In VYY's Policy Manual there is a subsection for the Record of Tradition, which guides the Student Union's work with traditions. You can find the Record of Traditions here (only in Finnish). You can find a less detailed description of some of the most formal traditions on this page.
Anniversary Celebration and the Etiquette
The Student Union's Anniversary is on the 14th of February and the Anniversary Celebrations are held on that date or the following Saturday. The Anniversary Celebration is the most prestigious event of the Student Union. You can see the celebration on the video down below.
Advancement of the celebration and etiquette
VYY's Anniversary Celebrations traditionally begin with a church service on Saturday morning. A Flag Procession leaves from the church after the service. The service is not a part of the official celebrations.
The Official Celebration is led by the Master of the Ceremony and starts with a cocktail event for invited guests where the guests give their salutations to the Student Union. After that comes the main celebration, that is open for everyone and usually includes a three-course meal.
One has to check their seating before entering the main celebration. The Master of Ceremony calls the honorary guests seated at the main table, after which the Flag Procession enters. One can sit after Vaasan marssi (the official song of the Student Union) is sung.
During the celebration there are speeches, songs, and distinguished VYY members and others get distinctions. During the aforementioned parts of the celebration it isn't suitable to eat. The Leader of Songs starts the songs until the first break, known as a conference. After that all attendees can start songs. One can ask for a permission to speak by tapping the glass with a knife. It isn't suitable to sing extra verses, shout or bang the table, like it is during a sitz party. The Master of Ceremony calls for two conferences during the celebration.
One can start eating after one's table (or the people around, if seated in a large table) have been served. The outermost cutlery is used first. According to good table manners, one should use the table napkin and not have one's elbows on the table. To signify that one is done with eating, one should move the cutlery to a five-o'clock-formation. After the dessert one can fold the table napkin to "cognac ears".
When toasting, one should lift the glass to eye-level, after which women toast left-right-front and men right-left-front. During the toasting one should have eye contact, give a little nod, and not clink glasses.
The Master of Ceremony calls the celebration to end, after which the Flag Procession leaves. After this the official celebrations and the celebrations continue at the after party.
Emblems of the Student Union
Official Colours of the Student Union and Emblems
The Student Union of the University of Vaasa's official colours are red and gold. VYY's official emblem is a golden stylized caduceus surrounded by golden laurels, with the letter V on top. VYY's motto is "Free, sturdy, and steady" (Vapaa, vankka, vakaa). VYY's official song is Vaasan marssi, which is sang in all official events.
Hat of the Student Union
The Hat of the Student Union is the Finnish Student's Cap with the Student Union's cockade. Each VYY member has the right to wear the Hat of the Student Union between May and August. The hat can also be worn on by the members on Flag Procession, on the Anniversary of the Student Union or the University, on the Opening of the Academic Year, on the Finnish Independence Day (6th of December) or on other occasion with the decision from the Excecutive Board of the Student Union.
Sashes of the Student Union
The members of the Student Union wear a sash of the Student Union in academic events when wearing a formal dress or a dark suit. When wearing a suit, the sash goes down from the right shoulder. With a dress, the sash goes down from the left shoulder. If the sash might touch bare skin, one can also wear it as a rosette on the left bodice. More advice can be found on the video below. Members of the Student Union can buy a sash from the Service Office.
One can wear a sash of other organizations as well, but one shouldn't wear more than three at a time. In events organized by VYY, one should always wear VYY's sash on the highest position. Often in events organized by others one also wears VYY's sash on the highest place, unless one has a right to wear the organizer's sash. Then the organizer's sash should be the highest. In VYY's events VYY members shouldn't wear other sashes without wearing the Student Union's sash.
VYY has other sashes as well, including the Sash of Merit, Sash of Honour, and the Sash of Harbinger. Those awarded with the Badge of Merit can wear the Sash of Merit and those awarded with the Sash of Honour can wear the Sash of Honour. These sashes are worn like the regular sash of the Student Union, but one should only have badges etc. of VYY on these sashes. One can wear the Sash of Merit as a rosette, but the Sash of Honour shouldn't be folded. The Sash of Honour is always the sash worn the highest. If one can wear both the Sash of Merit and the Sash of Honour, they are counted as one sash.
The Sash of Harbinger is worn by members on the Flag Procession as well as the Master of Ceremony at the Annual Celebration. The Sash of Harbinger is worn on top of clothing.
Distinctions and honours
In accordance of VYY's Record of Tradition, the Student Union decorates active members and other parties that have advanced the Student Union's interests in some way. The distinctions and honours are given each year in the Anniversary Celebration of the Student Union.
Decisions on awarding acknowledgment awards are made by the Representative Council of VYY based on requests from the working group on badges of merit and honor.
VYY’s statutory working group on badges of merit and honor opens the application period for both category I and II insignia each year.
