Representative Council elections

In the Representative Council elections, you can stand as a candidate yourself or vote for a candidate of your choice. The Representative Council elections are held annually in November. Nominations will begin on 11.9.2023. Advance voting starts 30.10.2023 and is on until 7.11.2023. The actual election day is 8.11.2023. Every member of the Student Union Kaakko is allowed to vote and/or stand as candidate. You are a member of the student union if you have a valid Kaakko student card or a mobile student card.

Kaakko, the Student Union of South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, organizes annual Representative Council elections. In these elections 20 representatives and 20 alternate members are chosen for to the student union’s Representative Council.

All members of the Student Union Kaakko are eligible to vote and run as candidates. You are a member of the student union if you have a valid Kaakko´s student card or mobile student card.

The next Representative Council elections will be held on November 8, 2023.

  • It is the student union’s highest decision-making body, responsible for determining the actions of the student union.
  • Comprises exclusively of Xamk students, with 20 regular members and their deputies.
  • Members are elected to the Representative Council through elections.
  • The term of office is one calendar year.
  • There are a minimum of three (3) meetings per year.
  • The official meeting language is Finnish, but international students are also welcome to participate in the activities.
  • Decides how much you pay for the student union membership and the student card.
  • Advocates for all students’ concerns in Kaakon’s Representative Council.
  • Has decision-making authority over the budget, strategy, and action plan that the student union follows.
  • Determines the major directions of the student union and the issues it promotes.
  • Influences education and student matters at Xamk.
  • Serves as the students’ voice in various working groups at Xamk.

The decisions of the Representative Council are executed by the Kaakon board, which the Representative Council selects for a calendar year at a time. The board reports on the practical implementation of the action plan, budget, and strategy to the Representative Council.

Kaakko has specialists to support the work of the Representative Council and the board.

  • You play a central role as part of an active student community.
  • You have the opportunity to influence education and student matters in Kaakko, at Xamk, and in the student cities.
  • You act as the voice of students in various working groups at Xamk.
  • You meet students from outside your own campus.
  • You network with important contacts for the future.
  • You gain valuable experience in organizational activities and democratic decision-making.
  • You receive a free membership in the Student Union Kaakko for one year.
  • You earn 5 ECTS credits for compulsory studies.

Schedule of the elections

  • 11.9.2023 The candidate nomination process starts
  • 8.10.2023 The candidate nomination process ends
  • 9.10.2023 Candidates and election numbers will be announced
  • 30.10.2023 Advance voting starts at 11.00 a.m.
  • 8.11.2023 Official election day, voting starts at 8.00 and ends at 15.00
  • 8.11.2023 Counting of votes
  • 9.11.2023 Results will be published

Standing for election

The election season begins with a separate announcement at a specified time. The nomination process and the creation of candidate lists typically start around the transition between August and September, with the actual elections taking place in early November.

For a detailed election schedule, refer to the previous section.

Eligible candidates for nomination are Xamk students who have become members of Kaakko. You can become a candidate by filling out and submitting the candidate registration form.

  • Anyone who has paid the membership fee to the student union and is enrolled as an attending student can stand for election.
  • You do not need prior experience in elections.
  • Standing for election is free of charge.
  • Fill out the candidate registration form and submit it to the student union. The form can be completed electronically or in a physical copy. You can return the physical form to the student union office.
  • You can stand as an independent candidate or as a member of an electoral alliance.
    • An electoral alliance is formed by two (2) or more candidates. By joining an alliance, you improve your chances of success in the elections because representative elections use a proportional representation system, meaning the votes of alliance members are counted together, and a proportional ratio is used to determine the outcome for each candidate.
    • In addition to this, electoral alliances and/or independent candidates can form election circles among themselves. This enhances the chances of small lists and/or independent candidates in the elections compared to larger alliances.
    • You can find more detailed information about the operation of electoral alliances and circles below.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Make the decision to become a candidate.
  2. Decide whether you want to run as an independent candidate or as part of an electoral alliance
    • If you decide to run as part of an alliance, get in touch with the electoral alliance’s election representative.
    • If you decide to run as an independent candidate, fill out the candidate registration form.
  3. Campaign and succeed in the elections!

You can find all the necessary forms for running as a candidate and forming an alliance or circle in the links below or in the Materials folder.

As a candidate, you will also have access to ready-made marketing material templates.

