All students with full and valid study accreditation at USN are entitled to vote in the student elections, and may stand as candidates provided that their accreditation is valid for the duration of the office in question.
Pursuant to Norwegian legislation, all students are entitled to exert influence and exercise decision-making authority by means of representation equivalent to 20 per cent on all Boards, councils and committees that are responsible for taking decisions at USN. It is emphasised that since issues arising in Norway and at USN are considered and dealt with in Norwegian, it is a requirement that all students who are appointed to, or who stand as candidates for, office are proficient in a Scandinavian language.
Offices elected by the student community by means of electronic voting (popularly known as the “ballot-box vote”) are as follows:
⦁ Offices on one of eight Campus Boards (Campusstyret)
⦁ Offices on USN’s councils and committees, including the USN Board (USN Styret).
Offices elected during the Semester Meeting (Student Term Convention/semestermeeting), at which only selected representatives are entitled to vote, are as follows:
⦁ Offices on the Student Working Committee (Arbeidsutvalget, AU)
⦁ Offices on the Control Committee (Kontrollkomiteen, KK) and the Election Committee (Valgkomiteen, VK)
⦁ Student representatives on the Board of the South-Eastern Norway Regional Student Welfare Organisation (Studentsamskipnaden, SSN) are elected by representatives attending the term convention (semestermeeting).
Deadline for standing for office
The deadline for submitting the candidate form for election to office at USN, or the SSN, was 2 February. Candidates for offices on the Student Working Committee or the SSN Board (SSN Styret) will not be considered by the Election Committee after this deadline.
For candidates for offices on the Campus Board, USN’s councils and committees, the USN Board, or on other committees, this deadline is absolute.
Duration of the ballot-box vote (10–23 February)
The election opens on 10 February.
During the election period you can vote for the candidate who you believe should be elected to the office in question. If you are standing as a candidate, you may vote for yourself.
This website contains a link to the “ballot box”, and the forms submitted by all the candidates.
The election, and your opportunity to use your ballot-box vote, closes on 23 February.
The result of the ballot-box vote will be announced no later than 28 February.
The Semester Meeting/Student Term Convention (semestermøte) elects offices to the Student Working Committee and student members of the SSN Board. This takes place on 21–22 March.
The Student Democracy of South-Eastern Norway
The USN Student Union is The Student Democracy of South-Eastern Norway (Studentdemokratiet i Sørøst-Norge, SDSN). This is an independent organisation for students studying at USN. Since July 2019, the Student Term Convention, or semester meeting (semestermøte) is the highest decision-making body within the SDSN.. It comprises representatives from all the Campus Boards that are elected during the student elections. So, if a student is elected to a Campus Board, he or she will also attend a Semester Meeting/Student Term Convention twice during the following academic year.
Please be aware that if you stand as a candidate for President (studentleder) or Deputy President (nestleder) of the SDSN, that these are full-time offices. This means that if you are elected you must take sabbatical leave from your studies during the academic year 2020-21, and devote your time to these offices.
The President and Deputy President together constitute the Student Working Committee (Aarbeidsutvalget/AU) within the SDSN. They are responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation and represent the students in a variety of arenas. The Student Working Committee (AU) considers cases that are brought before a group comprising the presidents of the various campuses at USN (ledergruppa).
This group meets on a regular basis and prepares proposals for consideration by the Student Term Convention.
Campus boards consists of:
A Campus President (campusleder) is the highest-ranking student representative and is responsible for the running of the SDSN at the campus in question.
A Deputy Campus President (nestleder på campus) is responsible for carrying out the election procedures on campus, and works together with subject associations, mentors, student organisations, the SSN and others to ensure a healthy student environment.
The Learning Environment Officer (Læringsmiljøansvarlig) has specific responsibility for issues related to student health, well-being and the learning environment. This position entails an obligation to attend meetings of the USN Learning Environment Committee (Læringsmiljøutvalg, LMU).
The Communications Officer (Kommunikasjonsansvarlig) is responsible for promoting the SDSN and its work on campus.
The Student Council President (Studentrådsleder) is, together with the other members of the Campus Board, one of the highest-ranking representatives elected by the student community, and has strategic responsibility for the running of the SDSN on campus.
