Introducing METKA’s Board for the year 2017!


Chairperson of the Board Maria Jokinen


1. Who are you and what do you study?
My name is Maria Jokinen and i study industrial design

2. What are you going to do in METKA?
I’m the chairperson of METKAs board and responsible for Municipal election lobbying
and influencing interest groups

3. What are you looking forward to the most this year?
Meeting new people and getting to know them

4. What kind of dry soup mix would you be?
Chili tomato puréed soup

Vice Chairperson of the Board Valtteri Markula


1. Who are you and what do you study?
My name is Valtteri Markula and I´m studying midwifery.

2. What are you going to do in METKA?
In this year I´m vice chairperson of the board. I´m also working with member services and communication.

3. What are you looking forward to the most this year?
I can`t wait to meet new wonderful people and challenge myself with new stuff.

4. What kind of dry soup mix would you be?
I hate dry soup mixes more than anything.

Member of the Board Nelli Pihlasviita


1. Who are you and what do you study?
I’m Nelli and I’m studying midwifery.

2. What are you going to do in METKA?
In METKA I’m in the advocacy team and my responsibilities are social policy and sports.

3. What are you looking forward to the most this year?
This year I’m looking forward to the most that plans develop into actions. And a puppy.

4. What kind of dry soup mix would you be?
I’d be an onion soup because you can use it to make delicious meatballs.

Member of the Board Josse Puolokainen


1. Who are you and what do you study?
I’m just gratuated Bachelor of Business Administration (accounting and finance as major)

2. What are you going to do in METKA?
I’ll be working on Member services and Communications. Also student associations are on my reponsibility.

3. What are you looking forward to the most this year?
I’m looking forward to have an impact on developing and building future Metropolia. And of course I’m waiting on working with great colleagues!

4. What kind of dry soup mix would you be?
Propably some Blå Band’s mushroom soup!

Member of the Board Nea-Maria Törmänen


1. Who are you and what do you study?
I’m Nea, a third year student of film and television production management from Hämeentie.

2. What are you going to do in METKA?
I’m going to be responsible for tutoring and organize events together with Vellu, the other person in our team.

3. What are you looking forward to the most this year?
I’m looking forward to new friends and new challenges. I’m also looking forward to the training of new tutors and what all cool and new events we can develop!

4. What kind of dry soup mix would you be?
Chicken noodle soup

Member of the Board Otto Rosenlund


1. Who are you and what do you study?
My name is Otto Rosenlund and I’m a first year information technology student from Espoo.

2. What are you going to do in METKA?
I’m part of the advocacy team in METKA this year. My main area of focus will be educational policy and municipal affairs.

3. What are you looking forward to the most this year?
I’m looking forward to having a meaningful impact in the lives of students. My goal is that our mascot Metku is happy too!

4. What kind of dry soup mix would you be?
Little Italy Wedding Soup Mix with a dash of Illinois Prairie Corn Chowder Mix.

Member of the Board Veli-Matti Wirta


1. Who are you and what do you study?
Veli-Matti “Wellu” Wirta, fourth year Information technology student.

2. What are you going to do in METKA?
I’m part of events and tutoring team, so I’m doing both.

3. What are you looking forward to the most this year?
I’m not sure, we have a lot of new things. Propably new tutor trainings and vappu.

4. What kind of dry soup mix would you be?
No idea. Last week I ate soup with smoked reindeer, it was good.


Tip of the week: Are you fed up with the cross traffic? Help METKA to have an impact on it!

METKA is a part of the Science Tram 2025 campaign along with other student unions in the metropolitan area . The aim of the campaign is to get a fast tram line, similar to Raide-Jokeri,  to improve the cross traffic by the year 2025. The line would go through several campuses and workplaces, from Otaniemi to Myllypuro through Pasila. Why is METKA part of the campaign, how would the student at Metropolia benefit from the line and how can you be a part of it?

