Equality is one of our core values. LYY is an intersectionally feminist and anti-racist student union that strives for responsibility and sustainability.
With this declaration, we want to remind you of our commitment to anti-racism and human rights. We want to tell you how we ourselves operate now and in the future, and what kind of changes we hope to see in society.
We recognize that there is structural racism and other prejudices in our operations as well. We are trying to identify and eliminate these problems, and we also need the help of our members and stakeholders to do so. LYY hopes that you tell us how we could improve our performance. LYY actively updates its information and learns from mistakes.
LYY takes all discrimination and harassment very seriously, and it will not be tolerated at all. LYY has two harassment contact persons that you can turn to. In addition, we coordinate the anti-harassment activities of our subject associations. LYY also offers legal aid.
LYY can be contacted in problematic situations either through the harassment contact persons (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org), anonymously through the feedback form, or in serious cases also through legal aid (email@example.com).
For us, anti-racism is active and conscious action against all forms of racism. We strive to make LYY as diverse and inclusive as possible: Everyone can participate and present their thoughts in a way that they are valued. All kinds of people have power, and space to use their voice and make decisions. We also want to act as an example so that organizations and individuals within LYY can recognize their own privileges and racism in its various forms: everyday, structural or internalized racism.
Anti-racism and internationality in LYY:
- The principles for common space apply to LYY’s events and facilities.
- Equality is a basic principle of the student union. LYY has an up-to-date Equality and non-discrimination plan. The purpose of the plan is to tell how the student union and its actors promote equality in the student union, student organizations and the university. All institutions and officials of the student union are responsible for the implementation of the plan – especially the council of representatives, the LYY board, general secretary and specialists.
- LYY prefers anonymous recruitment whenever it is appropriate. Selection criteria do not take into account factors unrelated to the performance of tasks, such as a person’s gender, age, ethnic background, citizenship, conviction, political opinion, sexual orientation, pregnancy or disability.
- Harassment contact persons help in investigating harassment situations.
- Legal aid advises members in serious situations.
- We participate in SYL’s trainings. We obtain additional training ourselves, if and when we need it in a certain theme.
- Internationality can be seen in LYY’s operations, for example, in the Internationality committee. We try to take into account both international degree students and exchange students in all our activities. For example, LYY’s communication is also done in English as much as possible.
- In collaboration with the University of Lapland, LYY also participates in recruiting international tutors and tutoring international students.
- LYY is bringing back LYY Disku events, i.e. open discussion sessions. The first LYY Disku is planned to be organized in Meidän Lovisa café with the topic of (anti)racism at the University of Lapland. The purpose is to hear especially those who have faced racism.
- LYY starts recurring surveys that are sent to all members at regular intervals. The surveys are designed in such a way that they provide as much comparable data as possible. One part of the survey is related to equality and non-discrimination. The questionnaires can also have changing parts, for example focus on racism.
- LYY’s council of representatives will approve the updated student policy paper this autumn. The plan is to introduce internationality into the policy paper as a new theme, and also take global policy into account.
- LYY is renewing and developing its organization assistance and distribution of the LYY Grant. The purpose is to establish an organization register. With the help of the register, qualitative elements can also be included in the LYY grant, in which case we can promote anti-racism and non-discrimination also among LYY’s organizations with the help of an incentive.
Lapland is one of Finland’s most international regions. The following measures would improve the status of international students and workers:
- Removal of tuition fees from students coming from outside the EU and EEA countries
- Increasing international degree education
- Speeding up access to work for skilled workers
- Strengthening the integration of immigrants
- Common northern working area and removal of border barriers
- Strengthening the role of northern educational organizations and ensuring their funding
LYY unequivocally condemns all racism and discrimination in society. Finland is one of the most racist countries in Europe, and we demand active actions from everyone to eradicate racism. The Finnish government should also consider, among other things, the prohibition of organized racism in the criminal law.
This declaration has been approved at the board meeting 21/2023.