Academic dinner parties
The most classic example of an academic dinner party are 'sitsit', at which the evening is spent with good friends and new acquaintances. Sitsit traditionally consist of three parts: eating, drinking and, first and foremost, singing. The singing culture is very diverse in Otaniemi, depending on the field of study, guild, and subject organisation, and numerous different song books have also been printed in the community. Some of the songs are very typical to a particular field of study, while others are very general academic party or drinking songs. Traditionally, a song is often preceded by a short story or joke, i.e. a possible brief introduction.
The dress code depends on the theme and prestige of the event, and can be anything from a dark suit and cocktail dress to overalls or other outfit suitable for the theme.
Singing nights have long traditions among business students, and they largely follow the same customs as the academic dinner parties of other study fields. However, KY's song evening is often a more prestigious dinner party than regular dinner parties, with a dress code of dark suit or cocktail dress.
KY also has a strong tradition of academic dinner parties, which are mainly upheld by one of KY’s sections, NESU-KY. Business students' dinner parties resemble singing nights, yet there are some differences – for example, business students almost always wear overalls at academic dinner parties.
An annual ball is the finest and most prestigious version of an academic dinner party. In the Aalto community, annual balls are held by the Student Union itself as well as many student associations, such as Teekkari guilds and many student organisations of business and arts students. An annual ball is often held close to the founding date of an association or another point of time that is significant to the association.
At annual balls, the dress code is finer than at academic dinner parties and singing nights: very often, it is white or black tie with academic honours (for example, a dress coat or a festive evening dress). In addition, various speeches are often held at annual balls and distinguished members of associations are rewarded with various acknowledgements and badges of merit.