“We’re so excited about this anniversary!”

24 februari 2022

A cake representing a red house with cake candles on the roof.

UTN's union house 'Uthgård' in shape of a cake.

Hello there…Max Mesch, student in the Master’s Programme in Engineering Physics and project manager for the celebrations to mark the Uppsala Union of Engineering and Science Students’ (UTN’s) 20th anniversary.

UTN turned 20 on 2 February – what did you do to celebrate?
“On the big day itself, we handed out muffins and held a history lecture. Throughout our birthday week, we hosted a range of anniversary events for students. Due to restrictions, we will be holding our anniversary ball at Uppsala Castle in conjunction with the Inspector inauguration and prize-giving ceremony in March. On 8 April, we will welcome our alumni to join us in celebrating at our alumni dinner, and we also have plans for a festival in May. But more information will be announced about that in due course.”

How does it feel for UTN to be turning 20?
“We’re so excited about this anniversary! We are 14 very engaged and ambitious people serving on the anniversary committee, and we’ve all been working on this for 6-12 months, so it’s really great to see the committee “in action”. It’s also cool that we’re in a position to develop the organisation further and use the occasion to improve UTN more generally.”

In what ways has UTN evolved over the past 20 years?
“UTN has undergone massive development over its first 20 years. We’ve come from being a scattered organisation with a couple of desks in an office to being the second biggest students’ union in Uppsala. We run events like the River Rafting, a beloved Walpurgis tradition, which is famous across Sweden, as well as the Utnarm careers fair which attracts masses of companies, and much more. We’ve basically gone from being a start-up to being one of the strongest student groups in Uppsala.”

How has student engagement changed over the years?
“When the union first started, it was in a world that was still relatively analogue, without smartphones and the like. 20 years ago, student unions were a matter of course for students. If you weren’t at your nation, union or section, you missed out on all the fun. Today, students can enjoy a lot of student life via their smartphones. As the amount of information available has grown and there are more things competing for students’ attention, it has become a challenge for student organisations to get students physically involved on campus.”

How can people keep up to date with all the events to celebrate the anniversary?“We’ll be posting updates on an ongoing basis to our Instagram, with a number of them being retrospectives looking back at the union’s past. Later on, we’ll also update our website with up-to-date information. You can also follow the celebrations on Facebook.”