The speech of the Chair of the OYY Board in the Occupation of the University of Oulu

Dear students,

I’m both sad and happy to see you all here today. I’m sad because even though we tried to make our voice heard and tell the politicians that our income is not enough, it has not been heard or taken seriously. Even before the elections we hung below the poverty line and tried to balance between studies, work and taking a loan. At the same time inflation made our lives even more unbearable and we tried to recover from the mental health crisis that covid-19 pandemic sped up. Now the situation has become intolerable. The cuts that the government is planning to direct towards us students will leave us almost empty handed. How can we study full time, when the fear about our income will grow beyond its limits? 

The ones who have the power, I speak directly to you now. One of our governments goals is to get higher education to 50 percent of the age group. How do you think you can make this goal, if you decide to make students’ living worse so drastically? Instead of making the cuts you should support us. It would help us to complete our studies well and get us to work-life soon after our graduation. The cuts that have been planned will affect us in an opposite way: our studies will slow down, because we have to supplement our livelihood by working beside our full-time studies. Alternatively we have to raise a loan, and after graduation we will bear a massive loan burden on our shoulders.

Dear students, I’ll now come back to you. I will tell you why I’m so happy to see you all here today. I am happy and proud of you, because you have decided to take this matter in your own hands and demonstrate on a matter that concerns us all. Who else would know the best about our worries than us? Together our combined voice will go loud and far – hopefully even to the Government’s cabinets.  That is something we need to take care of now and in the future. 

With these words I want to show the Student Union’s support to this demonstration. 


Suvi-Anna Salminen

OYY Chair of the Board

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