Faculty student associations (Fachschaften)

Übersicht

The student representatives are the right place to get help with your subject and to become active yourself so that your everyday life at university can improve. The student representatives unite the students of a subject. They represent their concerns in the institutes, departments, and faculties - i.e. where subject-specific questions or supervision conditions are decided. All student association representatives coordinate in the faculty student association conference, which takes place once a semester and is convened by the SUB executive board and the faculty student association secretariat.

Membership

The faculty student associations form the smallest unit within the organisational structure of the student body. All SUB members who study the same subject form a faculty student association. With enrolment, every SUB member automatically becomes a member of the student council of their field of study - each faculty student council can decide on the membership of minor students. You can find all the different student councils here:

Structure of the faculty student associations

Each faculty student association is organised differently. Each faculty student association (Fachschaft - FS) has its own statutes, which must be approved by the student council (SR). The necessary basic structure of the student councils consists of two bodies, the general assembly (Generalversammlung GV) and the executive board. The GV is held at least once a year; current problems are discussed there, resolutions are drafted or commissions are set up. The GV is also responsible for electing the executive board, the executive body of the faculty student association.

There is no obligation to show up at these meetings, but it is important that as many faculty student members as possible take part. This is the only way for the faculty student representatives to have broadly supported positions and the necessary weight in negotiations with lecturers from the institute or the faculty. The faculty student associations live solely from the commitment of their members!

Responsibilities of the faculty student associations

The purpose of the faculty student association is described in the statutes of the student body as "safeguarding the interests of the members of the student councils". The following three areas of responsibility can be derived from this formula:

Support for the students

An important task of the faculty student associations is to support students on their way through the university. They provide information about study regulations, timetables, and exams. The student councils are particularly suited for this task, as they know the subject-specific problems from their own experience - not only the regulations, but also their application. In addition, a faculty student association helps first-year students get started and generally promotes cooperation among students. Most faculty student associations organize parties, cinema evenings, aperitifs, excursions, and more fun events. Some student representatives offer tutorials, i.e. groups of first-semester students supervised by advanced students. The student council offers the opportunity to get to know people from all semesters and to socialize. 

Representation of the interests of the students

It is the faculty student association that represents the students of a field of study towards the institute, the faculty, and the university. Questions about study reforms, regulations, lecturer appointments or co-determination affect all students. Such interests can only be successfully asserted if everyone participates and feels represented. The faculty student association is not only an organizational form of student representation, but also a place for political opinion-forming; because decisions on new regulations or appointments of lecturers are eminently political.

Cooperation with other faculty student associations and the student body as a whole

Certain questions arise repeatedly and in a similar way for the faculty student associations. For example, the question of codetermination, the practical relevance of studies, or interdisciplinary courses. Here, joint commitment is necessary. The SUB is the coordinating framework for these efforts. In particular, the Faculty Student Association Conference (Fachschaftskonferenz FSK) has the task of promoting contact between the individual faculty student associations. Many faculty students associations are also represented by individual members in the Student Council (SR); faculty student associations can set up their own SR lists. Through the SR and the FSK, faculty student associations are informed in good time about interdisciplinary trends in current university policy so that they can react independently.

Finances of the faculty student associations

The SUB supports faculty student associations' activities financially. All faculty student associations receive an annual basic contribution and can apply for additional contributions. The coordination of funding is the responsibility of the Faculty Student Associations secretariat. The detailed regulations can be found in the Faculty Student Association's Financing Regulations and in the Guidelines for the Allocation of Additional Contributions.

Legal basis

Further information on the legal basis and the structure of faculty student associations can be found in the following documents:

Overview faculty student associations

Click here for an overview of all faculty student associations at the University of Bern.

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