The University of Jyväskylä (JYU) and the Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä (JYY) take part in the celebration of Jyväskylä Pride on August 16-22 2021. The annual week of events is organised by Jyväskylän Seta ry.
This year the theme of Pride events has been “Pride in Progress” as homosexuality was decriminalized in 1971 and removed from the national classification of diseases in 1981.
At the university, we will take a moment to discuss equality in university community – what has been achieved in therms of equality and what is yet to be improved.
– The theme of this year’s Pride week, Pride in Progress, is very well picked. There has been a lot of progress in equality as information and open discussion increase all the time. Yet there’s a lot left to improve. The equality issues are very important for us in the University of Jyväskylä and based on our values we want every student and employee to feel safe and valued in our community, says vice principal Marja-Leena Laakso.
– The actions of the community have become more equal because associations, tutor and employees have been trained to treat others more fairly. In order to change we have to break discriminating traditions, evaluate our own actions and have an open dialogue, says the chair of the board chair of JYY, Petri Laaksonen.
Social media platforms will be used for the open discussion where students will be asked to share their experiences about equality in the university. All the feedback will be sent to the equality committee that consists of students and employees and it will be taken into account this fall as the committee updates the Equality Plan.
– I think it’s very important that our procedures and policies secure an ongoing and open discussion that makes faults and inappropriate behavior seen. The Pride week is a very important part of this bigger picture, says Laakso.
– Even thought the university community has taken big steps to secure equality, there’s still much to improve. Building an open and transparent dialogue among the university community makes it easier to become a part of our community, Laaksonen continues.
The Pride Week can also be seen on campus. Like every year, the Pride flags are up in front of the main building at Seminaarinmäki. Last year’s popular pins have also made a comeback.
On August 19 JYY and JYU will organise a Pride-themed panel discussion. The panel too concerns equality in progress. The group of panelists consists of scientists and students from the university community as well as experts from JKL Seta ry. The discussion will be streamed to the audience.
The chair and vice chair of the council of representatives of JYY find celebrating the Pride week very important.
– In general, I don’t think that Pride can be seen in the university community nor anywhere else. I feel like the Pride themes have found their place in the daily actions of the community and for example events that are organised by student associations must include an equality plan that requires respect for others and zero tolerance for discrimination. I’m especially happy that our university supports Pride openly and celebrates the Jyväskylä Pride Week. It sends a message to the students that everyone is welcome in our community, says vice chair Elma Hyöky.
The chair of the council, Aleksi Murtojärvi, agrees.
– It’s important to bring up the rights of sexual minorities and their representatives. Along with symbols and singular events we need concrete actions through politics for example.
– A warm thank you to everyone who has taken part in organizing this week! I want to wish everyone a great Pride week, wishes vice principal Laakso.
For more info:
Chair of the Board of Executives
+358 45 137 1964