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Student Union of the University of Helsinki


Events of the student union autumn 2013 2.9. The Opening Carnival on Centre Campus 2.9. The Opening Party at the Old Student House 4.9. UniCafe student event at UniCafe Kaivopiha 3.-13.9. HYY-tours for Freshmen 28.9. Helsinki Climate Forum 7.-13.10. HYY’s Development Co-Operation Week 4.-5.11. University’s Administrative Elections. 20.-26.11. HYY’s Anniversary Week 26.11. HYY’s 144th Anniversary 6.12. Torchlight procession of Independence Day

Every week HYY at ThinkCorner every Monday 4-6pm Come hear and experience what’s new at the Student Union and the Student organisations.

Welcome to join!

Student Union of the University of Helsinki Freshman Guide Dear Freshman The student union is yours Services Office The Student Union has influence Student Union, this is what it is HYY Group

Overalls are the students uniform Exercise in between lectures Food and coffee in students’ own Unicafes Student’s survival kit Students in the university administration

02 04 06 08 10 11

12 14 16 19 20

You can’t learn everything from books Organisation world in figures Activities for university students Singing and playing into student life Tips for student life

30 31 32 34 37

For a better tomorrow The student Union and the environment Equal student life Building a common union Contact information

22 24 25 26 28


Dear freshman! Welcome to become a member of Finland’s oldest, cutest and largest student union! This guide contains the best bits of student life and good practical tips. By reading them carefully, your study years will be more fun than you think. Dive open-mindedly into this great community. Be delighted, be surprised, dance on tables and taste a little bit of everything! Do not worry, you will pass all the exams before you graduate. Hooray! - Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) Board 2013



The student union is yours Student Union is the students’ benefit and service organisation. The Student Union consists of students – therefore it could be anything that its members want it to be. All students of the University of Helsinki are part of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki, and HYY is the oldest and largest student union with nearly 30,000 members. All undergraduate and graduate students of the university are automatically part of the Student Union. Doctoral students and exchange students may join the Student Union if they wish to do so. In the Universities Act, student unions are defined as corporations subject to public law, which have rights and responsibilities. Their purpose is to act as liaison for their members and promote students’ societal, social and intellectual aspirations. In HYY, this means the diversity of various organisations, events organised for all students, benefits negotiated by the Student Union and guidance provided for members. HYY also supervises students’ interests both at university and outside the academic world.

Information about the Student Union and its operations: ▶▶ ▶▶ ▶▶ Twitter: @ylioppilaskunta ▶▶ HYY’s member newsletter by e-mail every other week


The Student Union’s Services Office is located at the New Student House at Mannerheimintie 5 A, 2nd floor.


he Services Office is open between 10am– 5pm on Mondays and between 10am– 3pm from Tuesdays to Fridays. Exceptions to the opening hours are mentioned on HYY’s website. In the Services Office, you can take care of issues related to the student card or the student union membership, among other things.

For members: ▶▶ Year tag


▶▶ Membership fee issues ▶▶ Advisory services

For organisations: ▶▶ Meeting rooms

▶▶ Equipment lending (details on lent items are available on the website)

HYY’s member benefits and services for students Student card HYY’s members can order the student card. The card is the most convenient way to prove your student union membership. With the card, you receive discounts on the services of VR (national railway company), Matkahuolto (bus and coach services) and student restaurants, for example. A year tag, which is acquired each year for the student card, is available from HYY’s Services Office or the University’s Student Services. The year tag proves that you have paid the student union membership fee. Further information and ordering instructions are available on the web service


Ylioppilaslehti student magazine HYY subscribes Ylioppilaslehti student magazine for all its members. The magazine is published every two weeks during the academic terms. The magazine, founded in 1913, covers the academic world and higher education policy, as well as

social and cultural phenomena – and is an active debater itself. If you would like to write, take photos or draw for Ylioppilaslehti, please contact the chief editor ( Freshman guide HYY offers you this information package on the Student Union, studies and daily student life. Student calendar HYY’s members annually receive the student calendar. The calendar also includes useful information on the Student Union, student benefits and presentations of all organisations operating within HYY. The calendar is available from the same places where you can collect the student card and the year tag. You can get the calendar from HYY’s Services Office or the University’s main building, for example. Free legal assistance Pykälä’s Committee for Legal Assistance provides legal advice to HYY’s members by mail, telephone, e-mail


Services Office

and in person. Most of the questions presented to the committee concern housing, employment, family and estate rights, studies and social security. The committee does not prepare documents but will advise you in drafting them and checks finished documents. The committee is on duty at Pykälä’s office (Mannerheimintie 3 B, 5th floor) during the academic terms on Mondays and Wednesday, 5pm–7pm, tel. (09) 278 5005, e-mail Child care Child care services offer temporary child care assistance for HYY’s members. The minimum age of children is 6 months and the maximum duration of child care is three hours at a time. Further information: and Advice HYY’s specialists advise members in their own areas of responsibility. Specialists can help you further with issues related to the student’s legal rights, housing, income or influencing the university.

HYY’s premises


1. The New Student House - Service office, premises of the organisation and the student nation 2. The Old Student House - Café Vanhan kuppila

11. FSHS - Finnish student health service

Public transport

3. Domus Gaudium - premises of organisations and student nations

HYY’s student restaurants 4. UniCafe Kaivopiha

8. UniCafe Topelias

5. UniCafe Porthania

9. UniCafe Soc & Kom ja

6. UniCafe Päärakennus


7. UniCafe Rotunda

10. UniCafe Olivia

12. Kamppi - Regional buses 13. Railway station - Buses to Campuses in Kumpula, Meilahti and Viikki leave from here

Other 14. Stockmann 15. Sokos 16. Kaisa–library


The Student Union has influence


he Student Union is the students’ channel for influence and a way to do many things. Influencing can mean going to the barricades but it may also include, for example, discussion with the university staff about the development of teaching, creating ideas for better cycle paths with city planners or organising an item exchange table in the student house lobby. HYY’s Board works at HYY’s Central Office at the New Student House daily and organises a wide range of events and campaigns together with the Student Union employees and volunteer students (such as the members of the Representative Council and committees). In addition, the Board continuously meets both the representatives of the University, as well as decision-makers of the city and the state to discuss issues that are important for students. The Board also works closely with other student organisations, particularly with other student unions and the National Union of University Students in Finland. In practice, the Board is the face and voice of the Student Union. It is advisable to contact the board members and tell them which matters need to be improved and which issues should be tackled next.

