Medicinska Föreningen (MF) has always been a home away from home for us, as it has for many students over the past 140 years. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for all. Over the years, we have heard quite a few students complain that MF is not welcoming or open to changes. The feeling that MF is not transparent and hard to understand is something that we hope to change this year. Some of these are, in our opinion, misconceptions while others are true.
In this new column, we aim to highlight relevant and larger issues and to further increase the understanding of MF. In this first issue, we address how MF is organized and, maybe more importantly, how one goes about to get involved.
The Council is the highest deciding body of MF, where main policies, budgets and higher positions within MF and Karolinska Institutet are elected. The Council meets three to four times per semester and consists of up to 29 members. The elections for the Council are held digitally each autumn in October where the members are directly elected for a full year, starting from November. In its first meeting, the Council elects the president and vice president of MF, along with the board. It also elects the student representatives in KIs executive boards (board of higher education, doctoral education and research) at this meeting.
The board of MF, led by the president and vice president, operates MF’s everyday work, ranging from strategic planning and addressing issues within MF, to questions regarding the staff. The board consists of students from several programs and is concerned with several main topics. This year the topics are; increasing membership, solidarity, campus Flemingsberg, student influence, organization and communication. Other than these different focus points, we try to facilitate and promote new ideas and projects from our members.
These commitments (the Council and the board) are maybe not the optimal stepping stone to get involved in MF. Usually, involvement starts in one of our sections, committees or societies. These have a more focused purpose and aim, are more easily grasped and are therefore more suitable for a first involvement. The sections, one for each educational program, focus primarily on student influence and in some cases on social activities. The nursing section (SSEK), for example, has a group called Festis which organises social events such as bowling nights and pub-crawls.
The committees focus on an aspect of the student social life. There is a committee for the sports activities (IdrU), for the reception (MU), the pubs and the parties (PrU), the administration of the union house (FU), the cultural life (KU), the communication (KomU), our future careers (NU), as well as committees for equal treatment and internationalization. The societies, while not directly a part of MF, offer an experience, unlike most others. We have our skit groups (Spex) who perform and entertain, our choir (A scalpella) and string orchestra (Stroket) for those with the talent for it. We also have a brass band (Blåslaget) and dance group (Dragplåstret). Fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ population, Queerolinska is a pristine opportunity to effect changes.
These groups of students are a terrific way to get new experiences and gain new friends. If you are interested in getting involved, we sincerely hope that you do not hesitate to contact either them directly or us.
A first thank you, of many to come.
*Published in print in Medicor 2017#1