AStA - The Students’ Association at the Hochschule Karlsruhe
What’s going on in that glass box in building A, located at the centre of the campus, and what do the students who get together there do – besides having coffee? AStA? What exactly does „Allgemeiner Studierenden-Ausschuss“ –General Students’ Association, mean, and what is it about?
The General Students’ Association is an official institution of the University of Applied Sciences, which consists of four AStA representatives who hold seats in the University’s Senate; they are assisted by fellow students; however, in view of the large number of students studying at the University of Applied Sciences, more assistants would be welcome.
AStA is most well-known by students for the parties it organises at the beginning of every semester, as well as for its summer and winter festivals. However, there are a lot more AStA activities!
Efficient distribution of all AStA responsibilities looks as follows, and the whole system only works through good communication (get-togethers in the glass box) and continuing co-operation between the different committees.
The Culture Committee (Kulturreferat) organises events, happenings, and parties.
The Welfare Committee (Sozialreferat) offers help in the case of a student being removed from the register of students, for example, or with the application for a grant, as well as with other social problems.
The International Committee (Ausländerreferat) organises an International Evening and an International Movie Show every semester, with the support of the Movie Committee (Kino-Referat), the members of which run regular Wednesday Evening Movie Shows. Classic movies of all genre’s are presented every week in lecture room He, building Li. Last but not least there is a Sport Officer (Sportreferent) who is in charge of the sports programme which runs in co-operation with the Technical University of Karlsruhe, and who is willing to organise volleyball tournaments on students’ request.
The Public Relations Committee (Öffentlichkeitsreferat) is charged with producing press releases and publications regarding all information about AStA. The information magazine „Erstiheft“ which is published every semester, helps all newly enrolled students to get organised not only at the University itself but also in Karlsruhe in general.
However, AStA is also involved in activities regarding university policy and administration or discussions about conditions for studying, often in co-operation with other students’ associations on a local, regional and national level.
Finally, AStA officially represents the student body within one of the most important University committees, the Senate: its 26 members are representatives of the rectorate, deans, elected lecturers and employees, as well as four students elected once a year by all their fellow students. In this way students’ interests are represented by AStA representatives, who take part in all decisions regarding the University. The better communication between the AStA, the students’ council (Fachschaften) and the student body works, the better students’ interests can be represented.
Except for the secretary, all AStA members are „normal“ students who volunteer to take on these additional responsibilities. And, believe it or not: they enjoy it! Since these activities also mean having work and fun together, getting a lot of knowledge and experience of social and university life, in brief: to gain social competence while having fun and assisting the four AStA members of the senate who cannot do the job alone. So why not visit us in the “glass box” and get a broader perspective? AStA would be very happy to welcome new members!