In the city In urban affairs, the Student Union cooperates not only with the city, but also with other student unions in the metropolitan area. Together with Aalto University Student Union, the Student Union has aimed at promoting better cycling and public transport connections between the university campuses, for example, and demanded more of affordable student housing in the metropolitan area. In the year 2013, HYY was involved in the organising of the University’s experiment, in which farming sacks were purchased to the courtyards of the university buildings for the use of students and staff.

At the University HYY’s Board and employees meet with the University’s employees frequently and are involved in the University’s various administrative bodies and working groups where they present the student perspective. The Student Union discusses major policies with the University’s top management and practical arrangements on the faculty level. In recent years, for example, HYY has promoted the exam aquarium at the University, which is a space where students can take an exam at any time. More information about work done at the University is available on page 28.



HYY has ten committees where you can participate in the Stu-

and seminars. The committees also have important tasks,

dent Union’s activities according to your own interests. You

such as the administration of HYY’s development coopera-

can join the committees at any time of the year and be in-

tion projects and the organisation of various training sessions

volved in activities according to how much you have interest

for organisations operating within the Student Union. In ad-

and time. Committees provide an opportunity to organise in-

dition to the committee websites, you will find information

teresting events ranging from parties and sitsit to exhibitions

on the committee events on HYY’s website at:

Get your hands off student financial aid! In the spring of 2013, HYY participated in the organising of the student financial aid campaign common for all students. The campaign culminated in a mass demonstration on 21 March 2013. In addition to the Board and employees, a large number of committee members and active members of various organisations participated in the campaign.

Taking over the city! In the year 2012, HYY wanted to make the students’ voice heard in municipal elections. Early in the year, we collected students’ ideas of a better Helsinki.

Urban Farming! The urban farming project by HYY and the university’s Think Corner brought farming sacs for the students to the Centre Campus.


Student Union, this is what it is Who makes the important decisions in the Student Union? Who decides what the opinion of HYY is? HYY is a democratic community The Student Union consists of its members, the students. Every member has the right to influence what the Student Union does. The Representative Council of 60 members has the highest power in the Student Union, which is equivalent to a municipal council or the Parliament. The Representative Council makes the most significant financial decisions and defines the future and development of the Student Union. Like the state and municipalities, HYY appoints the Board to manage daily affairs.

HYY’s administration – this is how the Student Union operates The Representative Council elected through the elections has the highest decision-making power in the Student Union. The Representative Council convenes approximately four times per academic term. The Student Union operations are led by the Board which is appointed by the Representative Council for one year at a time. The Board consists of 7–13 members and it has parliamentary accountability for the Representative Council. In addition, the Board has founded other organs to manage various affairs. The Financial Committee prepares the internal financial affairs of the Student Union and the


committees manage their own matters. The Committee for Development Cooperation, for example, is mainly in charge of the operations related to development cooperation all the way to project management. HYY also engages in significant business operations, the direction of which is decided by the students. This is explained later in this Freshman Guide.

The Representative Council elections – the most important means to exercise power HYY’s Representative Council is elected every two years through the Representative Council elections. Next time, the elections take place in the autumn of 2014. If you want to have effect on how the Student Union discusses, comments and uses its funds, run as a candidate or at least remember to vote. The Representative Council has plenty of power and therefore the Representative Council elections should not be overlooked. The Representative Council makes decisions concerning all student union members, starting from the amount of the student union membership fee, use of funds and what kind of activities the student union organises. In the Representative Council elections, candidates are mainly set by various political groups, subject organisations and student nations. Each student union member is entitled to vote and run as a candidate in the Representative Council elections. If none of the existing coalitions pleases you, you can set up an electoral alliance yourself.

– student-owned business HYY’s operations are funded by membership fees paid by students and profits from the Student Union’s business operations. The Student Union has founded HYY Group for its business operations. HYY’s property began to accrue in 1858 when the recently established Student Union acquired a plot for its own student house. Over the years, HYY has constructed business premises on the plot in addition to HYY’s own student houses. Profit from business operations is used for funding organisational activities and students’ interest representation. Today, HYY also engages in responsible investment operations, which are expected to become the other cornerstone of the student union finances in the future. In addition, HYY Group provides services primarily for students and the wider academic community. HYY Group strongly supports corporate responsibility. Responsible business operations include responsibility for the environment, customers, personnel, cultural heritage and the economy. Today, the Group’s annual distribution of profit to HYY is approximately two million euro a year.

Student Union Companies Gaudeamus Helsinki University Press is Finland’s largest academic scientific publisher. Gaudeamus publishes scientifically uncompromising but easily readable books in the fields of social sciences, philosophy, culture, environment, technology and economy. The books become familiar to many students during their study years.

UniCafe provides student meals and cafeteria services in 19 student restaurants and four cafés on four campuses. Additionally, its operations include four festive restaurants: Old Student House, Restaurant Domus, Viola and Gustus & Vera. UniCafe was among the first organisers of student meals in Finland and just like back then, students can continue to have influence on student meals provided in our restaurants. During the summer, HYY Group also manages Hostel Academica which operates at Domus in the summer. and The Group’s profit, which is distributed to HYY, mainly comes from the rental income of Kaivopiha premises (Kaivotalo Building, New Student House, Hansatalo Building and Citytalo Building). The premises include offices, restaurants and stores. In addition, HYY Real Estate includes Domus property and other individual properties. www. hyykiinteistö During its history, HYY has managed a cinema and a cultural centre, engaged in development aid business and acted in many other fields.

Corporate governance of business When business operations expanded from the 1970s onwards, the Student Union made a decision that professional executives would be recruited to lead business operations. Professional executives would engage in profitable business operations on behalf of students, whereas students would define the major policies of business operations, which takes place in the corporation boards, the Student Union Board and Representative Council. Students are the majority in the boards of the largest companies. In addition, expert members, who know the industry well, are involved.


You can’t learn everything from books


n addition to hours spent on exams, lectures and the screen, study years are much more than that. Hundreds of organisations operating within the Student Union provide these other experiences and form an excellent counterbalance to studies. From this wide range, it is easy to find your own ones and organisational activities may teach you more than spending the same amount of time with books. Even many faculties recognise the value of organisational activities and allocate credits included in the degree.

Student nations Subject organisations Other organisations Political organisations Cultural organisations Social organisations Sports organisations Religious organisations Other

Members: 4229

Members: 11202


Members: 27217

Fiddling around with issues in your own field Contacts with the faculty

Excursions and trips


Study circles

Interest representation People in the same field from different age groups People from the same region

Fiddling around with folklore

STUDENT NATIONS Interdisciplinary activities and plenty of students from other fields

Summer trips to provinces Weekly coffee breaks and friends Alumni activities (student nations call these senior activities, don’t be fooled by the word!)

It is easy to establish a new organisation!

Clubs and committees

Fiddling around a specific topic


Sports, culture, politics, social influencing, games and things to do...



– Organisation world in figures Number of square metres of Number of student union


organisational facilities provided by HYY:

members: 28 200

members: 40 200

2551,5 m2, corresponds to 9,78 tennis fields

6249 1623





Organisational events categorised by the number of participants 2012: 5-24 participants: 6 249 25-99 participants: 1 623 More than 100 participants: 331

Number of organisational magazines published with HYY’s support : 262 issues 53 %

47 %

40% 35% 30% Utilisation rate of meeting facilities


in the year of 2012: 53%

20% 15% 10%

Share of active organisation members


categorised by the year of studies:

0% year 1







or more



Construction year: 1910

Construction year: 2008

2337 m2 in the Student Union’s use, 5255 m2

1102 m2 in the Student Union’s use, 2836 m2

in other use

in other use

Fun fact: Students who celebrated at the stu-

Fun fact: The cycling club operates in the base-

dent house used to bring a bottle of brandy

ment garage of the building

before the party to the caretaker of the building

Number of events arranged by organisations

Yrjö Vaisto who also lived in the building.

(parties, seated meals, meetings etc.)

Number of events arranged by organisations

2012: 1303

(parties, seated meals, meetings etc.)

A total of 733 m2 of organisational facili-

2012: 4317

ties, corresponds to 2,81 tennis fields

A total of 1296 m2 of organisational facilities, corresponds to 4,97 tennis fields


The highest possible number of stairs from

The highest possible number of stairs

the front door to organisational facilities: 160

from the front door to organisational


facilities: 0

Square metres of organisational facilities

0,31 m2 of organisational facilities per

per organisation member 2012: 0,07 m2

organisation member 2012





Sources: - OTUS (2013): Mitä järjestötoiminnasta seuraa? - Aalto-

- HYY’s organisation database TAHLO

yliopiston ja Helsingin yliopiston opiskelijoiden kokemuk-

- Facility usage survey for HYY’s organisations 2013

sia järjestötoiminnasta opiskelijabarometrin aineistossa.

- HYY’s facility reservation calendar


Activities for university students Student life is much more than just sitting in lectures and working on your essays or assignments. So use your time wisely and join festivities! Throughout the year, HYY organises a variety of more or less wellestablished events and parties.


OPENING CARNIVAL TAKES OVER THE STREETS ON 2 SEPT What will the University and the Student Union look like in the coming academic year? HYY and the University will join forces and organise a carnival together for everyone on the City Centre Campus. Get involved: explore a variety of organisations, participate in diverse activities and enjoy fun events! GET TO KNOW YOUR STUDENT UNION ON HYY TOURS What is the Old Student House, where is the central office located, what is that statue over there in the corner? Tours for freshman groups will be organised in the early autumn. On the tours, you can explore the student houses, hear funny stories about the history of university students and current activities, and get to see exciting strange things that are are hidden in the Student Union. EXPERIENCE THE ANNIVERSARY WEEK AND THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY In the anniversary week, there is something happening all the time! HYY’s birthday is celebrated on 26 Nov and the anniversary week is built around that date. During the week, the Student Union offers its members all sorts of events, discounts and things to do. The event-filled week culminates in the 145th anniversary of the Student Union organised in the form of an academic seated meal at the Old Student House.

PARTICIPATE IN TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION ON THE INDEPENDENCE DAY University students with their torches celebrate the Independence Day by marching from Hietaniemi to the Senate Square. Thousands of students come to this great gathering every year, why don’t you join as well?

GRAB YOUR SLED AND GO TO ULLANLINNANMÄKI ON 4 MARCH Now you can sled to your heart’s content! In February, thousands of students get their sleds out and head to Shrovetide celebrations at Ullanlinnanmäki. In the evening, our sister student union AYY organises the Gravitation party.

MAY DAY – USE YOUR STUDENT CAP AS A BUBBLY GLASS AT LEAST ONCE May Day is the highlight of the year for those with the student cap. It is Christmas, birthday and other parties in one package! The wide range of organisations guarantee a suitable party for everyone. Also remember to come and see the capping of Manta, Havis Amanda Statue, which will be carried out by HYY in the coming May Day. In the morning of May Day, you should drag yourself to Ullanlinnanmäki for a picnic early in the morning: May Day reception is organised at 9am. The Swedish-speaking students traditionally gather in Kaisaniemi Park. On your freshman May Day, you can only live once – so make the most of it!

FLOWER DAY ON 13 MAY The last big party of the spring, Flower Day, is held on 13 May. Traditionally, the day has been celebrated in Kumtähti Field, but for the first time in 2013 the party was transferred to the students’ back yard, Kaivopiha. Anything can happen at the party, and the next year will show how Flower Day will look like in the year of 2014. AND THAT IS NOT ALL In addition to major parties and all the festivities, HYY also organises other nice activities to light up the students’ everyday life. Follow the activities on HYY’s Facebook and website! And do not forget the events of various organisations.

