Student Elections – Do you use your voice?

The biggest elections of the year are here!

The representative council elections of the student union are here! What is the representative council, and why should you be interested? Read on to find out!

Representative Council elections are coming!

Representative council elections are held every other year in the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY). All students who are members of the student union and have registered as attending for the academic year are entitled to vote in the elections. This year the elections are held online for the first time, which adds a new twist to the elections: now you can vote from the comfort of your couch!

Exchange students are entitled to vote in the elections if they have joined the student union, whereas international master’s degree students are members and entitled to vote as a matter of course. It is important to vote even if you are staying in Finland just for the semester because it is a way to influence the future. The representative council decides all the big policies the student union practices. For example, how much time our staff spends on lobbying for benefits for international students. Voting is a way to leave your handprint in the student politics of Finland. In these elections every vote really counts because one usually needs under only around 60 or so votes to get in the representative council as a member.

You should try the candidate matcher on the HYY website and find a suitable candidate. The candidates are also campaigning during the election days around the campuses. For example, in front of the Porthania building at the city centre campus you usually can find every representative council group and they are eager to talk with you and tell their views on student union. That is usually a great way to find your candidate.

You can vote electronically, and after having voted, you’ll even receive a voucher for a free lunch-time coffee at your nearest UniCafé! (The language of the voting system can be changed to English from the top right-hand corner of the page.)

In the representative council there are 60 members, and it’s the highest decision-making body of the student union. For example, the council accepts the 3.5 million euro budget of the student union, and decides what the student union concentrates its efforts on each year. The representative council members represent different political parties, some of which are affiliated with different student organisations, and some with actual Finnish political parties.

Your voice, your student union!