A long-term and systematic approach is needed in the fight against racism. It is good to say, as a bachelor student, that we need a strong umbrella organization and an open discussion on issues that we find difficult. When we talk about racism and the university community, we need to define what we are really talking about.
I have found that prevention of racism interest to many colleges. This is happy and downright heart warming. Many colleges are currently reforming their equality and non-discrimination plans. This is the direction and development that I want to see in the future among a wide range of actors.
It is worth looking at: who does our university reach, who does not and why? That’s the only way to find the real answer.
Metropolia’s equality reform has included staff and a wide range of students in the working group. Staff questions look at payroll issues and consider, for example, enabling anonymous recruitment. Among our students, on the other hand, the discussion has been hugely focused on how to better account for each other. It is worth paying attention, for example, to who you choose as a pair of course assignments – who you do not.
Much attention has also begun to be paid to the university community among polytechnics. This is also an important step forward in the development of the dual model, the higher education system. The higher education system is based on the so-called dual model, on two parallel paths. Universities conduct scientific research and provide teaching based on it. They offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as postgraduate degrees that include licentiate and doctoral degrees. Polytechnics, on the other hand, provide training that meets working needs and regional needs.
The community itself is more difficult to define, as there are often differing views on it. The value of a community is also often based, for example, on a sense of belonging, which is often difficult to define with money. However, a community is, for example, a group of people or an association that forms a whole on the basis of a way of life, economic or ideological goals. In Finnish law and taxation, an entity often refers to certain companies and other legal entities.
Prevention of racism is at the heart of community building. Addressing inappropriate behavior is also crucial for the development of the community in Universities.
In the Values and Attitudes survey of a bachelor’s student, more than half of the respondents stated that they did not engage in racist behavior at their university. A third responded to be neutral and the rest stated they would do nothing. It is therefore necessary to get everyone to address inappropriate behavior collectively.
This text was written by Nimo Samatar, who is a candidate for the Board of SAMOK in 2021. The members of the Board will be elected at the General Meeting on October 29-30, 2020. More about Nimos campaign, thoughts and supporters can be found here. SAMOK represents all Finnish student unions and monitors the interests of students at the national level by taking a position on educational policy, social policy and international issues. In 2021, SAMOK will celebrate its 25th anniversary as Finland’s only nationwide socialist for bachelor students.
Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors
The campaign manager is Essi Lumme, Chairperson of the Board of METKA – firstname.lastname@example.org – she can also be reached by phone – tel. +358 50 382 1024
This post is also available in Suomi.