Science Tram is a fast tram line that would replace the current bus line 506 and would remarkably straighten, fasten and lengthen the route. In 2019 there will be seven universities, ten campuses and approximately 100 000 workplaces along the Science Tram route from Otaniemi to Viikki and Myllypuro through Pasila. Science Tram would be executed as a modern fast tram which is 10km/h faster than the current central tram, it would move on its own lanes and with better traffic light benefits and it would offer a flowing and undisturbed passage resembling a metro. The bus line 550 will be converted into Raide-Jokeri in a similar way by the year 2021.

A compact answer to the first two questions: Science Tram would connect all Metropolia’s campuses with one interchange at most.

With a more longer answer: The connections for Metropolian students for all campuses would significantly improve, specifically for those travelling from Pasila to Arabia and to the upcoming Myllypuro campus. Every one who has traveled from Pasila to Arabia with the 506 bus knows that there is a demand for a better connection on that stretch. The route in question is at the moment twisty, slow and unreliable. The demand will increase as the number of students will grow at Arabia campus due to the move of Tikkurila campus. Even larger number of students will move to Myllypuro starting from 2018. Myllypuro is easily reachable with a metro from the southern parts of Helsinki and Espoo (once the metro will one day be finished) but the metro will be burdened already shortly after the campus will be finished. In addition, metro doesn’t offer a good connection on Pasila level or to northern parts such as Leppävaara or Myyrmäki. There is, therefore, a demand for a complementary connection for both campuses.

Science Tram would improve the connections also to other universities and central workplaces, such as Pasila and Meilahti. The collaboration with universities is increasing and Meilahti, for example, will remain as a significant workplace area for social and health field. We consider improving the link to working life with concrete actions important.  One line that moves to many campuses is also certain to improve the possibilities for student couples to find a suitable residence for both persons.

Someone may find it weird for students to be involved in such far-reaching campaign: The year 2025 is far away and there will likely be no one of the current students still studying at that time. It is, however, good to keep two things on mind: Apart from universities there are also approximately 100 000 jobs on the route. The likelihood for people to benefit of the line is big. Simultaneously, the connections through Pasila to workplaces among the train tracks will improve. On the other hand, you can think of the previous accomplishments and the current situation of the student movement. For example, each one receiving student allowance or meal subsidy still benefits from the advocacy and actions done by previous student generations.

There’s an easy and great possibility to contribute to students and better cross traffic: We collect names in Helsinki for citizen initiative that aims for council hearing. We demand the Science Tram to be executed with the initiative. Signing the initiative isn’t binding but offers a possibility to get your voice heard for better cross traffic. 

Sign the initiative (people living in Helsinki):

More information:
Follow the campaign on  Facebook:


More information:
Matti Tujula
Advocacy specialist
045 267 0828


METKA tries out the new city bikes!


In May 2016 Helsinki finally got new public bicycles! 500 yellow bicyles were spread among 50 stations around the city. In 2017 the system will triple its’ size and there will be 1500 bicycles and 150 stations.

The fee for using the bikes is a very reasonable 25 € for the season, which lasts until the end of October. You can also pay for one day (5 €) or week (10 €). When the payment is done, the eager cyclist can unlock the bike by showing their HSL Travel card and inserting a PIN.

A city bike can be used for 30 minutes before a small fee is collected from the user. The maximum time without returning the bike is 4 hours.

The bike


The system chosen for Helsinki is by French Moventia & Smoove SAS consortium. The same system is already in use in several cities, for example Vancouver, Starsbourg and Moscow.

Some features of the bike:

  • Three gears
  • Handbrakes
  • A low frame for easy access
  • Lights on the front and back
  • The seat is adjustable without tools
  • A front basket for a bag
  • A fixed cable lock is hidden into the handlebar

Tested by METKA


Matti and Laura from METKA picked up bikes from a station next to Bulevardi campus. Matti rides a bike daily, when Laura has not had a bicycle for some years.

Laura: Good and easy bike for someone who does not ride that much. Nice color and a good seat!

