Why we should vote

Why we should vote

Marina Allal, research assistant, member of the Academic Senate

Social developments aren’t restricted to life outside the universities and many of the problems and even the grievances mentioned in this election newspaper are not specific to the FU. Nevertheless, it’s important to tackle these problems within the university with the support of the Staff Council. Sometimes the battle must be fought outside the university grounds through demonstrations and other forms of legitimate protest with the support of the trade unions, for example, by securing new collective bargaining agreements or the capital city allowance, by protesting against the new WissZeitVG, or in defending the follow-up commitment in Section 110 of the Berlin Higher Education Act.

A democratic university is characterized by its diversity and thrives on the commitment and co-determination of its members. The Berlin Higher Education Act ensures that co-determination at Freie Universität Berlin is exercised through centralized and decentralized committees such as institute and department councils or the Academic Senate. The Dahlem Staff Council represents the interests of technical, service and administrative staff as well as academic staff on the Dahlem campus.

The trade unions form a link between the work of the committees and the work of the Dahlem Staff Council, enabling employees to network within and across the university and access support structures. Trade unions are an important means of participation and achieving social progress, without which a great deal would not have been achieved. The right of all employees to form associations in order to protect their interests in the world of work is enshrined in Article 9 (3) of the German Basic Law.

Trade unions have historically proved to be a bulwark against anti-democratic tendencies and still are today. Despite all the criticisms (and these seem to be almost par for the course these days), trade union work is more important than ever. There is a great danger of becoming resigned to the situation or even being seduced by the false promises of populist politicians when people complain about a lack of recognition, a lack of career prospects, precarious jobs or a significant loss of purchasing power. These represent ready-made solutions that would unfortunately go hand in hand with a further dismantling of the welfare state and participatory rights, not to mention the threat of physical violence.

As mentioned above, social developments aren’t restricted to life outside the university and it is important where necessary to react appropriately and decisively both inside and outside of Freie Universität. As ver.di Berlin-Brandenburg writes on its homepage: “Even the workplace is not immune to right-wing slogans. The recipe for success against right-wing agitation is therefore to stand up together for better working conditions. Those who experience solidarity and a sense of empowerment are less susceptible to right-wing extremist ideas.” We can only do this by remaining critically aware, standing up for each other and allowing our voices to be heard. So, “Get up, stand up/ Stand up for your right / Get up, stand up / Don′t give up the fight!” And most importantly, don’t forget to vote, because every vote counts!

Information on the new election of the Dahlem staff council

The elections will take place from April 23rd. until May 10, 2024.

Overview of our candidates

Voting locations with choice

Postal voting information (Deadline 22.04.2024)