AStA chair Lukas Frias Santos provides an insight into the activities of the Student Representation
Working in the students’ interests
An introductory weekend for first semester students was Lukas Frias Santos’ first contact with TUM’s Student Representation. And he quickly realized that he not only wanted to benefit from the services offered by the student bodies, but also to support their work. He is now one of the three chairs of the General Students’ Committee (AStA). In the new issue of TUM Student News Special, he talks about the tasks and challenges that he and his colleagues deal with on a daily basis in addition to their studies.
As diverse as the reasons for the commitment of the hundreds of students in all areas of student representation are, so too are their tasks: They represent the interests of students on university boards, critically monitor the development of new degree programs and examination regulations, help first-year students find their way around university, or provide support in preparing for exams.
The Student Representation is also responsible for setting up and managing the StudiTUM houses with space for studying, activities, and student meetings; it is also largely thanks to their efforts that additional study areas have been set up in the canteens. At the same time, various specialist departments of the AStA also deal with issues that extend far beyond the university, such as the Environmental Department, which campaigns for sustainability transformation, or the Diversity & Queer Department, which fights against discrimination of all kinds. And, of course, the Student Representation organizes legendary student festivals such as TUNIX or GARNIX.
Thus, without the Student Representation, studying and campus life at TUM would be much worse off. In order to be able to do all of this, the Student Representation is always on the lookout for new colleagues, as there is a lot of work to be done. And the students do this work on a purely voluntary basis: “We do it because it's fun and it’s very fulfilling,” says Lukas.
Anyone can get an idea of this, for example at the public meetings of the AStA or the Student Council: “You can just drop by and see if there's anything you want to get involved in. You don't have to be elected to some position straight away, you can just turn up and help out. And participation starts with simply casting your vote in the university elections.”