The board decides the exact structure and positions of the board after the elections; the compulsory responsibilities are chair, vice-chair, treasurer and secretary. If you’re wondering what it is exactly that the board does, here follows a short description of the different responsibilities we’ve had in CISSI this year!
The chair oversees all functions of the board and is responsible for the board as a whole. The Chair’s tasks include calling meetings, writing agendas for meetings, active coordination with board members and networking with other organizations. For the board to function it is vital for the chair to establish effective communication and an atmosphere where people are motivated to work. The chair is also responsible for organizing and informing about Annual General Meetings and preparing paperwork for yearly reports.
The Vice-chair supports the Chair in his or her tasks and takes over in his or her absence. The position as Vice-Chair can be combined with something else and it is recommended to do so. The Chair and the Vice-chair can at the beginning of the year decide over their roles and division of labor.
The Treasurer responsibilities are to oversee the financial administration of CISSI, present regular reports on the organization’s meetings, keeping the cash box up to date, match the sequence of entries in the cashbook with the sequence of receipts and payments, tracking all expenditure claims, preparing an approximate budget before every event and total earnings and expenditures report after the events, updating accounting software, prepare accounts for audit (if needed) and generate annual financial statements. CISSI has not yet opened a bank account, but when one is opened it is the treasurer’s responsibility to manage it.
Secretary and Communications
The Secretary and Communications of CISSI is responsible of writing the weekly newsletter, taking minutes in the board meetings and looking after the official documents of the organization as well as keeping an eye on the membership register. The secretary also manages Facebook pages (CISSI + International Students at the Faculty of Social Sciences), and makes sure CISSI’s blog and Instagram account are updated.
The Equality Representative in accordance with the University of Helsinki’s Equality and Diversity Plan advises on and monitors equality of gender, age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and other discriminated personal characteristics. The Equality Representative is there to not only to promote equality in events and on the board, but also to listen to and act on complaints from fellow students. In addition, the equality representative attends meetings and collaborates with Kannunvalajat’s equality representative committee. In 2015 the tasks of the Equality Representative has been combined with the tasks of the Environamental Representative.
The Environmental Representative advises and monitors all events and activities for environmental impact according to the plan drafted at the beginning of the year. In addition, the environmental representative attends Kannunvalajat’s and HYY’s environmental representatives meetings and collaborates with Kannu and HYY on environmental events. Environmental awareness is integrated into the organizing of all events and activities in addition to any environment-specific events.
The main responsibility of the Tutor Representative(s) is to aid in the adaptation and integration of new international social science students; degree students in particular but also exchange students as they adjust to life in Helsinki and being a part of the student body. They should be available throughout the academic year in general and at the beginning of the autumn term in particular to provide support to new international students. In addition, the tutor representatives should also actively encourage members to participate in CISSI events, as well as keep an eye out for people who seem interested in becoming active with CISSI. As the tutor representatives sometimes are the first connection to new students, it is important to make sure that they feel like CISSI is easy to approach.
The Event Manager oversees and contributes to all events that CISSI organizes. Events are important for the introduction of new members to the organization, and for CISSI to fulfill its integration and communication ideals through informative and social platforms. The Event Manager is also expected to liaise with other organizations and build connections that further to organization’s aforementioned objectives. The position requires consistent and direct involvement in the many facets of CISSI’s activities.
Cultural Event Manager
The Cultural Events representative’s main goal is to integrate the international social sciences students into Finnish society and into Finnish student life through events. These events are organized with the assistance of other CISSI board members as well as volunteers. A platform is built so that members may join, not only by organizing, but also by elaborating events. This collaboration is important in order to create diverse events with broad scopes. The International food event, which is one of CISSI’s most popular event is coordinated by the Cultural Event Manager!
University and Corporate Affairs Representative
The Representative of University and Corporate affairs is in charge of establishing and fostering partnerships between CISSI and other actors. These can be student organizations, corporate, or independent. Through the organization of joint events and visits, the officer aims at making CISSI more known, and making sure the presence of CISSI is well visible whenever it is relevant: fairs, carnivals etc. Searching for possible sponsors when needed also falls under these responsibilities. The university and corporate affairs representative also makes sure information about relevant university and corporate affairs reaches CISSI members.
Study Affairs Representative
The Study Affairs representative is in charge of the following responsibilities: informing international students about study related matters, such as tutoring, internship grants, changes in degree programmes etc. and identifying any problems that will interfere with the accomplishment of students’ educational goals and developing appropriate interventions. This requires close contact with relevant faculty staff and students of different programmes. This could be done through organizing regular workshops and meetings with students and staff.
Next year, CISSI is hoping to establish a network of representatives from different programmes who would assist the study affairs representative in these tasks
In addition to the board members we will elect up to 4 deputy members. A deputy member can choose either to help out the board as a whole or under a specific responsibility. The difference between deputy and board members is that the former does not have a vote and is not accountable for a specific responsibility in the organization’s activities. Deputy members are of course welcome to meetings and can, and hopefully will, be as involved as the board members.
If you are or thinking about running for the board we’d like you to contact us! You can send an email to cissi-board(a)helsinki.fi or reach out to us in person. Also, if you cannot take part in the AGM but would like to run, please contact us!