Hey everyone! It’s strange to think that a little over a year ago that I, one of the biggest commitment phobes you’ve likely met was nominated for the position of Chair of CISSI which I surprised myself and a lot of people around me by accepting. I suppose as the Elvis Presley song goes, I couldn’t help falling in love. One year on CISSI as tutor representative prior to becoming Chair convinced me that I had a real connection to the organisation, the people on it and the shared goals and values we worked towards.
I have to admit, getting used to all the responsibilities that accompanied my new post felt a bit intimidating at first. In particular, learning all our rules so that we do things by the book, sorting out paperwork, being the first point of contact of the organisation with the rest of university and having to constantly check up on other members to make sure that the organisation functions cohesively as a whole were things I struggled with and still do but I was lucky to have a supportive unit that overall made my time in CISSI worth it, if not easy.
All good relationships offer opportunities for growth and I’d like to think my role of chair pushed me out of my comfort zone from being the quiet, laidback anything goes girl from India to someone who spoke up about things on the board that I felt could be improved as well as any instance I saw that failed to take account of the needs of international students at the university. Unfortunately, candidates from our sister organisation Tsemppi that represents the political interests of international students did not manage to attain seats in the HYY Representative Council, making it all the more important for international students to have their voices heard through alternative channels such as CISSI and Tsemppi.
At CISSI, I’d like to think that we try to create an atmosphere that makes international students feel at home in Finland and Finnish students to feel international at home. If this is something that strikes a chord, give us a chance to serenade you by dropping by our Annual General Meeting on the 5th of December at Weber in the new student house J