What is VYY?
The Student Union of the University of Vaasa (VYY) was founded in 1968 by students as their own community, to which every undergraduate student of University of Vaasa belongs. There are about 4100 members in total. The status of the Student Union is based on the Universities Act and the Regulation on the Student Union.
VYY’s main purpose is to handle supervision of student interests in education, social policy and international affairs at the University, in the city of Vaasa and nationally. VYY also offers various services to its members, as well as organizational and support services to organizations and associations operating within VYY.
The history of VYY can be found in the History of VYY (available in Finnish), first published in 2004.
The Student Union of the University of Vaasa organizational model relies on traditional representative democracy, where members choose their own representatives in the highest decision-making body elections, in which all those who are eligible can enter as a candidates for election into the Representative Council. The Representative Council, in turn, elects the executive body, the student union Executive Board, to represent them and to make decisions.
VYY operates within the framework of the Finnish legislation and its own rules. In addition to these, the Student Union operations are driven, inter alia, by the Action Plan approved by the Board of Representatives.
The Secretary General is the only member of the Secretariat selected by the Representative Council. The Secretary-General acts as the supervisor of the student union workers.
The Student Union is a community composed of its members, which finances its operations mainly through membership fee income. The Student Union’s Representative Council defines the amount of the membership fee on an annual basis. Similarly, the Representative Council approves the annual budget, according to which the Board of Directors and the secretariat acts.
The membership fee also includes the Student Health Foundation Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) annual fee. The amount of the FSHS fee is decided annually by the FSHS delegation. In the 2000s, the FSHS fee has amounted to about 37% of the Student Union membership fee. The total membership fee also includes the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) membership fee.
In addition to the membership fees, the Student Union receives income from the proceeds of their primary activities and business proceeds. Proceeds from primary activities include, for instance, the entrance fees of culture and leisure activities, profits from business cooperation and rent income from the Leipis rental facilities. The Student Union’s business activities have been differentiated into a separate company, which rents out the Domus Bothnica facilities.
The history of the student building Domus Bothnica reaches back all the way to the founding of the Student Union of the University of Vaasa, which at the time was still a school of economics (Vaasan kauppakorkeakoulu). The project of acquiring a student building has been pushed forward throughout the years more or less actively, with the proposed location ranging between the Leipätehdas building in the city centre to a location nearby the Vaasa railway station.
Actual organized work to fund the building was started in 1983 by founding a development fund. The fund was financed through membership fees, revenue from the Student Union’s business ventures and fundraisers. Following more than two decades of this ground work, the active process of acquiring the building began. After a petition in 2005, the city of Vaasa granted the Student Union a lot reservation for the building at its current location on the University Campus area.
The building, which was named Domus Bothnica - Vaasan ylioppilastalo in a student naming contest, was completed in 2008. It currently houses the office of the Student Union of the University of Vaasa as well as several rental spaces, including the Wärtsilä hall and ABB sauna rental facilities.
For more information and reservations, visit the Domus Bothnica website.