A new year, a new board and what's more, a new president of SUB! BTSB had the honor of meeting SUB veteran Kerttu Kaikkonen at the peak of her power in this second installment of inaugural interviews. We talked about her history with SUB, recent developments and upcoming challenges, as well as SUB-love and JFK!
First of all, congratulations on your nomination, Kerttu! How would you summarize the first few weeks of your term as president?
Thank you! Well, it was interesting to actually have to go into president mode after only ever having been a regular board member. But it was surprisingly easy! So far, I’ve heard no complaints. That means that either I’m doing just fine or no one is brave enough to say anything.
Indeed! Tell us about your history with SUB, after all, you've been an active member for quite some time. BTSB aficionados certainly know you by now!
SUB has been the most important thing studying at the University of Helsinki has had to offer me. I’ve always been involved with organizations and being active in SUB felt like the natural thing for me to do as soon as I got acquainted with it as a freshman. It certainly helped that I knew Anna Kamula [SUB President 2012] even before uni. As a freshman, I started with organizing the traditional Christmas Party with a couple of other girls and then jumped right into being responsible for SUB funds in my first year as a board member. After that, I was the information coordinator for two terms. Even while on exchange for a year! That’s how much I love SUB. I’d actually been playing around with the idea of being president of SUB for a while and well, here I am now.
Nice to see your plan come to fruition. With all that experience, how would you describe recent developments in SUB? What kind of course can we expect this year?
SUB is working on becoming bigger and better every year, but as we expand, we need even more active people to dedicate a bit of their free time to SUB. I feel like we’ve had a couple of years of not too many active new people joining our ranks and that’s a problem we really need to address this year to ensure SUB will be here for another 40 years, at least. We are bringing SUB closer to the members and making it more approachable by developing the information flow from the board to the members and vice versa. We already put together a Party Committee to help the party people organize bigger and better parties! Hopefully, the committee will prove useful and maybe act as a stepping stone for people to get more involved with SUB in general.
Last year, then-President Anna Kamula raised two issues that SUB was to tackle: working life and studies support and getting better feedback from members to develop better ways to serve them. How do you think SUB is doing with those now?
We did generally get good feedback via our feedback form, but let’s face it: there will always be something that needs improving. Working life and studies support is still something we really need to work on. This year we went back to having two people share the workload of studies and working life, and so far it seems to be working. Also, to give our members a better opportunity to give us feedback all year round, we are working on possibly getting a shout box thing on our website. The site is also getting a complete facelift in the near future!
What are the main points you'd like to see improved in the course of your term? Any challenges coming up?
I’d like to see more people as in love with SUB as I am! Spread the love! Honestly, though, getting both the incoming batch of freshmen as well as the more experienced buggers more involved and interested in SUB is going to be the biggest challenge we are going to have to face this year.
I think the rumor-mill is already a-buzzing with upcoming events and partayes. What are the highlights this spring that no-one should miss?
Well, obviously all the parties are gonna be awesome and you don’t want to miss any of them! The biggest event coming up this spring is the Anniversary Dinner Party, which, as usual, will be legendary!
Last but not least, it's time for your inaugural speech. You have 140 characters so that we can fully quote you on Twitter. Go!
Let the almighty JFK be my guide on this journey: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
Kerttu, thank you very much for the interview and good luck with your presidential term!
Thank you, it’s gonna be a good one!