Matti: Very good cycle for biking in a city. The bike turns well and the visibilty when riding is good. The bike was also light to pedal uphill, thanks to the gears. The height of the seat was very easy to adjust!


city bikes and Metropolia

Currently these are the campuses with a city bike station nearby:

  • Agricolankatu (the nearest station Karhupuiston laidalla)
  • Albertinkatu (the nearest stations at the corner of Annankatu & Eerikinkatu and at Hietalahti square)
  • Bulevardi (the nearest station at Hietalahti square)
  • Ruoholahti (the nearest station at Itämeri square, next to the tram stops)

On the summer 2017 there will be 150 stations and the area will continue to Munkkiniemi, Pasila and Kumpula and cover more Metropolia campuses!

City bike stations on map

More information and registration


The starting bang of Myllypuro’s campus on 4.3.2016

Myllypuron alkupamaus

Emmi Paajanen, the chairperson of METKA’s board, gets ready to launch Myllypuro’s  starting bang.

Myllypuron alkupamaus

Metropolia’s project leader Seija Ristimäki says the opening words to the megaphone.

Myllypuron alkupamaus

An orchestra composed of Metropolia’s alumnis plays a fanfare right before the bang.

The starting bang of Myllypuro’s campus was launched by the chairperson of METKA’s board Emmi paajanen. Emmi held the following speech at the event followed by the bang:

Dear representatives of the city, Metropolia ‘s people and other listeners. I’m the chairperson of METKA’s board Emmi Paajanen and I’m here to say a few words about the campus reform and what it can mean to students at its best.


Currently we are spread to almost 20 campuses around the city. It’s easy to form bubbles of the students in your own field and the interdisciplinary between various fields doesn’t genuinely work. Selecting courses from other study fields is challenging due to the numerous campuses. Metropolia’s campus reform is a brave leap towards a more open higher education society and broader study selection. That is exactly what we students want!


For the student union METKA the campus reform represents the improvement to the student services. It is of great importance that the services can be found from the immediate presence of one’s campus. In the future the student union will be able to serve students at their own campuses whether it concers the member services, sports classes or cafe services. We want to be a part in promoting students’  physical and mental well being in their everyday life and we believe that the campus reform will enable all these.


I believe that the campus that will get its start today will form an entirely new student culture to Myllypuro with an East Helsinki vibe. I encourage all decision makers and residents to enjoy the presence of students who will move here – they are the hope, resourses and builders of a vital capital region of the future!

Myllypuron alkupamaus

Helsinki’s assistant city manager Ritva Viljanen speaking at the event in Liikuntamylly.

Myllypuron alkupamaus

Speech given by the CEO-principle Riitta Konkola.

Myllypuron alkupamaus

The chairperson of METKA’s board Emmi Paajanen giving her speech.

METKAn hallituksen puheenjohtaja Emmi Paajanen ja Metropolian toimitusjohtaja-rehtori Riitta Konkola hetkeä ennen alkupamausta

The chairperson of METKA’s board Emmi Paajanen and Metropolia’s CEO-principle Riitta Konkola a moment before the starting bang.


The state of indoor air at Tukholmankatu – What’s the situation?

Problems with indoor air have been perceived during the last couple of years at Tukholmankatu campus. Both teachers and students have been suffering from various symptoms. What is the current situation regarding indoor air and what types of measures have been taken to improve the situation?

A special group for solving the indoor air problems has been working at Tukholmankatu for some time now. Condition surveys have have been conducted in the premises since 2013. Numerous actions have been taken during last autumn based on the reports: There have been changes in the ventilation, specific premises have been taken out of use and the building has been thoroughly cleaned during Christmas holidays. Structures, lead-ins and joints have been sealed to prevent the impurities from getting into indoor air.

After the changes engineering office Vanhanen has been conducting air quality measurements. The results of these measurements will be delivered in February. A survey targeting the staff using the building will be conducted by Vanhanen in the end of February to the beginning of March when the users of the building have spent enough time there for indoor air evaluation. An open discussion will be held at the same time for all students and staff on the issue.  We hope that the taken measures have been efficient. Regional administration bureau and Environment Centre will be reported about the situation.

In spite of the taken measures we have still heard about the symptoms and the continuation of the problems. METKA has actively followed the situation and we are trying to think what to do in those cases where the symptoms continue and studying in the premises becomes impossible. Students should not be in a situation where they have to cancel their studies for a semester or in worst case scenario drop out of studies altogether for reasons they can’t affect.

