes, tents, etc.) & information about my subgroups NKM, RN and Platoon
1. Coordinating all of the fairs happening this spring and balancing their different interests. There are a lot of different parties involved and they dont always see eye to eye. My job is to make sure everyone ends up content.
2. Being part of an awesome group of people that truly loves student life.
3. My subgroup, THS Future, consists of a good mix of Swedish and international students. None of our operations need to be conducted in Swedish which really helps international students fit in and be comfortable.
4. Should THS serve companies or students? THS’s first and foremost priority should always be the students. However, prioritizing the needs of companies can be very beneficial in the long run. Having a good relationship with companies will bring in more money that can be reinvested into student activities, and also ease the transition from studies to working.
5. THS Future, Advice about business relations, fairs and events in Nymble
1. Wrapping up an intense year in a nice little package that can be understood by my successor. And also making sure that she will have no issue in picking up projects that I had to leave part way.
2. The energy in the office and the fun memories you create. It's way more than a year of work, it is an intense year of self-development.
3. Not as much as they should be. International student integration is one of the forefronts of my job and making sure International students feel welcome is a hard job. It is a 2 way street, that luckily has gotten easier to handle, but I believe that the work has just begun and started to make some improvements.
4. Are international students overrepresented at THS? I would say no. While we are around 30% of all students at KTH, only a handful of international students are representatives in their chapters, or at THS Central - less than 30%. This might be for many reasons, and a huge part of my work has been trying to find a way for more International students to join such positions. It's not an easy task, and we have seen more and more improvement through the years, but it's an ongoing work that really brings value to the KTH Community.
5. "The International Reception, THS MAIN, THS Sports, Friskvårdsbidrag (the Sports grants for chapters and associations) and in general the life of international students. You can also ask me what it feels like to be an International Student and what to expect when you go on exchange."
1. If I'm being perfectly honest: juggling my own expectations on my work with others' expectations along with the need to prioritise and plan tasks, making sure that nothing important falls between the cracks.
2. All the amazing people you get the opportunity to meet! Everyone from my colleagues in KL and THS, to chapter representatives and KTH staff.
3. It's hard to say in definite terms, but I'm not pleased with the level of integration between Swedish and International students as it is right now. A lot of work needs to happen in this area, and THS plays a central part in that.
4. Are two weeks of reception too long or too short? There are pros and cons with really any length of reception, and there's no real way to find a "perfect" duration -- especially since our new students all have different preconditions for participation in the reception. That said, I think the two weeks we currently have serves us well, but I don't believe in taking things for a given just because they've always been that way.
5. The reception: what it looks like currently, what it looks like at other universities and what I think it could look like!
1. Getting all the information from a position that migrates around 4 unions.
Also, making sure to be ready to recruit and structure a team of people that will work for a full year for one amazing night.
2. Meeting all the amazing co-workers and having the support and help whenever you need it.
3. SNNC is run primarily in English and by an International Student this year. I would say that the integration is strong mostly because we are motivated by a common goal. It also feels like an event that celebrates such an internationally renowned prize should focus a lot on being more open to International Students.
4. Are students going to (indirectly) pay for a party they can't attend? Mostly no. SNNC is an event that aims to go +/- 0. Our objective is to reach out to companies and sponsors so we can make the party happen with as little member money as possible, and there is also a plan to make the guest list as inclusive as possible. We might have to close down parts of the building in order to prepare for the event in the late stages, but we will just make it closer to the event day.
1. Getting all the money from the companies and handing over to my successor.
2. All the beautiful and amazing co-workers you have!
3. Pretty well! In Armada we have students from all chapters and nationalities which is why Armada has English as our organisational language.
4. How sustainable is Armada's teambuilding? Sustainability has multiple angles and in Armada we try to find a good balance between all of them. Sometimes we have to sacrifice a bit from one to increase the other one, but we always try to find the best balance and compensate in other areas should we sacrifice too much of one.
5. Fairs, Armada