Here are the topics of the students coucil election 2017.
Sexism at university
“Get over cute!”, that is what Jane Elliot demanded during one of her lectures about sexism. Because whoever is cute doesn’t have to expect to be taken seriously. On the other hand, Claire Cain Miller published a study which says, women in leading positions get described as agressive and bossy, whereas men are seen as competent leaders.
So does that mean a women has to make herself unpopular in order to be taken seriously? That can’t be the only solution.
LUKS is convinced that Gender is a social construct and therefore there is an unlimited amount of genders. We want to detatch from old patterns of thinking and we want to fight sexsism.
It is necessary that the culture of discussions will change towards a posibillity for every kind of person to be taken seriously and to be heard. Therefore we demand gender-sensitive language in every context of university and especially no information about the sex in forms.
Furthermore we want more information about gender for students by the university. There should be more lectures and seminars that stress the inequallity that still exists. Moreover the long-needed new sociological chair holder could be a teacher that has been researching about gender. We think this is
definitely necessary. But at the end it should be the goal to get a gender chair at our university just as they already have it at every big university in Germany.
So, how do you feel as a resouce?
Universities increasingly promote a climate of pressure to perform. This permanent pressure originating in the fear of dropping out has already taken its victims among all our classmates that didnt make it to university. But its not only them who suffer: The students are exposed to the fear of loosing their future prospect. The peak of this Ideology is with no doubt the maximal time given to students. Because in this case individuals are judged without any consideration of personal expectations or life situations with the potential result of exmatriculation if they cant manage to finish their studies in about eight semesters. Thats how the free education is prevented but furthermore the students are supressed by the ideology of competition and pressure to perform.
Therefore it is close to impossible for parents and poorer individuals to study properly.
Moreover the Bologna reform is itself tentative. Especially arts students are told to expand their studies by internships and small jobs but at the same time the time they have for doing so is decreasing. Consequently proper studies are becoming impossible. They are turning into a bare outcome-oriented institution.
Therefore we demand free education, the abolition of the maximal time for studying and the speed makeready for the labour market.
I´m afraid I can´t offer you a seminar today
Many students of the philosophy department, who tried to get a seat in a sociology seminar this semester failed. This situation of the chair of sociology is an example for the developement in all of Bavaria and Germany. Apprenticeships are abolished, aren´t refilled and certainly not enlarged. There are way to few academics and other employees at university, to guarantee a appropriate education for students. Not only the seminar-problem shows it. Other examples are overfilled lectures and the catastrophic assitance of bachelor theses. The solutions presented by the university range from the transformation of seminars into lectures to the advise to do ancient history as main focus instead of sociology.
We think the border is crossed. The freedom of education, of choice of degree and of critical science is endangered.
Furthermore, is the distribution of funds between the departments not even close to the proportions and needs. All in all, the only institution, which could abolish the lack of finance is the Bavarian ministry of education.
This is also the institution, which made a contract with the university, which connects additional funds with a higher number of students. It isn´t only barely possible to achieve this, the concept is completly paradox as well: The university hasn´t got enough money to finance the studies, but in order to get more funds, it has to recieve more students.
Our demand is to end the austerity, to have fully financed studies and a fairer distribution of fund within the university!
Rich parents for everyone!
This spring tution fees for international students were reestablished in Baden-Wüttemberg. This is an example of the exclusion of large parts of our society from fields like education and science. Furthermore, tution fees are only a small part of the high costs connected with the studies: Due to bad teachings, many students are forced to get themselves private lessons. Not everybody can afford all that. Often this is the reason not to start studies, and who tries, learns fast, that the funding via a side job distracts from the use of the studies. And since one has less time to learn, a breaking off isn´t unusual.
The acess to higher education institutions isn´t only determined by the parents´ wallet, but also on their level of education. The chance to get an Abitur is much higher, if the parents went to university, than if your parents didn´t study. At university, this problem gets amplified. This is neither the fault of children, nor parents, but of the education system. That is obvious, since all instituions of the educations aren´t mainly conveying knowledge fairly, but selecting the “best”. In addition, it is easier to pass the tests, if your parents or friends passed this test before. Wealth, language, sex and sozial backgroud are factors, which have an impact on the access to the German education system. But only through education people get the chance to chance their sorroundings and to develop freely and self-determined. In consequence, we demand free access to education for everybody, by an abolishment of all tution fees, more and and better teaching staff and a right to get Bafög for everybody!
Did you ever hear of democracy?
Back in the 1960´s thousands protested on the streets in order have a greater say at university as well as to democratize this institution. Frankly said, quite a lot happened since then, but the universities are far from being democratic.University is a place where people from many status groups meet have an equal right to participate. Unfortunately, the wishes and proposals of students, scientific and not scientific workers are hardly represented, since these groups have fewer votes in university committees than the professors. We are against this hierarchy of knowledge and occupational groups. It is contradictory to any idea of democracy and participation, if people who play a big role in everyday life of university have little voice in the committees.
What would help is the codetermination on a basis of parity. This would mean, that people of all groups are equally represented in the committees. The establishment of this system on other universities prove the possibility of it, Bavaria and especially Passau must follow. Another step that must be taken in order to improve democracy at university is the so called “Verfasste Student*innenschaft” (VS), which would provide negotiations between students and university on a level playing field. The necessity is proven by the fact, that Bavaria is the only federal state, which hasn´t established the VS yet.
Not studying, but copying?
In the winter term a great panic arose at German universities: According to a new framework contract between federal and state governments and the “collecting society word” (“VG Wort”) academic texts, which are provided via the internet, shouldn´t be paid for via a flat charge (as it is at the moment), but rather be reported and paid one by one. After the universities boycotted the contract, it seemed as if texts, which are protected by copyright, couldn´t be published via the internet anymore. This would have been an enormous restriction for every student, since these texts wouldn´t be available via Stud.ip anymore. Everybody would have had to copy books, long rows in front of the copiers and a stagnation of used teaching material would have been the consequence.
But then, the danger was gone: the contract was stopped. But this isn´t the end of the story, since a new contract is being made behind closed doors.
So, in a few months, the same problem will arise again.
Knowledge is one of the biggest goods of our society. We shouldn´t think about it as personal property. Of course, the work of the author should be honored and payed. But why not do this via a flat charge? It surely isn´t the intention of an author to slow down university life.
We demand free access to knowledge and education for everybody and a change of the old copyright law to modern standards. It is now important to formulate students´interests and to organise students´ protests in Germany.
Promote Critical Studies!
Not only at the university of Passau there is a trend to economize the studies. Especially with introducing the Bolonga-reform the situation got worse, it led to shorter periods of study and a higher pressure to perform.The focus on performance and competition leads to an economic concept where human beings are only seen as human capital. This contradicts the idea of knowledge as an end in itself, which should always rank before any economic use. As a result, we demand the introduction of critical studies in Passau. By Critical Studies we mean the examination of criticism towards capitalism, sexism, the society as well as to question the general claim of an objective sciences. Science is always affected by the present forces in society. This needs to be seen critical. The need for critical analysis of power distribution can be seen clearly in the shockingly low number of female lecturers in leading positions.
A step in the right direction for Passau would be to establish a chair in genderstudies, which would be engaged with the influences of society on gender as well as the impact of gender on the distribution of power in society.
The effect of patriarchal dominated sciences have been trivialised for too long! We want critical sciences to be estabished at the University of Passau.