Equity in AYY

Welcome to AYY’s page on equity. Here, you’ll find
1. Information on our guiding principles or values
2. Inappropriate conduct, harassment, and community mediation
3. Contact form and anonymous reporting tool
4. What to do if you encounter inappropriate conduct in a teaching situation?
5. Minority stress and reporting tool
6. The Aalto community “Better Language Wiki” for more inclusive language
7. Workshops, training, and discussions for community members

1. Values

What does equity mean for AYY?

Equity is about ensuring diverse groups of people have equal opportunities to participate in their community and to access its resources.

AYY takes a student-centered approach to equity. Members of the Aalto community should be given the opportunity to identify obstacles and structural inequalities. We invite you to participate in making the Aalto community as equitable and inclusive as possible.

We are a diverse and equal community. We aim to foster a sense of mutual respect one another and to better understand of how minorities are treated, and how the intersections of different minority identities play out.

AYY’s work on equity supports student well-being by encouraging members to speak out about their experiences of difference and of inclusion and exclusion. We wish to foster a sense of humanity and empathy within the community.

AYY takes sustainability into account in all its operations. There is no future that does not include all of us, so it is important to hear all the voices in our community.

2. Contact the equity officers  in the following situations:

You feel like you have been harassed, excluded, singled out, or wronged.

You feel there is inappropriate language or behavior somewhere within our community.

There is an unresolved conflict, rumors, or bad vibes within your segment of the community.

You are afraid you’ve offended someone, and you would like to see how you can fix the situation.

Please do contact us at [email protected]  , and we’ll gladly start a discussion!

Where you need further support, we can think of alternatives together.

What can AYY’s equity officers do?

We can
- listen
- refer you to more suitable services if needed
- brainstorm ways to resolve these issues with you
- mediate discussions between community members
- help you identify what counts as inappropriate conduct if you are unsure
- support you if you wish to report a crime to the police

We cannot
- take sides or represent the views of either side of a conflict
- punish anyone
- demand and analyze evidence
- tell others about the contents of our talks (without your permission)

As equity officers, we consider it our duty to maintain balance and cohesion in our diverse community. This is why we favor mediation in the resolution of community disputes and harassment cases. Mediation is a process.

In a mediation process,

- both sides to a conflict express their own point of view in a non-confrontational manner
- both reflect on their feelings and reactions to the other person’s point of view
- there is no right or wrong, and no punishment
- we look for the needs that arise because of a conflict
- we seek understanding and compassion
- we find a way for the community to move forward

As part of the process, if necessary, we’ll meet separately with both parties to hear their thoughts and feelings. After that, we’ll all meet.

The process is 100% voluntary, so nothing happens without consent of both parties.

3. Reporting and Contact Request Form

You can fill out this form and request that we contact you, or you can write us an email at [email protected]. All correspondence is strictly confidential. We do not share your name or contact details with anyone without your explicit consent. If you wish to report anonymously, do not leave any contact information.

4. What to do if you encounter inappropriate conduct in a teaching situation?

If you experience harassment or inappropriate treatment during teaching or in a study-related situation, you can tell the lecturer or another staff member who is present. They have a duty to intervene.

If the harassment or inappropriate conduct does not stop, or if the harasser is a member of the university staff, you can contact your School’s Head of Learning Services (e-mails addresses are [email protected]), who has a duty to take the matter further.

Contact information can be found on Aalto's website.

5. Minority Stress Reporter

Minority Stress is an issue faced by women, people of color, LGBTQI+ minorities, and other people who regularly need to try to ‘fit in’ to the perceived societal norms. This tool is used to anonymously collect data that will help us identify issues requiring attention within the community. It will help us better understand structural inequalities that prevent some members of our community from fully participating in the community.

LINK: Minority stress reporter

6. The Better Language Wiki

Coming soon! This is a wiki-style interactive platform where community members can share examples of sexist, gendered, racist, ableist, and otherwise discriminating language, and add constructive suggestions on how to better communicate. Anyone can add examples, suggestions for improvements, and make edits to the page. The contents are moderated by AYY’s equity officers.

7. Workshops, training, and discussion for community members

A community that is knowledgeable about equity issues is one that can build a culture of equity. As we are dealing with people and communities, there are no rules that can be taught once and remembered. Instead, it is an ongoing process, and requires community dialogue and discussion to maintain. Can you identify a need for further training? Please get in touch at [email protected]

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