Aino Kouri, Chair of the Board in Student Union HAMKO, student in horticulture
Aino Kouri has been the Chair of the Board of the Student Union of Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMKO) the past two years. She is also in the final stages of her hortonomy studies. In both positions, Aino finds her own inner “bettermaker”.
At HAMKO, it is of course the desire to promote the students’ cause in every possible situation. And because Aino studies at Lepaa campus, she feels it is her heart’s desire to promote HAMK’s many small campuses.
“I want everyone to have a good student life and opportunities to make a difference, and I want there to be community-based activities that suit everyone.”
A topical issue is the new government’s budget proposal, which has raised concerns about students’ economical situation.
“Finland is passionate about education. I´m a bit worried of shooting ourselves in the foot by cutting back on students and their well-being,” Aino says.
In her studies, Aino is now finalising her thesis. She also has her own business name. She has already done some work in her own field, such as studying the growth characteristics of farms that use some of the waste produced on the farm as a growing platform.
Aino’s interest in general is in inventive ways of producing food in an urbanising world.
Her interest in general is in inventive ways of producing food in an urbanising world.
“I worked at a place where they were growing mushrooms using circular farming methods in disused sea containers on a derelict industrial site. It brought not only food production but also greenery to an urban area.”
In Aino’s view, there is a great need for all this innovation and bettermaking as urbanisation accelerates. Small players, who need to be inventive to survive, can be at the forefront, she says. Those who are more passionate about environmental issues also seem to be more concerned about the well-being of their employees as a whole.
“This applies not only to HAMKO, but also to one of my workplaces. There, for example, the managers were paid the same as a so-called ordinary employee,” says Aino.
HAMKO is about to elect a new board. Having served two terms as chairperson, Aino says that the job has given her the chance to do a lot of different things.
“Organising events, lobbying and even a kind of human resources management have been interesting things. The most important thing to remember in this kind of organisational work is that processes are often slow and this is not a solo effort, it’s all done together.”
At HAMK, we believe that the world can be saved with both feet on the ground. All it takes are brave people and concrete actions.
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