Oulun yliopiston Humanistinen Kilta ry, Verba ry, Tiima ry, Communica ry, Suma ry, Kultu ry, Index ry, Gieku ry and Timppa ry are concerned about the execution of the Oulu City Campus project. As far as we know, the Faculty of Humanities is moving to the new campus which will be built in Raksila by the end of 2028. In November 2021, we conducted a survey to the students of the faculty, in which we asked opinions and views on the project. 352 people responded to the survey. 89% of these people feel that they have not been able to affect the project. 1% of the respondents feel that the university’s communication about the project has been transparent enough. People are worried that the special needs of people studying humanities are not taken into consideration when planning the City Campus. The respondents are also worried that the interdisciplinarity of the university and the possibility to have minor subjects from different faculties would suffer. 74,1% of the respondents see the interdisciplinarity of the university as a very important and 20,8% as a somewhat important theme in the University of Oulu.
The Humanistic Guild and the humanistic student organizations hope that if the faculty does move to Raksila, the wishes and needs of students of humanities are taken into account and that the students could be involved in the planning process. Humanities students should be able to attend courses offered by other faculties in person, not only via remote learning.
The humanities have their own specific needs when considering spaces, such as laboratories, language practice rooms and the therapy rooms of logopedic students, and the microfilm collection and the microfilm reader are also important for many students. The students need to have an easy access to the library. Digital materials cannot sufficiently replace the printed ones. The deposit library in Oulu is the northernmost of its kind and it needs to be conserved. The respondents are also worried about the future of the Giellagas institute. What will its status and location be in the future?
Interdisciplinary, vivid student culture and everyone studying on the same campus have worked well together. We wish that these themes would be important in the future, too. Student organizations and interest societies are perfect in unifying students, and we hope that their needs are also considered when planning the new campus. An example of such need is appropriate guild rooms. When talking about the attractive features of the University of Oulu, we see these factors as more important than the location. Other things increasing the attraction of a university are high quality research and teaching, and adequate spaces for both students and staff.
The best interests of the students and staff moving to the possible new campus ought to be a priority in the planning process. The requests of students of humanities as well as their possibilities to take studies from other faculties need to be provided without using total remote learning. This allows the students to diversify their degree, enabling versatile career options. So far one of the strengths of humanities has been the possibility to create a versatile and unique degree plan. If these things are not acknowledged and kept in mind, we cannot support the Oulu City Campus project as it is. To us students, Oulu is a university city.