Every year the students of Marburg university are allowed to elect the student's parliament. We are a eligible group that associates with ideas of feminism, marxism and antifascism. For more about us, click here.

The General Students' Committee or Allgemeiner Studierendenausschuss (AStA) has gathered reason as to why it is important to take part in university elections. Sadly, they are only available in german. Therefore, we want to sum them up shortly. The students ticket, the free of charge legal advice or the introductory week in the beginning of the semester are some of the benefits made possible by the students parliament. We think these benefits are great but could even be greater.

If you have any feedback visit us on our weekly meetings or contact us via mail.

Students initiatives and a democratic university

Students are active in a huge variety of projects – from sustainability, assisting refugees if needed, supporting working-class children to publishing feminist work. They are an asset for the university and help to build a lively civil society. Therefore, they can promote democratic and social values. That is why, we support such initiatives. Moreover, we want to enhance the support given by the university.
A big step forward is the expansion of participation possibilities of students. We need a new model of organisation that guarantees that all participants have the same say and the ability to contribute to concerns surrounding the university. The educational quality is one example for students interests being underrepresented. Thereby it is them who are influenced the most by it. Therefore, it is crucial that the university starts to live up to its social responsibility and reconsiders its internal state regarding democracy and participation.

Involving foreign exchange students: reducing language barriers

hen foreign exchange students come to Marburg they inevitably struggle with language. During their first weeks they are introduced into the everyday life in Marburg through language courses. After that they have to find their own way around town.
So what happens afterwards: foreign exchange students are either scholarship holder from a poor family background, migrants holding a students visa or refugees. Therefore, only few of them have a financial, verbal or psychological support system in Marburg.
Where does the problem start: the Studierendenwerk advocates selft-administered dorms. Housekeepers and custodians rarely speak English. As a result, German-speaking residents who also speak English or another language are burdened with reducing language barriers. Most of the signs are only written in German (except for the Studentendorf).
Marburg represents itself as open-minded and international. But we don't see multi-language schedules or English signs in offices.
What does this mean for those affected? They are not able to experience many offers due to language barriers. They are not able to act or inform themselves independently. Hence, they are not able to request financial or legal help. Needless to say, multilingualism should be achieved at a university. For a bilingual arranged university!

Renaming in Studierendenwerk or Student*innenwerk

Many universities started to change the names of institutions like "Studentenwerk" according to gender sensitive aspects. Gender equality has been an important part of Marburg's history, since the movement of 1968. The university played a huge role within these discourses. The use of gender sensitive language as well as equal treatment of all gender identities not only in writing but also in expression should be universal throughout all levels of administration and the university. But still we do not see any visible change concerning the library, the canteen or dormitories. The discrimination of gender is neither accaptable in our everyday life nor in written language. We demand an immediate renaming of the "Studentenwerk" in "Studierendenwerk" or "Student*innenwerk"!

Urban gardening at the university

We want to make sealed and/or fallow areas of the university accessable for planting. Green facades, which improve the city's quality of air immensly, green oasis for relaxing, an expansion of the "Probier mal Marburg (Try Marburg)"-project or wildflower meadows for the diminishing insect populations instead of close-cropped grass - these are just a few possibilities of creating a social and ecological surrounding without spending a lot of money. An environment which creates room for rest secluded from lecture rooms and laboratories. These kind of places help process new information, to exchange experiences or to just take one step back and enjoy the sun. Moreover, it is important that the university which also produces tons of rubbish and emissions each year starts to partake in a sustainable change to enable future generations to live and study in a livable environment.

Self-determined studies

Being a student means being independent and making your own decisions for the first time. This time of living is shaped by mistakes, successes and finding oneself which is only possible if one is able to study without worrying about money or attendance. Especially students with family obligations such as having to care for children or elderly family members need our support. Parents who want to study need a broadened system of child support. That is why we demand more day care places as well as other child care facilities. The "entrepreunerial university" does not offer this kind of help even though it calls itself "family friendly". Furthermore, the access to BAföG has to be extended and simplyfied. The key task of BAföG is to ensure everyone no matter which family or financial background he or she has is able to study. Recent developments have shown us, that this promises has been broken. The number of students receiving BAföG is decreasing steadily. Rising prices for rent and utilities prevent students from choosing freely where they want to study. We need BAföG which is securing one's livelihood, which is independent from ones parents and which is repayment-free. That is why we demand the possibility to create one's own time of studying without the fear of one's own existence.

Cultural offers included in the students ticket

The students ticket gets you out of Marburg easily, but it doesn't grant access to city life. The possibility to enjoy the cultural life is not given due to rising living expenses. A phenomenon which also effects the cultural institutions themself. Netflix, Amazon, Spotify and others degrade cultural life to a profitable market. Critical art gets ignored, especially when no one is able to profit from it. At the same time critical and alternative art and culture are important, because they support the formation of a critical society that recognizes, denounces and fights against social wrongs. For this reason we want to integrate the cultural life of Marburg into the students ticket. A finance model based upon solidarity allows students with less income on the one hand to participate and on the other hand enables the option to organize extensive excursions. Art and culture are essential components of our society and therefore should not be dictated by capitalistic constraints!

More participation for students

For years students are fighting for having a visible voice and decision-making power at the university, not only in Marburg but worldwide. We are committed against a neoliberal transformation up to the "entrepreneurial university", where committees and business representatives gain enormous power. The autonomy of the university has to be strengthened to enable emancipated studies for all students. Therefore, students must be involved in important decisions, like university budgets or the appointment of professors. The university has to become a democratic place of free, solidary and sophisticated communication and exchange between students and teachers alike. This is what we want to fight for in the StuPa as well as in the senat.

Open spaces for people and their ideas

For some it is unused capital investment for us it is the possibility of creative development. Free spaces like open houses, alternative centres or generous green areas encourage us to dream, to try and to tackle new challenges. No matter is you conceptualize lectures, want to throw awesome parties or concerts - these types of spaces make your ideas possible without huge expenses. Simultaneously they are safe spaces for people who want to express their identity far away from social discrimination. What we have been wittnessing for the last few months is that those kind of spaces are in danger because of influental investors. Free spaces like Havanna 8 become an easy prey. Likewise, free areas surrounding Café Trauma are supposed to be sold to rich private investors for building an expensive retirement home. The city does not try to cooperate beyond generations to find a solution.
Inclusive series of events such as the Bildungsfest have shown what happens if people can enjoy themselves freely. They contribute to a positive and open view of the city and the university. We as SDS want to actively preserve and enlarge these free spaces.
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