Why beavers?

During the investigation of our history, our current board members, Art and Ryan, contacted the first president of ESN Lappeenranta, Henna Peltoniemi. Here is some exciting news from the Guild’s past.

Why beavers?

The mascot of ESN Lappeenranta is the beaver. All the sections had mascots, but Lappeenranta still figured it out. They were unsure about picking up exact animals until beavers came and inhabited the forest close to the university. They built dams and started disturbing the university with occasional floods. So, the answer was easy: ESN Lappeenranta also disturbed all the peace and order in the university with its exchange students, so we must be beavers. Henna bought and named Barry around 2012. We told her that now we have Steve, as Barry was stolen.

Why do exchange students have a translated fresher card?

Henna translated the first fresher cards for exchanges from Finnish. That tradition is still alive, but in a different form, as Ryan created an exchange-student oriented freshers’ card with points integrating them to Finnish culture and student life.

Henna also introduced the ESN fresher’s point for the Finnish card, which has been an obligatory point until now.

How old is Finnish Evening? And other traditions?

Finnish Evening was the idea of the first board. Henna initially did the presentation, which stayed alive until the previous Finnish Evening when we had her old presentation at Rantasauna.

How old is the tradition of ESN participating in the Wappu event in the harbor?

ESN has participated in Wappu sliding to Saimaa since its first year of existence.

Why ESN Lappeenranta was created?

She started ESN Lappeenranta after her exchange in Italy. She started ESN Lappeenranta as a local club interested in everything international for everyone who wants to speak English. A bit later, they started focusing on exchanges as the primary mission. Their idea was to give exchanges an authentic experience of local student life to make them feel a part of Finnish culture.

At that time, exchange students in Lappeenranta were tiny in numbers, and no one cared about them. ESN Lappeenranta was started as many other organizations, as the inner club of LTKY these days. ESN had a small room in the Student Union Building with one window. After some time, ESN became a separate legal body to have the possibility to care for exchange students from the University of Applied Sciences, which is now LAB.

ESN Lappeenranta was always one of the most active sections of ESN in Finland. Many people went to ESN Finland boards from Lappeenranta, and she was also once president of ESN Finland. 

What else?

ESN organized bicycle rent, but then this tradition disappeared. However, ski and skate rentals were handled by ESN from LTKY, so we are keeping the tradition of a student union. Maybe that’s why our Hobbit hole is in front of the LTKY office. 

Cooperation with Pelletti

As Henna was herself from Pelletti, they had a lot of cooperation. That is not sure, but it might be why we had some shared history and appeared to be Guild Room neighbors. First, ESN Sitsit was organized together with Pelletti.