Second exceptional year challenged but also developed
The year 2021 started in exceptional circumstances but we were prepared for it – even if we hoped for return to the new normal. The year was full of changes, innovations and stronger impact work.
At the beginning of the year, a new and motivated board and council started at Tamko. In January, we met TAMK’s new President Tapio Kujala. Cooperation with him has been easy and open. We have discussed student wellbeing actively. The topic remains very important as the new health and wellbeing survey among higher education students shows. The survey figures are alarming as regards mental health problems. Tamko cooperated actively with the TreSilienssi project in order to alleviate students’ loneliness and strengthen their wellbeing.
In the spring, we planned a large remote event called Etätursajaiset in a month. We organised the remote event for hundreds of new TAMK students with the help of our sub-associations and a couple of other student unions. It allowed us to contact new students and familiarise them with TAMK’s student activities. It also inspired us to organise other activities, such as a virtual May Day. We took student overalls to the city centre and the tram together with the Student Union of Tampere University as students could not celebrate the day as usual due to the pandemic.
Tamko’s operation is strong and impactful because Tamko equals our students.
The second year of remote learning had unpleasant consequences for Tamko’s operation. The student union organised its council elections in the autumn for all Tamko’s members. We could not meet students face to face and thus visibility of the elections remained weak. The number of candidates and voters was considerably lower than earlier even if the numbers were higher than in some other student unions. Nonetheless, students contacted the student union more actively and we impactfully represented students’ interests in old and new challenges.
Tamko is considered valuable in our community. It is an important part of students’ everyday life, which our new record number of members shows. We bring students’ viewpoints into discussion and they are heard and considered. We also participated in the audit of our university of applied sciences. We received positive feedback. According to it, TAMK prioritises students and our student union has an important role in it. Tamko had visibility among Finnish student unions when its Chairperson Emmi Lainpelto was chosen as the president of University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland (SAMOK) for 2022. Joonas Soukkio was chosen to succeed Lainpelto as chairperson of Tamko’s board in 2022.
Tamko’s history of representing students’ interests goes 110 years back. In 2022, we will reminisce our 110-year history and celebrate it visibly in the autumn.
In this video our first-year student tells how it was to start studying during the pandemic:
Text: Emmi Lainpelto, Chairperson of Tamko
Editing: TAMK’s Communications and Marketing Services
Photo: Saara Lehtonen