During its history of more than 50 years, the Student Union at the University of Oulu has been an advocate for students, emphasizing our Northern position. It has been – and still is – an integral part of the academic community of the University of Oulu.
OYY was founded in the autumn of 1959 to nurture the mental well-being of the students and to advocate their economic welfare, and to promote education, morality and order. The Student Union has organised various events, looked after the students’ everyday life as well as built student housing.
The Student Union even became one of the biggest restaurateurs in Oulu when it needed business to finance the constructions. Eventually, the building and business got so big that they were separated to the Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland (PSOAS) and to Oulun ylioppilasapu ry (“Student Help Association in Oulu”) at the beginning of the 1970s. The beginning of the decade was also a time of intense political turmoil in Finland. Student activists were arguing on the pages of the student newspaper and they made reciprocal agreements to appoint people to the central authority positions. The professors got harsh critique, and at worst, they we seen to represent reaction and the interests of high finance. After the political turmoil subsided, the ordinary students started to demand more down-to-earth actions from their Student Union to promote the wellbeing in everyday life.
The OYY still advocates student benefits in many ways even though the working relationship between the students and the Student Union is not as close as it used to be in the beginning. During the last decades, the advocacy work has grown more professional, and the Student Union even has a place around the University’s highest negotiation tables. You can read more about the OYY’s history (in Finnish!) from the History of the Student Union at the University of Oulu, which you can buy at the Student Union’s office.