History of Aalto University Student Union
The foundations of Aalto University Student Union lie in the student unions of Helsinki School of Economics, University of Art and Design Helsinki and Helsinki University of Technology. When these three universities merged on 1 Jan 2010 to form Aalto University, the student unions merged as well and formed the new Aalto University Student Union.
The merger of the student unions and the beginning of AYY’s operations were planned for several years before the actual merger.
AYY's first Representative Council elections were held on 22–24 Apr 2009, and the elected Council operated until the elections of 2011. There was vibrant campaigning, and around 450 students signed up as candidates. The voter turnout was also record-breaking when it comes to student union elections: the average voting percentage was 35%.
In autumn 2009, an executive group, comparable to the Student Union Board, was established to implement the preparations for AYY. The most significant projects of the executive group were preparing a budget and operational plan, creating insignia, organising a recruitment campaign for the board applicants and recruiting a Financial Director.
Aalto University Student Union has operated since the beginning of 2010. The as-of-yet comparatively short but all the more intensive history already features countless events and achievements. AYY acts as an active student advocate, a provider of student housing and other services and an event organiser.
You can find out more about AYY’s past years in the annual brochures and reports uploaded into the Issuu service.
The history of the Student Union of the Helsinki School of Economics (KY) began in 1911, when the student union’s predecessor, the Helsinki School of Economics Student Association (Kauppakorkeakoulun Oppilasyhdistys), was founded.
During its nearly one-hundred-year history, the student union grew from a small association of 70 members to a student union offering its thousands of members advocacy, services and apartments. Along the years, KY was involved with, among other things, the Helsinki night club business and radio and TV operations in addition to student advocacy work.
KY’s traditions are carried on by KY – Aalto University Business Students. The association can be joined by all students of Aalto University’s School of Business, and its primary task is to advocate for its members and offer them opportunities for communality and development.
You can find out more about KY’s history on KY’s own website, as well as the historical works Kauppakorkeakoulun Ylioppilaskunta 1911–1961 (Jouko Paakkanen and Hannu Kärkkäinen, 1961) and Sata vuotta opintojen tiellä (Jemina Sohlstén-Nederström, 2011).
The Student Union of the Helsinki University of Technology (TKY) considered its history to have begun in 1872, when an association by the name of Teknologföreningen was founded. Over the years, the associations of students of technology – Teekkaris – changed in shape and name as language disputes tore the community apart and as Helsingin teknillinen reaalikoulu [Helsinki school of technological sciences] underwent several changes to become the Helsinki University of Technology.
TKY’s operations were divided into organisational operations, including also advocacy and event activities, and housing and investment operations. Aalto University’s current main building Dipoli was built in the 1960s to serve as TKY’s student union building.
These days, Teekkari traditions are carried on and the Teekkari spirit nurtured by AYY’s Teekkari Section together with the guilds of Otaniemi. The history and modern day of student life in Otaniemi is showcased by the Polyteekkari Museum, established by TKY in 1958 and currently upheld by AYY.
You can read more about TKY’s past in the book Polin suojiin me saavumme taas – Teknillisen Korkeakoulun Ylioppilaskunta 125 vuotta [125 years of the Student Union of the Helsinki University of Technology] (Jari Hanski, 1997) that describes the Student Union’s 125-year history. The history of Teekkaris is also the topic of Ossin Lässyt, the memoir of the long-standing manager of the Teekkari Village Ossi Törrönen.
The abbreviation TOKYO originally stood for the Art Teachers’ Student Union of the Institute of Industrial Arts, which is what TOKYO was founded as in 1961.
When the student union merged with TOOK, the Student Union of the Institute of Industrial Art, in 1967, TOKYO was adopted as the name of the entire student union. The full name of the student union in Finnish was Taideteollisen korkeakoulun ylioppilaskunta; in Swedish, Konstindustriella högskolans studentkår; and in English, the Student Union of the University of Art and Design Helsinki.
Over the course of its nearly 50-year history, TOKYO’s operations influenced the education policy of the higher education institute it represented, the reform and development of art education in general, as well as the cultural life of Helsinki and Finland.
To carry on the traditions of the old student union, the association TOKYO ry was founded in 2010 that advocates for the students of Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design and Architecture and organises events among the Aalto community.
You can read more in the book on TOKYO’s history, TOKYO 50: MCMLXI-MMXI: Taideteollisen korkeakoulun opiskelijaliike viisikymmentä vuotta [50 Years of Student Movement in the University of Art and Design] (Iida Turpeinen and Jaakko Uoti, 2011).
KY, TKY and TOKYO operators of past years
The Student Union of the Helsinki School of Economics (KY), the Student Union of the Helsinki University of Technology (TKY) and the Student Union of the University of Art and Design Helsinki (TOKYO) merged on 1 Jan 2010 to form Aalto University Student Union (AYY).
Badge of honour recipients
Each year, Aalto University Student Union awards various acknowledgements to the distinguished members of the Aalto community. This page presents the acknowledgements awarded by AYY and lists the recipients from the past years.