Press releases


Elina Nieminen becomes Executive Director of the AYY

Elina Nieminen has been elected Executive Director of the Aalto University’s Student Union, the AYY, for the next three-year term. The selection was done by the Council of the AYY in its meeting on 17.4.2019.

Previously, Nieminen has worked, amongst other things, as the leader of the volunteers of Ruisrock. Last year, he helmed the AYY’s Community structures project. Previously, he has acted as a Member of the Board of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki and in numerous other positions of responsibility.

“The feeling’s just fantastic!”, Nieminen commented, fresh from the selection. “I’m very grateful for the trust and I am looking forward for the next three years.”

Nieminen is beginning her work by familiarising herself with things during the spring and summer, and her term will go on until April 2022.

The Aalto University Student Union (AYY) is a service and interest organisation for around 14,000 students of Aalto University. Tasks of the Executive Director include close cooperation with the Board and Representative Council. Cooperation with stakeholders and representing the Student Union are also a central part of the Executive Director’s tasks. Executive Director directs multiple teams and acts as the manager of approximately 20 employees. Executive Director replaces the current post of General Secretary.

Further information:

The incumbent General Secretary Niko Ferm,, tel. 050 520 9415
The new Executive Director Elina Nieminen,, tel. 040 681 9612

AYY Crowns Manta on the Eve of the First of May – Wappu Appeal Ongoing to Raise Funds for Mental Health Work

Aalto University Student Union AYY

Press release

8 Apr 2019

Free for immediate release

This year, it is Aalto University Student Union AYY’s turn to crown the Havis Amanda statue at Helsinki’s Market Square on the eve of the First of May. The event begins with the cleaning of the statue at 5 pm, and the white student cap is laid on Manta’s curls at 6.00 pm.

The Cap itself has already come out of its hibernation and commenced its journey towards Manta. For example, the Cap has been sledding at the students’ Shrove Tuesday party at Ullanlinnanmäki and enjoyed the best student’s life in the world at various events of the Aalto community.

For students, Wappu is a joyous and rowdy party year after year. Unfortunately, however, research shows that from the year 2000 to the present day, psychological problems have become more common among students. According to the Finnish Student Health Service (2016), 30 per cent of students show symptoms of mental health issues. The most common problems were a constant feeling of overexertion, feeling unhappy and depressed, not sleeping because of worries, and losing self-confidence. The change in students’ wellbeing can also be seen in the Aalto community.

Last week, the Cap was honoured to take part in the first-year students’ Fuksipeijaiset, in connection with which Aalto University Student Union’s Freshman Committee opened the Wappupotti appeal to collect funds for mental health services. The original goal was to raise 500 euros but, with this sum being collected in minutes, the goal was increased to 10 000 euros.  The purpose of the appeal is to evoke discussion and to shatter the taboo surrounding mental health issues – and, of course, to support the important work of the Finnish Association for Mental Health. AYY also wants to remind everyone that in the midst of the busy and eventful Wappu frolics, it is important to take care of yourself and others and to ask your family, friends and yourself how you are really doing.

Before the eve of the First of May, there is still plenty that Manta’s Cap will get up to. It will be meeting with political decision-makers, influencers, prominent figures as well as Aalto University alumni. Discussions will be had on at least mental health, the environment and, of course, Wappu. You can follow the Cap’s journey and visits on Instagram with the hashtag #matkallamantalle.

More information:

Producer Niina Palm,, 050 520 9435

Communications Specialist Henna Palonen,, 050 520 9440

Wappu appeal: (in Finnish)

The Finnish Student Health Service 2016:

AYY has appointed the Chair of the Representative Council and the former of the Board for 2019

Press release

Aalto University Student Union

1 Nov 2018

Free for immediate release


AYY has appointed the Chair of the Representative Council and the former of the Board for 2019

The Representative Council of Aalto University Student Union (AYY) has appointed the Chair of the Representative Council and the former of the Board for the year 2019 in their meeting on Thursday 1 Nov 2018. Next year, Werneri Huhtinen will act as the Chair of the Representative Council and Tapio Hautamäki as the former of the Board.

Werneri Huhtinen is a fifth-year student of the School of Chemical Technology. “Representative Council work has become important for me in the last years, and I want to do my share in influencing the flexibility and effectivity of the Student Union’s centre of decision-making,” says Huhtinen.

Tapio Hautamäki is a Student Union active from the School of Science. “The Aalto community has offered me the best student’s life in the world: successes, discussions that have broadened my world and great people that have been wonderful to work with. This is the community and the student’s life I want to promote as the former of next year’s Board,” says Hautamäki.

The former of the Board will make a proposal on the AYY Board for 2019 to the Representative Council, who will appoint the new Board in its meeting on 20 Nov 2018.

Aalto University Student Union AYY is the service and advocacy organisation for approximately 14 000 Aalto University students. AYY acts as its members’ advocate particularly in matters regarding educational policies and social benefits for students. The Representative Council is AYY’s highest decision-making organ who, for example, appoints the Student Union’s Board and decides upon its budget.


More information:

Niko Ferm, Secretary General,, 050 520 9415

AYY: Suvi Vendelin to chair SYL in 2019

Press release

Aalto University Student Union

4 Oct 2018

Free for release

Aalto University Student Union AYY nominates Suvi Vendelin as their candidate for Chair of the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) for 2019.

