The start of a new year is, for those of us active in associations, often – sometimes a little contrived, sometimes in practice – a time of new beginnings. Getting to know a new work community, the people there, the customs there, and the possibilities can bring about a tingle in your tummy, a feeling of suspense and anticipation. Above all, it is a learning opportunity. I have been trying to navigate the stream of new information to identify what is essential and to pinpoint where we are as the university student movement. It is not always easy. Amid all these changes, I have felt consoled by the thought that the processes and our movement will continue even when individuals move on.
Last November, SYL’s General Assembly decided on four projects for the year 2018. The more I have worked with these projects, the more I feel that they all have one common denominator: courage. I believe that, in an ideal scenario, these projects may not only change the way we do things and increase our awareness, but also in concrete ways influence the society we live in.
When it comes to politics, these are somewhat quiet times. A time of pondering, where the themes next year’s parliamentary elections will be remembered for, are still only bubbling under. The question is: Are we prepared to take part in outlining the discussion and where it is going? We need to act now.
There is life also outside the plan of work. We will not disregard the fact that the General Assembly in November wished SYL to actively take part in the debate on free education. The meeting also wanted us to better consider the fields of associations and culture at our meeting and events.
The work for ensuring the status of FSHS in the health and social services reform continues during the spring. Because of this, we have had to make some changes in the division of responsibilities at SYL, but it also requires the active participation of the whole student movement. Work on a vision for higher education in Finland has also begun in the form of committees. This work will proceed rapidly – the intention is that there will be ready proposals already this spring. In other words, challenges abound.
SYL President 2018