The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland (ISYY)
Statement, 7th of March 2018
The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland demands that the University of Eastern Finland takes the harassment situations that students encounter seriously. Especially the #metoo campaign has encouraged students to report of the harassment situations they have encountered, which has led to a situation where the Student Union does not have enough resources to process all the cases.
The University and the student life are not free of harassment. Large amount of the harassment happening in the University and student community hides in the every-day life, which may make it hard to notice. By its actions ISYY has tried to lower the threshold for students to report the harassment they have encountered. ISYY has two Contact Persons in Affairs of Harassment at its campuses and during the current semester, the number of contacts has increased significantly. It is not always easy to draw a line which cases can be considered as harassment situations, but some cases belong clearly in the jurisdiction of the University.
ISYY demands UEF to take a more comprehensive approach to the harassment situations. The University must create a clear sharing of responsibilities and instructions on how to operate with the harassment situations. In addition, ISYY demands the University to appoint their own Contact Persons in Affairs of Harassment for each Faculty. Communication must be clear and accessible so that every student knows whom to contact if they encounter harassment.
‘Everyone has the right for safe study environment. During this semester, we have reached a situation where our own resources are not enough, and thus we hope to get additional resources from the University to guarantee good study environment,’ says Juuso Sikiö, the Chairperson of ISYY’s Executive Board.
Minna Väisänen, Secretary of UEF’s Equal Opportunities Committee stated in the student magazine Uljas on the 5th of March 2018 that she hopes the students to express clear wishes on how they want the harassment situations to be processed in the University of Eastern Finland. ISYY is willing to cooperate with the University regarding this topic, but wants UEF to be aware of the extent and seriousness of the problem. No one should be afraid or anxious in their studies because of harassment. Therefore taking care of the zero tolerance is a matter of both the University and the Student Union.
The Chairperson of ISYY’s Executive Board, Juuso Sikiö, 044-576 8400, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Secretary General of ISYY, Anna-Kristiina Mikkonen, 044-576 8417, email@example.com