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Aalto University policy on political activity on university premises

Aalto University is politically neutral in all its operations. However, brief use of the university premises for political activity is possible in line with this policy.
Otaniemi kampus ilmakuva

Aalto University is developing its campus as a unique and open collaboration hub. The university’s operations are grounded in our shared values: responsibility, courage and collaboration. The university’s statutory mission is to prepare students for an active and critical citizenship. Aalto University encourages its students and staff to be actively engaged in society.

The common areas of Aalto University are primarily intended for the university’s own use. Aalto University may rent its spaces to companies, scientific communities and public and non-profit corporations, associations and non-governmental organisations. Brief use of the university premises for political activity is possible in line with this policy. The policy also applies to student organisation activities on the university premises.

The university may lease out its premises for activities that are in alignment with its strategy and values. The university requires that its contractual partners commit to the university’s Code of Conduct.

Guidelines on leasing out indoor premises

  • The university may lease out suitable venues for election campaign events of a political party, candidate or the like according to its ordinary price list. A rent is charged for all Aalto University premises that are leased out. Book a venue for your event by contacting Facility Sales.
  • The use of premises by external parties may not interfere with the university’s primary operations or compromise the health and safety of students and staff members.
  • The university will not rent its premises for purposes that contradict the university’s values or public decency, or for activities that compete with those of the university.
  • Event invitations and advertisements must always clearly indicate the organiser of the event. The event must be easy to distinguish from the university’s own events. 
  • Political or election-related materials may not be handed out in the lobbies.
  • Exceptions may be made for the Aalto University Student Union AYY Representative Council elections, and separate guidelines apply.
  • The university staff may halt any activities that go against this policy.
  • Premises are usually available for rent during the opening hours of the building in question. The person or party renting the premises may not use their own staff to replace Aalto University’s building porters. More specific guidelines are given by Facility Sales.

Use of outdoor areas

  • Demonstrations or other peaceable events may be held outdoors in a street or similar public place that is suitable for the purpose in accordance with police instructions. Use of the place may be restricted, however, if the event may is expected to cause unreasonable inconvenience. The organiser of the event is always responsible for compliance with the instructions of the authorities.
  • Outdoor areas on campus, such as the Korkeakouluaukio square outside the metro station and the Väre building, may be booked for campaign events that take place between 7 and 20. In the local detailed plan, Korkeakouluaukio is a square reserved for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Events may be held there as long as they cause no disturbances to public transport or the operations of the university or the shopping centre. The event organiser shall be solely responsible for obtaining the necessary permits from the authorities, paying the necessary fees and ensuring public order. Aalto University staff may give further instructions for the event or campaign participants to follow.
  • The immediate vicinity of university buildings must be kept free and no materials may be distributed in the area. According to Finnish law, election advertisements may not be within the visible or audible range of advance polling or polling stations.

Advertising on the university’s media channels is forbidden

  • The media channels operated by Aalto University may only be used to publish information about election events organised by the university or the student union. Aalto.fi email addresses, websites and corresponding media may not be used for electoral campaigning.

Aalto University personnel and students standing as candidates

  • Aalto University employees or students who stand as candidates in the parliamentary elections may give lectures and carry out their ordinary duties as usual. A candidate may also be visible in the university’s media channels, such as websites, in matters related to their ordinary duties.

  • The Aalto University Code of Conduct states, ‘We understand our duty to be clear about whether we are acting in a personal or professional capacity in all our public activities.’ A university staff member who makes a public appearance in a campaign event of an individual candidate may refer to themselves using their job title and academic title, but they may not act as a representative of the university. This also applies to situations where staff members personally stand as candidates in parliamentary, municipal or European elections.

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