SFS ordförande Linn Svärd och SFS vice ordförande Jacob Färnert inledde SFS fullmäktige 2023 i Eskilstuna med de följande orden:
It’s my pleasure to welcome you all to this year’s general assembly of the Swedish National Union of Students. We gather to discuss the future of SFS, and also take decisions. Who will take place in the board and the presidency, who will look after us as auditors and who will be in the nomination committee. We will also set the agenda and political priority for the next year, and we will handle other documents and amendments.
I would like to remind you that we all take part in this meeting with the ambition to contribute to a better SFS. And we are and aim to continue to be:
- an established opinion leader,
- a cohesive voice as an organization, and
- the representative of students and student unions.
Furthermore I would like to add two reasons why SFS is a successful organization. First off all, it’s because of you and the work you do on a local level. Second, it’s because of the work we do together as a student movement. The student entity is bigger than the sum of the parts. An influential organization needs to keep its relevance and we do it by wise decisions. We constantly evaluate and discuss our strategy. Every official statement is based on the current situation and priority, and sometimes the decision is to not comment. Politics is about finding solutions and contributing to a better society. It might seem easy, but I have learned that if we want to contribute to the set agenda we also need to be able to handle the delicate puzzle.
We sit at the table with the decision makers and we daily work on continuing doing so, keeping SFS relevant. And we not only advocate on a national level, we also contribute to set the European agenda. Yesterday the European students union board meeting started and the delegation from SFS are seeking support for a resolution due to the political interference on academic freedom. Just last week we saw the government appoint board members and chairpersons to the university boards on a shorter term. Not only SFS condemned the decision but the whole academic sphere, including our international partners.
A free academy, independent courts, free art, and free press are all cornerstones of maintaining democracy and protecting human rights. Neither politicians, interest groups, nor trolls should determine what can be researched or taught at universities and colleges.
As we gather here today, we face a challenging economic situation that is impacting students across the country. The cost of living continues to rise, and many students are struggling to make ends meet. We must recognize the reality of the situation, and work together to find solutions that will help students succeed.
Furthermore, we cannot ignore the fact that our education system is under threat. The quality of education is being eroded, and students are not receiving the support they need to succeed. We must fight to ensure that all students have access to a high-quality education that prepares them for success in the workforce.
Despite these challenges, I’m confident that together, we can rise to the occasion. Students have always been at the forefront of change, and it’s up to us to use our voices to make a difference.
We must demand that policymakers prioritize student needs and invest in our future. We believe that we also must work to increase student involvement in decision-making processes at all levels. By doing so, we can ensure that our voices are heard and that our concerns are addressed.
In conclusion, we urge all of us to remain vigilant and committed to the cause. By working together, we can create a brighter future for ourselves and for generations to come.
The upcoming days we will further discuss these issues. The board of SFS is proposing a plan of work where we set the priority for next year. This document, and other documents, are anchored with you at the member meetings leading up to this general assembly. I would like to, on behalf of the board of SFS, take the time to also thank you delegates for the time and effort you put into these consultations. We set the agenda for SFS, we set the agenda for this meeting and we do it with constructive discussions.