The proposal for a property regulation plan that Åbo Akademi University (ÅAU) published on 1 February arouses great concern among students. The Student Union of ÅAU sees it as unsustainable if the plan is approved as such.
Spaces for associations are an essential part of student life. After two years of distance learning and limited opportunities to meet on campus investments in student life are required, not cuts.
During the autumn of 2021, Åbo Akademi University has made an agreement with the Student Union of ÅAU, to rent out the Geologicum property free of charge for use by the associations. The contract for Geologicum is valid until 2026 and it is uncertain whether the students will be allowed to use the building after that. Since the proposal in the property plan is to give up the use of all other buildings in the Geologicum block, the question arises as to what happens to association premises after the contract period. We at the Student Union are worried that the Geologicum building, which would be a complement to the existing association rooms, will be seen as a reason not to provide sufficient association spaces in Kvarteret Stjärnan (the block where Gadolinia now is).
We need guarantees that students’ needs are met in the property plan. Clarity on what spaces Kvarteret Stjärnan will include is needed before a decision to give up a number of other buildings can be made. We understand the economic realities, but believe that the proposal does not take into account the indirect effects of the changes. Dismantling the campus for students will be expensive for the university in the long run. Åbo Akademi University’s strength has always been the unique student life the university has to offer, with the proposed cuts, ÅAU will no longer attract new students to the same extent.
Association offices, club premises and storage spaces are not an extra luxury, but basic conditions for association members as they organize community-building activities.
Questions can be directed to
Chair of the Board
The Student Union of Åbo Akademi University
+358 50 401 3524