HYY150: The Student Union celebrates its 150th Anniversary

The Student Union’s grand Anniversary year culminates in a series of events in November.

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki is celebrating its 150-year journey this year. In November, HYY is organising over 30 Anniversary events of various sizes. The Student Union will celebrate its 150th Anniversary at the Old Student House on 24. On HYY’s actual Anniversary date, Monday 26 November, we will host the influencing event Tomorrow is shaped NOW in the Old Student House, turning our eyes towards the future. The HYY150 Festival, preceding the Anniversary weekend, is also full of interesting events.

HYY150 Festival on 10–24 November 2018

The HYY150 Festival puts together the most exciting events of the organisations, student nations and committees operating under HYY. The events will be organised for two weeks on the campuses of the University and in key areas of Helsinki. The programme includes concerts, discussion events and seminars.


The Festival is opened by the grand concert of the Student Union’s musical corporations, titled Tulen synty (‘the origin of fire’). The concert is held in the Great Hall of the University on Saturday 10 November and features symphony orchestra Ylioppilaskunnan Soittajat, male choir Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat, female choir Lyran and male choir Akademen. The evening’s programme offers a taste of the wide skillset of the musical corporations.

Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat will also perform on Thursday 22 November on the stage of Apollo Live Club. The YLtamat concert is full of light music and includes quartets and pop songs arranged for a male choir, for instance.

The Perspectives ’18 – Electronic music in HYY concert organised by Synkooppi ry, the organisation of musicology students, celebrates the shared history of the electronic music studio of HYY and the University of Helsinki. The concert is inspired by HYY’s 100th anniversary record, Perspectives ’68 – Music in Finland, released in November 1968. The concert is held in the Orion cinema on Saturday 17 November.


Many of the Festival’s other events take a look at the Student Union’s past. The historical photo exhibition Pioneers by HYY’s Development Cooperation Committee showcases the student movement’s role in development cooperation from the 1950s to the present day. The exhibition is open to everyone and tours the campuses of the City Centre, Kumpula and Viikki on 12–24 November.

You can also learn about HYY’s history in the Anniversary seminars of the Friends of the History of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki, open to everyone. The We never made it to finals seminar provides an overview of students’ party culture on Wednesday 14 November. The English-language Let the imagination reign! – Long term impacts of the 1968 student revolt, on the other hand, deals with the legacy of the 1968 student movement in the spirit of the occupation of the Old Student House 50 years ago. The latter seminar is held in the Music Hall of the Old Student House on Thursday 22 November.

For those interested in the history of student nations, there are guided tours available in two student nation houses. The theme of the tour held at the house of Nylands Nations on 19 November is the occupation of the building in 1918. On 12 November, open doors at Hämäläisten talo allow you to view both the house itself and an art exhibition featuring rarely exhibited pieces of art.

Discussion events

The HYY150 Festival also includes seminars and discussion events where expert speeches are combined with student perspectives. The theme of the FutureWorks event organised by HYY’s working life sector is the work of the future. The large working life event is organised at the Think Corner on Wednesday 21 November and features keynote speeches on issues such as digitalisation, robotisation and technological development as well as discussion panels and workshops. The event is free and open to everyone.

The Luokka & Yliopisto (‘Class & University’) discussion panel organised on Monday 19 November by the Independent Left deals with the status of students with a working-class background in an academic environment. The panellists discussing the theme are Social Scientist, Psychotherapist Katriina Järvinen and Doctoral Researcher Susanna Mikkonen.

Kompleksi ry’s event at Terkko Health Hub on Friday 16 November, on the other hand, focuses on encountering sexual and gender minorities in patient work. The event is hosted by Trasek ry’s vice chair, Kasper Kivistö.


RunoSoul 2018, a poetry event organised by students of Finnish literature and comparative literature, brings debutant poets and music onto the Vintti stage of Korjaamo Culture Factory on Wednesday 14 November. The traditional event is held for the fifteenth time this year, featuring poets Stina Saari, Miia Kontro, Tuukka Pietarinen and Nelli Ruotsalainen. The jury includes essayist and translator Antti Nylén and poetry researcher Katja Seutu.

HYY’s members have produced supplementary activities to celebrate the Anniversary year in connection with the Helsinki Art Museum HAM’s Gilbert & George exhibition, too. In THE MAJOR STUDENT DAY event organised on the museum’s premises on Thursday 22 November, the exhibition will be supplemented by activities such as a zine workshop by the Groteski magazine, Sub ry’s work of art appro and Kumous ry’s discussion panel on the future. Those who have a student card will also have free entry.

The festival will culminate in HYY’s 150th Anniversary at the Old Student House on 24 November.

Tomorrow is shaped NOW, 26 November

HYY’s actual Anniversary is celebrated on Monday 26 November, and the Tomorrow is shaped NOW influencing event is held on the date. The event will fill the Old Student House with future-oriented speeches and topics that cover a wide spectrum of society.

The two stages in the event will host discussions on wide-reaching themes related to the future from the perspective of the student movement. The topics include sustainable development, corporate responsibility, students’ social security, the work of the future, students’ mental health, climate anxiety and leadership.

In the event, we will also look back on the occupation of the Old Student House, which happened 50 years ago.

Come and celebrate the 150-year-old Student Union of the University of Helsinki!