COME ALONG What could be more fun than to participate in parties and festivities?! Well, arranging them by yourself, of course! So get involved in the activities of your Student Union and join the Committee for Cultural Affairs. Start by subscribing to the e-mail list (hyy-kulttuuri) and joining HYY kulttuuri fb group. From there, you will get information on arrangements and more information about how to get involved.


OPENING DAY OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2.9.2013 OPENING OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR 12 P.M. in the Great Hall of the Main Building (Aleksanterinkatu 5). The programme includes speeches by the Rector, Chair of the Board of the Student Union and representative of the University staff, and music. An ecumenical service in the Cathedral or a non-denominational ceremony in the National Library follows.

OPENING CARNEVAL 2 P.M. TO 6 P.M. at the City Centre Campus. The carnival includes music, dance, performances, beverages and snacks, presentations of different organisations, etc. Start your academic year in a carnival atmosphere!

OPENING PARTY 20 P.M. TO 2 A.M. at the Old Student House (Vanha). Performers DON JOHNSON BIG BAND . Tickets in advance cost only 8 € for HYY members and are available at Cafe Vanha and the HYY stand at the carnival (normal price 12 €). –

Complete program available at:

Singing and playing into student life YOU! You are a new member of the university student community, please remember to enjoy it! Whether you are interested in films, music, art or anything else ranging from table football to card games. In addition to cultural and student parties organised by HYY, a number of associations operate within the Student Union, where you can engage in playing, singing, theatre and films. Find your own association or establish a new one if you want. Musical associations range from techno and heavy music lovers to numerous choirs, and from the live music association Helmut to Helsinki Symphonic Winds. Also remember HYY’s music corporations Akademiska Damkören Lyran, Akademiska Sångföreningen, YL Male Voice Choir and Helsinki University Symphony Orchestra. HYY’s Film Club operates in the field of cinema and photography enthusiasts can join Yliop-

pilaskamerat photography club. The auditions of the legendary Ylioppilasteatteri student theatre are organised right at the beginning of the autumn. In addition to cultural organisations, student nations and larger subject organisations have their own cultural activities varying from choirs to theatre groups and from film clubs to band rehearsal rooms. Don’t forget your old hobby or start a new one!

Discounts on cultural events By showing your student card, you often receive discounts on cultural events in the metropolitan area. HYY also cooperates with many organisations and therefore HYY’s members receive significant discounts at Love&Anarchy film festival, Ateneum Art Museum on Art for Us! day and in many more events and places. Check out the discounts on HYY’s website and enjoy culture!

Speksi = interactive student theater with singing and dancing. The audience can also take part by shouting “omstart” (swedish for re-start) when they want a certain scene played again.


Older students’ tips for student life I cannot recommend parties at Alina but you have to experience them. Several times. *

Dancing on the bar of ESO.

You can get pizza at EE Building at Unicafe Viikuna in Viikki on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. A good way to spend a collective hangover with your fellow students! (And UniCafe also serves breakfast!)

Kertun Kepittäjäiset of law students - appro from Sörnäinen through the Kallio district to the city centre on Kerttu’s day in March.

Toga parties of the med school. Stay away from the punch and do not leave anything in the cloakroom that you want to have back someday.

Spexes! Experience them all!

* Alina-hall is a Party hall at the New Student House.


While waiting for the Student Theatre’s plays Representative Council I and II, the best way to understand the entertainment value of HYY’s Representative Council is to run as a candidate in the elections. It does not burden you too much and it is addictive. There’s eroticism in politics!

Anniversary celebrations and herring breakfast in the following morning. Healthy? No. Funny? Yes.

A new Think Corner was opened in Porthania in June. A good pilgrimage place from other campuses.

Have you thought about entrepreneurship? No? Think again at Helsinki Think Company! Speakers often include Finnish and international top names and you never know which of the future’s top-notch companies will suck you in …

Are you a vegetarian? Have you thought about becoming one? Each UniCafe provides a student-priced vegetarian lunch every day, also vegan options. Tasty vegetarian food at student rates is also provided by Kasvisbaari (Kaikukatu 4B) and Kipsari (Hämeentie 135 E).

It is just stupid to study too much.

Use judgment in specific situations in certain lectures, and you may get away of reducing your sleep deprivation by resting your eyes and still pass the exam.

Bamboo needles enable quiet knitting in a lecture and also help you to stay awake!

Are yee from the country? So am ah! A student nation offers another home where you don’t forget your own dialect. Each student nation has their own kind of activities and fun stuff. Get involved and go crazy!

Is the grass greener on the other side? HYY is not the only student union in the metropolitan area! The youthful and raucous Aalto University Student Union AYY brings together approximately 15,000 students of arts, design, economics and technology. AYY organises major events, and just like in HYY, a large number of various organisations operate within AYY.

The official after party of Shrovetide celebrations, Gravitaatio, ends the day with wild celebration.

30 Sept 2013 - Lakinlaskijaiset event Technology students take off their student caps to winter rest in an epic party.

Find more events at and follow AYY’s facebook site at

Shrove Tuesday, 3 March 2014 – Shrovetide celebrations at Ullanlinnanmäki and Gravitaatio AYY organises common Shrovetide celebrations for students in the metropolitan area at Ullanlinnanmäki on Shrove Tuesday. The event includes informal sledding and the academic sledding competition. So you can start planning your winner device right now!

May Day – May Day of AYY and Otaniemi is the most frantic May Day in the whole Finland. Fill out your May Day calendar at

Do you need something to do? Hundreds of different associations operate within AYY and anyone can join them. See more at ayy. fi/yhdistykset. Do you need a place for your party? AYY has a lot of different types of sauna and festive facilities that can be rented. Check out the facilities and booking situation at tilojen-vuokraaminen 21

Overalls are the student’s uniform. They protect the party-goers’ bums from muddy land and wind on May Day.

Attaching the badge

The colouring of the overalls and the symbol on the back tell about the owner’s place of study. Different badges from various events, for example, are sewn on the overalls. Typically, almost all of the student organisations have their own badges which can be exchanged with students in other fields. It is also common to exchange a leg or sleeve of the overalls with your dating partner or friend.

1. For sewing badges, you need a needle, sewing thread and a lot of patience. You should sew badges as soon as you get them, don’t leave it for May Day Eve.

