Here we’ve collected some questions and answers that may be of interest to new students or people new to TOKYO and ARTS student culture in general.

Why “TOKYO”? Are you some kind of Japan fan club?

Despite the name, TOKYO has nothing to do with Japan. The name “TOKYO” was originally an acronym for “Taideteollisen Oppilaitoksen Kuvaamataidonopettajaosaston Ylioppilaskunta“, or “The Student Union of the Art Teacher Department of the Institute of Industrial Arts” in English. Although TOKYO soon became the student union for the entire school, the name stuck (probably because it’s quite catchy and memorable). See our history for additional details.

What is it that TOKYO actually does?

We do a lot of things, but first and foremost, our job is to advocate for the students of Art, Design and Architecture. This happens in several sectors, whether it be taking students’ feedback to the faculty, influencing school policies, facilitating the tutoring and orientation of new students, assisting ARTS’ department associations or offering grants for students. We also arrange career events such as company excursions, counseling, and that’s not to forget the all-important parties and other leisure activities to give students chances to relax and network beside their academic duties. The vegetarian restaurant Kipsari is also owned by TOKYO.

You can read more about student association activities here. TOKYO is special among these associations in that we don’t represent just one study program or department, but the entire school of ARTS – which also makes our activities a great chance to meet students from other departments across the school.

Does TOKYO have overalls?

We are somewhat special snowflakes in the Finnish academic scene in that we do not. We try to encourage ARTS’ diverse student culture by leaving it up to our school’s department associations to decide what sorts of attire (if any) they wish to use. NuDe (the students of design) and Kooma (the students of art education), for instance, have their own student jackets, while the Guild of Architecture uses overalls.

That said, we do have fancy hoodies emblazoned with the TOKYO spiral, as well as overall patches, pins and cockades for your student cap! Some members have even woven patches onto their TOKYO hoodies, and you can too! You can purchase any and all of our sweet merch from TOKYO’s service point.

Can I at least get the cool hat with the tassel? I swear I saw some ARTS students with them…

That depends on your study field. The hat with the tassel is called the Teekkari cap, and is worn by students who graduate in the technological fields. Within Aalto ARTS, only the students of architecture fit within that category, so if you’re an architecture student, ask your tutors and guild for how to get the cap.

Why join TOKYO? What’s in it for me?

Aside from belonging to a great community, you will receive various awesome benefits, including access to spaces, grants, excursions, and various discounts. You can find the full list of our membership benefits here.

I’m already a member of another student association, should I also join TOKYO? If so, why?

Belonging to your department/study program association is great and we wholeheartedly support all the associations operating in ARTS. With TOKYO membership, however, you become part of the whole ARTS community and our school’s venerable academic tradition. And that’s not to forget all the membership benefits listed in the above entry.

I’m not an ARTS student. Can I still join TOKYO?

TOKYO is, above all, an advocacy association for the students of Art, Design and Architecture. That said, we are also open for anyone showing interest in the art and design fields, in the form of supporting members. Aalto students from other schools who have taken at least one course in ARTS can also become full members. See here for the different membership options.

Being a member is nice, but how could I be more involved in TOKYO’s activities?

Our association is mainly run by students, so you actually have a great chance of making a difference! Stay on the lookout for new postings on the TOKYO board, or come to our General Meeting in the fall to apply for the next year’s board! On the other hand, if you would like to be involved but think a board posting might be too much commitment, we also have the TOKYO Committee – a low-threshold group of actives in all sectors of the board. Contact us if you’re interested!

Where can I find you?

Well, we have a page just for that! To sum it up, you’ll find TOKYO in our home base in Otakaari 1’s Y-wing, several other locales, as well as our events. During the Orientation Week, we’ll also have a stand in prominent places. You’ll recognize us from the iconic TOKYO spiral symbol!

Who’s this Sheryl I keep hearing about?

Sheryl TOKYO, or Sheryl ARTS, is TOKYO’s personification and the embodiment of ARTS student culture, as well as TOKYO’s infinite and unconditional love for our students. We also call our board‘s event responsibles Sheryls.