HYVÄT’s next board will be nominated in the Autumn General Meeting on Tue 26th of November, 18:00-19:00 @ Kattosauna Sivistys (Leppäsuonkatu 11, 3rd floor). To become a board member, please join the meeting or send your consent/application to firstname.lastname@example.org if you cannot be there physically. The board members must be regular members of HYVÄT.
General duties in the board
According to HYVÄT bylaws, the board holds the aministrative and excecutive power of the association. These include representing the association, taking care of the finances and implementing any actions assigned in the general meeting.
In practice, this is carried out via monthly board meetings where most of the board members are expected to be present. In addition, each board member is responsible for some specific tasks listed below. Board members are also assumed to work as a unit and help each other in case of some larger tasks, such as big events that occur a few times a year.
Chairperson is the one leading the association and often also its face. The core duties include leading the actions of the board, chairing the board meetings and keeping up to date to anything of importance to HYVÄT or doctoral education in general.
The chairperson does not need to do all this by themselves. As a matter of fact, a good chairperson can delegate the majority of the tasks to other board members or officers.
Prerequisites include basic understanding of the functioning of HYVÄT and associations in general. However, the most important factor is enthusiasm and will to put oneself at bay for the association.
In principle, secretary takes care of all the documents involving the association. In practice, and most importantly, this means taking the minutes of board meetings. Additionally, secretary is the one responsible storing the minutes and other files in HYVÄT cloud folder(s).
The features required are literacy and availability during most of the (monthly) board meetings. Secretary’s task is a really good opportunity to get to know the association and its practices.
Treasurer is the one who keeps track of HYVÄT’s possessions, i.e. the treasure. This means, keeping track of all the expenses and income throughout the year and being able to tell the rest of the board what is realistic and what is not.
Some basic knowledge of accounting is a benefit, but not necessarily required. Everything can be learnt by doing. As HYVÄT’s income mostly consists of membership payments, it is usually natural to combine the Treasurer’s task with Members Coordinator’s duties.
As you could expect from the name, members coordinator is the one who keeps track of all the association’s more thatn 300 members. This includes registering new members to the association and trying to keep track of which of the old members are graduating and thus leaving the association.
Some basic knowledge of Excel makes the Member Coordinator’s life somewhat easier.
Advocacy Coordinators are the ones following everything concerning doctoral education at the university and possibly even on the nationwide level. Their task is to react to any major updates and determine if HYVÄT should take any action in them.
Common tools of reacting include meeting with the university administration, starting a discussion within the doctoral student community and preparing statements to really underline HYVÄT’s concerns or other opinions.
Preferably the Advocacy Coordinators are somewhat familiar with influencing at the university and able to understand which kind of problems HYVÄT should focus on with its limited resources. Being a PhD representative or at least having good connections to them gives good acquirements to the task.
PhD Representative Coordinator(s)
PhD Representative Coordinators work really close with the Advocacy Coordinators. The tasks are often also combined. The main task is to keep up the discussion between HYVÄT and the 70 PhD Representatives in the steering groups and various other boards at the university. For HYVÄT, it is really important to hear what is happening “in the field”, i.e. in the individual Doctoral Programmes. Also, it is equally important to have information flowing from HYVÄT to the representatives as well.
It is convenient if the PhD Representative Coordinator is also a PhD representative. Other favourable features include good connections to the university administration and being up to date with the advocacy discussions at the university.
Event coordinators are the ones responsible for planning and organizing most of HYVÄT’s events. This does not mean that they do everything from shopping to final cleaning themselves, rather they coordinate with the rest of the board and volunteers that there is at least someone labeled for every task.
Best part of event organizing is often the planning when you can brainstorm even the craziest ideas and make the events happen just the way you want. It is also genuinely rewarding to see dozens or even hundreds of people enjoying a party that you realized.
Organizing and delegating are the most important skills for the Event Coordinators. However, everything can be learnt by doing and reports from the previous years make it easy to build on top of the earlier iterations of the events.
Communication is every organization’s Achilles heel, and HYVÄT is no excuse. How to contact hundreds of members at four different campuses and try to find the part of HYVÄT’s activities that they are specifically interested in?
Currently, HYVÄT’s three main communication channels are the website & blog, mailing list (newsletter) and Facebook (page & group) – not forgetting the good old word-of-mouth. If there are several Communications Coordinators, it is natural to divide the tasks based on the channels.
The most important feature for the Communications Coordinators are keeping oneself up to date on HYVÄT’s activities. Social media or website (WordPress) skills are a plus, but not necessary. The WordPress platform makes it possible that no programming knowledge is required even when updating the website.