Mikkel August Wallind, President of CBS Students, studying for a BSc in Economics and Business Administration. 4th semester
What is first on your to-do list?
A main project for me and for CBS Students entails working towards launching a student senate. The idea is to discuss the political directions and issues, and the policies we want to have at CBS Students – so our direction is clearer and the elected representatives are more involved.
The senate will meet twice a year with student representatives from across CBS, the Board of Directors, the Academic Council and the Study Board. It’s a huge undertaking and we are very exciting to get this working. There’s still plenty of work to do but we hope to get the senate up and running as soon as possible this semester.
What are your key issues during your term as president?
I think inevitably any organization will have some sort of issues. CBS Students has previously had problems with the political aspects . We are supposed to be a political student union that represents the students’ voices and we have done that to some degree, but we would very much like to improve in that respect. That means representing the students’ voices, making sure we are seen on campus and that people know who we are and what we are doing for them. That is also why we want to establish a senate and we want to establish better contact with other universities and DSF (the National Union of Students in Denmark).
As each CBS Students presidency lasts for one year only, how is continuity secured?
CBS Students is a very old organization, with our lovely secretariat as its backbone. We have very long time horizons for our cornerstone projects, so, of course, we will do our very best to move them along.
Continuity can be a problem in an organization such as CBS Students, where new team takes over every year, so onboarding is very important. I know for a fact that this month I have jam-packed so many meetings and conversations in with different people so I get up to speed with everything going on. So far, it’s been great, and I’m really trying to take in as much as possible. And that’s what we hope to achieve with the next presidency too regarding progress over the next year.
Tomas Vemola, Vice President of CBS Students, studying for a BSc in Digital Management, 6th semester, and member of the Academic Council.
What are your key issues?
As Vice President, I focus mainly on our operations and projects. These include Student Society Day, where the student organizations visit campus and present themselves to the students, and the university elections. My major focus is for CBS Students to be the best it can possible be in providing those services to the student organization and the elected representatives at CBS.
What’s first on your to-do list?
We have restructured CBS Students and expanded the full-time team from four to seven members. So now we have the president, the vice president and five directors. Two of them, the president and the director of politics, will be completely in charge of our stakeholders and of politics at CBS Students, which is much more resource intensive and time consuming than previously. As VP, I coordinate the work between them, the other projects we do, other Directors and volunteers. Many meetings are held to optimize teamwork. And when we know how many volunteers have signed up for another semester, we’ll have a recruiting round at the beginning of [the next semester if necessary.
This year, it is our turn to host The Nordic Forum, which invites the student unions from Nordic business schools to visit Copenhagen and discuss how their student unions are run to learn and improve what we do.
What needs to be improved at CBS for the students?
We don’t have a lot of study spaces on campus and that is a huge issue. We would certainly like more. It’s a long-term problem that we can’t solve overnight. But the issue snowballed recently because the Department of Digitalization on Howitzvej is under construction and some reading places had to be repurposed into offices. So, we need more study places. It would be amazing to find the space and places at school for students to not just study but also hang out and be social.
Lars S. Hansen, Chair studying for a BSc in Business Administration and Psychology and starting his second semester this spring.
What is your role at CBS Students?
Maria and I oversee the organization’s strategic framework. In other words, we’ll keep an eye on Mikkel and Tomas to make sure they comply with the strategy. The four of us will meet once a week and keep track of progress and how to move forward.
What are your key issues?
Student welfare is a major issue for me, especially bouncing back from Covid-19. The current situation is not optimal to say the least, but I hope that, as the restrictions are lifted, we can get the students back, engaging with each other and socializing. There’s a lot of catching up and work to be done there, especially to remedy the huge decline in student welfare due to home exams and home schooling. We hope we never have to go through that again.
What does CBS Students need for successful cooperation with CBS?
We will make sure the organization works towards safeguarding student welfare, the quality of education and student influence while collaborating with CBS and the elected student representatives.
At CBS Students, we recognize that student representatives’ influence is a key factor in ensuring students’ views are represented and heard. The legitimacy of the Study Boards’ voices is indisputable provided the students continue to vote, and the Senate is our way of embracing students’ opinions.
Maria Gabriela Zoladkowska, Vice Chair. Study line: IBP, 2nd year.
What are your key issues?
My main goals as vice chair are to follow through on the strategy we made two years ago and support the three main pillars: student involvement, quality of education and student welfare. I clearly see my role here as making sure that CBS Students follows through with those goals and that its goals relate to those three areas.
What do you consider is CBS Students’ key role?
I think it would be making sure that CBS remains relevant for the students, and I think that with the new structure, we will definitely achieve that. Staying on top of the political issues relating to students is also important, and hopefully with help from the senate, we will accomplish that and clearly represent students’ views. Also, student welfare includes creating the student environment I believe we all want to see. So basically, staying relevant for the students is key.
What can be done to get more students involved in student politics?
This is a very hard topic because we’ve seen the voting percentage decline over the years. Other universities are seeing the same trend. So, I think we should all discuss this problem and explore how we can encourage students to feel that their studies and university politics are actually important. We need to highlight the benefits of voting. I think we are doing quite well reaching people on campus but reaching those off campus is challenging. Although this is an ongoing battle, the potential is there and the voting percentage was better than last year, so that’s really great.