The Non-turku Student Association suggests the university be named “Tampere University of Not turku”
TUIJA SILTAMÄKI, TEXT
EMMA LAAKKONEN, TRANSLATION
Just when we thought that the drama surrounding the new university name could not get any weirder, the plot thickens a little more.
At the moment, the domain tampereuniversity.fi belongs to a Tampere-based student association called Ei-turkulainen osakunta (ETO), which can be unofficially translated as “the Non-turku Student Association”. ETO is an association working under the University of Tampere and the Tampere University of Technology, and its ultimate aim is to separate the City of Turku from Finland.
IN ADDITION TO A relatively one-sided list of courses (with examples such as “Introduction to sinking continents” and “Modern turkupolitical [sic] threats”), the web page only features a statement in which the association expresses their strong views on the dispute concerning the new university’s name.
In their statement, the association expresses their joy over the fact that, unlike the earlier Finnish name suggestion “Tampereen uusi yliopisto”, the current name proposal does not have two letter U’s – which, according to them, could lead the name to be confused with the University of Turku. At the same time, however, the association is shocked because “possible turkupolitical threats” have not been taken into account when choosing the name.
As a compromise, the student association proposes that the new university should be named Tampere University of Not turku [sic] in English, and Tampereen ei-turkulainen yliopisto in Finnish.
“This name will unite the City of Tampere and create a strong sense of ‘us’ without containing any questionable or conflicting elements. We will unite the resources of our higher education institutes and fight for education,” the association writes in their statement.
With the following words, the association ends their statement: “Only as a united non-turku force can we claim the status of a true top university and become a centre for arts and sciences like the universities of turku and Helsinki.”
AVIISI GOT HOLD OF Saku Tiihonen, the chair of the association’s board. He described the course of the dramatic events minute by minute.
According to Tiihonen, it took one minute for the association to notice that the domain tampereuniversity.fi was free. After this, it took four minutes to reserve the domain name. During the next fifteen minutes, they dealt with the name server and the web server, and set up the project website. The remaining 10 minutes were spent in resolving bugs on the mobile user interface.
“Writing and editing the press release took approximately an hour,” Tiihonen comments.
ACCORDING TO TIIHONEN the student association does not yet know whether the official University organs are aware of their little stunt.
The domain is currently in a supporting member’s name, so ETO is not able to officially comment on the amount of ransom they will demand from the University for the release of the domain name. According to unconfirmed reports, they might consider freeing the domain, if the University provides a Master of Science in Technology diploma in exchange for it.
”In principle, we are not ready to make a compromise because this is the best possible name suggestion, and we don’t understand why anyone would want anything but the best for a top university,” wonders Tiihonen.
However, the Non-turku association is prepared to extend the hand of reconciliation to the University.
“We are willing to consider other name suggestions if the entire University will adopt a non-turku point of view and write the name of the city of turku correctly without the capital first letter,” Tiihonen states.
Aviisi will keep track of how the situation develops.