#HYYtymättömät – Blood donation challenge to the student organisations of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki

We are offering our hand to help this autumn, too – the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) and Stydi, the organisation for social work students, challenge all organisations operating within HYY to take part in this life-saving campaign.

The campaign, launched a year ago, continues with even greater excitement than before as it is now a part of the University of Helsinki’s campaign called ‘Hyviä tekoja – luovuta verta, tue tiedettä’ (‘Good deeds – donate blood, support science’) that will last for the entire academic year. The campaign aims to create a positive atmosphere of doing good deeds and to encourage students and personnel to donate blood and, at the same time, support science. 

Every working day, around 800 volunteer blood donors are needed so that around 50,000 seriously ill patients (such as premature babies, cancer patients and accident victims) get the treatment they need annually. The patient could be you – donated blood cannot be replaced with medication. Many hands help more than one so let’s get the blood circulating together. It does not cost anything!

The blood donation campaign kicks off on 3 October 2016, and the organisations that donate the most blood both quantitatively and in proportion to their number of members during the campaign period of 3 October–30 November 2016 will win one sauna evening at HYY’s premises. Additionally, all donors receive a #HYYtymättömät overall badge as thanks for their heroism.

How to participate in the campaign:

1. Update the contact information of your organisation’s BloodGroup by sending the name, phone number and email address of your contact person for this year to sanomatalo.verenluovutus@veripalvelu.fi. If you know the name of your previous contact person, mention that in your message.
OR Register a BloodGroup for your organisation at www.veripalvelu.fi/ryhmat. Name your BloodGroup as ‘HYY + your organisation’s name’ – for instance, HYY-Stydi.
2. Let HYY know that you are participating in the campaign by filling in the following form: http://urly.fi/ELz
3. Go and donate blood either as a group or one by one in one of the Blood Service Centres in the Capital Region or in a blood collection event. To help us keep scores, please remember to mention your organisation’s name to the staff when you sign up at your donation location.
If you want to donate blood as a group, please reserve a time for donation in advance by calling the Blood Service Centre. The contact information can be found at https://www.bloodservice.fi/blood-donation/donate-blood/where-can-you-donate and in the Facebook event. This way, Blood Service will be able to prepare for potential rushes. A suitable group size is around 4–6 persons, and you should reserve around an hour for the donation.
4. It is recommended that you test your suitability as a donor in advance atwww.sovinkoluovuttajaksi.fi. You can also call the free info phone for blood donors in case you have a question. The number is 0800 0 5801.
5. Communicate about the campaign and about potential group donation days on your own channels. If you so wish, you can also use the material bank available at Blood Service’s website at www.veripalvelu.fi.
6. Use the hashtags #HYYtymättömät2016, #HYYtymättömät, #HYviätekoja, #isokäsielämälle and #VeriRyhmä in social media so that the blood donation challenge gets spread and more patients get help. We communicate about the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HYY.HUS and www.facebook.com/veripalvelu. Follow us!

Contact information

Blood donation campaign’s contact person at HYY, Communications Officer Siiri Salo, tiedottaja@hyy.fi
Blood Service’s contact person, Nurse Linda Holmström, tel. 029 300 1030
Helsinki, Sanomatalo Blood Service Centre, Töölönlahdenkatu 2, 2nd floor, open Mon, Wed and Fri 11 am–7 pm, Tue and Thu 8 am–7 pm, group reservations: 029 300 1030
Helsinki, Kivihaka Blood Service Centre, Kivihaantie 7, open Mon–Thu 11 am–6 pm, Fri 9 am–4 pm, group reservations: 029 300 1020
Espoo Blood Service Centre, shopping centre Iso Omena, Piispansilta 9, open Mon and Wed noon–7 pm, Tue, Thu and Fri 11 am–6 pm, group reservations: 029 300 1040
Other donation locations in the Capital Region: https://www.bloodservice.fi/blood-donation/donate-blood/where-can-you-donate
www.veripalvelu.fiwww.sovinkoluovuttajaksi.fi
Free information for donors, tel. 0800 0 5801
www.facebook.com/HYY.HUSwww.facebook.com/veripalvelu

The National Theatre offers HYY members tickets for 10 euros for the shows held on 16 October 7pm and 6 November 7pm.

Tickets can be booked by calling the National Theatre ticket office number: 010 7331 331. When booking, please mention the booking code: HYY yliopisto. Tickets can be collected from the National Theatre ticket office and you must present your student card which proves HYY's membership.

Further information about the play (in Finnish): http://www.kansallisteatteri.fi/esitykset/play-rape/

Mr Chancellor, Mr Rector, dear friends,

It is a great honour to give a speech here at the University of Helsinki's opening ceremony in its Great Hall. The Great Hall seats an audience of approximately 800, and there are students, University staff and friends of the University among you. Many of you have the opportunity and the power to change both the University and society.