Here are the top 5 tips of Tekstiilarit (subject organisation of textile teacher and craft science students) for sewing overall badges:

2. A thimble is an excellent tool for sewing hard badges. In case of emergency, any hard surface will do better than using your index finger! 3. Sewing badges can also be done with the sewing machine, but be careful not to sew the sleeve or the leg closed! 4. If you don’t have enough patience to sew, you can try the stapler, safety pins, hot glue or fabric glue. Do not glue badges while wearing the overalls, as your jeans under the overalls may get glued as well. You can also try iron-on doublesided adhesive fabric gauze or tape, but be sure to cover the badge with a baking sheet so that glue or sponsor texts do not melt on the iron. 5. At first, you can design fine collections of badges. However, in the end, it is often a rule of thumb that a badge is sewn onto the stain or tear which took place in that particular event.





Dip your spoon in your very own soup. As a member of HYY you are a co-owner of the HYY restaurants. Welcome to enjoy your own restaurants. By enjoying the service at the UniCafe student restaurants, Café Vanha and Gaudeamus Kirja & Kahvi you actually support the business you co-own. The year 2013 is the 60th anniversary of HYY restaurant business. On the big day 13.9.2013 a special celebratory lunch will be served and coffee with cake will be on us! You are welcome to join the celebration! More info at Psst….The student calendar (Ylioppilaskalenteri) contains a coffee coupon – cut it out and claim the offer!

Exercise in between lectures As a student, you can easily continue your old sport or start a new one. Exercising opportunities at the University of Helsinki and in the capital region are almost endless. The University of Helsinki has its own UniSport which provides inexpensive sports services on all four campuses and also in Otaniemi and Töölö. Guided training is organised in numerous sports varying from bodypump to carefree shoulders and from gym training to badminton. Most of the selection of UniSport is also suitable for students who have not exercised previously. You can get the most versatile and inexpensive sports package by paying the sports fee of 12 months. You can naturally buy a shorter period, too. UniSport also organises leagues. Floorball leagues, for example, are organised both for women and men. A floorball game organised by a subject organisation, for example, is

an excellent opportunity to spend relaxing time together. Numerous sports clubs also operate at the University.

Exercise anywhere National sports activities are coordinated by Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL) which administers website, among other things. The website provides information on benefits, events, competitions, and sports and health in general.The website has information about a student discount in major sports events. Also remember that most of the private exercise facilities grant some kind of a discount, so it is always worth showing your student card. www. The sports facilities of the city You often receive a student discount with your student card in the sports facilities of the city. In the swimming halls and outdoor swimming pools, for example, you can swim for half the price.





Food and coffee in students’ own UniCafes


tudents can have inexpensive lunch in UniCafes owned by the Student Union and other student restaurants. UniCafes differ from other student restaurants because they are owned by HYY, which means the students themselves. Students can have effect on the operations of the restaurants by providing feedback or by participating in the activities of the restaurant committees operating on the campuses. You can eat at any UniCafe restaurant and you receive the same discount with your Student Card or by presenting other certificate on your studies. In addition to a portion, all meals include a drink (milk, sour milk, soy drink, juice or water), bread and spreads, salad, as well as potato, rice or pasta as a side dish. In addition, desserts are always on offer. Almost all UniCafes provide both self-baked cafeteria products and actual student meals. One UniCafe on all campuses (except Meilahti) also serves inexpensive breakfast. UniCafe caters for the most common special diets and there are always good vegetarian options, for

example. All restaurants also have a vegan option (excluding Rotunda, Korona and Exactum). Product descriptions and the energy content of main meals are available in the restaurants. UniCafe also offers Fair Trade products from which farmers receive decent and fair compensation. In this way, you can support the education of the young on the other side of the globe, for example. Another fair choices are organic products and development meals which support HYY’s development cooperation project. Eating in UniCafes is popular and therefore many restaurants have queues between the lectures, between 11.45am–12.15pm and 1.45pm–2.15pm. If possible, have your lunch break at a different time. However, the restaurants have many counters and usually the queues move quickly.



Student’s survival kit Where to find housing, how to get money, where to see a doctor and how to get there? And where can I get help if I need it? Here is a package of basic information on how to survive. HOUSING Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region Hoas, Many student nations, religious communities and student organisations in different fields also provide housing for students. Students can also apply for the city’s rental housing.

Lyyra’s housing service You can look for apartments or roommates through Lyyra’s web service. The service offers a wide range of rental apartments and also offers advice on making a rental agreement, for example. SUBSISTENCE A student’s primary source of income is student financial aid, which consists of the study grant, the housing supplement and the study loan guaranteed by the government. You can be granted the student financial aid if your studies progress and you have the need for financial aid, which means that you do not earn more than your annual income limit. Kela’s electronic services ( are the most convenient way to apply for student financial aid and make a notification of changes. On Kela’s website, you will find plenty of information on subsistence and student financial aid, as well as a calculator to calculate how your student financial aid affects the income limits.


HEALTH Finnish Student Health Service FSHS is responsible for students’ health care. In addition to general practicioners and specialists, FSHS provides the services of public health nurses, physiotherapists, as well as laboratory and x-ray services. FSHS is only open during the day on weekdays and therefore you have to use municipal services in the evenings and weekends. Most of FSHS services are free for students. However, FSHS charges a penalty fee for uncancelled appointments. PUBLIC TRANSPORT Students registered in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Kerava, Kirkkonummi or Sipoo receive a 50 per cent discount both on internal tickets and regional tickets purchased with the travel card. The student status of the travel card must be updated annually. As a student, you also get a discount on the long-distance trains of VR and the buses of Matkahuolto. In order to get the student discount, you must be able to prove that you are a student. The most convenient way to do this is to get the student card with the year tag. If you do not want to get Lyyra student card, you can purchase VR’s own student card for VR trains. If you have not received your Lyyra student card yet, please visit the University’s student counselling first and fill in a form, after which an officer proves that you are a university student.

