As a student, you are responsible for your own study ability. As a university community, the University of Helsinki wishes to provide a safe study environment where substance abuse that has a negative impact on studies and teaching is prevented. This also means that issues are addressed when the need arises and students are referred on in problem situations.
The safety of the study environment means, for example, that no one participates in teaching or a traineeship or enters study facilities under the influence of intoxicants.
It is part of a study culture that is safe and takes others into account that, from the very beginning of studies, consideration is given to what is reasonable use of intoxicating substances. For example, in tutoring and other study community activities, attention should be paid to making sure that serving intoxicating substances does not develop into an intrinsic part of the group's activities. This also means that an alcohol-free option is always available and no one is pressured into using intoxicants on purpose, inadvertently, or, for example, by appealing to traditions.
The University communicates to new students and tutors about the substance abuse programme annually and the University’s wellbeing group (on the Flamma intranet) monitors the implementation of the substance abuse programme as well as the general wellbeing of students regularly through various feedback channels.
At the start of their studies, each student will be appointed a teacher tutor or equivalent individual performing the same duties under some other title. The teacher tutor is the student's support person for questions relating to the progress of his or her studies and for guiding the student in preparing their Personal Study Plan (PSP). Issues related to the coping, wellbeing and substance use of a student may arise during personal guidance. Teacher tutors will also be informed about the substance abuse programme and they will receive guidelines for addressing problems and referring students on.
At the University of Helsinki, the heads of academic affairs serve as substance abuse contact persons. They are tasked with giving advice and supporting students in addressing substance abuse problems and carrying out early intervention according to the guidelines presented in this substance abuse programme. The University’s heads of academic affairs (hereinafter substance abuse contact persons) will be trained in early-intervention discussions related to substance abuse problems, and teaching staff (teacher tutors, in particular) will be informed about how to refer students for treatment especially when the substance abuse of a student becomes evident in a supervision situation.
Guidelines related to more responsible use of alcohol at student community events
Principles for a safer place will be promoted at University events and student events organised by the University and the aim is to prevent substance abuse situations with concrete measures:
- The start and end time of the event is clearly communicated.
- It is ensured that there is a varied and sufficient selection of alcohol-free drinks available.
- Only mild alcoholic beverages are served at the event.
- There is enough food and snacks served during the event.
- It is ensured that alcohol is served in clear servings, so that the participants can remain aware of how much they have drunk.
- The number of servings offered to participants will be limited.
- Event organisers are trained in the responsible service of alcohol guidelines.
- Serving alcohol to intoxicated individuals is not permitted.
Principles for a safer space
The aim is to take into account the principles for a safer space at student community events and facilities. There are many versions of principles for a safer space and one version is available on the University of Helsinki’s Student Union wikipages (in Finnish only). You can also take a look at the guidelines for safer space of the Guidance corner. The guidelines provide advice on planning events and provide instructions on addressing inappropriate behaviour.