An Average Day of KY’s Secretary for Cultural Affairs

I swore that I wouldn’t start off with a story, but like a true actor of the cultural sector, I like to tell stories that have little to nothing to do with the actual task at hand, so…

About a year ago I was a member of the Cultural Committee KUVA, and on Wappu, we had woken up before sunrise and been organizing the whole Wappu extravaganza the whole day. After a long, amazing day, at midnight, as Haloo Helsinki! was playing and about a thousand people were singing and dancing to them, it suddenly hit me for the first time.

“We did this. We actually did this. All these people here. At least some of them will relive this moment and think of it as one of their best memories during their studies. We did this for all these people here and they love it”.  Well, to be fair, Jenni, the Secretary for Cultural Affairs of the time, was responsible for the kuntis but you see my point.

In a nutshell, that’s what I do everyday. My job as the Secretary for Cultural Affairs is to, on my part, to offer counterbalance to studies and everyday life and create a sense of community  and pride to our members. I try to make sure that when you reminisce your time at Aalto and KY, the first things to come to mind aren’t all-nighters at Enator or pizza Fridays at Hanken.

But anyways, as I said, that story is still only one part of my work. First of all, as the Secretary for Cultural Affairs, I’m responsible for the everyday tasks in my sector, such as budgeting and payments. I make sure that everything runs smoothly in the background and that there is money/a place/fireworks to make the event happen in the first place. This also includes working with KUVA: I help Ville, the board member responsible for cultural affairs, in leading the committee, which usually means being the one to solve unexpected crises, herding the flock of fifteen KUVA members and generally being there for them and trying to make their work as smooth as possible. As my working partners from both 2015 and 2016 boards have introduced me as the iron lady of the cultural sector, I think I might have succeeded at least in the herding part 😀 On top of that, I’m the one responsible for all kuntis parties from the beginning until the final cleanup, which, of course, feels like the most stressful thing ever a few days before the event but is soooo worth it when the doors open.

Secondly, I help and supervise subcommittees in their work. Basically, I’m their go-to person (or the one giving a lecture, if needed), whatever the matter, and I try my best to be there for them. They are the single biggest volunteer actors at KY and their motivation for the good of the community is amazing, which makes this one of the most important tasks for me personally. Lastly, I’m also one of the three service secretaries that help all KY members in KY related matters.

On top of having tasks that I love to do, I’ve gotten to know some incredible people. You can have the craziest ideas and they’re behind you 100%, supporting you all the way. If you ever need help, say, when you forget to buy food for the artists or try to open a very tricky wi… soda bottle, they’re there to lend a hand. This is hands down the best job I ever had – seriously. During these 8 months there hasn’t been one single day when I didn’t feel like going to work. On the contrary, on Sunday evenings I’m excited to wake up the next morning to take the one-hour commute to KY office.

Well, that or the pizza Fridays at Espilä.

Yours truly,

Niina Palm
Secretary for Cultural Affairs, 040 353 8276

P.S. If you have any questions regarding the job itself or the life of a Secretary for Cultural Affairs in general, don’t hesitate to contact me via email or Facebook!