Nora Weiner and Zaim Sari joined the TUM Senate, one of the most important bodies of TUM, on October 1, 2018. The university's control committee decides on issues such as legislation and new calls. Who are Nora and Zaim, and what are their plans for their term of office?
Nora and Zaim – who are you and what course of studies did you enroll for at TUM?
Nora Weiner: I'm a student of Chemical Engineering, and I was elected to the Senate as a member of the RCDS. In addition to my studies and university commitment, I'm a member of a sorority and I do Cheerleading – without PomPoms, but with lots of stunts ;-).
Zaim Sari: In the summer I was elected to the Senate via the list of your faculty councils. I moved to Munich for my studies two years ago. Currently, I am in my fifth semester of Business Informatics. Apart from being a student, I'm really into movies and series – Netflix and Chill.
From your point of view, what are the most important topics for students at TUM and in Munich.
Nora: In Munich, housing and mobility are really hot topics. If we focus on TUM, matters of concern are, for example, crowded lecture halls, too few learning spaces, and the development of Campus Garching.
Zaim: Currently, many students are becoming more interested in the structures of the university, due to the topic of presidential succession at TUM. Of course, issues such as student housing and digitization in education, especially with regard the changes in the state parliament, are still relevant as well.
What are your motives to show commitment in the field of university politics alongside your studies?
Nora: To be honest, I somehow slipped into that by talking to professors as the "Semestersprecherin". Then, I took over various tasks – in the Faculty Council, as spokesperson of the Landes-Asten-conference, representing the approximately 300,000 students in Bavaria, and in the Political Advisory Council of the RCDS Bundesverband. Showing commitment has somewhat become my second nature.
Zaim: Because of this feeling that I wanted to make a difference. Even if you don't always see immediate changes, you know that something's happening. That's what I'm aiming for – to initiate improvements for the students in the long term. And there's another thing: every day, I gain experience and learn something new. I enjoy working for the students!
What are your plans for your term of office?
Nora: One of my heartfelt topics is the language of teaching, especially regarding the planned extension and conversion of the Master's courses. It is not only the students who have a duty here, but also our instructors. This issue will have significant impact on future calls. In addition, I will continue to promote tuition fees for non-EU citizens. There are many other topics, enough to fill several pages – and I‘d be happy to discuss them in person.
Zaim: For me, digitization at TUM is an important topic – whether it's about online elections, digital teaching, exam formats, or scan exams with remote inspection: I hope that TUM will initiate improvements in these matters, and approach the students more. Further, I'm working on the topic of learning spaces, which is really important due to the current number of students. I'm also trying to inform the other students about my work, for example via social media platforms such as Instagram.
Any tough issues? And what are you really looking forward to?
Nora: For me, the election of the new President was a tough issue. With two out of 19 votes, we really have some influence in the University Council. In order to make a decision that is so important for the future, you really have to think through who to vote for.
Zaim: I have the greatest respect for the responsibility that comes with the office: the jubilee year, the presidential election, the state elections in Bavaria… there's a lot going on at TUM at the moment. It’s a good time to initiate changes – and that's what I'm looking forward to the most ;).
- Nora Weiner and Zaim Sari can be contacted via senat(at)fs.tum.de