The Gemeinschaft Demokratischer Fachschaftsmitglieder (GDF) sees itself as an independent university group that, far away from general political ideals, primarily pursues one mission: the sustainable improvement of study conditions for students at the University of Göttingen. In doing so, our main focus is on the service from which you can all benefit. With your vote for the ADF, you confirm this purely university-political understanding and, in addition, commit yourselves to achieving the following goals.
We want to improve the study conditions for you - for this we need your vote! From 16.01. to 24.01.2023 you have the opportunity to do so in the university elections. Student representatives will be elected for the university's collegial bodies, the senate and the faculty councils, as well as for the student parliament and the student councils.
Expanding international student networks!
As scientific research and studying are getting increasingly international, we are aware of the meaning of student exchange in Europe and the world. Therefore, we will foster the collaboration with our international partner universities. We aim at strengthening the connections with the student bodies in the U4Society, Enlight and HeKKSaGOn network. For instance, a digital platform might connect students within the networks for studying purposes or extra-curricular activities. Increasing student mobility is crucial for exciting experience in Europe and the world. Additionally, we intend to offer events for international students at our University to get to know the campus and the city of Göttingen.
Support for international students!
There is no overstating the cultural richness on the Gottingen campus. We still face the challenge of exploring more of the potentials in this cultural richness and diversity. According to Andrés Tapia “Diversity is a mix and inclusion is making the mix work”, we need to make the existing mix work. For inclusion to be achieved, a home away from home (HAH) environment for all international students should be created. The international student representative council (ASR) serves as a parliamentary platform to represent the interest and address challenges of international students. This platform is key in achieving HAH. ADF as a political body crusade for dependable representation of international students. We believe a HAH environment can be created through, proper liaising with intranational students’ groups to understand and resolve the group problems and creating avenue to solve that of individual. Organising well publicized and coordinated information dissemination events that educates on living in Germany (the prospects and challenges). Your vote is what gives us the opportunity to represent you.
Networking with international students!
The entire world is facing difficult times during this corona pandemic. There is fear, anxiety, and worry among households. It is quite hard for the local residents of a country to face such circumstances. However, it is even harder for the people who come from abroad and are settled in an area that is far away from their original home to cope with these troubling times. We always hear the words “stay at home”, but do you truly feel “at home” when we just sit indoors in our flats/dorms? It is not easy for international students at the moment. We firmly believe that in order to overcome these challenges, as international students, we need to be united in thought and in heart. Sometimes we feel like we need support. Someone to have our back. What we need to do is stick together, and that is possible through the International Student Council (ASR). We will be offering guidance and support through various events (orientation events, cultural events etc…). Moreover, we will work on making university affairs and functions more convenient for international students (for example making an English version of the monthly newsletter available).
For an independent AStA for all students!
We - the ADF - stand for service-oriented, independent and efficient work in university politics. We are the only group with a real general representation claim and offer you services and events for all students. With us there is an AStA, which stands up for your interests towards the university, because your interests around the student life are the center of our work.
Your semester fee should benefit all of you. Therefore, we will offer comedy and cinema events, a campus festival for everyone and a Christmas market. Services such as social and legal counseling will be continued. Many of our members also do excellent student council work at the faculties. This is one of the reasons why excellent support for freshmen is so important to us. We want all students to have a successful start to their studies.
With us, there will be a transparent AStA. We will do everything in our power to negotiate fair bus, train and cultural semester tickets, because the semester ticket should offer you a wide range of services at a reasonable price.
We also see a special strength in your commitment. We want to support student groups and student involvement. Therefore, we will offer financial support and promote groups in their projects through initiative funding. An initiative fair serves to get to know the many groups of our university better.
Reduce personnel costs in the AStA and create offers for the entire student body!
The size of the General Student Committee (AStA), the central executive body of the student body, is a matter of dispute between the university groups in the Student Parliament (StuPa). In the current legislative period, € 259.670 has been budgeted for this purpose. In comparison, the expenditure for employees (speakers and clerks) amounted to € 177,800 in the legislature of 2019. That means, more than € 80,000 more wascalculated, although on the one hand it was foreseeable that less output is possible due to Covid and on the other hand this has to be financed by a massive reduction of the financial reserves.
We as the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Demokratischer Fachschaftsmitglieder (ADF) demand less costs due to too many staff and more services and offers for students. The focus should be on quality instead of quantity. Our position is to fill the compulsory departments as well as the establishment of additional departments and a deployment of clerks according to need.
Student representatives in university politics!
The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Demokratischer Fachschaftsmitglieder sees itself as politically independent and equally neutral. At the same time, the ADF sees this as the prerequisite for a university political focus. In the center of our work are the interests of all students and the improvement of the study conditions, as well as their mediation to the presidency and professors.
The institution in which these three status groups are in regular contact with each other is the faculty, the main place of study and teaching. As an association of committed students, the student councils at the various faculties help to shape studies and teaching. Every interested student can participate in this shaping directly. The ADF supports this by offering the student groups a cross-faculty platform that enables the exchange and representation of subject-specific and general student interests in the student parliament and the senate.
