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TUM at the Christopher Street Day:

"Here, everybody should be allowed to be oneself"

Kordian Bruck and Paul Oppenrieder (right)
The organizers of the TUM truck at the Pride Parade 2019 in Munich: Kordian Bruck and Paul Oppenrieder (right). (Photo: Maren Willkomm)
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall protests, Munich celebrated the Pride Week – the highlight of which was the parade to the city center, with over 150,000 participants. TUM was present with its own car, organized by the two Diversity & Queer Representatives of the Student Council, Kordian Bruck and Paul Oppenrieder.

Kordian and Paul, how was this year's Christopher Street Day for you?

Bruck: Mainly wet. But it was great, once again. Of the 160 registered participants, a total number of 130 from showed up – in spite of the heavy rain – to take part in the parade with our TUM car.

What was this year’s motto?

Bruck: This year, our motto was: "Be proud! Be excellent! ". It was the second time that were had our own car at the CSD. Next time, we want to team up with the TUM employees and persuade even more people to join in.

How did the preparations come along?

Bruck: We started discussing possible plans in March. First, we considered making everything a bit bigger for the anniversary – a real semi-trailer with a length over 18 meters. In the end, however, we settled for a smaller version so that we could once again take the two-meter-high and five-meter-long TUM logo with us.

How did you build the logo?

Bruck: Last year, we designed, built, and painted the logo – with the help of a friend and supporter who is a carpenter. This year, we took the colorful TUM logo to the parade for the second time.
We organized the truck and a trailer for the logo, and we had TUM T-shirts, wristbands, and other give-aways for the participants, of course. There were many volunteers who helped us decorate the car and with all the other preparations. Without their help, the whole thing would have turned out much more difficult.

Will TUM take part at the CSD again next year?

Oppenrieder: If we manage to find successors who want to get involved in the Student Council and feel like organizing the CSD, then yes. Unfortunately, Kordian will not be there next semester. It once again took quite a lot of helpers to organize the truck this year. It is a good thing that TUM was present at the CSD, taking a stand for diversity, as a university.

You are the Diversity & Queer Representatives of TUM. What exactly is your job?

Bruck: Our aim is to show the people that we are not a stuffy elitist university, but colorful, humorous, and open-minded. TUM is inclusive, and everybody should be allowed to be oneself here. Diversity is all about gender, origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, and skin color. With our department, we aim to promote exchange and provide offers featuring something for everyone.

For example?

Bruck: In addition to the CSD, we regularly host the legendary "Hörsaal-Slam". Next time, it will take place on October 30, 2019. There is also a regular movie night where we show films focusing on diversity. This year it was the movie "Mario", which addresses the topic of homosexuality in football. Further, we organize lectures and discussions on very different topics.

Why should students become involved in the Student Council?

Oppenrieder: Because you can actually make a difference. In addition to specialist knowledge, you gain many other competencies during your studies – such as communication, organization, or even leadership skills. It is an ideal opportunity to do volunteer work while studying and to develop personally.

Presumably, there are also conflicts at times?

Oppenrieder: Of course. Sometimes, it's hard to be part of a big team such as the TUM's Student Council. You don't always get along well with everyone, but you learn to cooperate and communicate on a professional level.

Bruck: I can only recommend everyone to get involved in the Student Council at a very early stage. Many think that they first have to get to know the university a bit first semester, before having a look – but a course of studies doesn't actually take very long. With us, you have a unique opportunity to get to know the university from a completely different perspective and to gain much deeper insight into the structures.

(Interview: Sabrina Czechofsky)

Kordian Bruck (26) has just finished his studies of Computer Science at TUM. However, he would like to keep up his commitment as Diversity & Queer Representative until the next elections in the winter semester.

Paul Oppenrieder (21) is in the 4th semester of his studies of Construction Engineering, and has been involved in the Student Council since the last CSD. He helped set up the car at the CSD 2018, and he was so impressed by the work of the department that he decided to stand for election.

More information:
TUM Student Representation Diversity&Queer

 

Participants Pride Parade Munich 2019
At the Pride Parade 2019 in Munich, TUM was represented by 130 participants and an own truck. (Photo: Verena Meinecke)
Colorful logo of TUM
TUM is colorful – just like its logo, which the organizers built themselves. (Photo: Maren Willkomm)
Truck with banner of TUM
Education leaves no room for intolerance: A clear statement from the TUM truck at the Pride Parade 2019 in Munich. (Photo: Maren Willkomm)
Slogan on Shirt "Be proud, be excellent"
The slogan of the participants of TUM at the Pride Parade 2019: "Be proud, be excellent". (Photo: Verena Meinecke)
Label "Exzellenz ist bunt"
Excellence is colorful: TUM is clearly committed to diversity. (Photo: Maren Willkomm)