Mälardalens Studentkår was founded in 1979, which was two years after Eskilstuna Västerås University was formed. At that time, the student union was called Eskilstuna/Västerås Student Union. From the beginning, the student union was composed of a board and various underlying branches that were active where the university conducted its activities. At that time, for example, there were two branches in Västerås and one in Eskilstuna. In 1981, an evaluation of the organization was carried out, with the result that the entire organization was revised.
As a result of the 1981 evaluation, an organisational change began in 1983. At that time, the use of committees and two bureaux was established, one in each place. Until 1983, it was voluntary to be a member of the student union. That changed when Sweden introduced the kårobligatorium. The university changed its name in 1989 to Mälardalen University, which was due to the fact that there were university branches in Ludvika, Katrineholm and Nyköping. In connection with the university’s name change, the Student Union changed its name to Mälardalen Student Union.
Mälardalen student union started the 1990s by establishing the labour market fair Högvarv in 1990. During the fair, all focus is on forging contacts between students and working life. To this day, Högvarv is one of the student union’s most popular events and attracts about fifty companies that want to get in touch with the workforce of the future every year. In addition, the career-hungry students give the opportunity to create their future already during their studies.
During the 1990s, the Student Union also organized another grand event every year called Kårståget. The relay, which consisted of the part cycling, canoeing and running, stretched between Västerås and Eskilstuna. At its peak, the competition attracted about 600 people who either competed or participated as officials.
For a long time, the Student Union had only half-time fees in the various positions. This changed during the second half of the nineties when several paid went over to work full-time. Changes also took place in the Student Union’s education monitoring, which went from being divided into HSV (Humanities/Social Sciences/Care) and NT (Science/Technology) to being managed by the same board member.
The Student Union had a long time to establish its activities in the smaller towns. In 1997, the problem was solved by the university closing down all branches to focus on the two towns eskilstuna and Västerås. In 1997, the Student Union also abolished its major meetings, which until then had been the highest decision-making body, and instead the student union council that exists today was established. When the University introduced academies (HVV, UKK, EST and IDT), the student union’s council and board were also adapted to achieve an optimal distribution in the academies’ influence in the student union’s activities.
In 1997, the new student union building in Västerås was completed, which had taken four years to realize. Until the mid-nineties, the university’s premises in Västerås were located in the city centre, where Växhuset today has its premises. The student union building had until this time also had its premises in the center on Kopparbergsvägen 13. It had long been discussed around a new Kårhus, when the premises at the time were considered too small. When the university moved from the city centre, the Student Union also chose to build a new student union building on campus. It is this student union building that is still used by the Student Union today. Unfortunately, 1997 was also the last year that Kårståget was arranged.
Around the same time as the new student union building in Västerås was being built, the Student Union began to look for a new building for Kårhuset in Eskilstuna because it was considered that the Student Union also needed larger premises there. In Eskilstuna, the new Student Union Building was inaugurated in The Student Union in 1999 in connection with the 20th anniversary of the Student Union.
After a vote among the members, mälardalens Studentkår joined the students’ central organization Sweden’s United Student Unions (SFS) in 1999. At the same time, the Student Union also joined the CIS, which is a network within SFS consisting of small and medium-sized student unions. Since the association, the Student Union has hosted an autumn conference for SFS and two OSS meetings.
The E4 was formed as an association between Mälardalens Studentkår, Södertörn Student Union and Jönköping Student Union in the early 2000s. The main idea of the collaboration was for the student unions to meet every semester and exchange ideas, thoughts and experiences before the SFS council, which is arranged every year. This is in order to build consensus and thereby have greater influence at national level.
In autumn 2000, the Student Olympiad event was held for the first time. The competition, which still occurs today, is aimed at new students at the university. The competition is based on various games in västerås city centre. The aim of the event is to establish long-term contacts and get a good job between students, society and business. In the autumn of 2006, the Student Olympiad was also held in Eskilstuna for the first time and was there an annual event until 2009.
In 2008, the Student Union was given new premises in Eskilstuna that were closer to the university’s buildings. The construction, which was a renovation of an old building, was started in October 2007 and completed in the summer of 2008. In these premises, the student restaurant Dekår was run, which had both day and evening activities. Unfortunately, due to financial difficulties, the business was closed down in 2010.
In connection with the abolition of the board of directors in 2010 and the financial consequences that came with the abolition, the Organization of the Student Union was revised and the majority of paid assignments disappeared. Thus, the organisational structure with committees was also removed.
In 2010, the Student Olympiad in Eskilstuna was replaced by the Evening Mission. The competition is an annual event organized by the Student Union for the new students at Mälardalen University. The event consists of a team competition where the new students together with their line associations compete to get around a number of stations in the fastest time. The aim is to create a community between the students who study the same education and welcome them to Eskilstuna. While the students compete, they also have time to get to know the center core. The evening usually ends with a pub evening at one of the restaurants in Eskilstuna.
Eskilstuna and Västerås were named Student City of the Year by SFS 2012. The reason for the decision was the outstanding cooperation between the university, the municipalities and the Student Union.
On 3 to 5 May 2013, the Student Union hosted the SFS Council meeting with about 300 student union representatives from all over the country. The Student Union was also one of five student unions in Sweden that in 2013 were elected to run the project Så fungerar. The project was about accessibility of both physical environment and information in the student union world. For the implementation of the project, Mälardalen Student Union was awarded the Wahlén ska prize, a prize that sfs office annually awards to those who have been a great support for them.
In spring 2015, Mälardalen Student Union together with nine other student unions and nations was part of an additional project called Bästa festen. The project is an initiative taken by SFS and IQ and aims to create a student life where alcohol can be included but not in focus. In 2015, Gefle Student Union also joined the E4.
In 1990 the work market fair Högvarv was held for the first time and today it is still held in Västerås. This picture was taken from when the fair was arranged in 2017.
Kåren in Västerås
In 1997, the Student Union received a new student union building on campus in Västerås. The building took four years to realize and to this day the Student Union’s restaurant operates there under the name Kåren.
In 2010, the Evening Mission took place for the first time. This picture was taken from one of the branches that was featured in 2016.
Student city 2012/2013
In 2012/2013 Eskilstuna and Västerås were named student city of the year. The reason for the decision was the outstanding cooperation between the university, the municipalities and the Student Union.