We continue to advocate for the strengthening and networking of the departments and student representatives in your faculty. Therefore, we want to improve the knowledge transfer between the faculties with the exchange meeting of the student faculty council members. Workshops on university politics topics will help the student councils to deepen their expertise and get to know each other.
If you want to start getting involved, start at the beginning. We are waiting for you!
For functioning air conditioning in the university buildings!
Especially under the stress of exams or the turbulence around your studies, it is important not to lose sight of your inner center and to simply let your soul dangle. After we have already committed ourselves last year and this year to the protection of mental health through the promotion of psychological support services, we now want to create opportunities to find peace in everyday study life.
Therefore, as a working group of democratic student council members, we want to advocate for the creation of more places on campus where people can retreat. There are far too few of these at our university so far, and the few that do exist are completely overrun. Only those who also have the opportunity to simply switch off from time to time will be able to achieve their best results and at the same time continue their studies without being overwhelmed.
A motivating campus atmosphere for successful studies!
One of the most important foundations for productive learning is the creation of a suitable teaching environment. This is what we, as the ADF, want to create for you.
Many of the outdated buildings are in urgent need of modernization and renovation. After we already had the sanitary facilities in the ZHG renewed for you this and the previous year, another problem has become very acute especially during the pandemic times: In many rooms, the air conditioning and ventilation systems do not work or work only to a limited extent.
We therefore demand that financial resources intended to increase the quality of studies be used precisely in this area. It can not be that instead of this, prestige projects of individuals are financed at the expense of the student body. In order to guarantee and protect the concentration of the individual just like its health in times of Covid-19, this is indispensable.
Only in this way can we succeed in concentrated learning without risking our own health.
Restructure faculties instead of adorn oneself with prestige projects!
Studies and teaching take place on the university campus - also digitally - and there within the faculties. They should be at the forefront of university considerations, and yet the university also uses them as an excuse to justify its prestige project, the "Forum Wissen". This is where interdisciplinary cooperation is supposed to take place and knowledge is supposed to be communicated publicly. What is happening is effectively subsidized advertising by the state, and all that can be seen at the moment is a construction site.
To call this "Gorch Fock" of university policy indirect help for the faculties seems wrong insofar as direct help by reducing the renovation backlog is omitted. Unless the state of Lower Saxony can be called upon to do so.
The University of Göttingen is well-known throughout the nation by its range of subjects and tradition. Maintaining both is not only better advertising; it is equally more prestigious and of greater benefit to both staff and students. Faculties are the flagship of the university and the central place of research and teaching; there can be no better prestige project than their direct promotion.
Digital offerings even without a pandemic!
The end of the pandemic must not mean the end of digitalization! Due to the pandemic, lecturers were now forced to offer their teaching digitally. Digital transmissions, recording of lectures, online tutorials and seminars have become the norm. It seemed impossible for a long time, but now it is our everyday life. That is why we are calling for the preservation of digital teaching offerings even after the end of contact restrictions. Digital offerings allow more flexibility for all learners.
In order for online teaching to provide us all with added didactic value, innovative concepts and methods of implementation are needed. We demand that lecturers are better trained in the use of digital teaching and e-learning modules.
Especially at the beginning of the semester it became clear again: Digital offers do not work without the corresponding infrastructure. Therefore, it is important to continue to promote the services of the GWDG to enable stable, reliable access to data and access to events. In addition, in order to enable digital studies on campus in the future, the expansion of the associated infrastructure on campus must not be missed.
Good teaching must be rewarded!
Many of us are familiar with the problem of not using up-to-date technologies (or no technologies at all!) in a course to convey the content. Some content is not well prepared and even in the follow-up leads to more questions than answers. Sometimes you even get the impression the lecturer has no interest in lecturing.
However, good and innovative teaching is essential for students to successfully complete their studies. For this reason, we want to create a university-wide incentive program for lecturers so that they can continually improve their teaching and adapt it to the needs of the students. To this end, a teaching award has already been introduced at some faculties and has been very well received. We therefore want to introduce a teaching award at every faculty or even a university-wide, inter-faculty teaching award that honors particularly outstanding and innovative teaching! Good teaching must be rewarded!
Didactic training for lecturers!
Who does not know it? Boring lectures, monotonous recitation of slides...
In order for the lecturers to be able to convey the contents of their studies in the best way possible, they must have the necessary tools for good teaching. We advocate that teachers are given the freedom for didactic training to improve their teaching. Teachers must be encouraged to take more didactic measures. If a professor is not able to give a good lecture, then this is not an unchangeable state of affairs. Our university has its own department for university didactics, where lecturers can take courses on motivating teaching in front of large groups. We demand that teachers who have performed poorly in evaluations or who have received complaints from students be encouraged to take such measures - that would be a win-win situation: For the students, the professor(s) and the university.
For future-oriented and modern teaching!
Modern buildings are just as important as advanced technology for good and innovative teaching.
It has always been a great concern of ours to have the university buildings, some of which are in need of renovation, refurbished. We have already had great successes, for example the renovation of the ZHG toilets.
