The student union of Haaga-Helia Helga’s representative council decided at its meeting on May 25th that Helga will declare itself a vegan student union. The decision was made with 9 votes in favor and 2 abstentions.
In the future, Helga undertakes to offer only plant-based food and, if possible, domestic vegetarian food at its events. Exceptions to this policy include reasons beyond a person’s control, such as food allergies. If an event is organized in a location where the operators cannot influence the menu, the choice of food remains a personal decision.
“Since last year, Helga’s board has been advocating for vegetarian food and has committed to offering only vegetarian food in its operations. Now, we have taken another step forward. In my opinion, this vegan policy adopted by the representative council also presents a comprehensive picture of Helga, where actions speak not only words. We take concrete actions for the environment and set an example of how we contribute to mitigating the climate crisis. With this decision, Helga is also, to our knowledge, the first student union to declare itself vegan,” stated Janina Brunfeldt, the chair of Helga’s board.
The representative council discussed the issue upon the initiative of Diana Muraskina, member of Helga’s green-left representative group. Before making the decision, the representative council held a reference discussion. Based on this, the board conducted financial calculations to assess the economic impact of going vegan. Additionally, Muraskina presented on the climate effects of vegan food. The discussion during the actual decision-making process was predominantly positive, which is reflected in the voting result.
“The representative council’s decision for the student union to declare itself vegan is a significant and exemplary act that aligns with the guiding documents of the student union, such as the political program. Although the act itself may seem relatively small, the message it conveys outweighs its material impact,” summarized Ilmari Immonen, the chair of Helga’s representative council.
The ultimate decision-making authority within the student union Helga is vested in the 20-member representative council, which is elected annually and convenes approximately once a month, excluding the summer months. The representative council determines Helga’s operational guidelines, annual budget, action plan, and membership fees.
For further information, please contact Ilmari Immonen, Chair of Representative Council email@example.com.