According to the VYY rules, anyone can apply for acknowledgement insignia. The insignia is applied for based on particularly distinguished participance in the activities of the Student Union of the University of Vaasa. The application form is defined by the working group and can be picked up at the office or requested by e-mail from the Student Union’s Secretary General.
In order for an application to be processed, it must be supported with enough signatures of Representative Council’s members. This list of names is available at the Student Union service office.
The merit badge application form must be submitted to the Secretary General of the Student Union by the announced deadline. Any applications submitted after the deadline will be ignored.
The working group will present the list to the Representative Council, which makes decisions on the basis of the applications received. Badges will be distributed at the Student Union’s anniversary ball in February.
Further information on the acknowledgement insignia and how to apply for them is available from the Secretary General of the Student Union.
Miniature Flag of the Student Union
VYY's miniature flag is awarded to the Chair of the Excecutive Board, Chair of the Representative Council, the Secretary General, the Inspector, and the Curator of the Student Union in the Anniversary Celebration following the end of their term.
Miniature Pennant of the Student Union
VYY's miniature pennant is awarded to a person or an organization that has advanced the aims and purposes remarkably. The miniature pennant is awarded by the Excecutive Board of the Student Union.
The honorary gift is awarded to a person or organization that has advanced the Student Union ideology significantly and unselfishly. The honorary gift is awarded by the Excecutive Board of the Student Union.
The Emblem of the Distinguished Member
The emblem of the Distinguished Member is awarded to a VYY member that has advanced the aims and the intentions of operations. The emblem of the Distinguished Member is awarded by the Excecutive Board of the Student Union.
The Chalice of Positivity
The Chalice of Positivity is awarded to a VYY member that has advanced communality and activity within the student community with their informal activity. The person awarded with the Chalice of Positivity can't be a member of VYY's Excecutive Board, Representative Council or act in some other position of trust at the Student Union. The Chalice of Positivity is awarded by the Secretary General, Tutor Coordinator, and the Member of the Excecutive Board that is in charge of tutoring.
The Badge of Merit
VYY's Representative Council awards Badges of Merit from the proposals of the Council of Dictinctions. The Student Union has two classes of Badges of Merit. A person who has been awarded the Badge of Merit is called a distinguished member. Anyone can make an application for the Badge of Merit, but the application must have the support of Members of the Representative Council (signatures).
The Badge of Honour
VYY's Representative Council awards Badges of Honour from the proposals of the Council of Dictinctions. The Student Union has two classes of Badges of Honour. A person who has been awarded the Badge of Honour is called a honorary member. A Representative Council group or the Council of Distinctions can make an application for the Badge of Honour.
Good Teacher/ Best International Teacher
VYY awards the title of a Good Teacher and the Best International Teacher yearly to distinguished members of teaching staff. The people given the title have shown to be supportive and interested in their students' learning. The nominations for the title are given by student associations and the titles are awarded by the Excecutive Board of the Student Union. The titles are awarded at the University of Vaasa's Anniversary Celebration.
Maija Niinioja scholarship
Each year the Student Union of the University of Vaasa distributes Maija Niinioja’s scholarships to successful students of the University of Vaasa. Scholarship application period is at the end of the year and scholarships are awarded annually in February during the VYY anniversary ball. Scholarships are paid from the University of Vaasa scholarship fund revenues. The fund’s initial capital was acquired through economist Maija Niinioja’s will and the scholarship program was named after her. The representative council of the student union has decided not to distribute Maija Niinioja scholarships in 2021. Next time the scholarships can be applied in autumn 2022.
The criteria of eligibility for a scholarship are as follows:
- the applicant is applying for scholarships while enrolled in the current academic year as a student or graduated less than a year ago,
- the applicant has not previously been granted a scholarship from Maija Niinioja,
- the applicant has completed at least 60 ECTS in Master’s degree program and has written master's thesis
- the applicant shall submit with the application all the information requested by VYY.
The scholarship application consists of three parts: application form, application letter and attachments.
The application form is meant to gather basic information on the applicant, including contact details and bank details, to one document. The application letter is the applicant’s freeform justification as to why they deserve the Maija Niinioja Scholarship. The following attachments must be included to support the application:
- up-to-date transcript or a copy of diploma,
- summary of Master’s thesis, as well as a copy of the review thereof,
- the applicant’s curriculum vitae.
Applications must be submitted within the set time period and in the manner indicated in the call for applications. Late applications will not be processed. Decision on support scholarships will be made by the Representative Council of VYY.
All matters relating to Maija Niinioja scholarships should be addressed to the Secretary General of VYY.
The VYY alumni association is the Student Union Alumni Association of the University of Vaasa, which was founded in 2012. The association’s goal is to bring together active Student Union members from different eras. The Association also works in close cooperation with the Student Union and aims to contribute to the Student Union’s activities through its own network.
The Alumni Association organizes annual alumni events where current and future alumni are gathered.