14 Jan Press Release on COVID19
For us as student representatives, the current situation does not remain without consequences. There are various new problems for students, which we would like to deal with here in the form of some demands and suggestions. But first, we want to provide some information about our services:
- consultations of the Social and Legal Counseling and the Department of Social Policy will be held via telephone during the regular office hours until further notice
- our events planned in the near future, such as the introduction week, pub and band evenings and also the AStA campus party will not take place
- our event rooms – AStA-cellar and Frei[ ]Raum will remain closed for the time being and are also not available for rent
- our public face-to-face meetings are suspended; we are working hard to find a secure tele-process
- content-related propositions without a financial component can still be sent to us and processed
- we will continue to employ our current employees
- we will make some calls for jobs for special projects (such as the creation of a general university awareness concept) that can be implemented well using telework
Matters related to university policy
- examination mode: we would like to see all attendance exams as well as the deadlines for term papers postponed as uniformly as possible, since many students do not have a suitable place to work or write due to the closure of the libraries
- The university should look for possibilities to take the exams online (both in general and for students who urgently need to take the exams)
- Consequences of the postponement of examinations such as re-enrollment for the summer semester 2020 which includes the payment of semester fees and makes it impossible to enroll in other programs/universities, must be compensated for in a socially just manner
- We would like to encourage the university management to make more transparent and binding decisions in the future; the UDE postponed the start of the Summer Semester only on the day of a corresponding decree by the State of NRW, after many universities in NRW had already taken steps with more foresight.
- The student assistants employed at the university should all remain employed; while some areas of work of the SHKs will be eliminated (e.g. services in the libraries), there will be more work elsewhere (such as the design of “digital teaching”), so that we think that a corresponding shift in resources and a socially conscious continuation of employment is feasible
General political matters
- Pandemic-related racism against certain groups of people is illegitimate and dangerous, even in a state of emergency; especially now a conscious handling of resentments (allegedly) related to origin is crucial for social cohesion
- a large proportion of students will suffer from a loss of earnings in part-time jobs; international students who are disadvantaged by the slowed down or discontinued processing of their residence permit applications and the associated difficulties in finding a job will be particularly disadvantaged. We therefore call upon the federal and state governments to consider students in general and students from non-EU countries in all income compensation measures
- Part of this must be to find general exceptions in BAföG that do justice to this particular social hardship; this concerns, for example, students who have to exceed the standard period of study due to the postponement of exams / theses
We declare our solidarity with all those affected by the pandemic and call on decision-makers to act decisively, but always democratically and with social solidarity in this unprecedented period.
Like climate change, the regions of the world which already suffer from fragile health systems, widespread poverty and unstable political conditions will suffer the most. Our media attention must also include those who are fighting for survival, especially in the camps on the Greek border – they are not a danger to us, but people who are being persecuted, crowded together under precarious hygienic conditions. Now more than ever, the rich industrialized countries must be aware of their partial responsibility for those circumstances and their global responsibility that results from this.
Finally: help each other! If you are students, share your notes and summaries! And if you have neighbors that belong to the high risk groups, support them by helping them with their grocery shopping.