The name of Röskva comes from a character from one of the classic Edda tales: a girl who gets bound as servant to Þór along with her brother, due to one of Lóki’s usual mischiefs. But if that girl is a side character in the tale, then Röskva as the student party feels like her grand comeback, mindful of her humble beginnings and braving against the obstacles that lie ahead just as Þór braves against the giants. Not a servant of Þór, but a servant of students’ needs.
What makes Röskva unique is that its policies are aimed to transpose the boundaries of the university and merge into society itself. This happens at two different levels: at one side, by affecting and improving the life of students, the actions are reflected upon their daily lives which go beyond University, students who know they are being taken care of at HÍ have more energy available to use during their days, since they can better focus on other issues. On the other hand, Röskva has a set of values that impact society directly, such as our environmental mindfulness, our fight to cut carbon emission down, bring alternatives to traditional transportation and inclusiveness of folk foreign to Icelandic culture.
The University of Iceland thrives on its variety of students, the number of international students keep rising in a reflection of the globalized world that we live in. Röskva is fully aware not only of such influx but of the richness that it brings and why it is important to keep it alive.
Globalization and the interaction between people of different nationalities is not an “issue” as some populist politicians would like to point, but a fact, and a good one at that. First and foremost, we propose a question: what is nationality in the new world? Nationality comes as a legal construct that aims to assign responsibility from a given government to a given group of people. Nationality also carries within itself a cultural weight, which stands as the set of traditions and cultural values by which one person recognizes him or herself as part of a given group. In this modern world, even though the first description remains largely unchanged, the second description must gain a broader meaning.
Röskva stands against all forms of discrimination, meaning that Röskva openly opposes nationalism, an issue that is sadly resurfacing around the globe. As said before, past the legal description, nationality is nothing but a social construct, and as such its boundaries can and must be erased. Röskva believes in the full acceptance of foreign students as equals, let the term “nationality” fall only to its legal aspects, and embrace the richness of cultural diversification instead. Röskva stands as the hammer that crumbles the obstacles of borders into dust as it promotes equality and inclusiveness and revels in the beauty of cultural diversity.
Michel Foucault once said that “where there is power, there is resistance”, Röskva is this this resistance group, we do not shy away in the face of authority when it comes to making the voice of students be heard. We have been the voice and fist that stopped the dental analysis on refugees at HÍ, put a hold on the raise of registration fees, increased the number of psychologists and, most recently, improved the terms for unemployment benefit.
Nietzsche’s famous statement of “The Will to Power” in which he advertises that a person’s struggle is never over if one is to rise above the status quo resonates within Röskva. We are fully aware that our battle for students’ rights is never ending, that said we refuse to sit idly by while decisions are made in the name of students. Rather, we stand together and fiercely put in practice plans to conquer any and all obstacles that lay in the way of equality and acceptance.
In the lines of Marx and Engel’s rally cry “workers of the world unite” Röskva screams “students of Hákóla Íslands unite!”. The fight for student’s rights has Röskva as its representant, but it needs every single student in its soul. We don’t want only your vote, we want your voice within our ranks, we want you in our meetings bringing every single issue you have to our board so we know where to improve and how to prioritize. And we want those voices to come from all corners of the world. To Röskva no issue is too small.
On the 25th and 26th of March all students will carry the magnanimous power of voting, the ability to choose your representatives and make a difference. Help Röskva maintain itself in a position where it can guarantee the students’ best interests, and again, go beyond that, make your voice be heard by joining us, bring us your toils so that we can take down barriers together. Let’s stand as one and raise our voices towards gender equality, environmental awareness, accessibility and inclusiveness.
Höfundur er varafulltrúi á lista Röskvu á félagsvísindasviði til Stúdentaráðs.