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Vote and Take Part in Decisions

University and Student Government Election on July 4, 2017

Freiburg, Jun 27, 2017

Vote and Take Part in Decisions

Photo: Gina Sanders/Fotolia

On July 4, 2017, students of the University of Freiburg will elect their representatives for the University Senate, Faculty Councils, and Main Faculty Councils. On the same day, students will also vote for members of Student Government. Prof. Dr. Ralf Reski, Speaker of the Senate and member of the Faculty Council for Biology, talked to Nicolas Scherger about why as many students as possible should vote.

Photo: Gina Sanders/Fotolia

Prof. Dr. Reski, how important is it that students turn out in high numbers to vote for their student representatives in the Senate and Faculty Councils?

Ralf Reski: I’m calling on all students to vote. This also means PhD students who are enrolled at the University. Although the number of student representatives in the Senate and Faculty Councils is not very high, they play a very important role. It’s essential that students are heard – after all, they make up the largest group at our University. Their ideas are taken seriously in all university bodies, meaning the more students who vote, the larger the mandate for student representatives will be. That’s why students shouldn’t miss the opportunity to cast their ballot.

How can student representatives make a real difference in these bodies?

The Faculty Councils and the Senate discuss all matters relating to each faculty and the entire university, respectively, making relevant decisions that the Deans and the Rector's Office are bound to follow. In the Senate, decisions are discussed within the various committees, along with details regarding curricula, organizational planning, and other matters. Students can voice their opinions by taking the floor and presenting their own proposals in the Faculty Councils as well as in the Senate and its committees.

Ralf Reski is calling on all students to vote in the upcoming election. Photo: Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies

Tell us about your personal experience working with students in the Senate and Faculty Council.

Cooperation in the Faculty Council works extremely well. I think perhaps that Biology is a model for the rest of the University. We’re grateful for all initiatives that will improve studies and teaching. We encourage students to participate as much as possible, and they’re very serious about it. The situation is similar in the Senate, although discussions tend to be more controversial there.

What issues do you think students have made a real impact on in the Senate in the last few months?

The initiatives often proposed by students are generally (though not always) met with wide-spread endorsement by the Senate. For example, there was a lot of support for the March for Science event in Freiburg, for opposing the law to reintroduce student fees in the State of Baden-Württemberg, and for voting in favor of the resolution to combat racism. These decisions may not have been made without the involvement of students.


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