2. December 2021 | Magazine:

Your questions for the reception for first-year students Various representatives of TU Braunschweig answer questions about the university and studying

Many questions were asked via social media and the live chat as part of our big welcome livestream for first-year students on 25 October. Some of them were already answered during the event. Most of the others are now answered by Prof. Knut Baumann, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Sabrina Ammann, President of the Student Parliament, Luca Kienel, AStA Board Member, and Dr. Simone Kibler, Head of the Department Benutzung at the University Library.

“Does everyone get checked at in-person events? I want to feel safe and everywhere in restaurants, clubs, etc. they don’t always check properly.”

Knut Baumann: At TU Braunschweig, everyone’s 3G status is checked without exception when entering classroom courses.

“Why doesn’t the TU provide Microsoft Office?”

Knut Baumann: Licensing is currently under review. It involves high costs and questions of data protection must also be clarified in advance.

“Are there any advantages to participating in the initiatives mentioned that will help later in the job application process?”

Sabrina Ammann: In principle, the Executive Board or the AStA issues certificates of participation to the elected bodies of the student body. This can range from a mere confirmation of election and time spent (e.g. for the BaFöG office) to a more detailed job reference for officers. We assume that student initiatives handle this in a very similar way. Depending on where you are involved, this can help you more or less with your job application. For example, if you are studying aerospace engineering and want to work in the field of aviation later on, you are welcome to get involved with akaflieg. How many other applicants can claim to have built an aircraft themselves! But no matter where you get involved, volunteering implies a certain level of commitment and teamwork, a sense of responsibility and other soft skills. Depending on the position, assertiveness or professional qualifications are added, which clearly bring advantages when applying for jobs.

“Why does the AStA welcome the fact that the wristbands from Hanover are not coming? As was emphasised once again during the reception for first-year students, vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic. A certain amount of public pressure is appropriate. Should the well-being of everyone be put above data protection?”

Luca Kienel: “We are afraid that having wristbands that are visible to everyone and cannot be taken off even during leisure time would stigmatise people who cannot or do not want to be vaccinated. With the Intake System, we already have a far superior tool that enables in-person teaching in line with data protection and additionally using 3G regulations. In our view, the 3G regulation is a sufficient incentive for students to be vaccinated, which is also reflected in the vaccination rates of our student body, which are well over 90%.

“Is it possible to organise free rail travel to the capitals of all federal states in Germany with the TUcard? It would cancel out extreme extra costs.”

Luca Kienel: With our semester ticket, you can already reach 4 state capitals and other individual cities outside of Lower Saxony! This makes our semester ticket one of the most comprehensive, but unfortunately also already one of the most expensive in Germany. Our ticket is based on the solidarity system and here we always have to weigh up whether this offer is useful for the majority of students, while at the same time protecting minorities who, for example, do not use the semester ticket at all. Accessibility to cities throughout the entire country would be associated with such considerable additional costs that, from the perspective of the AStA, this cannot be considered worthwhile for the student body. However, it is open to every student to submit a proposal with their request to the student parliament and, with a majority, to instruct the AStA to comply with this request!

“Are the rights of the online University Library extended like at other universities, so that you can also access even more content online via the publishers?”

Simone Kibler: During the first lockdown and a little beyond, there was extended access to content from selected publishers. These offers no longer exist anymore, however.