Hey there MF and OF's presidents, what are the plans for 2022?
Alexander Klaréus and Dana Samiean are Medicinska Föreningen (medical association) and Odontologiska Föreningens (dental association) “new" presidents for the student unions. Both already served as union presidents during 2021. We asked them about the plans for the new year, 2022.
What are you as president for the student union looking forward to this year?
Alexander: We have a solid program to develop our association, freshen up our premises and expand our presence in Flemingsberg. Medicinska Föreningen shall be seen as a long-term institution at the university where students can meet, socialize, and develop after the study day. To work with that and meet students is probably what I look forward to the most.
Dana: I have to say that it is difficult to predict what this year will look like. I want us, together with KI, to continue to elevate our educations and offer students opportunities to get in touch with the business community, for example through our career day (arbetsmarknadsdag) which takes place in February. Together with my vice president, I also look forward to starting to plan the welcoming of the new students who start this fall.
In what ways are student unions affected by the pandemic?
Alexander: Medicinska Föreningen as an institution is doing quite well. Those affected by the pandemic are the students who suffer very badly from social isolation. During the year, we conducted surveys where we asked our members how they were feeling, and the answer was unequivocal - not good. It is extremely important that we can get started with our social activities again.
Dana: It has been very much affected, it is more rewarding for our students to have activities and events on-site. Being able to meet each other at social events is important for the students and we see that the need is strong. Since we don’t charge a membership fee, our collaborations with the business community are important to us. When it comes to our reconciliation meetings, we, together with KI, have been able to adjust and are now fully equipped for digital meetings instead.
According to you, what are your student union’s most important mission?
Alexander: To be a social connection between students, KI, and other actors within Life Science. It is within the association that we can create new networks, develop new abilities, and discuss the future. The sense of community between KI students is created in the association.
Dana: To satisfy the students' interests. This means both study monitoring and study social parts. Without our students' opinions and passion to improve our educations, we would not have had OF today.
What is the agenda for the future and what goals do the student unions have?
Alexander: The pandemic has once again begun to chew large parts of the calendar, but the plan and goal for 2022 are to develop our work so that it is perceived as inclusive and meaningful for all students at Karolinska Institutet. We should be a natural part of all students' everyday lives and an obvious place to return to as an alumni.
Dana: To digitalize our student union even more! Our website is updated (www.ofsthlm.se) since last summer and we want to continue to make our information more easily accessible to everyone. We want to be able to organize more student social events in a way that is safe and fun!