Do you know that students assemblies in Sweden have a history that goes back to the concept of nations in Uppsala and Lund in 1660s which evolved in 1840s when the first student union was formed? Yes, it is a historical movement! The students’ movement influenced several reforms, such as educational reform in 1977 and 1993, where students got the right grounded in the law to influence decisions that are prepared or made that affect education “Studenters rätt att utöva inflytande (kap 1, 4a§) och rätt till representation när beslut fattas eller beredning sker (kap 2, 7§)” Högskoleförordning (1993:100).
At KTH and since 24 March 1980, the PhD chapter (Doktorandsektion, Dr) had been established to represent all students studying at KTH at the third-cycle level. The PhD chapter is part of the student union at KTH and therefore has effectively, through that status, an obligation to contribute to the development of doctoral studies and their conditions at KTH. The chapter has three main areas: 1) education: quality of studies & rights for PhD students, 2) social conditions for studies, 3) future: career development.
With these areas in mind, the chapter meeting comes as the place for all the doctoral members and hence is the highest legislative and decision-making body at the PhD chapter. All members of the chapter have the right to attend and influence the decisions by sending in motions and voting for decisions.
The chapter can decide on all matters connected to the chapter from establishing statutes and bylaws to opinions, budget, election of representatives, establishment and dissolution of bodies within the chapter.
There are usually four regular chapter meetings, two of which are of particular importance: Spring Meeting (aka Summer Meeting) and Fall Meeting (aka Winter meeting). In special circumstances, the chapter meeting can have extra chapter meetings, defined further in the statutes.
According to the current statutes, §2 the following applies:
PhD Chapter Meeting
The PhD Chapter Meeting (SM) is the PhD Chapter supreme governing body and consists of all the PhD Chapter members.
Regular and extra meetings
A regular PhD Chapter Meeting should be held each term. Four regular chapter meetings can be held every year. In addition, Extra PhD Chapter Meetings may be held.
Conduct of business
The PhD Chapter Meeting may conduct business if a quorum of at least 10 (ten) members and if the summons, including time and location, has been posted on the PhD Chapter website at least eight working days before the meeting. The agenda and other documents are to be posted in the same way at least four working days before the meeting.
Regular PhD Chapter Meetings are convened by the PhD Chapter Board. The PhD Chapter Meeting is lead by the PhD Chapter Meeting Chairperson who is appointed by the PhD Chapter Meeting.
Extra PhD Chapter Meetings convene within 20 (twenty) working days:
a) By a summon from the PhD Chapter Auditors;
b) When 30 PhD Chapter members request it;
c) When THS Board of Directors or THS Auditors request it;
d) When the PhD Chapter Board finds it appropriate.
At an Extra PhD Chapter Meeting, the PhD Chapters Auditors may appoint the PhD Chapter Meeting Chairperson. If they do not do so, the PhD Chapter Meeting appoints the PhD Chapter Meeting Chairperson.
Motions to the PhD Chapter Meeting should be submitted in writing by a member to the PhD Chapter Board at least 5 (five) working days before the meeting.
Decisions may only be made regarding questions that have been included in the agenda.
No person may participate in decisions or lead a meeting treating freedom of responsibility for themselves.
A PhD Chapter member present at the PhD Chapter Meeting is considered participatory in decisions at PhD Chapter Meetings as long as they have not reserved themselves or reported themselves as absent. To report oneself as absent, a written report should be submitted to the PhD Chapter Board or to the PhD Chapter Auditors before the PhD Chapter Meeting is opened. Reported absences or reservations are to be recorded in the PhD Chapter Meeting protocol.
All PhD Chapter members at the PhD Chapter Meeting have one vote per member. Proxies are not allowed. If a vote is tied, the PhD Chapter Meeting Chairperson has a casting vote, except in elections where a tie is broken by drawing lots.
The PhD Chapter employs voting by acclamation or show of hands. If the PhD Chapter Meeting so desires, a ballot vote should be used.
PhD Chapter members must be present at the start of the specific point of the agenda to be eligible to vote on the matter at hand.
A protocol recording all decisions should be written at the PhD Chapter Meeting.
The protocol should be adjusted by the PhD Chapter Meeting Chairperson and by two other persons appointed at the meeting.
The protocol should include the number of PhD Chapter members present at the beginning and at the end of the meeting and other people present.
The adjusted protocol should be posted on the PhD Chapter website. The protocol should also be sent to THS Board of Directors within two weeks.
During the fall the PhD Chapter Meeting should:
a) Treat the PhD Chapter Board report for the previous operational year;
b) Treat the PhD Chapter Auditors report for the previous operational year;
c) Treat freedom of responsibility for the PhD Chapter Board and the PhD Chapter
d) Elect at least three people to the PhD Chapter Nominating Committee;
e) Elect the Standard Bearers for the PhD Chapter;
f) Elect one PhD Chapter Masters of Ceremonies;
g) Elect members to the PhD Chapter Board for all positions with a mandate period January-December.
h) Elect the head of female doctoral committee with a mandate period January-December.
During the spring the PhD Chapter Meeting should:
a) Elect members to the PhD Chapter Board for all positions with a mandate period July-June;
b) Elect the PhD Chapter Auditors and Deputy Auditor.
c) Elect one PhD Chapter Masters of Ceremonies