The Large and the Small Scale of Environmental Protection

15.02.2024 | Bird protection, Diversity, Gender, StuPa, Sustainability

A potpourri of very different topics occupied the Student Parliament last Thursday: from the university’s path towards climate neutrality to very specific measures to protect birds. Inclusive language, anti-democratic graffiti and the budget situation were also on the agenda that evening.

Strategy for a sustainable university

Theresa Riedel from the Sustainability Office was a guest at this session. She and her colleagues are coordinating the University of Bamberg’s development towards a more sustainable future. One goal for 2024 is a sustainability strategy that sets out measures, goals and indicators on the path to climate neutrality. The various working groups of the Sustainability Steering Group are open to all students who would like to participate in this development.

A wide-ranging discussion ensued among those present as to how well the involvement of students in this topic is currently working. The debaters agreed that students should be given a leading role. Anyone who wants to tackle this in a very practical way can apply with project ideas for Sustainability Month May 2024. The campaigns can also be financially supported.

In favor of free and inclusive speech

Recently, an announcement by the Bavarian Minister President Markus Söder made headlines in which he announced a ban on gender-inclusive language in schools and administrations. At the request of the Bamberg Green-Left Student Initiative (BAGLS), the Bamberg student representatives have now joined an open letter rejecting this.

In the letter, almost 8,000 signatory organisations and individuals criticise such a ban as a violation of the fundamental right to free personal development and the principle of equal treatment. They call on the Prime Minister to “leave schools, universities and administrations the freedom to express equal treatment in their language”.

Anti-democratic smearings

A second motion by the BAGLS was dedicated to two cases of politically motivated damage to property. The student parliament formulated this statement:

At the beginning of February, an incident occurred at Bugershof (An der Universität 5) and Schillerplatz (Oriental Studies) in which an area of the university was smeared with clearly National Socialist symbolism. In this way, an attempt was made to give a prominent place to nationalist ideology in a centre of research and knowledge transfer.

As a student parliament, we condemn this act in the strongest possible terms. We demand a swift clarification of what is not only a violation of the law, but also of the most fundamental principles of our university. It is unacceptable on any scale, not even the smallest, for this space to be misused for nationalist propaganda. It is up to the responsible police authorities to investigate this offence and bring those responsible to justice, but it is up to all members of the university to take a stand in their own way against the manifestly National Socialist ideas with which they are confronted.

It is clear that what this symbolism stands for would be the end of free teaching, free learning and free life. We therefore see it as the duty of all responsible persons and institutions to take a stand against a resurgence of Nazi ideology, whatever form it may take.

Statement of the Student Parliament in accordance with the resolution of 8 February 2024

An initiative to protect birds

The last motion of the evening dealt with the facades of the university. As the applicants from the Human Sciences Student Council had to experience first-hand, glass fronts repeatedly become deadly traps for birds. They often do not recognise in time that they are flying towards a barrier. This can be remedied by making various visible adjustments to the façade.

In its resolution, the student parliament calls on the university management to install bird protection on university buildings. The guidelines of the Vienna Environmental Ombudsman’s Office can serve as a guide.

Fresh air for 2024

The Speaker’s Council presented a financial report for the 2023 financial year. A total of €9,579.58 was spent by the Student Parliament and its working groups. Around half of these funds were used to organise various lectures, including as part of the freie uni bamberg.

Numerous events are also planned for the new calendar year – a certain spirit of optimism was evident. The student life working group, which runs the Balthasar together with the AStA Bamberg e. V., announced a complete makeover of this popular meeting place. The student parliament was also able to recruit Martha Niemeyer, an expert on Bamberg’s cultural scene, for the culture working group.


Two important dates have already been set for the next semester: On 18 June, the public discussion with the University Executive Board is expected to take place at 6:30 pm. On 15 May 2024, all interested students will meet between 2 pm and 4 pm for the Student General Assembly. As always, all dates can be found in the StuVe calendar.

Header image: Jürgen Schabel / University of Bamberg