Electoral Program for 2016

Accessibility for the Student Union and the University – Now!

Both the university and the student union have an unfortunate amount of non-handicap-accessible spaces. For us, accessibility is a demand that is not up for discussion. The entire university and all of the student union’s club rooms should all be accessible for all.

We also demand:

We can’t keep waiting for equality!

  • Down with heteronormativity and gender roles! A zero tolerance for harassment and phobic behaviour, both in the student union and in the university.
  • An end to bullying, racism and prejudice – the member organisations in the student union as well as the employees of the university should be trained to face difference respectfully.
  • Everyone defines their own gender. The plurality of gender should be a given both at the university and the student union. The student union should guide its member organisations to practices that respectfully recognise gender plurality.
  • All bathrooms should be unisex in the student union’s, the member organisation’s and the university’s premises.
  • HYY and the university should take into account gender and sexual plurality for all their public relations and event arrangements.
  • English language teaching and support should be available in the future. The faculties must also reserve enough resources for swedish speaking support.

Sustainability and the environment are a priority!

  • The price of vegetarian and vegan food should be lowered to 2,50 euros.
  • Ethical student food! The carbon footprint of Unicafe food should be visible, we should  invest in vegan and local food every day, on every campus.
  • Solarpanels should be installed on the roofs of Kaivopiha!
  • Animal rights should be one of the principles of responsibility for HYY Corporation.
  • HYY should be a pioneer in sustainable energy.
  • HYY Corporation should work with Helsinki Think Company and other student start-up projects.
  • HYY should become a pioneer of global responsibility: 1% of the budget should go to development aid.
  • Students should have more information and more power – our voices should heard on matters of investments and the Unicafe student committee should be given real power.
  • Ethics before profit – arms manufacturer Patria has no place on HYY properties.
  • The on-campus farming initiative should be expanded to the rest of the campuses and best practices must be also spread over to HOAS.

Fighting for our members!

  • A firm no to increases in membership fees.
  • International students should be welcomed with open arms and we should strengthen their services and advocacy.
  • Students with families should be heard: the student kindergarten Little HYY should be expanded to Viikki and it should be open for longer.
  • The HYY government should have a mandated member in charge of defending the interests of students with families.
  • We demand a reinstatement of the HYY equality- and international affairs expert.
  • We should focus on integrating international students into the student community and bring students together.
  • HYY should start to help broker apartments for students.
  • The services and support of hobby organisation’s should be strengthened, with special mind payed to smaller organisations.
  • The Ylioppilaslehti-magazine should have more english articles!

Better education!

  • The university should move to primarily open-source programming.
  • The university should take action to ensure that all campuses and faculties have both non-commercial places to hang out and calm places to study.
  • A renaissance of exams: all exams should be anonymous and moved to the exam aquarium.
  • All campuses should have computer and study rooms available 24/7.
  • Post-graduate students, academics and other people doing research should have properly equipped peaceful study areas.
  • HYY should create an education program with clearly defined goals and plans for lobbying. We could then brief the hallopaedians based on this program and it could work as a base for developing the university.
  • Part-time studying and cross-faculty studying should be easier – you should be free to choose your own subjects.
  • Quality interpersonal contact- and peerlearning should be developed by supporting the founding of study groups and by increasing contacts between faculty staff and students.

More democracy, less capitalism

  • The university needs more democracy – the principal and board’s dominance should be replaced with equal tripartite decision making.
  • More openness to the student union and university –  preparatory documents should be public and available to everyone for comment.
  • The student union needs to be democratised with member initiatives that can spark a referendum as well as meetings available to all.
  • The university must have strong ethical principles regarding its investments and business partners.

Culture is for everyone

  • An afterparty available to everyone is a good start, but not enough. The HYY annual ball should be available for all members!
  • Art to the campus! We need spaces for open culture, where students can present their works, perform or just go and enjoy art.
  • The Student Theater should be safeguarded.
  • HYY must create opportunities for student’s self-organised city activism and culture work.

In the city: more decent housing for a decent price!

Helsinki is still troubled by a lack of affordable housing. The student union must work actively towards making sure the city builds more apartments where both students and other low-income people can afford to live.

We also demand:

A house for everyone!

  • Empty apartments and office buildings should be free for occupation.
  • Homelessness belongs to the past, a housing guarantee for everyone.
  • HYY should work towards developing alternative and social forms of living in Helsinki.
  • We need compact zoning for Helsinki and to rapidly build on already-zoned areas – on the metropolitan level.
  • The HYY Corporation should invest in decent-priced housing.

Ecological and easy movement!

  • We demand a car-free downtown campus
  • HYY must actively demand better cycling routes to and between the campuses
  • HYY must lobby for the establishing of the so-called “Science-Tram” which would make movemement between the Viikki and Meilahti campuses much easier.
  • There should be places of bicycle repair and enough places to store the bikes at the campuses.

Furthermore, we demand the the City of Helsinki arrange more short-duration day-care which would ease the studies of those students with families. A Children’s Parking for everyone!

Finland and the World: from education cuts to a real reform of education

The current Finnish government is historically antistudent. The student union must fight for civilization, culture and for students.

We demand:

  • Student livelihoods must be secured!
  • We demand a stop to the annual shakeups of the students benefits and for a clear raise to the student cash benefit. The benefits should be unconditional and enough to live on.
  • We should move towards a system of Universal Basic Income, which should be tested on students.
  • More work should be done to develop mental health-care, with a focus on pre-emption.
  • We should move toward students health-insurance.

Toward a better world!

  • The Finnish government must raise the budget for development aid to 0.7% of GDP as per the UN’s suggestions.
  • The Finnish education and welfare systems must be saved: they should not be fields of private capital accumulation.
  • Climate change is the biggest threat to students – and all people – everywhere. Finland should thus do everything that is possible to avoid and minimize environmental disasters.

An international and free scientific community!

  • Non-EU/ETA members should no longer have to pay tuition. Education belongs to all!
  • Education should genuinely free: a firm no to tuitions, application fees and expensive materials.
  • Students should have the opportunity to get CEFR-certified language degrees for free.
  • To minimise the effects of preparatory courses, the university should develop towards entrance exams that focus more on application of knowledge and aptitude than ability to pay to play.