SUPPORT AND HELP Studying or student life can sometimes feel stressful. However, students are offered a number of support services tailored for their life situation that you should take advantage of.

the person in question. HYY’s harassment contact persons: University’s Equality Adviser: (09) 1912 4292, tasa-arvovastaava@helsinki

Study psychologists Study psychologists provide guidance to undergraduate and graduate students of the University of Helsinki who need support with issues concerning study skills, motivation, time management, coping or writing the thesis. Study psychologists offer both group and individual counselling. Further information: Flamma or

Students’ legal protection Students have their rights. In order to secure students’ legal protection, the University of Helsinki has enacted a regulation concerning the grading of studies and examinations. The regulation determines, among other things, the language of examinations, required examination literature, examination arrangements, disturbance and fraud in examinations, the grading of completed studies and the publication of results, the rectification procedure of grading, the legal protection committee and the registration of completed credits. There are more precise instructions concerning plagiarism. Students’ legal protection is also enacted in the University’s own regulation. Do not delay any legal right issues even for a day as the enacted time limits expire quickly. Please read the previously mentioned regulation and if there is something that you do not understand, you can ask for advice over the phone. Further information on students’ legal protection: > Johtosäännöt HYY’s specialists in academic affairs Study counsellors in faculties and the head of academic affairs/student affairs secretaries

University chaplains Two university chaplains work for the students and staff of the University of Helsinki. You can have confidential discussions with the chaplains and you can make an appointment by e-mail, telephone or by coming to talk during their consultation hours. They can be invited to participate in various events related to the well-being of students or a workplace. Conversation with the university chaplains does not require any kind of religious belief, and you can talk about any issues that you want. University chaplains are available during the semester. Leena Huovinen (City Centre), tel. 050 3019613, (09) 191 22195 Laura Mäntylä (Kumpula and Viikki), tel. 050 591 9874, Nyyti, students’ support centre Nyyti promotes the mental well-being of students, offers group activities and courses in the metropolitan area and organises theme evenings and hang out nights. Nyyti services for all university students include hang out nights, online groups and the website. Harassment contact persons You do not have to tolerate inappropriate behaviour. If you feel that you are an object of bullying, discrimination or sexual harassment, you may contact the Student Union’s harassment contact person or the University’s Equality Adviser. Contacts with harassment contact persons are confidential and the contact persons do not proceed with the case without the request or consent of

HYY’s Antoisampaan opiskeluun guide HYY has published Antoisampaan opiskeluun guide for all students. If you have not received the guide from your own faculty, you can download it in an electronic form on HYY’s website at www. (Media & Archive publications). The guide is designed to help you to develop your own learning skills. Legal assistance The law students’ legal assistance committee Pykälä provides legal advice for the students of the University of Helsinki. Assistance is free of charge. The committee is on duty during the academic terms on Mon and Wed, 5pm–7pm at Pykälä office at the address Mannerheimintie 3 B (5th floor), 00100 Helsinki, tel. (09) 278 5005, 27

Students are involved in university administration What would you like to change at the University? Does the library close too early? Do you feel that the number of credits does not correspond to the work amount required in a course? These are all issues which student representatives may have effect on. Hundreds of active students are involved in the university’s administrative organs. How can you have influence? You can have effect on minor issues by giving feedback directly to the person attending to the issue. Departments collect feedback about their teaching, for example. More comprehensive issues are influenced through the university administration. Department councils, faculty councils and university administration also include student representatives. You should contact them immediately if you notice that course arrangements, for example, do not work as they should. Naturally, you can also run as a candidate for the position of a student representative. Student union and student representatives represent you The Student Union closely follows the University’s daily life and is involved in the decision making of the University Board and the various committees through the representatives which it has appointed. The Student Union also keeps in touch with

other student representatives in administration, the University’s management and representatives. Student representatives at all levels of administration act in their position for you. A representative cannot guess or invent all the needs and shortcomings, and therefore your feedback and ideas are needed. Contact information of the representatives is usually available on the website or the intranet of the unit.

Join the activities If you are interested in developing your university, the easiest way to join is through your subject or faculty organisation. Student representatives are elected every other year in administrative elections, the next elections will be conducted in the autumn of 2013. In addition, positions are completed during the year if necessary. E-mail list of your subject organisation always provides information about open positions. Previous experience is not required from applicants, so you should always apply if you are interested in the topic! Further information on university administration is available from student representatives in administration, subject or faculty organisation, faculty offices and the Student Union. You can also participate in the development of teaching and other operations of the University in the Student Union’s Committee for Academic Affairs.

The ladder of the university administration


The faculty is managed by a faculty

students are represented in faculty

on the approval of the University’s fi-

council led by a dean. The faculty coun-

councils and department councils.

nancial statement, the number of

cil decides on degree requirement, ap-

The University’s highest decision-mak-

board members and their term, and

proving of theses and the development

ing organ is the Board. Its duties in-

discussing important affairs which con-

of teaching and operations at the fac-

clude, among other things, deciding on

cern the whole University.

ulty. Some faculties are divided into de-

the long-term development of the Uni-

partments. The department council

versity, University’s budget, appointing

and the director of the department

the University’s rector and drafting the

manage the administration of the de-

most important statements of the Uni-

In addition to issues related to

partment. The departmental level is the

versity. The Board of the University of

teaching, studies and their support

closest to students and many decisions

Helsinki has been previously called the

services, matters related to univer-

which are directly visible in the stu-

senate. The University Collegium su-

sity administration are key issues

dent’s daily life are made on that level.

pervises the operations of the Univer-

in the committee.

Professors, other staff members and

sity Board. Its duties include deciding

Come along! Committee for Academic Affairs

TAKE OVER THE UNIVERSITY – become a student representative in administration!

Student representatives in administration are elected in connection with the University’s administrative elections on 4.–5. Nov 2013. The nomination of candidates will end at 12noon on 22 Oct 2013.

