Did you know that next autumn all students in Agder will have a proper common place to meet? We spoke with VT leader Michelle Brynildsen to try to get a sneak peek at what’s to come.
We heard a rumor that a committee has already been set up to work forward towards a completed student society. What can you tell us about it?
– First of all, I would like to say that we are in the first phase of planning, so not much has been decided, other than the financial framework. We also want to engage a lot more students, both from student associations/line associations, but also other committed students.
What are you doing now? Have you decided on anything other than the financial framework?
– I sit together with STA leader William Thanoothong Svendsen in a steering group. We represent the students’ voice in the group. Furthermore, UiA, UiA Arts, SiA and Cultiva are also represented. Cultiva owns the building. The steering group is currently coordinating subgroups which in turn will create more subgroups with, hopefully, even more engaged students. These subgroups of the subgroups will in turn make decisions that will form the entire student community. In the steering group, we are now discussing the construction and, as already mentioned, we recently finished the financial framework for the community.
You say that the financial framework has already been determined and that you want to involve more people in the other decision-making. What if one or more student(s) want something that breaks the financial framework you have already set?
– I think it will take some time before the financial framework is blown up, we have received a lot of money to create a proper student community.
That’s promising, but back to the steering group. Are you the only ones actively working now?
– No, the other two groups are also working now, namely: the working group and the Task Force group. The working group works specifically with what will be the student housing part of the student community. The Task Force group is working on an upcoming and important foundation meeting and a couple of events that we will have now throughout the autumn.
Can you tell us more about the founding meeting?
– The foundation meeting will be the meeting where we actually establish the student society. Here, a board will be elected using a normal student democratic process, as is the case for student elections, as an example, the student parliament. All students associated with SiA and who are in the room where the election will take place will therefore have an opportunity to vote for the new board. The meeting itself will take place in November, but before that we may have one slightly more exciting event.
Exciting! Is it possible to find out more about the event?
– Yes! The event will be a kind of big pre-party before the founding meeting, it is open to everyone and we are thinking of running a themed party. It will take place in October.
Has anything else been determined?
– It was first decided where the community should be. A new building will not be built, but Sørlandets Kunstmuseum – often referred to as SKMU – will be moved and will thus be used to become the student community, in the middle of Kvadraturen. It will also take up space on the first and lower floors, with, among other things, a concert hall, bar area, possibility for catering and things like that which are given for a student community.
Would you like to add any closing words?
– Yes please. We try our best to engage as many students as possible to help make decisions going forward and we want a lot of input. We therefore insist on reaching out and connecting as many people as possible. If anyone is already interested, they can get in touch, and we’ll take it from there.