The general process of writing a Satzung for Interflugs
About a year ago the president of UdK, Martin Rennert, approached Interflugs in a meeting together with AStA and StuPa representatives with the request to formulate guidelines for a legal framework for the ASV/Interflugs – a so-called „Satzung“. Since then, long negotiation processes have taken place, and Interflugs has repeatedly been left out of the discussion. We demand to be included, and we are committed to help untangle the misunderstandings in the communication.
To us, the more students are involved in this discussion, the better, hence our support for the calling of a general assembly, surely the most democratic of all instruments available to the students.
A culture of feedback and negotiation among all students who utilise Interflugs, is needed in order to balance the “freer form”, and is warmly invited. We are also open to developing structures of oversight of our work that are more immediate, but we defy attempts at direct interventions into the strucures of decisionmaking. Interflugs follows strong principles both in our appointment procedures as well as funding decisions, to support people and projects who are subject to structural discrimination due to e.g. gender, race, origin, sexuality, ability status and class backgrounds, in order to increase the possibility of academic participation.
Conception of “ASV”
interdisciplinary curriculum independently led and conducted by students as an addition to the regular curriculum of UdK, with a specific focus on new media and interdisciplinary practices that were underrepresented at the time.
The president of UdK has brought forward a list of non-negotiable points for a Satzungs-paper for Interflugs is or should be in some form a political organ in the sense of representative democracy within the university. This has never been the case. From the outset, Interflugs/the ASV and its Beirut were there to do sentential work, not representational work. This does not mean that the guidelines along which Interflugs takes decisions, are not political. Making infrastructures of artistic production and reflection as accessible as possible is a political concern, though not in a representational sense, especially when it is about empowering minorities. It has never been the task of interflugs to solely represent the student body within the university. This is the task of StuPa and AStA.
The work of Interflugs has been to provide courses, lectures, workshops and infrastructure for creation and critical, interdisciplinary thinking, and in order to do this well, some certain skills and a balance thereof in the group are necessary (e.g. IT skills, film and audio editing and recording skills, just to name a few; in the frame of our rotation these skills then get passed on as much as possible). This is best judged by the group from their every day practice and experience that includes feedback from students who use Interflugs’ facilities.
Having the ASV modeled after a conventional representational structure, conflicts with its actual focus, and added bureaucracy would distract from its work. It also unnecessarily doubles (in an incomplete way) structures that already exist. We support the diversity of organisational structures among the different student initiatives at UdK.
The internal structure of Interflugs
The president’s demand to divide up the different areas of responsibility within Interflugs equals the demand to divide the group into something resembling professors, workshop techs, and administrative workers, disempowering the latter two groups from contributing to curricular and funding decisions. We strongly oppose this, since it runs counter to our non-hierarchical principles, which are also reflected in our practice of rotation of tasks.As a compromise we propose to name two people from Interflugs responsible for the finances, as acting Geschäftsstelle, each year – we believe this weight should be shared, not carried by one person alone. We also remain open to ideas for an alternative scenario of checks and balances, in which for instance a studentische Frauenbeauftragte, or the AStA Referat for Anti-Discrimination or both could play a role in holding us accountable to our guidlines. Furthermore, we agree to present our guidelines to the StuPa for a legitimising vote.
The freezing of the budget
It is with great sadness and irritation that we find ourselves pressured by the president’s announcement in an email from October 18th, to withhold the budget for the ASV project funding and course programme that includes two larger student initiatives we have started funding this year, who diversify and further substantiate the ASV programme and are supported but not run by the Interflugs team. Interflugs has never acted as purely a place of service, but the president has announced to restrict us to business as usual in the Ausleihe and editing rooms, with no resources to put on workshops to pass on the knowledge needed for the correct use of some of the tools available. All this would be to the disadvantage of many students and we strongly urge the president to reconsider his position and give everyone involved the time needed to come to an agreement that we can all stand behind. We are ready and willing to continue to be part of negotiations towards certain changes, just not with this kind of pressure from above, and not at the cost of student projects and initiatives that might not be possible without this funding, especially the recently formed Klimaklasse and I.D.A Initiative.