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HYY awarded several honours at its 143rd anniversary


The Board of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) has in its festive meeting awarded several honours for the work benefiting the Student Union. The honours were awarded at HYY's 143rd anniversary at the Old Student House in the evening of 26 November.

In accordance with Section 3 of the badge regulation, the badge of the presiding officers and the wide purple ribbon is awarded to a person to whom the Student Union wishes to pay homage.  

This year, the badge of the presiding officers in the wide purple ribbon for significant and meritorious work for the University of Helsinki and its students is awarded to Chancellor Emeritus, Doctor of Medical Science Kari Raivio. Raivio has made a long career at the university and is an active societal debater. The Student Union enormously appreciates his courage and dedicated enthusiasm, even though his eloquent openings in higher education policy discussion have sometimes worried the student union employees. This tireless pensioner is an excellent sparring and debating partner for the Student Union.

The Student Union's badge of honour in the wide blue ribbon is annually awarded to a person or persons who have significantly promoted the Student Union's aspirations and to whom the Student Union wishes to pay homage. This year, the badge of honour in the wide blue ribbon is awarded to Account Manager Hellevi Majander and Economic Development Director Eero Holstila.

For years, Account Manager Hellevi Majander was the leading spirit of the university's social interaction matters and the cooperation of the University and the City was very important for her. Without making fuss about herself, she always ensured that students were involved in discussion and listened to any feedback. She understood that the university's social interaction also concerns students, and she shared the Student Union's similar view on this topic.

Economic Development Director Eero Holstila is also remembered for his extremely warm-hearted attitude towards the Student Union and students. Holstila made a long career in developing the City of Helsinki in various positions. As the City's Economic Development Director, he was always constructive and took different parties into consideration. In recent years before his retirement, he closely cooperated with the Student Union in many issues and took responsibility for arranging students' emergency accommodation in the cooperation of the Student Union, University and the City, for example.

In accordance with Section 4 of the Student Union's badge regulation, the Student Union standard may be granted for a community that has promoted the Student Union's aspirations.

The Student Union's standard for significant and meritorious work for the human dignity of the most poor and the most vulnerable is awarded to Finn Church Aid. The development cooperation and humanitarian aid organisation, established in 1947, operates in over 30 countries working with those who are in the weakest position, regardless of their religion, ethnic origin, political conviction or gender. The organisation always operates in the locations where its help is most desperately needed and where the conditions are difficult. This year, Finn Church Aid has persistently kept the famine catastrophe of East Africa in discussion and has already donated over one million euro for helping the victims of the drought. Instead of the anniversary gifts, HYY has asked the guests to address possible gifts to the catastrophe fund of Finn Church Aid.

The badge of honour in a narrow blue ribbon for significant and meritorious activities benefiting the Student Union is awarded to Master of Agriculture and Forestry Maaria Haikarainen, Student of Agriculture and Forestry Minni Tapola, Master of Arts Mirja Komulainen, Master of Social Sciences Reima Launonen and Bachelor of Science Petrus Repo.

The badge for the long-term and meritorious work benefiting the Student Union of the University of Helsinki is awarded to CEO, Master of Social Sciences Arja Kosonen, Treasurer Ulla Pohjois-Koivisto and Treasurer Kirsi Heikkilä. The badge in question is awarded for 20 years of service in the Student Union or the HYY Group.

The Good Teacher – Magister Bonus prize 2011 is awarded to University Lecturer Matti Luukkainen from the Department of Computer Science. In the grounds for awarding the prize, Luukkainen was praised for his active and innovative manner to develop teaching as well as creating and introducing versatile teaching methods. Luukkainen's special merit was the fact that he has been successful in making the first-year students enthusiastic about their studies. Luukkainen's activities are a good example of how investing in teaching and guidance at the beginning of studies can help students to find their own place in the academic and scientific community. In addition, the jury considered that when mentoring new teachers, Luukkainen has spread positive pedagogic attitude and student-minded thinking, and thus has promoted and spread successful practices to a wider audience.

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki is the oldest student union in Finland. Approximately 28,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students of the University of Helsinki are members of the Student Union.

Further information:

Chairperson of the Student Union Maija Jäppinen,, tel. 050 414 7986
Chairperson of HYY Board Leena Pihlajamäki,, tel. 050 543 9610