How does the Student Union function?

The Student Union of the University of Oulu is a self-governing public corporation with its status defined in the Finnish Universities Act. The Student Union works under the regulations approved by the rector of the University.

§46 of the Universities Act states the following about the purpose of a student union:

“The purpose of the student union is to act as a link between its members and to promote their societal, social and intellectual aspirations and their aspirations regarding studies and students’ status in society. The student union shall participate in the performance of the educational mission of the university referred to in Section 2 by preparing students for an active, cognizant and critical citizenship.”

This page provides information on the ways we fulfil that statutory purpose. The Student Council exercises the highest decision-making power in the Student Union. The students democratically elect the members of the Council, and anyone eligible can stand as a candidate. The Student Council appoints the Board, which wields the Student Union’s executive power. The Student Union also has various sections that work to support the Student Council and the Board. The sections are open to all members of the Student Union and offer an opportunity to bring your opinions forward to the decision-making bodies.

The Secretary General exercises political authority in the Student Union and is the only one of the secretariat elected by the Council. The Secretary General is the head of staff at the Student Union and the link between the OYY and its partners.

The Student Council is the supervisor of your interests. Among other things, the Council decides how the membership fees are used. The Council represents you in the Student Union.

The Student Council is comprised of 37 members and it is the highest decision-making body in the Student Union of the University of Oulu. The members are elected through the Student Council elections, which are held every odd year in the autumn. All members of the Student Union can stand as candidates in the elections. The Council is lead by the chair of the Student Union. The Council defines the policies of the Student Union and determines the membership fee. Simply put, the Student Council decides how the membership fees are used. The Council prepares the budget for the Board and establishes the framework for the activity of the Student Union.

The Student Council also elects the Secretary General and the editor-in-chief of Oulu Student Magazine. The meetings of the Student Council are open to everyone. You are welcome to come and find out what the current issues in the Student Union are and how your membership fee is used.

Tino Nissinen
President of the Student Council
Jussi Vaara
Vice President of the Student Council

The Board of the Student Union provides a gateway to the core of student policy. The Board is the essence of the Student Union.

As a collective, the Board supervises the Secretary General and is responsible for the recruiting of staff, except for the editor-in-chief of Oulu Student Magazine and the Secretary General who are elected by the Student Council.

The Board works in close cooperation with the committees and sections. The members of the Student Union can influence the Board’s statements and comments and have their opinions heard in the Board through the committees and sections. All eligible members of the Student Union can stand as candidates for the Board. If you are interested in joining the Board, do contact the Secretary General or one of the Student Council’s groups.

The Council elects the Board for a one-year term at the end of each year. But if you’re interested to sit on the Board, you should be active well in advance!

Miriam Putula
Chair of the Board
Teemu Virtanen
Vice Chair of the Board
Zacharias Hellberg
Member of the Board
Salli Kärkkäinen
Member of the Board
Edgar Minyoi
Member of the Board
Nuuti Vasari
Member of the Board
Benjamin Michelin
Member of the Board
Jonna Hyttinen
Member of the Board

There are several active sections in the Student Union. They discuss and take a stand on current issues affecting student life, prepare proposals for the Board and organise events.

In the sections you can learn how the Student Union works to improve student life. At the same time, you can show your skills and develop your expertise further in a good company.

KuJa – Cultural Affairs Section

The Cultural Affairs Section (KuJa) works in the core of the student experience by organising activities and events, looking for new ways to promote the student culture and participating in the arrangements for the Student Union’s events, such as Vulcanalia and Amazing Oulu. You are welcome to join the section at any time! For more information, check out the section’s Facebook group Kulttuuri- ja tapahtumajaosto OYY and subscribe to the mailing list

Section for Supervision of Interests

Every student in the Section for Supervision of Interests is an expert on student life. We discuss the current educational and social issues and student life at the university and in the country. We speak bluntly about things without avoiding even the sore subjects.

The Section for Supervision of Interests thinks up new ways of adding flexibility to the studies and how to improve the study environment of the campus and develops ways to make the student voice heard at the University, in the City of Oulu and in national level.  The section also reflects on what kind of impact the decisions the Finnish parliament makes on academic affairs have on the student life and studies.

The purpose of the Section for Supervision of Interests of the Student Union of the University Oulu is to raise awareness among university students concerning present-day issues and interests related to them. In addition, the Section for Supervision of Interests acts as an easily engageable means of attending the operations of the Student Union. The Section for Supervision of Interests organizes events, campaigns, visits, and discussions related to present-day topics and issues

Meetings are  bilingual (in Finnish and In English).

Section for Environmental Affairs

Is there an environmental activist in you? The Section for Environmental Affairs discusses and promotes a more ecological way of life. The section influences the environmental affairs in the Student Union, at the University and in the city of Oulu. The section creates campaigns and activities related to the environment and its future. In the section you can also discuss issues related to development cooperation. Subscribe to the mailing list (ymppajaosto(at) and pop in to our meetings. It’s time to do a service to the environment!

Committee for Economic Affairs

The Committee for Economic Affairs is an expert body with the main task of planning the future economy of the Student Union and keeping it stable. In the committee you will become familiar with the overall picture of the Student Union’s economy, and you’ll learn to prepare motions on issues relating to the economy of the Student Union to the Board and the Student Council. The committee prepares the budget and the medium-term plan, discusses the current holdings and plans the future action regarding the Student Union’s property.

In the Committee for Economic Affairs you’ll learn long-term planning, how to be responsible and how the economy of a public corporation is managed. The Student Union is financed by membership fees, and so all the decisions have a direct effect on the students’ pockets. The committee monitors the OYY’s economy together with the Secretary General and the Board. The committee is comprised of six members and the chairman of the Board. The secretary of the committee is the Secretary General of the Student Union. The Committee for Economic Affairs differs from the other committees in that its term lasts for two years, and every other year half of the members resign. If you wish to be part of the economic committee, keep an eye on the recruitment ads at the end of the year.

Doctoral Students’ Section

The new section for postgraduate students began its activities in the autumn 2013. The section aims to work both as a platform for socializing and for promoting the interests of doctoral students at the University of Oulu and at the student union. Welcome! We will notify of any events via the doctoralstudents-list.

Skip to content