Member of METKA board Nelli-Maria Sarasmaa is the student representative in the special group regarding indoor air at Tukholmankatu. You can contact her or the Advocacy Specialist of METKA in matters concerning indoor air.

What to do if you continue to have symptoms:

Contact Metropolia’s nurse. It is easier for both Metropolia and METKA to take measures when the extent of the problem is known. Nurses can, in cooperation with study councellors,  begin to figure out the changes that can be made to studying this spring.

Accurate path in Tuubi: For Student → Welfare → Health Care → Helsinki Campuses


Introducing METKA’s board for the year 2016!


In the end of the year 2015 a new board was elected for METKA. The board shared the tasks and responsibilities between the members. But who are these people driving forth the student’s issues? Let them introduce themselves!

Emmi Paajanen, chairperson of the board


1. Who are you and what do you study?
I am Emmi Paajanen, girl from Eastern Finland and third-year business student specializing in leadership.

2. What are your responsibilities at METKA?
I’m chairperson of the board. My main responsibilities are operative leading, municipal election lobbying, influencing interest groups and ownership steering of Opiskelijapalvelut Oy.

3. What do you want to achieve in METKA during your term of office?
Especially I want our board to develop cooperation between student union and student associations, and also marketing of membership and company cooperation.

4. What do you like to do on your free time?
Drink coffee/occasionally something stronger in good company, try to jog and and plan unrealized trips to foreign countries.



1. Who are you and what do you study?
I’m Lauri Karhunen and I’m a fourth year student from the field of Building Services Engineering at Agricola campus.

2. What are your responsibilities at METKA?
I’m a vice chairperson at METKA and I’m responsible for member service matters and co-operation with companies. For example, I’m in charge of METKA tours and the coordination of member acquisition in the board.

3. What do you want to achieve in METKA during your term of office?
I want to focus more on our members, bring our student union closer to students and make sure that the services offered by our Student Union are available to everyone in the future. In addition to these, increasing our co-operation with various companies regarding our events is on the agenda this year.

4. What do you like to do on your free time?
I like to have an impact in the student matters, cook and get familiar with the literature from my own field. It goes without saying that I remember to have fun, meet my friends or watch a good movie with nice people.

Maria Jokinen, member of the board


1. Who are you and what do you study?
My name is Maria Jokinen and I am 1st year student of industrial design

2. What are your responsibilities at METKA?
Communications and Marketing

3. What do you want to achieve in METKA during your term of office?
I want to take communication to the next level, get METKA more visible and also make METKA something what is worth to get in.

4. What do you like to do on your free time?
Sleep, food and love.

Krista Mahlamäki, member of the board


1. Who are you and what do you study?
I’m Krista Mahlamäki and i’m studying biomedical laboratory science at Vanha Viertotie.

2. What are your responsibilities at METKA?
My area of responsibilities this year are education and city politics, lobbying and studentunions. Along with that i’m organizing body of delegates election and KOPPI event.

3. What do you want to achieve in METKA during your term of office?
On my period of rule i want to express student rights and generally promote student activism. This year I want to make sure that in the future we get quality education, which still includes local tuition and which takes the needs of a student into consideration as well as basis and helps with people who have a hard time learning.

4. What do you like to do on your free time?
If I’m not knitting woolen stockings, i’m playing xbox because a little nerd lives inside of me. I also spend time with my husband and our dog.

Jani Nieminen, member of the board


1. Who are you and what do you study?
My name is Jani Nieminen and I moved to this big city two years ago from Tampere. I’m studying for Bachelor of Business Administration for 3rd year now and I have specialized in accounting and finance.

2. What are your responsibilities at METKA?
I am responsible for tutoring as a whole.

3. What do you want to achieve in METKA during your term of office?
I want to improve tutoring by clarifying communication between tutors, student associations and METKA, among the other things. In addition, I want to build a base for tutor concept in a future campus model of four.

4. What do you like to do on your free time?
I’m always on the road so to speak and I like to spend most of my time with my friends. Often you can find me in any student events.

