This our current platform in the council of Student Union of University of Turku. We currently hold two seats in the council.
TOSY’s platform (years 2014-2015)
Student Union Issues
Making the Student Union more approachable:We thank the Student Union on its recent steps toward a more active and smooth communications. Nevertheless, there is still much work to be done in order to familiarize every student union member with the student union’s services and work. The post of communications officer must be made permanent. The Student Union website should be revamped to reflect a more international approach.
Support for the sub-organisations:The student union is present in the students’ everyday life through its sub-organisations. The work done by the sub-organisations is irreplaceable. Financial aid for sub-organisations should not be cut. Differences between sub-organisations should be considered when distributing financial aid. Especially small sub-organisations should be supported. Financial aid in itself is not enough, so quality training and social functions should be arranged for the volunteers working at sub-organisations. Mentoring of sub-organisations should be made more effective.
International students are part of the student union:International degree and exchange students compose more than ten percent of the student union members, but most of the information and services are not available in English. Communications in English must be increased and improved. International students must be seen as equal members of the student union and not as a small specialty group that is only interested in its own affairs. Student union committees and student council must be completely open to English-speaking members also.
Bring back university democracy: During the last years power in the university has been centralized to a small number of leaders and democratic institutions are only used to rubber-stamp the leaders’ decisions. Democratic decision-making has been marginalized by invoking false efficiency. This has to be changed! Real democracy and equal decision-making must be brought back to the university! Power must be transferred from leaders and central administration to the university collegium, faculty boards and other democratic work-groups. Opportunities of direct democracy and influencing must be adopted in subjects, faculties and the whole university.
Flexible ways of studying: The university should offer alternative, more flexible ways of studying to shorten study times and to take account different situations in students’ lives. Studying should be possible during all times of the year by increasing summer study opportunities and electronical exams. The possibilities of internet-based learning must be taken seriously.
Graduating in recommended time must be a real possibility: Studying times aren’t going to shorten by punishing the students. All obstacles to graduating in recommended time must be abolished. Mandatory courses and seminars must be held at least once a year.
Adequate studying and student environments: Students and staff deserve adequate and healthy environments with modern equipment. The situation is especially worrying in the Fennicum building, and the university should examine whether the building is safe and fit for teaching. The university should adopt a consistent and sensible policy on studying and working environments, with a comprehensive survey of all the university buildings. Students need more room for reading, writing, studying and relaxing.
Free and equal education for everyone: Education benefits both the student and the society: we absolutely reject the idea of tuition fees for both Finnish and foreign students. Higher education should not be inherited, but instead allow real social mobility.
Affordable housing is a student’s fundamental right: Student’s housing allowance should not depend on making progress in studies. Housing allowance should be paid also during the summer months. The student union must continue to lobby both the Student Village Foundation and the city of Turku to ensure the availability of affordable student housing.
Politics is a benefit: A student is also a citizen and a tax payer. The Social Democratic Students have connections to places outside the student union, where decisions are being made on larger issues in society. When you vote a social democratic student, you know what you are getting.