  • A candidate commits to serving in the representative council for the duration of the council’s term, which is one calendar year.
  • A member of the representative council is obligated to attend all council meetings, which are held approximately 3-6 times during the operational year.
  • Additionally, a council member must participate in various training sessions, evening sessions, and meetings of council working groups.
  • Familiarizing oneself with meeting materials, including the agenda and its attachments, is essential for effective and smooth council work.
  • One of the council member’s most important tasks is to voice their own opinions as well as the opinions of their constituents during meetings.
  • Candidates and those who are interested in candidacy can join the WhatsApp group maintained by Kaakko.
  • Current information related to the representative elections is shared in this group, and you can engage in discussions with other candidates. You can join the group via this link.


The Advance voting period is from October 30, 2023, to November 7, 2023. The actual election day is on November 8, 2023.

The voting link will be sent to the email address you provided when joining the student union. For those who have joined the student union after 2020, the email will automatically be your school email (ending with If you cannot find the voting link in your email, please contact our member service specialist at

You can get to know the candidates on the student union’s candidates page.

  • All members of the student union Kaakko are eligible to vote.
    • You are a member of the student union if you have a valid physical or mobile Kaakko student card.
    • If you are unsure about the validity of your membership, you can inquire through the website’s chat or via email at
  • By voting, you can influence common matters.
  • By voting for a suitable candidate, you can impact your own time as a student.
  • The representative council decides on the use of the student union’s resources and the ways and principles that serve the interests of all Xamk students.
  • The goals set by the representative council can have an impact on both Xamk, the campus cities, and national matters.
  • The counting of votes takes place on the evening of the election day.
  • The election result is determined based on the comparison figures.
  • For a candidate not belonging to an electoral alliance or circle, the number of votes received is the candidate’s final comparison figure.
  • Candidates belonging to electoral alliances and circles are organized based on the size of their vote count. In case of candidates receiving the same number of votes, their order is decided by drawing lots. For the first candidate of an electoral alliance or circle, the comparison figure is marked as the total vote count of the alliance, for the second candidate half (1/2) of that, for the third candidate one-third (1/3), and so on.
  • Finally, all candidates are arranged in order of their final comparison figures. In case of candidates having the same final comparison figure, their order is determined by the comparison figure calculated within the electoral alliance.
  • If the personal vote count or comparison figure is the same, the order of candidates is determined by drawing lots.
  • Those declared elected start from the candidate with the highest final comparison figure, and the number of candidates declared elected corresponds to the number of positions to be filled in the election.
  • Additionally, in the representative council election, substitutes are declared from the candidates not elected, starting with the candidate with the highest comparison figure, ensuring that the number of substitutes does not exceed the number of regular members.

Electoral alliance / Electoral coalition /Nonaligned

Candidates belonging to an electoral alliance benefit from the votes of other candidates within the same electoral alliance. In contrast, individual candidates who do not belong to an electoral alliance (independents) must gather all the votes themselves. An electoral alliance candidate can be elected with a smaller personal vote count than an individual candidate who is not part of an electoral alliance (independent). Two (2) or more electoral alliances can form an electoral coalition, with the condition that the electoral coalition includes candidates up to a maximum of twice the number of seats to be elected.

  • Is an alliance formed by two or more political parties or candidate lists with the aim of improving the position of the participating groups compared to what they would achieve if they were to act separately.
  • In the electoral alliance registration, the name of the electoral alliance and any symbol (slogan) are entered, and the names of the candidates are listed in the order in which they are desired to appear on the electoral list.
  • A candidate cannot be in more than one electoral alliance.
  • The electoral alliance’s candidate list can be supplemented through a supplementary notification form.
  • One (1) representative is chosen for the electoral alliance.
    • Any one of the candidates can be chosen as the representative
  • You don’t have to join an electoral alliance.
  • If you don’t want to join existing electoral alliances or if you don’t want to form your own electoral alliance, you can run as an independent candidate.
  • An electoral coalition is a coalition of two (2) or more electoral alliances.
  • In an electoral coalition, there can be candidates up to twice the number of seats to be elected.
  • An electoral alliance or individual candidate cannot belong to more than one electoral coalition.
  • An independent is a candidate or representative who is not affiliated with any electoral alliance.
  • The benchmark for individual candidates not belonging to electoral alliances is their own personal vote count.
    • In other words, independent candidates gather all their votes individually, whereas candidates in electoral alliances benefit from the votes of other candidates within the same alliance.
  • Independents do not automatically form a list of independents.
  • If independents want their own list, they must create an independent electoral alliance for this purpose.
  • An independent should remember that they do not have a deputy representative in the council meeting.
    • If an independent declares themselves absent from the council meeting, the substitute representative with the highest comparative figure will take their place. In this case, the substitute representative may be, for example, a representative of an electoral alliance, thereby giving the alliance additional representatives and votes for the meeting.

