AStA of Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences – Self-image and mission statement:
What is the AStA and what does it do?The AStA (the general student committee of the university) is the student body’s own organ for administration and the partisan representation of FH Bielefeld’s student interests both externally and within the FH Bielefeld. We are personally committed to supporting the interests of the student body and we work independently of the university’s other advisory services in order to ensure independent representation of student interests.
We organize political education, offer students the opportunity to get informed on topics beyond their courses of study, express criticism, and have access to current societal and political discourses. We arrange and hold events on the topics of our Referate (AStA divisions) and also support external educational initiatives. The goal of our work is to encourage students to critically question societal and political processes.
Why do we need it?We see AStA, and with it, the student body, as a component of society that experiences society with all its facets and problems. AStA’s scope of duties is thus not restricted to typical university problems such as exam regulations and pressures of achievement; it also includes economic issues, social, and structural marginalization as well as precarious life situations that students may experience.
The situation of the student body creates the necessity for a strong, collective representation of interests.
How is it organized?
The committee is divided into several Referate (divisions) that cover different subject areas. The Referate work both autonomously and cooperatively.
During cooperation and decision-making processes, we want to reflect on internal hierarchies and discrimination and counteract them in the best possible way.
Sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination have no place within our structures. We expect considerate, discrimination-free conduct at our meetings. At the same time, we recognize that neither we nor anyone else is perfect. We believe people should have to chance to reflect on their own thoughts and actions.
We also have discussions about topics that not everyone agrees on. We are supportive, pay attention to each other’s personal limits and point out any transgressions.
Overall, it’s our aim to stand behind our decisions unanimously. Our discussions can be extensive for this reason. If we’re not able to reach a consensus, the principle of majority rule is used in the last instance.