The Student Union starts the academic year 2016/17 More than 100 students will find a job in the Student Union after the beginning of the semester. Which strategy is crucial for the new presidency? An article by our student reporter, Thomas Tarantini. 13 September 2016. 1 June this year was the date on which the committee for the period of office of 2015/16 officially handed over its mandate to the newly elected president. The next steps followed at once. The new presidency consulted with former committee members, the Student Union assistants and the audit committee to form a new team, which will run the Student Union in the coming academic year. Work started as soon as the committee was confirmed by the student parliament. Last year’s committee made an effort to pave their successors’ way towards a good start. Mario Imsand (26), the new President of the Student Union, said on taking over: "In an organisation with such a great fluctuation, the management of knowledge – and the safeguard of knowledge, in particular – is of crucial significance. The takeover process is an Achilles’ heel. We will try to optimise it further." Strategy for the new term In July, the students developed their strategy for the new term of office. Then the first acid test was already looming: the organisation of the Freshers’ Week. Thanks to a high degree of commitment, this task was successfully completed. With the official beginning of the semester on 19 September, the new Student Union will soon be complete. For this purpose, the committee is recruiting members for various teams, which will report to the various committee functions. At the interface between students and the University Management Vice-President Eric Tarantini (24) is the new committee member responsible for the representation of student interests. This means that he works as a mediator at the interface between students and the University Management. Fundamental issues include the representation of students’ concerns, interests and opinions, an evaluation of curricula, as well as legal and appellate advice. In the coming year, there will be a stronger focus on innovation in teaching with new technologies. In future, lectures should have offline components (classic lectures with students present in the lecture rooms) and online components in order to become actively involved in digital change. There will be a specific team assigned to innovation in teaching. Recruiting new team members The recruitment of new team members is Giulia Alario’s (23) job; she is in charge of human resources. She will meet all the applicants for an interview and decide whether they will become involved in the Student Union. Besides recruiting new students, she looks after all team members’ requirements and is the contact point in cases of conflict. Furthermore, she is responsible for various kinds of events together with event manager Krenare Berisha (22), who reports to her. She supervises the Spirit Force, which organises events for the members of the Student Union, and the Link Team, which is responsible for events at the Master’s Level. New homepage The committee member for campus activities and IT is now Max Faulhammer (22). He is responsible for the website, the rest room in the Main Building and the Student Union House. To him, the "New homepage for the Student Union" project is of central significance. All his teams will be involved in it. The IT Evolution Team is responsible for the structure and layout of the website, the IT Services Team for the technical support and for online tools such as the course catalogue, and the Translation Team is responsible for the English translation. Max also plays an important role in the supervision of TwoGo. This platform coordinates shared transport for students of the University of St.Gallen through an app. The project is run jointly with the oikos student association. Student associations and projects The student associations are part of the Marketing & Culture section, which is the responsibility of Marilen Zosso (22). She and her association coordinator Louis Tillessen (23) organise the presentation of associations in the Freshers’ Week, as well as workshops during the semester, and they deal with the accreditation applications submitted by new associations. Besides the associations, the remit of Marketing & Culture includes the entire external image of the Student Union, for which purpose she runs teams in the fields of editing, media and layout. These teams draw up news items, flyers, videos, photos and posters. Funding and sponsorship Funding and sponsorship of all activities and projects is the job of Adriano Paternostro (22). He has already mastered his first big task – the financial statements of the previous term of office. In addition, he is responsible for the first-semester packages for the newly enrolled Assessment Year students and draws up the budget, which must be approved by the student parliament. This year, Adriano will complement the regular Sponsorship Team with a new Investment Team, which will work out the funding proposals for the Student Union’s capital. The representative tasks of the President The committee reports directly to Student Union President Mario Imsand (26). Besides leading and coordinating this team, he fulfils all the representative tasks vis-à-vis the University of St.Gallen, the authorities and the general public. The committee’s work to date makes him confident about their work on future concerns: "Cooperation in the committee has worked very well so far. If this continues and if the coming team members also make their contributions, this will be a super year!" Thomas Tarantini is studying Business Administration and is additionally enrolled in Book and Publishing Studies.