According to the student union’s regulations, electoral alliances must have a representative group coordinator as well as a deputy coordinator. The electoral alliance selects its coordinator and deputy coordinator from among its members. If the electoral alliance has not designated its coordinators by the organization meeting, the chairman of the council appoints as coordinators the individuals who have received the highest personal vote counts.

Roles of the Representative Group Coordinators

  1. The role of the representative group coordinators is to ensure that the representatives of their electoral alliance attend council meetings. If a regular member of the electoral alliance cannot attend a meeting, they must inform the representative group coordinator, who ensures that the substitute member is aware of the meeting.
  2. Establish a communication channel for their electoral alliance, such as a WhatsApp group, etc. It is beneficial for the electoral alliance to have discussions before and during the meeting about the issues they want to advocate within the council.
  3. Engage in discussions with coordinators from other representative groups. In democratic decision-making, collaboration is beneficial, and coordinators should seek out other electoral alliances that share similar goals. In voting situations, electoral alliances that have collaborated are more likely to achieve their desired outcomes.

Established electoral coalition

Election coalition slogan: I Want to Decide!

Election coalition representative: Janne Otava


Election coalition slogan: Voice of reason to student politics!

Election coalition representative: Joona Räty


Election coalition slogan: So that you don’t have to

Election coalition representative: Veijo Tikka


Election coalition slogan: Cheap is good, and good is cheap.

Election coalition representative: Taneli Arosara


Election coalition representative: Jesse Rinneranta


Election coalition slogan: In favor of an equal, sustainable, and well-being student community!

Election coalition representative: Lassi Hakonen


Election coalition slogan: For the well-being and rights of students.

Election coalition representative: John Enarvi


Established electoral alliance

Election alliance slogan:
Liberty, accountability, compassion

Election alliance members and the responsible persons for the election alliance:
Christian Democrats (KD), Joona Räty
National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), Veijo Tikka

Joona Räty,

Election alliance slogan:

Election alliance members and the responsible persons for the election alliance:
Etelä-Savon Tradenöörit, Janne Otava
Kymenlaakson Tradenöörit, Jesse Rinneranta

Jesse Rinneranta,

Election alliance slogan:
Well-being across campus borders

Election alliance members and the responsible persons for the election alliance:
Kotkan Opiskelijat, John Enarvi
Sokka Irti!, Taneli Arosara

Taneli Arosara,

Responsible for the Representative Council Group

According to the rules of the student union, electoral alliances must have one person to be responsible and deputy responsible of the representative council group. The electoral alliance elects the person responsible and the deputy responsible from its members, if the electoral alliance has not defined these by the time of the first meeting, the President of the Representative Council invites the persons who have received the largest number of personal votes to be the responsibles of the Representative Council group.

Duties of those responsible for the Representative Council Group

  1. The task of those responsible for the Representative Council group is to ensure that the representatives of their own electoral alliance participate in the Representative Council meeting. If a full member of the electoral alliance is unable to attend the meeting, he or she must notify the person in charge of the Representative Council group of this, who will ensure that the deputy is aware of the participation in the meeting.
  2. Make a discussion channel for your own electoral alliance, e.g. WhatsApp group, etc. It is a good idea for the electoral alliance to hold discussions before the meeting and during the meeting on what issues the electoral alliance wants to promote in the Representative Council.
  3. Have discussions with those in other representative council groups. In democratic decision-making, cooperation pays off, and those responsible should look for other electoral alliances that pursue the same issues as their own electoral alliance. Electoral alliances that have cooperated in a voting situation have a bigger chance of getting what they want through.

Representative Council meeting

The Representative Council meets at least three times during its term of office, for an organizing meeting, a spring meeting and an autumn meeting. In addition to the mandatory meetings, the Representative Council meets if the Representative Council so decides or the Board deems it necessary. Representative Council meetings will be held remotely in Teams and it’s also possible to attend at campuses.

The meetings of the Representative Council can be followed live, from your own computer.

Annual plan of the Representative Council

Training for members of Representative Council 9.-11.12.2022

Constitutive meeting of the Representative Council

Spring Meeting

Representative Council training

Representative Council “evening school”

Autumn meeting

Representative Council “evening school”