As a Member of JYY, You Also Own JYY’s Business – This Is How We Want to Develop Student Housing And Restaurant Business

Did you know that in addition to student advocacy, JYY is also engaged in business activities – including owning properties where students live and running Ilokivi restaurant, where students dine daily? JYY is owned by students, so it is important that JYY’s business also looks like the students. For this purpose, JYY’s Council, consisting of students, has approved the principles of corporate governance that allow JYY’s business to be carried out on a daily basis according to the students’ wishes. Read how we are developing the business!

What does corporate governance mean?

JYY does business with a balance sheet of EUR 82 million, which means that JYY has holdings of EUR 82 million. The owners of the JYY Group are JYY’s members, i.e. us students, and the day-to-day operations are managed by JYY’s Executive Director. The principles of corporate governance serve as a tool for the Council of Representatives to guide different areas of business. The document therefore outlines the direction in which the students want JYY’s business to be developed.

Real estate is by far the largest entity in JYY’s business

JYY Group’s parent company, JYY, owns the lands and properties of the Kortepohja Student Village and the business of restaurant Ilokivi. The Group has three subsidiaries: JYY-Palvelut, Jyväskylän Ylioppilastalo Kiinteistö Oy and Asunto Oy JYY-Asunnot. In addition, JYY owns 40% of Semma Oy and 29% of Kampus Data Oy. The subsidiaries are fully owned by JYY.

JYY’s core business is the real estate business, which includes residential and business premises rental, as well as plot and land ownership. Most of JYY’s balance sheet holdings are in these areas of core business. Businesses that support the core activities are the restaurant business, services and investment activities. The goals and indicators for each area have been specified in the Principles of Corporate Governance document.

How do students want to develop JYY’s business?

A parliamentary working group composed of the Council of Representatives members attended a workshop and worked together on the guidelines for one month. The document prepared by the parliamentary working group and the board was approved by the Council of Representatives on 21st April.

You can read the full document here (Finnish only).

Below, you’ll find the main objectives for each business area.

With regard to the real estate business, the Council of Representatives outlined that the number of apartments should be increased moderately, and the housing supply should be extended from Kortepohja to the campus area. Sustainable and practical energy efficiency solutions must be the goal in construction and renovation. Accessibility must always be taken into account in JYY’s construction and renovation.

Regarding housing, the Council of Representatives outlined that the supply of housing should be based on students’ market demand and be affordable for students. In addition to this, the Council of Representatives outlined that students and student families should primarily be selected as tenants in JYY’s apartments. JYY’s members are a priority and JYY must offer furnished apartments to exchange students.

With regard to plots and land holdings, the Council of Representatives outlined that the ownership of plots and land must annually generate predictable and regular income for JYY’s actual operations, i.e. student advocacy.

Regarding services, the Council of Representatives decided to outline that JYY will continue to create service packages in connection with its apartments, when possible. When starting new campus projects, new service opportunities that can bring added value to JYY members should be explored. The Council of Representatives also outlined that JYY should consider expanding the real estate business with regard to temporary housing.

With regard to restaurant business, the Council of Representatives outlined that all restaurant business should provide students with high-quality, ecologically sustainable and affordable food that meets health recommendations. In addition, the Council of Representatives outlined that JYY should enable the affordable use of restaurant facilities for subject and hobby organizations outside opening hours. With regard to Semma, the Council of Representatives outlined that JYY should demand equal food quality in different restaurants and encourage Semma to expand to areas outside the campus where there are a lot of students in Jyväskylä.

Regarding investment activities, the Council of Representatives outlined that investing JYY’s assets in activities that harm the environment or violate human rights and economic, social and cultural rights is prohibited. In addition, it was stated that investment activities are carried out with low risk and sufficiently diversified.

More information

Juho Neuvonen
Corporation and economy

Jenni Heikkilä
Sustainable development

The writers are members of JYY’s Board of Directors and part of the working group responsible for the Corporate Governance Principles project.

This blog text is a part of a series of articles in which Student Union decision making and activities are made more clear. Blog texts so far: