The idea to start an association for business and economic students come to be during a trip to Prague arranged by Samhällsvetenskapliga Föreningen(SF). A few months later marks the birth of Nationalekonomiska Studentföreningen as the first association meeting was held on September 28th in 1965. The name was soon changed to Ekonomerna to show that the target group included all business students.
The operations during the earlier years was fairly timid. It boiled down to being about parties, school trips and business operations. The business operations were, for the most parts, company visits and guest lectures. The destinations of the trips is a bit unclear, but from what we can tell there were trips to USA and Gothenburg.
When Stockholm University moved to Frescati the Association decided to accompany them and Kårhuset on Holländargatan was abandoned. The first few years had us moving between different buildings and with mixed company, a telling example is that of 1980 when the roommates were counselors and campus priests. At last, the Association finally came into possession of a room in Villa Belona, next to A-huset. As the operations increased larger parts of the villa were seized and finally, in 1995, just about the whole building was accounted for by Föreningen. We left Villa Belona in the summer of 2000 and moved into Smedjan in Kräftriket, where we remain until this day.
When it comes to party venues, the Association hosted events at all sorts of places in the past. Before Smedjan became the place for both the daily work in the Association and parties we arranged parties in what our elder active members tenderly call “Lokalen” at Körsbärsvägen 9. Even before that we hosted our arrangements at e.g. Odengatan, Münchenbryggeriet, Döbelnsgatan, Tulegatan and Surbrunnsgatan. The reasons for leaving the various premises after different periods have been varied and includes the classics such as complaining neighbours and risk of fire, to a host that sold the Associations beer to other tenants.
The Association formed a more stable organizational form in 1974 when committees were founded. The Idea came from the association at Uppsala University, Upekon. Six committees were founded, but today only the Social Committee remains under it’s original name (PrU). In 1975 Christer Rosang became a member of the Association and made it possible to publish our very own paper. A naming-competition decided that the paper was to be named SALDO. In 1980 the committees, Marknad and Q’ltur were founded, after that came Sport (1983), Muzique(1984), Internationella(1991) and IT(2000). Marknad was, in 2005, split up to become the Marketing Committee and the Business Committee.
2005 was also the year that the Operation Management Group was founded, aiming to strengthen the bond between the Associations Committee Chairmen, Project leaders and the Board.
The Marketing Committee was, until 2013, a massive committee with commitments ranging from organizing major events to marketing them. This lead to a divide within the committee which rendered it somewhat deadlocked from times to times. The divide made for an offspring in the form of The Event club which went on to become The Event Committee in the spring of 2014.
The Association and the business world
Business students have long been working to actively create and maintain a close relationship to the business world. During the 1980s the association landed it’s first sponsoring contract. First out was none less than LRF who signed a deal with the Association in 1986. Product sponsoring had, however, been going on since 1976 as IBM sponsored the association with a typewriter, and to the very first Ekonomernas Dagar we were honored to receive a whole box of oranges!
Traditions and events
On march 17th, 1982, The Association Meeting founded The Ministry of Marshals (MÄ), a stand-alone entity of the association entrusted with the preservation of traditions and historical accords. The Ministry of Marshals was entrusted with ceremonial duties and the distribution of medals to those who have earned it. As The Ministry of Marshals is made up of previously active members they are also there to be a helping hand when needed.
Since 1992, the crews on the Finland-bound ferries talks with trepidation about the students dressed in overalls, taking a ferry once a year for a 24 hour journey called Sjöslaget. This trip has gone on to become an independent project organized separate from the Association, by the previously active that once founded the event and students from all over Sweden are taking part. Interesting trivia is that after Sjöslaget 1998, when they forgot to put plastic on the floors, it was necessary to replace all the carpets on deck.
1977 was the year of Föreningens first ballroom dance. The Ballroom Dance has been organized on many different locations, including Hasselbacken, Stadshuset, Piperska Mursen, Operaterrassen and Forrestea.
Ekonomernas Dagar was a modest event in 1981 but has grown to become one of the Associations largest events. In fact, it is the largest job fair for business students in all of Sweden!
Have you ever wondered when, and maybe even why, the students started sporting white overalls? The answer to the first questions is said to be that the Social Committee started using overalls in 1979, at the student pubs. The reason being first and foremost that they had to carry crates to the pub from a storage room across the courtyard and thus needed work clothes. The overalls gave a sense of identity and community.
This was picked up by the Association as a whole and in 1980, chairman Lena Skoghag, suggested that each committee ought to use overalls and have their own print on the back. SALDO was first out and then the rest of the Association followed. The Board 02/03 hung the prints on the wall in Smedjan, but sadly these can no longer be admired since the room has been renovated and made into study rooms.
Jubilees and confusion
Since no one could recall a celebration taking place, the chairman in 1979 thought it was time for a 10 year anniversary to be celebrated the following year. It was assumed that the Association was founded as the move to Frescati took place, hence the 10 years. This should, however, really have been a 15-year anniversary, but the birthdate of the association had gone over their heads. The disgrace of having missed five year was not uncovered until 1991 when a chairman club was founded and the chairman from 1970 recalled having celebrated a 5-year jubileum during his mandate. It might seem slightly embarrassing that the Association simply forgot its past.. but this made it possible to celebrate a 30 year jubileum only five years after the 20 year jubileum! In 2005 the celebration was held with pageantry and glory in Stadshuset and since then we can with a good conscience claim to have both our math and parties in order.