Ethics and benefits
The Finnish Veterinary Student Association EKY ry is the Faculty’s student organisation, open to all students of veterinary medicine in Finland. The association lobbies for the benefit of its membership and organises diverse activities to balance the taxing studies.
In 2017, a period of calm after the stormy weather caused by the revolutions of the Big Wheel and the now largely completed structural reforms, the association concentrated on mending its wounds. Members embarked on another year without the valued learning centre in Building EE and the attached groupwork facilities. Collaboration with the Faculty remained close, and the association board met with the dean every month, as tradition dictates. The board strived to increasingly engage the student representatives of the administration in association activities and to streamline the flow of information. The association strengthened its status in the Representative Council of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki, as well as its Representative Group HELP, since no fewer than two association members were elected from the joint list of candidates of the association and the Helsinki Pharmacy Students’ Association YFK.
The association restructured its international activities by outsourcing them to IVSA Finland, the Finnish chapter of the International Veterinary Students’ Association. Since a consolidated and professional party already was active in the field, there was no need for the involuntary running of these activities. Through the cooperation, IVSA Finland also gained visibility in the Finnish Veterinary Students’ Association, while our members gained more opportunities for internationalisation.
Ethical, emancipatory and ecological EKY
Several clubs operate under EKY specialised in certain areas, such as cat, dog and horse clubs, as well as a student theatre group. A new club, Vethos, was established this year by students to help in wrestling with matters of ethics and coping. At the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the consideration of ethics is primarily left to students themselves, even though our studies and future work include issues of ethics in abundance. The events organised by the new club, open to all members of the association, were hugely popular and their selection of topics commended. For instance, the participants of a panel discussion organised by the club consisted of a graduated veterinarian, several bachelor’s degree holders who had pulled through a tough summer of work, as well as a campus chaplain who constantly comes face-to-face with coping problems. At a later date, the chaplain visited the emergency department at the Small Animal Hospital to get an idea of students’ everyday work. Exotic and wild animals, another field of our future profession not properly discussed, also gained a defender: Arctos began offering members of the association diverse activities related to unusual domestic animals and wildlife.
Vethos launched a “venting wall”, an idea from another part of the world, where members have an opportunity to write their thoughts anonymously.
The horse club Eqvet won the Gaudeamus Grand Prix, the championship of academic horse riding clubs. This means that EKY and Eqvet will be responsible for organising the competition in 2018. The Faculty’s student play reached record audiences at Gloria Cultural Arena with its production Aidat kiinni! (“Close the fences!”). Compared to its early days, Speksi’s operations have been increasingly streamlined.
Evening get-togethers for colleagues were among the most popular events organised by EKY, hosting colleagues representing a broad spectrum of veterinary medicine to shed light on their career paths to students. In 2017, we heard several career stories from veterinarians working for the pharmaceutical industry, municipalities and private practices. During the year, members of the association also went on excursions to a circus course, aerial yoga, an alpaca farm, the Body Worlds – Animal Inside Out exhibition on the anatomy of animals at the Finnish Science Centre Heureka, and the wildlife hospital at the Helsinki Zoo.
Strange occurrences were witnessed in club room Kuopio: an anonymous philanthropist donated a computer to the club room, equipped with the Spotify and Netflix streaming services to brighten the routine of the membership. A veritable ecological leap was taken by purchasing a dishwasher for the club room! The recycling rules for Kuopio have been further specified, while the dishwasher will help in reducing the use of disposable plates and cups.
The old rules for recycling were less than optimal.
Animals, party animals
The 71th anniversary party of the Finnish Veterinary Students’ Association was held at the Koskenranta restaurant, while the after-party took place right under the Faculty’s nose in Building EE. The anniversary address was given by the recipient of the Topi Salmi Prize, a researcher of bacteriology and a teacher, Professor Emerita of Environmental Hygiene Marja-Liisa Hänninen, DVM.
In 2017, the Flora Day celebrations were held at Viikki Campus. The cooperatively organised events brought Viikki’s faculty organisations, or at least their chairs of that time, closer together. The day was sunny, everything went according to plan, and UniCafe conjured up delicious food, while a commendable number of staff members were seen at the entirely unofficial after-party.
The weather on the eve and eve’s eve of 1 May was chilly, but that didn’t slow association members down: the traditional defeat in a game of pesäpallo was taken against students of agriculture, glasses of bubbly were raised at the Finnish Veterinary Association, and the Maternal Love statue at Varsapuistikko was dressed with polo wraps. On the evening of the eve of May Day, the partygoers at the jointly organised megaparty were pumped up by the rhythms of the wildly popular JVG. On May Day, the sun took the chill off the weary revellers.
Association members freezing next to the Maternal Love statue.
All in all, the year 2017 for EKY did not much differ from 2016 or the prospects of 2018. EKY is a well-consolidated faculty organisation with long-standing and strong traditions whose membership comprises nearly all students of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. As long as veterinary medicine is being taught in Finland, EKY will keep on taking care of the students of the field.
Chair of the Board 2017
Finnish Veterinary Students’ Association EKY ry