HYY has made its music corporations several offers to keep them rehearsing at the Old Student House “Vanha”
The Student Union of the University of Helsinki HYY and the four music corporations within it have for two years now negotiated on the use of the Music Hall in the Old Student House “Vanha”. During this time HYY has made the corporations, together with Royal Ravintolat restaurants that runs the Old Student House’s business, several offers about the terms by which they could continue rehearsing in the building’s venues. Unfortunately, a solution that the music corporations would accept is yet to be reached.
– At the moment we are negotiating on how the costs of using the Old Student House could be split and on which terms we can guarantee continuity for the music corporations’ operation in the building. What needs to be settled also is who is going to be the customer of Royal Ravintolat: the Student Union or the music corporations, explains Mari Kyllönen, HYY Chair of the Board.
Both in 2013 and 2014, HYY has offered to continue its annual financial support of 60 000 € to the music corporations. The sum has remained the same since the Old Student House was run by the restaurant company of the HYY Group. HYY has allocated the amount to continue to support the music corporations also in its budget for the year 2015.
Since January 2015, HYY has been assessing the consequences of the Administrative Court’s ruling (28 Jan 2015) on the situation. According to the court’s ruling, HYY’s representative council had not adequately heeded a clause in its administrative regulations, which state that “the Student Union shall pay special attention to preserve traditions of the Old Student House and to secure the activities of the Student Union and various student organisations which take place there”, when the council decided that HYY’s Board did not exceed its jurisdiction when it set a minimum level for the student union’s own activity at the Old Student House.
– While negotiating with the music corporations, HYY has made sure to take into account the long traditions choirs and orchestras have at the Old Student House – and also to come to an agreement on how the music corporations could continue to rehearse in the building, Kyllönen stresses.
Before Royal Ravintolat started to run the Old Student House’s business Jan 2 2014, it had – together with HYY – made the music corporations two offers concerning the rehearsal facilities. The corporations were also offered substitutive facilities in the Mechelinia Hall, which experts had found to be appropriate in its acoustic properties, at Domus Gaudium at Kamppi in the city centre. The corporations rejected both suggestions and instead notified that they have a prerogative to use the facilities at the Old Student House regardless of any decisions made by HYY. These claimed exclusive rights are an ongoing case in the District Court of Helsinki still pending ruling.
HYY and Royal Ravintolat presented their fourth and latest offer to the music corporation in February 2015. It comprised four weekly rehearsals in the Old Student House’s Music Hall or in The Great Hall. In addition, the music corporations would be allowed to reserve other venues at the Old Student House at cut-rate prices. The annual costs would total 150 000–170 000 €, and HYY would continue to cover 60 000 € of the costs every year.
– HYY and the music corporations share the view that both music and business belong and fit to the Old Student House. During the entire process, HYY has been willing to continue its financial support to the corporations just like before. We certainly hope that the Old Student House’s venues will be filled with music again soon.
Mari Kyllönen, HYY Chair of the Board
tel. +358 50 543 9610
More on the case on HYY’s website: