The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) and its four music organisations have reached an agreement on the use of the music hall at the Old Student House. YL Male Voice Choir, Helsinki University Symphony Orchestra, Akademiska Sångföreningen and Akademiska Damkören Lyran will rehearse in the music hall on two evenings a week. The reached agreement on rehearsal hours is valid until the end of 2016.
The agreement renewal will be re-negotiated during 2016. The aim is to establish the Old Student House on an economically and culturally sustainable basis.
– This agreed arrangement preserves student music at its home in the music hall of the Old Student House. We had to half our use of the facilities there, which was a major sacrifice, but we also understand the economic reality in which the Student Union has to operate. The Old Student House is a unique environment for both student culture and restaurant customers, comments Ilkka Penttilä from YL Male Voice Choir.
– After a number of offers and counter-offers on the use of the music hall and its expenses, we finally found a solution, which satisfied both parties. To prolong the ongoing legal processes any further would not have been beneficial to anyone. This agreement is great news for us, our music organisations and particularly for the long cultural traditions at the Old Student House, says HYY's Chair of the Board Mari Lehtoruusu.
The music organisations will celebrate their return to the Old Student House with a brunch organised together with Royal Ravintolat on Sunday, 25 October. Royal Ravintolat takes dinner reservations for the event with musical performances in different halls of the Old Student House.
What has the dispute been all about?
The Student Union and the music organisations have negotiated on the right to use the facilities at the Old Student House for more than two years. In 2013, HYY's Representative Council decided to reduce the Student Union's own activities at the Old Student House and rented the building to Royal Ravintolat for business purposes. As a result, the organisations were forced to discontinue rehearsals at the music hall as of 2014.
In 2013, the dispute on HYY's decision and the use of rehearsal facilities was taken both to the Helsinki Administrative Court and the District Court. All this time, HYY and music organisations have tried to find a solution in the negotiations outside legal processes. In 2015, HYY and the music organisations have met each other particularly actively. As part of the reached agreement, both parties withdraw their claims from the Helsinki Administrative Court. The ongoing disputes in the District Court are laid to rest for the year of 2016 and they will be withdrawn too if negotiations on the agreement renewal are successful in 2016.
HYY rents the rehearsal hours at the music hall for the music organisations from Royal Ravintolat. The agreement between the Student Union and the organisations includes two weeklyfour-hour rehearsals. In addition, the corner room of the music hall is reserved for organisations as a permanent storage space.
Mari Lehtoruusu, HYY Chair of the Board
tel. +35 850 543 9610
mari.lehtoruusu (at) hyy.fi
Ilkka Penttilä, Vice Chairperson, YL Male Voice Choir
tel. +35 840 594 8330
ilkka.k.v.penttila (at) gmail.com