Nelli-Maria Sarasmaa, member of the board


1. Who are you and what do you study?
I’m Nelli-Maria Sarasmaa, second year Business Administration student from Myyrmäki.

2. What are your responsibilities at METKA?
This year I’m responsible for sports, clubs  and social politics.

3. What do you want to achieve in METKA during your term of office?
I would like students to know what benefits do they get by getting the student card. Because the more students join the Student Union, the better we can offer high quality services and benefits.

4. What do you like to do on your free time?
In free time I knit and hang out with my close ones.

Veli-Matti Wirta, member of the board


1. Who are you and what do you study?
Veli-Matti “Wellu” Wirta, third year ICT student.

2. What are your responsibilities at METKA?

3. What do you want to achieve in METKA during your term of office?
I want to maintain and improve the quality of METKA’s events and cross-disciplinary functions.

4. What do you like to do on your free time?
I try to take things slow every once in a while. It depends on the mood what I like to do.



Finnish student activists in action at SAMOK’s general assembly

The writer of the article Aditya Kelekar is on the right side of the photo.

The writer of the article Aditya Kelekar is on the right side of the photo.

We can be forgiven for thinking that the student union is all about parties, because that is its most visible face. Party posters bearing the student union logo line the walls of most campuses. We can be forgiven for thinking that the student union has nothing to do with the quality of education in our institutes, but we would be making a mistake. Last weekend, eleven members from METKA, including me, along with those of student unions from other UAS’s were discussing, among other things, the quality of education in UAS.

These discussions were held at SAMOK’s general assembly, which was held at Lahti, a city one hour’s drive from Helsinki. SAMOK is a national, politically independent nonprofit organisation for students at UAS. The student union of every UAS in Finland is represented in SAMOK; the number of seats for a particular student union depends on the number of members of the student union.

It was remarkable to what extent topics were debated during the assembly. One such matter was whether UAS students should automatically be members of the student union, as is the case for university students. One side wanted to stand behind SAMOK’s long-standing demand that membership should be automatic; the other side believed that keeping the membership voluntary was better. The voluntary membership side won. As a side note, it must be said that the proposal to make the membership compulsory has been defeated in the Finnish parliament three times.


So that’s what happens to resolutions that are passed by the general assembly! These resolutions are then lobbied to the parliament. Either there, or to the rectors’ council, which is a meeting place for the rectors of all the UAS. (In Finland, the rector is the head of the institute.)

Another resolution pertained open access systems. HELGA, one of the student unions, recommended that UAS’s should encourage more of their journals to be on open access systems and that they should be available for free to everyone. This resolution was passed but only after a heated debate about the wording of the suggestion in the working committee.

In SAMOK’s general assembly, all suggestions are first put forward before the working committee which debates them threadbare. This year there were two working committees between which all topics were split. If passed, the proposal is then put forward before the general assembly. At the general assembly level, the proposal is again discussed briefly, before being put to vote. A majority is required to pass the decision. Not very different from what happens in the government, I noted.

One of the resolutions directly attacked the UAS’ administration; demanding that the institutes give up their policy of levying “hidden charges” on students, such as the fee that a student must pay if he or she wants to continue his or her right to studies at the end of the stipulated period of studies.

Not all topics related to students’ immediate needs. Some proposals were more far-reaching, having repercussions for the society as a whole. One of the suggestions concerned the opening of a national center for the recognition of prior learning, which could make it easier for refugees to continue their education, especially those who had obtained education in their own country, but did not have the necessary documents to prove it.


The issue about the need for such an institute tied very well with the topic of the inaugural talk by the chief guest for the assembly, Tarja Halonen, ex-President of Finland.  Speaking about the refuge crisis in Finland, Halonen reminded us that Finns themselves migrated in the thousands to the United States and Sweden in the twentieth century, and later contribute positively to the economy of their adopted countries.

