The History of the Student Union of the University of Joensuu and the Student Union of the University of Kuopio

The Student Unions of Kuopio (KYY) and Joensuu (JoYY) ended their existences along with that of their home universities at the start of 2010 when the new Student Union began its operations. The funds, properties and responsibilities of JoYY and KYY, including their facilities, were transferred to ISYY.


The Student Union of the University of Joensuu (JoYY) was founded on the 1st of October 1969. Its membership automatically consisted of all Bachelor’s and Master’s students of the University of Joensuu and voluntary Licentiate and Doctoral students and international students.

In conjunction with KYY, JoYY published the official newspaper of ISYY, Uljas, and the first Editor-in-Chief (2009 to 2010) was Veera Järvenpää.

The highest decision-making body in JoYY was the 31-member Representative Council that was elected every other year. Executive power in the Student Union was used by the Executive Board. The JoYY staff consisted of eight people. JoYY’s final Secretary General (2009 to 2010) was Pekka Koivaara, the final Student Union Chairperson (2008 to 2010) was Sanna Hämäläinen and the final Chairperson of the Executive Board (8th of April 2009 to 2010) was Perttu Koskinen.

It was the goal of JoYY to further the well-being of its members in accordance with the university legislation. JoYY was a member organisation of SYL. The last offices of the Student Union were located in the Suvantokatu facilities that were acquired in 2008. Before Suvantokatu, the offices of JoYY were located in Pielisjoen linna (from 1972 to 1984) and in the Joensuun ylioppilastalo (from 1985 to 2008) owned by the student housing company Joensuun Elli.

Like KYY and the home universities of the unions, JoYY ceased to exist at the beginning of 2010 when the University of Eastern Finland was founded and ISYY officially began its operations.

The Student Union of Savonlinna existed as a subsidiary of JoYY, and it was a registered organisation.


The Student Union of the University of Kuopio (KYY) existed between the years of 1972 and 2009. During the early years, the Student Union was called Kuopion korkeakoulun ylioppilaskunta (Kukko). The official anniversary of the Student Union was the 19th of September.

Like JoYY and the unions’ home universities, KYY ceased to exist at the beginning of 2010 when the University of Eastern Finland was founded and ISYY officially began its operations.

The highest decision-making body of the Student Union was a Representative Council of 25 members that was elected in the beginning of the November of every uneven year for a two-year term. On an annual basis the Council elected an Executive Board that took care of the practical functions of the Student Union. The Student Union Executive Board consisted of a chairperson and 5 to 8 members. In accordance with the Student Union rules, the Executive Board included members in charge of academic, social-political, international and recreational affairs.

KYY had a staff of ten and an annual budget of about half a million euros.

KYY published its own newspaper, called Kuopion ylioppilaslehti Stimulus. The Student Union also owned KYY-yhtiöt Inc., which began its operations in 2003.

Every year the Student Union would select a professor, who would be dunked into the shallow pool of the Velj’mies-statue in the Kuopio marketplace on the eve of Mayday. The first dunking of a professor took place in 1974. ISYY has continued this tradition after KYY.

The symbol colours of KYY were black and gold. The colours were used in the Student Union’s official standards, ceremonial sashes and in the Student Union’s logo. The logo consisted of a braided rope of black and yellow that runs over the white part of the traditional Finnish student cap. The rope was granted to participants of an “initiation to sophistication” on the eve of Mayday. However, the lyre on front of the student cap was never replaced with a different decoration.

Since the Student Union’s acronym KYY stands for viper in Finnish, the figure of a snake was used in flags and Student Union medals. The medals granted by the Student Union included honorary, achievement, administrative and minor medals.