Are you interested? Please contact the person in charge of the elections in your own faculty:


For a better tomorrow in Zambia and Indonesia


id you know that you already have your own development cooperation project? As a member of HYY, you are involved in promoting a good cause! Since 2008, HYY has used 0.7 per cent of its budget for development cooperation. Finland is committed to increase development aid to the level recommended by the UN 0.7 per cent of gross national income by 2015 and HYY aims at setting an example. In 2013, the amount is EUR 24,200 and 11,000 of this amount is granted to development cooperation projects of small organisations during a separate project fund application period. HYY supports women’s and girls’ reproductive and sexual rights in Zambia as well as sustainable agriculture project in Indonesia in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. During the years 2013–2015, HYY supports the three-year development cooperation projects of Indonesian organisation Payo-Payo Foundation. Payo-Payo is an organisation of young farmers and students promoting sustainable agriculture. The project aimes at improving food security and and developing sustainable agriculture in three villages in southern and western Sulawesi. 85 % of the project funds are granted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the excess share of 15 % was covered by HYY’s 0.7 % budget. In the years 2007–2010, HYY cooperated with the eastern Zambian umbrella organisation for women’s organisations, Eastern Province Women Development Association (EPWDA) in order to improve legal rights of women and girls. The follow-up project is in progress in the years 2011– 2013. EPWDA supports women’s empowerment in rural areas in Eastern Zambia, and the followup project focuses on reproductive and sexual rights. In Eastern Zambia, teenage pregnancies are common, women and girls are particularly

vulnerable to HIV infection, and maternal and infant mortality rates are relatively high. In addition, one woman often has several children at frequent intervals, which reduces the mother’s health and for its part lowers a child’s ability to survive the first years. The project trains reproduction and sexual rights educators, who will teach the learned information to remote areas in the form of workshops. The Zambia project receives 85 % of its funding from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the rest are covered with volunteer work, volunteer development cooperation fees paid in connection with the academic year registration and Zambia days organised in UniCafe student restaurants twice a year. Various development cooperation meals have been organised in student restaurants already since 1979 and on Zambia Day students can support the project by purchasing the Zambia Meal at UniCafe or by donating any amount to the project. Those who are interested in the project are warmly welcome to participate in the meetings of the project group. HYY’s development cooperation funds are coordinated by the Development Cooperation Coordinator. The Development Cooperation committee also annually publishes Kimppu magazine which focuses on development cooperation issues. The magazine is published with the support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The committee also promotes the discussion on developing country issues at the university during the annually organised development cooperation week, among other things. In the autumn of 2012, the development cooperation week will be coordinated by the National Union of University Students in Finland in several university cities. Further information on the committee activities is available on the website:

Come along! Committee for Development Cooperation aims at creating

development cooperation project and organises excur-

interest in developing countries among the Student Union

sions, the Kehy week in spring with its various events and

members and providing practical experience in the devel-

single public events, among other things.

opment cooperation. The committee is in charge of HYY’s


The Student Union and the environment


t the moment, the word ‘environment’ is much related to anxiety and fear due to ocean garbage patches, deterioration of biodiversity, and the progress of climate change and the consequent more frequent extreme events. The Student Union has a number of ways to overcome the students’ despair over bad news. The Student Union’s environmental activities are guided by the environmental programme prepared for the period 2010-2015. The purpose of the programme is to support HYY, the organisations within the Student Union and its partners to operate with a minimal environmental footprint. HYY wants to show others how large and diverse activities can take place without trampling on the flourishing opportunities of the environment. The aim of HYY’s Committee for Environmental Affairs is to increase environmental awareness and ecological sustainability of activities both at the University and in the Student Union. The committee activities include brainstorming, meetings and activities. In recent years, the Committee has been actively involved in WWF’s Earth Hour campaign, it has sent letters to student restaurants concerning greater environmental accountability, collected postcards for Burning Issue campaign and organised visits to a variety of environmental projects. In the Committee, you are free to fall apart over the fact that nobody understands, and you will certainly get peer support! This autumn, the Committee for Environmental Affairs

is involved in organising a major climate event, Helsinki Climate Forum. The event will include inspiring and knowledgeable speakers from Finland and elsewhere in the world, workshop activities and getting to know people who share your climate concern. Want to join in? Go to and join our mailing list! For further information, please see our website or contact the chair of the committee and the board member responsible for environmental issues. It is also possible to relieve your world-weariness by participating in the environmental organisations that operate within HYY. Whether you are interested in animal rights, the progress of the climate act or a little bit of everything, there is definitely a place to your liking among HYY’s organisations. HYY’s environmental organisations can be found in the Organisations section on HYY’s website. When things do not go as they should, when you are no longer bothered to explain recycling to the old lady next door and you need peer support and new enthusiasm for implementing environmental affairs, please remember that help is at hand – the Committee for Environmental Affairs and the environmental organisations provide a supporting shoulder and so many new ideas that you do not even know where to begin. The Committee and organisations offer therapy sessions that are cheaper than a psychologist.


Equal student life


quality concerns all of us. Equality does not mean that everyone should be treated in the same way. Equality is about creating equal opportunities and a sense of belonging for everyone, regardless of their background. Student community is for all of us.

Disruptive behaviour does not need to be tolerated. Did you know that HYY has two trained harassment contact persons who can provide advice and support. They can be contacted at Harassment contact persons have a duty of confidentiality.

Have you ever thought about the following? ”Why does he not get drunk?” It is your own choice not to drink alcohol and you do not need a specific reason for that. Parties are always about more than just drinking. Barrier-free participation! Try to find accessible facilities for your evening entertainment. Participants may include people with children and strollers or a person in a wheelchair.

In English, please Keep the international students in mind when planning activities. Make sure that language barriers do not prevent participation. ”She always puts out!” You have the right to keep some things to yourself. Talk may be sexual harassment as well. Jake or Jane? We are a diverse group: all people do not necessarily identify themselves with their biological sex and not all of us are straight. Please make sure that the rainbow nation can feel safe in events. “Come along, we need you!” Make sure that inner circles are not formed. In a functioning community, everyone can feel welcome, even if they are only rarely involved. ”Is he a Commie or what?” Everyone is entitled to their own political and ideological beliefs. Women do dishes, men carry heavy stuff Does your community have women’s and men’s duties? You might drift into traditional gender roles without even noticing.

Helsinki Think Company is a meeting place in the city centre for a new kind of entrepreneurship where students, researchers, entrepreneurs and people interested in entrepreneurship can connect and form networks. Think Co. is a community space for working and organising events, offering support from developing a business idea to finding the right contacts. Welcome! HELSINKI THINK COMPANY WWW.HELSINKITHINKCOMPANY.FI VUORIKATU 5 MON–FRI FROM 10 A.M. TO 6 P.M.

