HYY’s principles of safer space


The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) is a diverse, feminist community, and one of its values is equality. With our principles of safer space, we aim to create practices that help everyone promote a safer and more equal environment. These principles apply to HYY’s activities and events.

  • Treat other people in a civil, respectful manner and appreciate their work contributions. Do not, for instance, make inappropriate or dismissive comments about other people or launch personal attacks on them.
  • When giving feedback, focus on giving constructive feedback and be prepared to engage in a dialogue.
  • We all have various assumptions and prejudices about other people. Try to identify the assumptions you make and to take the diversity of people into account. Respect the self-defined identities of other people and face them with an open mind, as you cannot know another person’s background, experiences or situation in life, nor can you define their identity for them.
  • There is no room for violence, harassment, racism or discriminatory behaviour or language in HYY.
  • Respect the bodily and mental integrity of other people as well as the boundaries they have set for themselves. No means no – do not harass anyone verbally, by touching them or by staring at them.
  • In discussions, ensure that everyone gets heard and is able to participate. In a good discussion, everyone gets the chance to speak, gets heard and can choose to only listen if they prefer. Do not speak over other people and try to use the kind of language that is understandable to everyone.
  • Deal with delicate subjects respectfully and use content warnings if needed. Content warnings refer to a note stating that the subject under discussion includes material that may shock or offend some people.
  • Recognise your own privileges. Privileges refer to advantages that individuals have by virtue of belonging to certain social groups. Privileges may be related to characteristics including gender, sexual orientation, skin colour, class, language, health status and religion.
  • If you violate the principles of safer space or if someone points out that you have done so, apologise. Everyone makes mistakes. Be understanding towards mistakes made by others, too, and try to resolve the matter between the involved parties, if possible.
  • Take action against any discrimination you witness or offer your support to the people who encounter discrimination. In problem situations, you can also contact the persons in charge of event safety and/or HYY’s harassment contact persons.

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