When will NSIT become an independent university?
We have been around since the early 1980s, our maxim then - and still is today - independence from Austrian party politics; Student representatives at the university should determine where to go, not party headquarters. The first candidacy took place at the Vienna University of Technology, groups with the same basic idea established themselves at many universities and these joined together to form the student council lists of Austria (FLÖ).
In the 1970s the HTU Vienna was dominated by the Austrian Student Union (ÖSU), which later developed into an action group (AG) at many universities across Austria (with the exception of the University of Linz and the TU Graz, where it broke away from the party renounced). The former ÖSU, like the AG today, was closely related to the ÖVP and financially dependent on it. As was to be expected, when party-dependent parliamentary groups provide the executive, it was difficult to work for independent faculty and departmental representations (= student councils). Out of this unsatisfactory situation, the idea for a separate list was born: the non-party SPECIALIST LIST was founded.
In 1981, for the first time, a “list of independent student councils in technology” entered the university elections at the Vienna University of Technology. The absolute majority of the ÖSU at the Vienna University of Technology was already broken the first time, and two years later the ÖSU at the Vienna University of Technology died out. After the elections in 1983, the student councils appointed the chairman of the main committee (today chair of the university representatives) at the HTU Vienna for the first time. After a further four years (1987), the student council list appointed the chairperson of all five faculties and the main committee. And this state of affairs has not changed to this day.
But the idea of student council lists was not limited to the HTU Vienna. Immediately after the first beginnings in Vienna, a list of student councils at Graz University of Technology was created in 1983, which has consistently provided chairpersons since then. Today there are student council lists at 13 universities: University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (Delphin & Drache), Art University Linz (art and politics), Mozarteum Salzburg (art, social affairs and politics), University of Vienna (FLUW), University of Klagenfurt (PLUS) , University of Linz (Independent ÖSU Linz), University of Graz (FLUG), Montan University Leoben (horizon), TU Graz (student body list), University of Veterinary Medicine (ak), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (FALIBOKU), TU Vienna (student body list), Academy of Fine Arts (List Clementine), Independent Student Union List University of Salzburg (FLUS) and the Independent Student Union List MUW (UFMUW).
The student council lists have provided the chairpersons at TU Vienna and TU Graz for 25 years. Today we are in the presidency of 9 of the 21 universities. Seen in this way, the largest independent student group in Austria has emerged from a small group of committed student representatives. After the 2007 ÖH election, we also appointed Hartwig Brandl as the chairman of the ÖH federal representation for the first time. In the 2009 ÖH elections, the student council lists were again able to convince many voters with their commitment and to consolidate or expand the majorities in many university representatives.
We still cherish and maintain the independence of the SPECIALIST LISTS today. It makes us and the work we do credible. We are not young party functionaries who prepare their future party careers through pseudo-engagement in university politics. “From students for students” is our credo.
The student council principle is the secret of our success. It enables the study representatives to get involved in the work of the university representatives. This ensures that the chairpersons of the university representatives do not lose touch with everyday problems faced by students in their work.
Student unions managed by the student council lists allow the student and faculty representatives a maximum of autonomy in order to facilitate their ability to work. Our motto “With each other instead of against each other” is not only reflected in our dealings with students, but also in the way the student bodies deal with the student representatives and faculty representatives.
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