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Building a common union The 145-year history of the Student Union includes construction projects, political turmoil and reflections of structural changes in society.



he University moved to Helsinki in 1828 after the Great Fire of Turku. Along with new regulations, Turku Academy was renamed the Imperial Alexander University of Finland. There were approximately 340 students in the first academic year of the University. The division of student nations was passed on from Turku Academy and it remained slightly changed in Helsinki. In the early years, university students gathered at the University or in teachers’ homes. However, the students longed for a ”free atmosphere” and began to rent specific apartments for their meetings. A steady increase in rental costs and lack of space prompted students to plan their own building.

A plan of the student house On 15 March 1858, about three hundred university students convened at a general meeting under the direction of Master C. G. Estlander. At the meeting, it was decided to build a house which would be solely managed by the students and which would be a place where students could meet and hold festive events. In the following years, the general meeting was convened almost every year to promote the construction project. In 1863, rules were drafted for the meetings and in 1868, general student meetings were legalised.

The student house (nowadays the Old Student House) was partly financed with donated and collected funds and partly with debt. The inauguration ceremony took place on 26 November 1870. The inauguration was festive: it included music, speeches, poems and, naturally, the ball. To cover the costs that were higher than expected, the Student Union had to collect an additional fee from university students during the following four academic terms. After the turn of the century, the Student House premises proved to be too small for the increasing number of students. After the motion of Alina Mattsson from Varsinaissuomalainen student nation, the student nation and afterwards the Student Union began to promote the Student Nation House (nowadays the New Student House) which was built beside the Student House in 1910. The inauguration date is 26 November. Building of the organisation Due to political reasons, ”the right of the studying youth to present themselves as a corporation” was abolished in 1871. A committee was founded to manage the affairs related to the student house, a library and other financial affairs. The student nations could annually appoint two members to the committee. Since 1880, university students have


been legally allowed to convene in general meetings as a corporation. A management committee, the Board, was appointed for administrative affairs. The Student Union became an organisation, the Student Union of Finland, which unified students who were divided into student nations. After the operations of the National Union of the University Students in Finland (syl) were established, the Student Union of Finland was renamed in 1927 as the Student Union of the University of Helsinki. For decades, the student union affairs had been decided in general meetings but in 1932, decision making was transferred to the Representative Council of sixty members elected through the elections. The immediate administration of the corporation was carried out by the Board and its subsidiary committees as well as separately hired officials, such as librarians and treasurers. Political activities in the 20th century In the 1920s and the 1930s, the student union activities mostly focused on Finno-Ugric nations and conservatism. In addition to the Nordic Countries, the activities were oriented towards the Baltic


Countries and Estonia, in particular. The student union politics were dominated by the Academic Karelia Society, but the temperance movement was also visible. After the war, the atmosphere in the Student Union changed. Rural depopulation became more common and there was severe lack of housing for university students. For students, the 1950s was an era of opportunities and ideals. Rationing and reconstruction after the war were finished. There were jobs matching the education of students. In the 1960s, there was an oversupply of educated labour in some fields. In the 1960s and the 1970s, the Student Union was characterised by questioning of values, politics and internationalisation. The Left, however, never reached the majority in the Representative Council. Finnish students joined their European colleagues by taking over the Old Student House in 1968 and founding a cultural centre there. The self-governing status of the Student Union has always been defined by law or a regulation. The University has supervised the appropriateness of the Student Union activities but it has not directed its activities in detail during the independence of Finland.

Contact Information HUS personnel Katri Korolainen Secretary General c 0400 816 426

Akseli Huhtanen

Tiina Kääriä

Specialist (organisations) c 050 537 3798

Merja Viitasalo Chief Financial Officer c 050 534 2963

Pipsa Penttinen Specialist-Producer (culture) c 050 537 2831

Office Secretary, Organisational Services c 050 551 6145

Anne Rautanen Specialist (higher education policy and the development of teaching) c 050 543 8458

Jenni Heikkinen Communications Officer c 050 543 9609

Janne Lardot Specialist (higher education policy and university administration) c 050 543 8460 Lauri Jurvanen Specialist (housing, health, city) c 050 543 9605 Katja Långvik Specialist (subsistence, international students, equality) c 050 543 9608

Emil Wikström Art Director, Non-miltary service c 050 534 2965


Jeena Vesivalo Office Secretary, HYY Documents c 050 432 4939 Nova Khalaf Office Secretary, Organisational Services c 050 551 6146

Childcare Marika Dolivo Childminder c 050 303 8333

Jari Eerola Archivist c 050 534 2964

Member Service Office Member- and Organizationalservices ttService hours: – Contact information

HYY Freshman Guide 2013 ttEditorial staff: Jenni Heikkinen, Jari Eerola (history). We thank all who took part in revising the information. ttLayout and design: Emil Wikström ttPhotos: Emil Wikström, Niko Metsälä (p.20), Oscar Hagen (p.16) och Tero Silvast (p.9) ttPrinted in: Painojussit Oy, Kerava ttPublisher: Student Union of the University of Helsinki

ttStreet adress: Mannerheimintie 5 A, 2. krs, 00100 Helsinki, Postal adress: PL 1099, 00101 Helsinki ttStudent Union of the University of Helsinki ttMannerheimintie 5 A (2. krs) PL 1099, 00101 Helsinki

Congratulations, new owner! Every member of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki is an owner of the HYY Group, including you.

You own properties in the centre of Helsinki, student cafeterias and festive restaurants, a press outlet publishing scientific literature, student apartments, a summer hostel, a reasonably-sized investment portfolio and a wide range of service businesses.

Responsibility forms a link between a variety of operations

Corporate responsibility is the theme of the HYY Group, whose profits are used for the benefit of students. Besides making profit, we want to make the world a better place. We wish you a warm welcome as a student – and a user of your own services!

Get acquainted with our whole range of services at

HYY's Freshmanguide 2013  

A guide to all the new students of the University of Helsinki by the Student Union.