We have also managed to avert the closure of the LSG, which will result in some restrictions in opening hours, but the building will be preserved for students!
We are also working to get the seating in the lecture halls repaired and proper operation of the ventilation and air conditioning systems established.
A modern campus also includes a digital infrastructure that needs to be up to date (Corona showed it). A stable internet connection throughout the campus and charging options for laptops and tablets must be expanded for face-to-face use!
We want to improve the learning climate and provide the basis for good studies. Because you can only study successfully in a motivated campus atmosphere!
Transparent decisions and clear communication!
Does my tutorial take place in presence? How do the exams work? Is it compulsory to wear a mask on campus? I'm sure we've all asked ourselves these questions during the semester. Since the summer semester, information regarding studies and study conditions has mainly come in newsletters from the President's Office. In these unclear times, it is important for students to have all relevant information at a glance. We demand that all information is made available in a compact and well-prepared form. The decisions of the crisis team must be communicated transparently to all students. We need clear answers from the university and the faculties to ensure planning security during the semester. In order to do this, it is important that all information is easy to find for all students and that you do not have to go through all the email newsletters because the associated website is not up to date. We will work to ensure that all information relevant to students is clearly communicated and available for all to access.
Support for students in all life situations!
One studies with a child, the other works part-time while studying, the third has insane pressure to perform. In order to offer everyone the chance to study successfully, we demand more flexibility in our studies!
First of all, we need more opportunities to pass modules, i.e. individualized examination forms and lecture times, and we also demand more attempts to improve students' grades. Especially now in Corona times, the mental health of students must not be forgotten! Everyone can be affected by exam stress, pressure to perform and psychological stress caused by studying. In order not to leave students alone with this, we also want to achieve the expansion of counseling services on campus and in the city! In addition, we are working with other university groups and student councils in the SOS Studiwerk alliance to secure sufficient funding for the student unions in Lower Saxony so that rising costs do not have to be borne by the students. This is the only way that the Studentenwerk can continue to offer inexpensive meals and dormitory places and that the semester fee does not have to be raised in large steps every six months.
Study in any situation in life? A child’s play!
In order for studying to really be child's play in every situation, the appropriate framework conditions are needed. We demand the expansion of childcare for students with children. In addition to daycare centers, flexible childcare options that focus on the individual needs of students are also important here.
In many areas, examination and study regulations are so rigid that it is difficult to reconcile family and studies. Therefore, we advocate for more flexible structures, e.g. through the increased use of lecture recordings, the possibility of registering for exams at short notice or grade improvement attempts. In addition, we want to expand the offer of part-time courses.
As AStA, we want to continue to network students with children and offer, among other things, a children's festival and parent-child cafés for this purpose.
Free hygiene products in the toilets!
Merseburg University of Applied Sciences and Friedrich Schiller University in Jena are leading the way and we think it is time to talk about these concepts in Göttingen as well.
At the latest since the petition to reduce the VAT on hygiene products, the period is political in Germany. This is also the case at German universities with almost 50 % women in the current winter semester.
According to a 2015 Huffington Post study, women spend an average total of € 500 per year on their periods. With an average study period of eight semesters, that makes € 2,000 per first degree. With an average canteen price at German universities of € 2.20, that's roughly equivalent to 900 meals. But we're not talking about period prices here, because the average € 500 represents only a portion of the actual expenses for hygiene items and period problems.
Most menstruating people will know the unpleasant feeling of not having a spare tampon or sanitary pad to hand. What then? Hurry home? Ask a friend or even strangers in the restroom?
In 2019, a total of 24,000 female students were enrolled and female employees were employed at the University of Göttingen. 24,000 potentially menstruating people who rely on a tampon or sanitary pad from time to time so that "it doesn't go wrong".
Therefore, the ADF advocates for the provision of feminine hygiene products in public restrooms at Georg-August University. Menstruating people should thus have access to a small basic supply in the toilets for emergencies.
For a new edition of the Studium Oecologicum!
The topic of sustainability has been steadily gaining in importance for years. At our university there is the certificate program "Studium Oecologicium", which is open to students of all faculties. Courses on ecology and sustainability can be taken. However, the “Studium Oecologicum” will be closed in the winter semester 2021/22, so that in the summer semester 2022 the certificate examination will be held for the last time. We advocated for a new edition of the Studium Oecologicum! In times of climate change, Fridays for Future and the increasing awareness of people for sustainability, this certificate is a great opportunity to face the challenges of our time.
Ensure solid funding for the LSG!
Every one of us knows it. Many of us use it. The Learning and Study Building (LSG). The LSG was inaugurated in 2013 as a unique project in Germany just for students and their learning space. Since then, around 650 individual and group study rooms with various technical equipment and other services have been available to all students virtually free of charge throughout the day. The LSG thus helps to seperate academic success from the student's living situation and any lack of learning opportunities. However, the university is currently in a difficult financial situation and therefore savings are being discussed. Even the study quality funds, which finance the LSG, are not excluded from this.
We see the need for LSG spaces for the student body and continue to advocate, for example in the Study Quality Commission (SQK), for the LSG to be maintained and sustainable funding to be ensured.