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Greetings from the Student Union's new board

Everything is new in September and there have been changes during the summer in our Student Union's board as well! There are two new additions to the board next to Pille, who is the board member in the educational field - new head of the board Joosep Perandi and new board member in the field of student life Anna Suzdalev.

Anna and Joosep - who are you, where do you come from and how did you find your way to the Student Union's board?

Anna: Helllloooo.. I am the new member of the board in the field of student life and I come from a small municipality near Tallinn called Saku. Fun fact, the last head of the board was also from there ;) Before applying for the board position, I had been active in the field of student life for a year already as the coordinator of the student organizations. I felt that being on the board would help me get out of my comfort zone and give me the personal development I wish from life right now.

Joosep: Hey! I'm the new head of the board and I come from a small and sweet village called Jäneda. My road in student activism started in MTÜK (the Student Council of the School of Business and Governance), where I was a member of the board. I was good enough in my position, that people thought I could be of use in the Student Union as well, so after negotiating and assessing the situation, I would say that I have something to give to our student body and fulfill as the head of the board of the Student Union.

How is the teamwork of the new board?

Pille: Since all three of us have worked together a little in the past and know each other from before, then it was a little easier to start with the new board. Every meeting is fun, and scolding each other adds to a fun work environment on a daily basis. We have common visions and ideas and there haven't been many disagreements. Although at first it takes a long time to integrate into the board, then Anna and Joosep have managed it well. From time to time, things need to be reminded and helped, but these two already have a lot of questions :)

Joosep: The cooperation of the new board works wonderfully. First of all, before mine and Anna's mandate even started, we sat down together, talked about our dreams and plans, and not a single idea caused anyone's reluctance - rather, it contributed to everyone's individual goals. Secondly, our general getting along didn't require a lot of teamwork excercises, it was pleasant right from the start. We are already there for each other, make fun of each other in moderation and support each other.

Anna: The composition of the new board is very special in its own way. We are all from the School of Business and Governance and we all have very big wishes and goals that we want to fulfill during the year. Each new board brings with it new changes and goals, and right now we are happy that we all agree on the vision set for the next school year, which we want to implement.

What are you expectations for the new school year? What do you wish to fulfill?

Joosep: I wish the funding of the Student Union was even greater so that we could give our students as many opportunities as possible. We want to foster unity at TalTech and raise the transparency of the Student Union among our students. I would like to contribute to political issues concerning higher education and actively cooperate with other institutions offering higher education. I don't dare to advertise the biggest goals yet, but let's just say that if everything goes to plan, something super awesome can be expected at the end of the school year. In addition, I want to be supportive in the areas of my fellow board members - for example, due to my personal desire to compete, I want us to be the first at Ylisport events.

Anna: The biggest expectation for this academic year is that the student life of our university can flourish in the same way as before the Covid era. The school year started with a big and traditional Kick-off Orientation, where more than 1000 new freshmen registered, and I hope for such intense activity for the whole school year! Personally, I would like to involve even more international students and student organizations in our student life activities during the year. The first big step has just been taken, where all English curricula were invited to participate in our Orientation. I also want to develop our sports field following the steps of the previous board member, creating new events that could be offered to our freshmen in cooperation with the sports coordinators of the student council. And of course, since my previous position was the coordinator of the student organizations, them I want to strengthen the cooperation between our student organizations even more, so that more new events can be created that we can all be proud of.

Pille: My biggest goal is definitely to find a good successor who would take over my position and continue to fight for a good higher education. There are many other plans and a year is certainly not long enough to complete everything. The biggest projects, in which I have been involved, are definitely changing the ÕIS feedback and developing the good practice of the university. Additionally, me and Mia, the election coordinator o the Student Parliament, want to increase the electoral turnout of the Student Parliament and make their work more transparent. A new project and this year's big goal is to develop TalTech's views on mental health and organize events focused on mental health in collaboration with all the students of the different faculties to raise awareness of its importance. The coordinator of educational communication has moved the same Juulius' blog that you are currently reading to a new platform, and now we need to increase the reading activity and reach foreign students as well. Together with Joosep, we are fighting for free higher education and we are making various plans on how to stand out. Of course, all of this includes many smaller activities and current thoughts such as the Teachers' Day, Euroteq, Tutors' development, cooperation with other universities and much more. There is a lot to do, and probably many activities will continue on for longer than a year.

What are the top 3 event, you would recommend during the school year?

Anna: If you are a new student at TalTech, you MUST visit at least one student organization's information evening (ideally at least 2)! Maybe that's where you'll find lifelong friends and memories to last a lifetime. But on the other hand, no matter which year student you are, you definitely have to buy a ticket to the Campus Party (Linnakupidu), because these are the most legendary parties of the university, with incredibly awesome performers. The second event would be the Student Winter Games and the third would be the Summer Games. You cannot consider yourself a full-fledged uni student if you have not represented TalTech at both events.

Pille: When I came to school in my first year, then one of my favourite events was definitely the Culture Club parking lot party. In the spring, I recommend that all students stop by MTÜK's business forum in order to gain more financial wisdom, and surely every proper student will stop by the Winter and Summer Games

Joosep: In the first year, the Trilogy of parties, the Campus Party, and Ylisport events (Ylipall, Winter and Summer Games). I believe that every student has a student organization here at school that suits their interests, why not the Student Union of your faculty, where you can find friends and other students with whom you can spend the first semester, then the second, third, fourth, and then graduate together.

What do you wish/recommend to students, especially freshmen for the new year?

Joosep: I would like our freshmen to be open, so that they would look at all kinds of different opportunities that our university offers, in order to determine for themselves the places, organizations, etc., with whom to cooperate, join or contribute in some other way. Be good and smart in your studies! You will make potentially life-long friends left and right in the lecture. And lastly, I would recommend everyone to enjoy this extremely cool environment in which to develop.

Pille: Don't give up! The first year is the hardest - you are just getting into the swing, the subjects are more general in some specialties and there may be many tests and exams at the same time, but it's all worth the effort! You have to move on, and as the semester progresses, your university years become easier, more interesting and more fun. And remember both in your education and in your student life that making mistakes is human and university is for learning from your mistakes.

Anna: University is a very different experience to studying in high school. Sometimes you'll have it easy, but most of the time it can be difficult, and grades can be like a rollercoaster that goes up and down all the time. Don't forget that it's okay, life is always changing! The most important thing is that you understand the subject for yourself and can search for more information if necessary. Also, don't forget that apart from studies, the university has so much more to offer, for which you have to take the first steps yourself. And believe me, it's much easier to take these new steps at the beginning of the school year than during exam period or at the end of the school year. Take advantage of all the opportunities and create a school year that you will remember for the rest of your life because of these adventures!

From the left: Pille, Joosep, Anna


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