HYY's Representative Elections Are at Hand!

The representative council elections of HYY - the student union of the University of Helsinki - are approaching. The 60 members of the representative council are the ones to wield the highest authority at the union: they are in charge of the budget for the union, rules, financial statements, buying and selling of property, selecting the chief editor of the Ylioppilaslehti, and much more. The council is elected every other year and every single member of HYY has both the right to vote as well as to run as a candidate.
This year the elections are on 4th and 5th of November and the advance voting starts already today. You can vote altogether in 14 places at the four different campus sites of the university as well as in Lahti and Vaasa. The results will be revealed at the Virgin Oil restaurant at the New Student Building on the evening of the 5th.

There are many parties and many candidates to choose from at HYY’s Representative Council Elections. To get a bit more insight from one of the candidates, we chatted with Pinja, one of our own Her Campus writers.

HC: What urged you to put run for the representative council elections?

Actually, the president of HYVi (The Greens at University of Helsinki) asked me. At first I refused because I’m writing my gradu and have plenty of other things to do with Her Campus etc. but then I started to think that since I’ve always been interested in politics and this would be my last chance for the representative council (the elections are held every two years and I’ll be graduating before the next ones) I might as well try it so I wouldn’t have any “what if’s” later. So here I am!

HC: What party are you representing and why?

I’m representing HYY:n Vihreät, i.e. HYVi (the Greens). We form an electoral alliance with Sitoutumaton Vasemmisto (Independent left) called Maailmanpyörä. There really was no question about it for me – I’ve always voted for the Greens and it is the one party that I agree with on most issues (though not all). We share the same values.

HC: How involved in student politics have you been prior to this experience?

Not at all! I had attended a few events organized by ViNO (The Federation of Green Youth and Students) but I hadn’t really been involved in any of the extracurricular things at the university except Her Campus. However, now I plan to participate more, even if I don’t get to the representative council. I’ve already met so many interesting people through HYVi!

HC: What do you think HYY should improve upon?

I think HYY is already doing quite well on many issues but there are still lots of things that need improving. For example, I think that HYY should do everything it can to make sure that YTHS (Finnish Student Health Service) continues to offer good quality service for students, especially in the mental health sector. Lots of students are having difficulties in their lives and it is very important that we help them with those so that they can finish their studies successfully and then feel able to move on to work life. Also, students should get good value for their union due and HYY should, for example, offer more childcare services for students with small children. 

HC: How would you make a difference in student politics?

In addition to the ones I mentioned above, one thing that really needs improving is students’ knowledge of the representative council. Nowadays, there are so many students at our university who have never even heard about the representative council and if they have, they have no idea what people do there and how much it affects their lives at the university. So my goal would be to do my best to improve this situation and try and figure out ways in which HYY could communicate better and more openly about stuff that is going on and how it could make people more interested in student politics. Students have so much power here, if only they knew how to use it!

More information on the elections can be found on HYY's website!