“We hope, of course, that the spread of infection stays on low level and that we will not have to go back to stricter restrictions. If this happens, we will sit down together again and carry out a risk analysis of all out activities that is are affected by the restrictions and adapt accordingly,” says Emelie Carlström, chair of Gefle Student Union.
Since the restrictions were eased at the end of September, Gefle Student Union has been working daily to recruit committed members, since the number of members decreased due to the pandemic.
“We have done well, given the circumstances. We are still living in the aftermath of the pandemic, which means that the number of active members is lower than in previous years. If you want to get involved in the union’s activities, you have the chance to do so now.”
Despite the pandemic, the student union’s most important work has been going well and if restrictions were to be reintroduced, it would not drastically affect the activities.
“Student influence and social activities are the two legs we stand on. We can promote student influence very well despite the restrictions, we have already proven that it is possible. Right now, we do our job both via online and physical meetings. If the restrictions were to be reintroduced, it would mean that we would have to adapt to more digital meetings again. However, our voice, and the students’ voices would still be heard in the University’s various forums.”
Arranging events again
Since the restrictions were lifted, it has been possible to plan long awaited events and parties again. Emelie Carlström is optimistic but a little worried.
- It feels exciting. We have longed for this to happen. We are a bit concerned that there could be a setback if the restrictions were to come back, but we think it will be okey. The students are longing for an active student life and we are longing for the students.
- We have been able to arrange some events since September 29th, like union breakfasts and our long-awaited Halloween party that we had on October 29th. For us, it's more about switching gears and reviving the campus again. That one effect of campus opening again is that we will have new enthusiastic members joining the union. It has been difficult to recruit committed members to our union, which we will really need if we are to do all the things that we want to do.
The long-awaited kick-off events took place!
After two years, it was also possible, thanks to the lifted restrictions, to finally have a real kick-off event again.
- The kick-off went beyond all expectations. Even though the forces of nature were against us in many ways. Not only did we continue to have restrictions due to the pandemic that required all activities were adjusted, but the first day was also completely ruined by the flood. That day, we instead chose to open the campus grounds to students who were affected by the heavy rainfall. We put a roof over the students’ heads and helped to provide accommodation to those who needed it.
- When the storm calmed down, we, together with the student associations, managed to carry out an incredibly fun kick-off for the new students. In total, there were over 300 fantastic people who worked together voluntarily to be able to hold the kick-off and without them it would never have happened. All love to them!