Suvi Vendelin. Kuva: Johanna Vuorelma

Vendelin, 24, studies architecture at Aalto University. This year, she has been a member of the AYY Board and in charge of Educational Policy advocacy and Development Cooperation. During the year, Vendelin’s duties have included e.g. coordinating and directing the 130 student representatives at Aalto and monitoring the implementation of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s vision for higher education. Previously, Vendelin has, for instance, acted as Chair of AYY’s Study Council and been on the Board  and held several positions in Aalto University’s Guild of Architecture.

“Next year will be of primary importance to the student movement. Three elections, negotiations over the Government Programme and Finland’s EU Presidency demand attention from each student influencer,” emphasises Vendelin.

“Suvi’s advocacy abilities are unparalleled at Aalto as well as on a national level. She has worked hard and open-mindedly to make influencing work more visible in the community and succeeded in this mission often thought impossible,” states AYY Chair of the Board Noora Vänttinen.

SYL will elect its Board for 2019 in its General Assembly in Otaniemi on 16–17 November. SYL represents university students in Finland on national level and makes statements on issues relating to educational and social policies as well as international issues.

More information:

Suvi Vendelin,, 040 752 4692

AYY Chair of the Board Noora Vänttinen,, 050 520 9420

More than 50 free subevents at the Otaniemi Night of Arts art festival

Press release
Aalto University Student Union
Free for release from 21 Sept 2018

Aalto University Student Union AYY combines forces with student organisations and sets up Otaniemi Night of Arts, an interartistic art festival, on Saturday 6 Oct. The full programme of the free event aimed at all residents of the metropolitan area has now been published.

Otaniemi Night of Arts is a new kind of art festival organised for the first time on the Otaniemi campus of Aalto University. The event, taking place on the first Saturday of October, is characterised by student initiative and a broad conception of art.

The festival consists of more than 50 independent subevents organised by Aalto University students and other members of the Aalto community. The event is coordinated by the Student Union.

“We were delighted with the amount and variety of subevents, which exceeded our expectations,” says Julius Laakkonen, who is in charge of artistic activities on the Board of Aalto University Student Union.

Traditional, experimental and surprising art in the programme

All of the more than 50 events in the Otaniemi Night of Arts programme are free of charge. The first events start at 1.30 in the afternoon, and there is plenty of activity around the campus until the early hours.

The programme includes, for example, music from rap to traditional student choirs, dance, media art – and some more unusual works of art, such as a painting to be collectively coloured in using paintball guns. Many of the subevents, such as the art tapestry and ukulele workshops, are suitable for the whole family.

“The range of the events makes Otaniemi the leading arts district in Espoo, at least for a day. Otaniemi will become the Berlin of Espoo,” announces Luukkanen with a twinkle in his eye.

The detailed programme and schedule of the festival can be found at

The student community showcases its creativity

Otaniemi Night of Arts is part of Aalto University Student Union’s theme year, the Year of Art.

The purpose of the year is to highlight the collective creativity of Aalto University’s interdisciplinary student community. Hence, the festival is being organised by a combination of students from all Aalto schools as well as several student associations from hobby clubs to subject organisations.

The free event is aimed at all citizens.

“At the Student Union, we see daily that the Aalto community is capable of a multitude of things. I’m excited that we can now invite the whole metropolitan area to get to know the artistic, surprising side of our community,” remarks Luukkanen.


More information and interview requests: Tero Uuttana, Student Advocacy Specialist for ARTS students, 050 520 9439 or

Festival programme and schedule:

Festival website:

Facebook event:

Football player Katarina Naumanen is Aalto Athlete of 2018

Aalto University Student Union (AYY) is presenting football player Katarina Naumanen with the award of Aalto Athlete of 2018. The winner was announced at the Aalto 10km/5km running event on Sunday 16 Sept 2018. Naumanen was not able to attend the event herself but will receive the award from the Student Union at a later point in time.

Naumanen plays football for the women’s league team of Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi (HJK), which is one the most successful teams in Finnish football history. Naumanen plays defence, and additionally coaches the girls’ team of HJK.

Naumanen is also in Finland’s national women’s football team. She played her first international match in February 2014 and, by the end of 2018, she has played a total of 16 international matches.

Naumanen graduated last spring from Aalto University’s Bachelor’s programme in Economics and Business Administration and is presently continuing her master’s level studies.

The AYY Board chooses the Aalto Athlete of the year based on the suggestions made by members of the Student Union. In addition to sports achievements, the selection criteria emphasise academic performance and fair and honest participation in the student community’s activities.

Fellow students gave the following reasons for selecting Naumanen:

“Katarina Naumanen has a phenomenal ability to combine elite sport and studying and to succeed in both sectors. In addition to studying and sports, Katarina has managed to make space in her calendar for taking part in student associations’ activities, too. Kata has been an active member of Nordiska Ekonomie Studerandes Union (NESU) which promotes the collaboration of Nordic economy students, the sports tutoring association EnerKY and the Women of Aalto association. In these associations’ activities, Kata’s sunny and encouraging personality cheers up everyone around her. You rarely hear her moan about anything.

Those who know Kata say she is always ready to participate and to help, whether it is about organising events or completing course assignments.”

Aalto Athlete of the year is an award presented yearly by Aalto University Student Union. The award is presented to an Aalto student who has gained sporting success at national or international level, is successful in their studies, and is fair and honest in their participation in the student community’s activities.

More information: Lauri Seppäläinen, Board member of Aalto University Student Union