Commitment for minority groups:
Ramona Wüst and Max Nitze for Diversity and Queer
Ramona and Max, you have been in office since October. How come you joined the AStA?
Wüst: I have always been interested in university politics and was involved in the department’s student body. There, we worked closely with the AStA, and I realized that this work would be fun.
Nitze: It was quite different for me. I had nothing to do with university politics before, and I only learned about what the AStA does through a friend. Then, I applied myself.
Ramona, you have been the AStA’s Diversity Consultant since October. What are your tasks?
Wüst: I am committed to ensure equality for all the members of the minority groups at TUM – for example, social equality for students who do not come from academic families and whose financial backgrounds differ a lot. My department also focuses on studying as a parent, on ensuring equal chances for disabled people, on the situation of international students … and the classic: the equality of men and women.
What do you want to achieve in that position?
Wüst: The main goal of the Diversity Department is to ensure that students who belong to a minority group have certain rights and get additional support in order to be able to study just like anyone else. The position was vacant for quite a while, so I am free to set my own priorities. At the moment, I’m trying to find out where there is need.
Where do you see special needs, for example?
Wüst: I would definitely like to achieve something for students who have psychological problems. The Studentenwerk has quite a lot of offers – and I would also like to initiate offers at TUM itself, in order to get rid of barriers.
What barriers are there?
Wüst: At the moment, for example, each faculty has its own regulations for cases of hardship during examinations. I would like to lay the basis for a regulation for the entire university, to allow for greater transparency and for clarity among the students concerned.
Max, you’re the AStA’s Queer-Representative. Do you have any specific projects in mind?
Nitze: My position had also been vacant for two years, so nothing much has happened in the area of responsibility of the Queer-Representative lately. Thus, I am still in the orientation phase. For me, it is important to strengthen the cooperation with the other Queer-Representatives at the Hochschule München and LMU. I’m already working on that.
And at TUM?
At TUM, I would like to initiate specific lectures on the “queer”-topic. The highlight of my work this year will be the Christopher Street Day celebration in Munich. We will organize our own TUM car and participate in the parade.
Why is a Queer-Representative so important?
Nitze: As a Queer-Representative, I’m not only involved in university politics. I would also like to be a contact person, so that interested students can simply contact me at any time.
How do you feel about the situation at TUM, personally?
I wouldn’t say that TUM is per se a queer-hostile environment. However, Bavaria is quite conservative – and affected students are more likely to experience personal limitations: How do I tell the people in my new flat share? How open can I be about my sexual orientation in everyday life? The students can contact me with all their questions or problems.
How best to contact you?
Wüst: It’s best to send us an e-mail. If someone needs to discuss a problem personally, I’m also fine with meeting up for lunch or coffee.
Nitze: The Queer-Department also has its own Facebook-page. And you can send me an e-mail or just contact me personally. I treat the students’ concerns discreetly, of course.
Your two departments are connected. Are you also planning joint projects?
Nitze: Yes, we’re planning something together – a Diversity Slam on occasion of the international Diversity Day on May 30. There will be an official announcement for those who want to be on stage.
Wüst: We would like to have about ten honorary poetry slammers who will address the various topics of our departments. I guess this will be really cool – and we’re hoping to get lots of attention for our field of activity and for the concerns of the minority groups at TUM. The people must notice that we’re there.
- Ramona Wüst, 23, is a student of Civil Engineering at the TUM, in her seventh semester. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s thesis and is planning to enroll for a Master’s course of Environmental Engineering at TUM after that. In addition to her commitment in the AStA, she is also involved in the faculty’s student body. In her free time, Ramona does figure skating. Contact Ramona Wüst Diversity
- Max Nitze, 24, is from Berlin, where he also completed his vocational training as a Technical-Surgical Assistant before moving to Munich two years ago. He is now in his third semester of TUM-BWL. What Max likes about Munich is the mountains. In his free time, he goes hiking and climbing – or skiing in winter. Contact Max Nitze Queer