In both the councils, the working committee and the general assembly, voting takes place for most of the issues by raising coloured placard, that indicate either a yes or a no vote. (Secret ballot voting happens only on a few sensitive issues.) “Ääntenlaskijat” vote counters are picked from students who volunteer for the task. I volunteered at one of the working groups and found that the task suited my Finnish numerical skills very well :)

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about my Finnish language skills. I understood too little of what was being debated to comprehend the issues and participate intelligibly. I flashed the ‘Kyllä’ orange card or the ‘Ei’ blue card, taking the cue from my fellow METKA members who voted according to the policy paper of METKA. Most of the time I did not fully understand what issue I was supporting. I spent most of my breaks with Matti Tujula, METKA’s advocacy specialist, trying to make sense of what had been discussed. After months of working together with my colleagues in METKA, and from the trust that I had built in them, I knew they couldn’t take a decision that would be harmful for the student community.


There was also reason for the METKA representatives to celebrate as METKA’s Chairperson, Jemi Heinilä, was elected as the Chairperson of SAMOK for 2016.

The two days work in the general assembly was serious and meaningful. There was time, though, at the very end of the assembly discussions, to make frivolous resolution, such as what should be the colour of next year’s voting placards! There was even a resolution directing an active parliamentarian who walked to the dais a number of times, to wear a pedometer for an entire year. Finnish humour, I guess.

Aditya Kelekar
Member of Board, METKA


METKA’s mini-report from Kaljaasi-cruise

We had fun at the Kaljaasi-cruise, but actually our Kaljaasi started some time before the actual cruise. We have been doing some marketing, planning our program and other things already before Kaljaasi started. Here are some pictures!


We worked the hole Saturday before Kaljaasi. The mission was to put all the boarding passes in envelopes. It took the hole day but it was fun!


On Sunday we started our Kaljaasi at noon. We did deliver all the envelopes to the students. Around 4PM we got on board too!


We had a check point called Hollywood Theatre. The idea was to do a talent show. We got to see some really cool card tricks and so on!


After our duties were done we had finally free-time too. You could have seen us for example in the dance floor, in Stockholm doing some shopping and participating in the pub crawl, in hangover bingo and so on. We had fun, see you again next year!


METKA introduces a new Tip of the Week -series

METKA will start a new article series, called Tip of the Week. The purpose of the series is to remind students of their rights, bring up current issues regarding eg. student aid and advice how students can improve their study facilities. Students often have well thought ideas and valuable experience but no channel to bring these forward.

How can one rectify grievances? It is always best to first contact the teacher or person in question. In our experience constructive feedback is usually well received. You can always ask METKA for help, support and advices. The board of METKA has a member responsible for these issues (this year Tero Toivanen) and also an employee (Matti Tujula, whose job is to tackle these kind of issues. Student associations are also helpful in these issues as are the student representatives, who are members of the different organs of Metropolia.

First Tip of the Week: Did you know that you are entitled to get your course grades registered within four weeks of the final course performance? (Metropolia Degree Regulations, Section 23)

On behalf of the advocacy team of METKA.

-Matti Tujula



Student aid facing cuts – who decides how?

Student aid is facing yet another round of cuts and tightenings, as the government is planning to reduce the spenditure. Who decides how these cuts are assigned? Is anyone representing students in these negotiations? Yes, the students themselves! The Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, also known as SAMOK, is taking part in these talks and is steering the course of the reform in the right direction. METKA is an active member of SAMOK.

SAMOK has a board that consists of students and employees who concentrate on lobbying for the student interest. The political agenda of SAMOK is decided by the general assembly, where each student union has votes according to their member count. Last year METKA had 12 votes out of a total of 137 votes.

METKA considered the propositions for next year´s action plan together with other student unions from the Metropolitan area. Student aid reform and tuition fees were among the topics that raised the most discussion. We are preparing well in advance for the future: we discussed the best ways to prepare for the municipality elections coming in the spring of 2017.

The general assembly is held in Lahti on 20.-21. of November. The chairperson of METKA´s board, Jemi Heinilä, is standing for the chairperson of SAMOK.

Did the post raise some questions? How should SAMOK handle the coming student aid reform? Post your view below or contact us in METKA!

-Matti Tujula
Specialist, Advocacy
Student Advocate