I was worried when I was preparing this speech. I am the chair of the board of a community of 27,000 students – the Student Union of the University of Helsinki. This means that I can be the voice of the student community here today. But I was worried that no matter what I chose to say, however scientifically grounded my perspective and however skilful my rhetoric, I would not be able to change the opinions or actions of you, the audience.
One speech can rarely change the world. But one speech can offer a new idea, spark a fierce debate or motivate us to speak up, for example on Twitter.  

Our University’s research is the most esteemed in Finland in many areas, as well as internationally recognised. Our researchers’ passion for science and the pursuit of truth is the rock upon which our institution is built. The University should express this same passion for teaching and learning.

This autumn, a crowd of enthusiastic new students embarks on their studies, and it is the duty of the entire University community to make sure their thirst for knowledge is fostered.
Teachers, I encourage you to challenge your students to join you in the search for truth. Include them in the academic community and in your research groups. Our University has reached the venerable age of 376, but there is no need to employ teaching methods from 300 years ago. Demand debate and reasoned argumentation from your students. Encourage your students to cooperate, to start projects and to practice critical thinking. Demand time to plan your teaching, and plan it carefully.

Students, I call upon you to change this University. Seek the truth and stay curious. Get to know students from other disciplines, meet with your researchers and professors, ask questions, praise them when praise is due, participate in student organisations, make mistakes and laugh.

I see no conflict in this hall, nor do I want to create one. I see a single community, where every one of us values edification, research and the University of Helsinki. I believe that we share a similar vision of our ideal university. Top-level research, motivating teaching, and administration that supports these core duties of the University help first-year students grow into the experts, researchers and political figures of tomorrow.

No one in the University community can survive here alone. We have a responsibility to support each other in the search for truth, in conducting research, in learning and in making sure students progress in their studies.
We must value each others’ competences. To build the university of tomorrow, we will need every single person in our community, from first-year student to professor. We must listen to each other. And we have a duty to bring the voice of scientific knowledge into public debate.

When was the last time you talked about your discipline to someone outside the University? When was the last time you said out loud what you had learned that day? When was the last time you spoke up for something important to our community?
As a small example: if every one of us here were to tweet the same tweet at the same time, it would be noticed.
Dear University community: together we can make our voice heard.

The new Student Services began their operation on 1 August 2016. The students of the University of Helsinki are directed to use their service point in all study-related matters. The Student Union visited the student service points to test them out – now we will tell you about our experiences and share tips for finding help.

Student service points are located on each of the four campuses: three in the City Centre and one on each of the other campuses. You can find your nearest service point at here.  Our test group recommends you to find out the location of the service point in advance because signs near some of the service points were lacking. If you are a tutor, please make sure that your freshmen know where to find guidance.

Challenges at all tested service points

The Meilahti service point referred us directly to the nursing instructor when asked a question related to study phases. Unfortunately, guidance was not available in Swedish at the time of our visit. As before, students in preclinical studies are counselled by a student advisor, whereas students in the clinical phase are counselled by a nursing instructor.

The Viikki service point was easily located at info centre Korona. According to guidance received there, all study-related matters should be dealt with directly with the faculty. Who does it really serve to direct students to use the service point when the Viikki service point clearly only has the function of redirecting students? This seems like wasting both resources and students’ time.

At the Metsätalo service point, our tester ended up advising an exchange student as some of the signs were available only in Finnish. Truly accessible services require functional trilingualism. All students of the faculties of humanities and theology receive help from Metsätalo.

At the Siltavuorenpenger service point, all questions were answered by simply referring us to the next person, who was not even present. Please note that, for instance, International Exchange Services are available only on Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 2 pm. In addition to this, all signs were only in Finnish.

At the Kruununhaka service point, our test group tested student advisors’ services in matters such as registrations, exchange issues and substitutive courses. It was clear from the start that everything at the service points was still in the early stages and some of the personnel were new. All members of the test group were ultimately referred elsewhere to deal with their issues. In case you have questions related to exchange, please note that International Exchange Services are located in the room next to Student Services. In matters related to course equivalences and registering study modules, you will be best served by your subject’s training officers, whose contact information you can get from the service points or from the pages of the service point teams.

Services get better with routine

All in all, it would seem that you will most likely receive help from the service points in general faculty-level issues. Service was friendly and you only had to wait for a few minutes. The staff always tried to find someone who could help you with your issue. Part of the personnel now have almost entirely new tasks and do not necessarily know all about the courses available at the faculties or the faculties’ special characteristics yet.

The Student Union believes that the most obvious challenges are the lack of trilingualism and privacy: signs near the service points are good enough for international students and it was not possible to discuss things in private at the service points.

The University hopes to receive feedback on the new Student Services. You can give it to them at here. You can also ask for further information in all situations from the members of the board and specialists at HYY.