Nora is the new student chairperson

 Vice Principal Ingvild M. Larsen, student chairperson Nora R. Houidi and Rector Petter Aasen are walking alongside eachother on a street in Paris
NEW LEADER: Nora Rymoen Houidi is the new leader of the SDSN. Here she is in Paris with Vice Principal Ingvild Marheim Larsen and Rector Petter Aasen. (Foto: Knut Jul Meland/USN)

Nora Rymoen Houidi goes from political deputy chairperson to become the chairperson of the Student Democracy in South-Eastern Norway. “I acquired a taste for political student work”.

Nora Rymoen Houidi (22) has taken a break from her political science studies to focus more on student politics in the Student Democracy in South-Eastern Norway. After one year as political deputy chairperson of the Working Committee, she has now taken over the job as student chairperson from Harald Bolstad Evensen.

“As the political deputy chairperson, I acquired a taste for political student work and wanted to take it one step further, and being student chairperson is the next step”, says Houidi.

Joining her in the Working Committee for the 2023/2024 academic year is political deputy chairperson Erlend Kåsereff (23) and organisational deputy chairperson Sara Halima Habib Wang (23), and they are now in the process of training.

Can learn from the international students

Houidi has previously been a student representative for her bachelor’s degree year group in political science. As student chairperson, she is now the highest student representative for all students at USN.

“I want to be a voice for the student body in relation to the Rectorate and the Student Welfare Organisation, and put USN and SDSN on the map nationally. I will also continue the good work Harald started in terms of increasing visibility”, she says about the new role.

She also mentions some areas she is especially committed to.

“Among the issues close to my heart are the international students, both those who are taking a degree in Norway and those who are here on exchange. The same is a safe and good organisation that everyone wants to be a part of because they know that it is a good and safe environment. I also want to increase the visibility of the Student Democracy, not only nationally but also within the university. We have low voter numbers and low participation. I want students to know that we exist and what we stand for”, says Houidi.

The previous SHoT survey showed that an increasing proportion of students struggle with loneliness and mental health problems. In this area, Houidi believes there are many lessons to be learned from the international students.

“The international students are an important part of the student body. They come here with their own culture and traditions and bring insight. They are also really good at inviting people along with them. I think we can learn a lot from them to combat loneliness. The SHoT figures show that many students are lonely, and the international students teach us important lessons in that area”, says Houidi.

Getting involved in international collaboration

USN participates in the European university alliance called European UniverCity (EDUC). The previous student chairperson, Harald Bolstad Evensen, was the first student to represent USN abroad. Houidi now takes over this role in EDUC.


Fire studentar står ved siden av kvarandre og ser i kamera og smiler


She recently had her first meeting with EDUC in Paris, together with the Rector and several representatives from USN. Parallel to the EDUC meeting, the alliance’s student council organised a think tank – the EDUC Student Board. Here, Houidi collaborated with student representatives from the seven other universities in EDUC.

“I will bring the USN students’ perspective into EDUC when elections takes place. We will then elect one representative to join the Student Board on our behalf”, she says, hoping that more students will eventually represent USN in EDUC.

READ MORE: Nora represents USN's students in EDUC

The Student Democracy in South-Eastern Norway (SDSN)

  • The Student Democracy in South-Eastern Norway (SDSN) is the student body for students at the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)
  • The objectives of the Student Democracy are to safeguard the interests of students and promote students’ views in relation to internal and external parties
  • SDSN’s Working Committee consists of three students who have been freed by USN to work full-time with SDSN’s policies throughout an entire academic year of study: Student chairperson, political deputy chairperson and organisational deputy chairperson
  • The Working Committee is SDSN’s highest executive body
  • Role of student chairperson:
    • The student chairperson is the highest student representative at USN and the chairperson of the Student Democracy
    • The student chairperson is primarily responsible for the Student Democracy, both politically and financially
    • The student chairperson represents the students internally at USN and externally in relation to the regions associated with the university, as well as at a national level
    • The student chairperson chairs the meetings of the Student Democracy management team.
    • The student chairperson promotes SDSN’s policies for the university, the region, nationally and in the media
    • The student chairperson is a member of the Rector’s management team