Appeal: Safe space and safe debate must be secured in the Aalto community
The war between Israel and Hamas escalated on 7 October, fuelling hatred, fear and insecurity around the world. Hatred stemming from anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia has also surfaced in Finland. The war affects the students of the Aalto community and their families. AYY wants to show solidarity with their plight inevitably caused by the situation. The Aalto University Student Union condemns all types of violence towards civilians in Palestine and Israel.
We have all seen the suffering of civilians in the midst of war through news, social media and demonstrations of support. Demonstrations of support have also taken place on Otaniemi campus. Aalto University Student Union (AYY) appeals to the entire Aalto community to ensure a safe space for debate on campus. Peaceful demonstrations, events of support and bringing up conflicts are an essential part of a prosperous civil society. The planning and implementation of events taking a stand on the Israel-Palestine conflict must be guaranteed on the same scale as other political activities on campus.
For AYY, it is important to ensure that you can have influence and bring out your own opinion in the Aalto community safely and without the fear of being targeted. AYY condemns all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the Aalto community and everywhere else. Hate speech and discrimination based on any individual characteristics are reprehensible. To ensure that our community is as safe as possible for everyone, please go through AYY’s safer space policy.
War affects the mental health of many people and their ability to study. If you are distressed by the situation, we recommend that you seek help, regardless of whether the situation affects you directly or indirectly. We have listed below sources to find help if you feel worried or afraid.
Advocacy and Communications Manager
Chair of the AYY Board