Comitees in the The Student Democracy
The members of the Control Committee are responsible for ensuring that activities carried out by the SDSN are in compliance with prevailing legislation, regulations and other governing documents. The committee comprises three members, each serving a one-year term.
The main task of the members of the Election Committee is to interview and recommend candidates for various offices in the SDSN, as well as other Boards, councils and committees at USN and the SSN.
Offices at USN
All offices announced by USN are student representatives. This means that an elected student becomes a full and active member of the USN Board, or the council or committee in question. These offices shall be executed in parallel with the student's studies. In such an office you will meet other students, USN employees and, in some situations, representatives from external parties.
USN’s councils and committees hold many meetings during term time, and some offices receive remuneration. The Board meets approximately six times a year, and organises seminars and external events.
Study the details of the requirements for each office very carefully before you apply to be a candidate. If a student applies for office on the Fitness-to-Practice Committee (Skikkethetsnemda), he or she must be actively studying a subject for which fitness-to-practice assessments are being made. This includes so-called “human interaction studies” such as teacher and nurse training.
A student may not hold office on the Appeals Committee (Klagenemda) and the Fitness-to-Practice Committee at the same time. Both of these committees are subject to strict non-disclosure regulations.
The USN Board has high levels of responsibility and will thus place major demands on its student officers both in terms of preparation and meeting attendance. If you are elected to the USN Board you will be one of two student representatives (one male and one female) who together represent the entire student community at USN, independently of faculty or campus.
The student that receives the second highest number of votes in the election for his or her office will be asked to act as a substitute representative. This student shall attend meetings in situations where the student officer who received the highest number of votes is prevented from doing so.
About the Board, councils and committees at USN
The USN Board
The Board is the university’s highest-ranking decision-making body and has responsibility for all academic, financial and strategic decisions. There are two student representatives (one male and one female) on the USN Board.
The Learning Environment Committee (Læringsmiljøutvalget LMU)
The Learning Environment Committee is a mandatory committee that works to promote the learning environment (the students’ working environment) at USN. The LMU reports directly to the USN Board and is empowered to enact measures to improve the day-to-day learning environment of students on campus. At USN, learning environment officers from the respective campuses have permanent seats on the university’s LMU, and this function is a key part of their office.
The Fitness-to-Practice Committee (Skikkethetsnemnda)
The Fitness-to-Practice Committee conducts assessments in situations concerning students’ fitness to interact closely with people in vulnerable situations (fitness-to-practice assessments).
The Appeals Committee (Klagenemnda)
The Appeals Committee at USN is an appeal body for all decisions taken regarding individual students. This committee also makes decisions in cases involving students who are accused of cheating or complicity in cheating. The Appeals Committee is chaired by a district court judge, and includes two USN employee, and two student, representatives.
The Education Quality Committee (Utvalg for utdanningskvalitet, UFU)
The Education Quality Committee addresses education quality at USN and offers advice to university management and the USN Board on issues concerning the academic courses offered by USN. There are four student representatives on the UFU, one from each faculty.
The Equal Opportunities and Inclusivity Committee (Likestillings- og inkluderingsutvalget)
The aim of the Equal Opportunities and Inclusivity Committee is to promote equal opportunity and diversity at USN. Both USN employees and students are represented on this committee.
The Appointments Committee (Tilsettingsutvalget, TUF)
The Appointments Committee for teaching and research positions is responsible for considering issues related to the employment terms and conditions of teaching and research staff. The TUF decides in cases related to appointments, leave, dismissals, suspensions and sanctions for conduct violations related to teaching and research staff. The committee is made up of a Director of Personnel and Organisational Issues, the Dean of the faculty in question, two USN employee representatives and a student representative.
The Student Welfare Organisation of the South-Eastern Norway (Studentsamskipnaden, SSN)
The Board of SSN is the highest decision-making body in the Student Welfare Organisation of the South-Eastern Norway and decides in cases that concern the day-to-day welfare of students in the region in matters regarding health, accommodation and university catering services.
The SSN administers student accommodation, bookshops, and health services for almost 20,000 students. As a student representative on this Board, you will assume a high level of responsibility. The SSN Board is chaired by a student, while the SSN Director acts as Board Secretary. Board members include SSN employees, students and USN employees.