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University election 2021 – Fachwerk, who are you?

University election 2021 – Fachwerk, who are you?

Fachwerk is a political university group at the TU Darmstadt that was founded in 1990 as a list of student representatives. It is still the case today that most of our members are involved in their student council at their departments or came to us through it. This has the great advantage for us that we – in the central committees – know what the students in the different departments are concerned about.

Unlike other political lists, we are not related or related by marriage to any party or its youth organisation. Not even remotely. Thus, there is also no umbrella organisation to which we would have to subordinate ourselves.

What we want

Free and self-determined study is important to us. It must be possible for all people to study, even if they have to finance their studies themselves, do not come from an academic household, care for relatives, look after children, have chronic illnesses or otherwise deviate from the norm. To achieve this vision, we are – among other things – committed to:

  • More freedom of choice in studies
  • Short deadlines to withdraw from exams (Reminder: Outside of Corona, the deadline is one week)
  • Mandatory minimum standards for exam inspection
  • More examination attempts
  • Fair compensation for disadvantages
  • Eliminate Suitability assessment procedure (in most cases, these are even illegal)
  • Strong student councils (Without the departmental student councils, things would run differently here. They should be listened to more.. )
  • Free and open software (Studying should be possible without the purchase of paid software.)

There is no place for discrimination of any kind at our university. We believe that a degree should not only be a technical education, but also an important part of personal development. At the end of a study program students should be self-responsible people who are able to place their professional knowledge in the nevertheless politically and professionally complex world. The university must be aware of its function as a role model for society.

Hard to imagine during the pandemic, but the university is a living space of its own – with its advantages and disadvantages – that should be shaped by the students. We therefore support the businesses of the AStA (806qm, Schlosskeller, Schlossgarten, paper shop) and are happy about the many student groups that enrich student life. These should be supported and encouraged in their work. The TU’s student group building has long become too small. With the current shortage of space, we think it is wrong for the university to rent out rooms to external companies instead of making them available for student groups or as learning centres. Sponsorship of lecture halls should also be discontinued. The university is an educational institution and the attention of its members is not a commodity it is allowed to sell. Education must be possible without the direct influence of companies.

Students are by far the largest status group at the university, yet the professors have the majority in the academic committees. This often leads to decisions being made not on what is best for the students, but on what is most convenient for the professors. Pushing through our demands is often like fighting a windmill against the sometimes antiquated views of some professors, but we are not giving up.

What we do for it

Fachwerk members are active in many academic committees. In addition to the University Assembly (UV), which is directly elected by you, our members are also active in the Senate, the Senate committees and the University Executive Board (UVV). In the latter, the current online university elections were a big topic this year. While these of course have practical advantages, we – and the constitution also for parliamentary elections – see problems with traceability. The voting software is an uncontrollable black box in this respect (for more on this, see the article written by the student council of the Computer Science Department). At our insistence, this year’s elections are therefore only a test run that will be evaluated afterwards. Similarly, we have criticised the compulsive use of Zoom in recent semesters due to significant privacy concerns.

Although the Senate Committee for Studies and Teaching is organised independently of the political lists, in recent years the committee has almost always been carried by the commitment of Fachwerk. It is therefore not surprising that the student speeches at the past Athena Award ceremonies for good teaching were often given by members of Fachwerk (you can read the speeches on our website).

Since 2019, the General Examination Regulations (APB) of the TU Darmstadt have been under revision (these are the rules of the game for all examinations and degree programmes). Even before the process began, we worked on a survey campaign among students as well as a student statement. Since then, we have been involved in the many (and above all long) meetings of the APB revision and were at least able to achieve improvements for many of our demands. In the next APB

  • mandatory minimum standards for insights will apply.
  • disadvantage compensations will be granted by the examination board and students will no longer be dependent on the arbitrariness of individual examiners.
  • demands for free software will be made.
  • shorter withdrawal periods from examinations will be tried out.
  • multiple deselection of tested modules in elective catalogues will be the standard case.

Of course, this list only includes the highlights.

In addition to the academic committees, we are also active in all the student ones, such as the AStA board. We initiated purchases such as the cargo bike and the bicycle repair stations in the city centre and on the campus Lichtwiese.

If you would like to find out more about us or be kept up to date with our work you can follow us on our channels: