Week 47 is election week at CBS, when staff and students will be appointing representatives to the Board of Directors, the Academic Council and the study boards.
This year, both TAP and VIP personnel can vote for their favorite candidate for a seat on the Board of Directors – three positions are available. Students will also be voting candidates onto the Board of Directors, Academic Council and study boards.
Mikkel Nielsen, President of CBS Students, explains why students must vote to give the elected candidates legitimacy.
“By voting, you legitimate the elected candidates, which means the study boards, Academic Council and Board of Directors can use the support when topics with the potential to change day-to-day life for the students are brought up,” he says and continues:
“Furthermore, it’s a democratic opportunity I believe the students should use. It’s not given that they will always have this opportunity. Just last year, politicians discussed the possibility of turning the study boards into advisory boards, which would give students less influence on their study programs.”
The Board of Directors makes decisions that can potentially change the day-to-day life of many students, which is why it’s so important that student interests are representedThomas Skinnerup
Jakob Ravn, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, has been a TAP member of the Board of Directors for the past eight years, and he asks faculty members to speak out about the election to show how much employee democracy matters.
“It’s important that we protect and appreciate the few places where we have employee democracy – two places, to be precise. The Board of Directors and Academic Council. It’s crucial that we have faculty representatives, both VIP and TAP, and students in those places, and that decisions are not made entirely by external forces. Any decisions will be less qualified if we don’t have representatives from our side,” he says.
Exert your influence for years to come
Thomas Skinnerup works at CBS Students. His term on the Board of Directors will expire at the end of January 2020. According to him, the past two years have been well spent making sure that the students were heard during discussions about the future of CBS.
“The Board of Directors makes decisions that can potentially change the day-to-day life of many students, which is why it’s so important that student interests are represented,” he says and continues:
“For example, my fellow student Sebastian Toft Bringstrup and I have prioritized more feedback at CBS and clarified our points about the coming strategy – like how we ensure CBS students have the competencies required by the business sector.”
If you don’t vote, you can end up with a narrow range of people which you might not agree with, that want to paint CBS neon green – or some absurd color.Henrik Mortensen
For the past four years that Jakob Ravn has been a member of the Board of Directors, appointing a new president has been especially important, as well as working on a new strategy for CBS. He argues that the topics for discussion involve the entire organization, rather than specific levels.
“The board meeting agendas are rarely limited to specific groups of employees. They are more about how CBS will develop in the time ahead. And although themes such as CBS finances from a three-year perspective can seem somewhat distant, these themes and decisions can affect the entire organization,” he says, underlining that both TAP and VIP representatives are on the Board of Directors to represent all of CBS.
“Including students as well as TAP and VIP representatives means you can tap into areas of knowledge that can be important for making the right decisions, but you don’t necessarily represent the group you come from.”
Use your vote, or let others make the decisions
This year, only students will elect a new member to the Academic Council. For the past year, Henrik Mortensen has been a student representative. He highlights that students should vote if they want to have some sort of ownership at CBS and determine how CBS should work in future. He compares CBS to a company that needs to constantly innovate.
“A company that doesn’t innovate will eventually see itself overhauled and stagnate. We, the students, run more than 100 student organizations as well as a canteen and bar, and by voting, we take responsibility and create the best opportunities for ourselves,” he says.
When you have a lot of votes behind you, you have the confidence to stand your ground and it clearly signals that the students wanted you personally to represent themThomas Skinnerup
Both Thomas Skinnerup and Henrik Mortens explain that many votes are important to make sure candidates who end up with a seat on the Board of Directors, the various study boards and the Academic Council represent as many interests as possible.
“When you have a lot of votes behind you, you have the confidence to stand your ground and it clearly signals that the students wanted you personally to represent them. On the other hand, this also means you have an obligation to represent your supporters as well as you can,” says Thomas Skinnerup.
Henrik Mortensen explains that, in his experience, many students have opinions about how their study programs are run, which is reason enough to vote.
“If no one votes, it shows people don’t care about the decisions that are made, or at least that is the signal they send. And I don’t think that’s the case, since a lot of students have opinions about their study programs,” he says and continues:
“If you don’t vote, you can end up with a narrow range of people which you might not agree with, that want to paint CBS neon green – or some absurd color. There is more providence in, to select our best candidates and agree they should fight to protect our interests, which should represent your interests too. So, use your vote.”