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  • Sustainability Report 2023


    Campus Bielefeld University
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Leo and Jasmin, consultants of the department for ecology, nature and climate protection of the 48th AStA
Leo and Jasmin, consultants of the department for ecology, nature and climate protection of the 48th AStA

As students, we have the opportunity to get involved in university politics in various ways and thus also fight against the climate crisis.

AStA [Student Union] Bielefeld University

Social transformation processes rarely take place when people only do the bare minimum - which makes commitment to climate protection a necessity. After all, we have been in a crisis for years that can only be mitigated through activism and immediate political action. Even though environmental movements are gaining momentum and media attention, politicians do not seem to be taking the crisis seriously - or want to. This is because hardly any action is being taken to achieve the desired 1.5 °C target. Instead, fossil fuel companies continue to be supported, natural areas are destroyed for roads and activists who peacefully draw attention to these very issues are condemned. Economic interests are still being prioritised at the expense of people and nature.

The term "climate anxiety" does not come from somewhere. The consequences of the climate crisis are far-reaching and probably irreversible. Heatwaves, flood disasters - we are already feeling all these effects. The fact that these weather changes will not improve, but rather the opposite will be the case, does not exactly contribute to a positive feeling. Added to this is anger about the great injustices. Because although a lot will change here: The greatest consequences will be felt by people in the Global South. To counteract this, our approach to climate protection must change fundamentally. A system change is needed that is based on fundamentally different structures. Solutions to the climate crisis do not come from a Eurocentric perspective; they must be thought of globally, question our current economic system - capitalism - and understand discrimination such as racism and sexism as sometimes causes and perpetuating conditions of the climate crisis.

However, many people do not realise the complexity of climate protection. Every cog in society is therefore an important step towards dealing with this crisis appropriately.

As social institutions, universities also have an important role to play here. As students, we have the opportunity to get involved in university politics in various ways and thus also fight against the climate crisis. One option is to found a university group and become active there. If you would like to make a greater commitment or get more involved in decisions at Bielefeld University, you can also be elected to the student parliament or the various committees. Elections to the student parliament (StuPa) take place every year in June. However, students often do not have the capacity to become more actively involved in politics at university alongside their studies and possible job and family commitments. However, they can always pass on their wishes and concerns to the AStA.

The AStA is the General Students' Committee and is put together on the basis of the StuPa election results. It represents the students at Bielefeld University and is also involved in various areas for more climate protection and sustainability at the university, which we will present below.

Below you can find out more about the projects of student engagement in the field of sustainability. Here are the self-introductions of the respective groups:

Student commitment

Sustainability Fund

A staff member is standing at a table writing something. Next to her is a laptop with the word "sustainability fund" on the screen.
Bielefeld University / Pollmeier

Bielefeld University's Sustainability Fund is designed to encourage researchers and students to plan and implement a sustainability-related project at Bielefeld University. They can apply to the Sustainability Fund and receive support of up to 300 euros for projects ending dates on the campus of Bielefeld University. The focus on sustainability is not only limited to ecological sustainability, but also social and economic sustainability.

The following projects have been sponsored so far:

The Sustainable Semester

Thanks to the dedicated involvement of students and staff at Bielefeld University, the Sustainable Semester 2023 was realised. It offered all members of the university the opportunity to learn and exchange information on the topic of sustainability through various activities such as presentations, campus tours, lunch & learns, workshops and networking events. A total of 29 events were offered, 11 of which were organised by students. Around 141 staff, people took part in the events in total.

The image depicts a pictogram on which eye symbols show the distribution of student-organised events in the Sustainable Semester. There were a total of 29 events, 11 of which were organised by students. In total, around 141 participants took part in the Sustainable Semester.
* for events requiring registration © Bielefeld University
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