In view of the fact that the topic of politics on campus is once again gaining a certain importance and is certainly also causing controversy, we as AStA also want to take a stand on this topic and try to explain our political self-image. In addition, we are currently in the process of developing a political mission statement for us as AStA and would like to explain how this is to be understood and why we consider its development to be meaningful.
In essence, it is important to understand that, unlike most other university campuses, we do not represent party interests and do not discuss them any more than we discuss the possibilities of implementing a specific ideology. However, it is necessary to have political and ethical discussions in order to fulfill our tasks as AStA. On the one hand, because we are legally required by the HambHG (§102) and our statutes (§2) to "take care of university political concerns [...]", "political education [...] civic responsibility[...] [, the] readiness to stand up for basic and human rights as well as tolerance [...] to promote", "to take a stand on all questions that deal with the application of scientific knowledge and the assessment of its consequences for society and nature" and "to support the intellectual and cultural interests of the students". All these tasks cannot be separated from ethical and political questions and decisions. Moreover, political and ethical considerations also play a role in some of the other decisions we have to make in the AStA. To neglect these would have nothing to do with political neutrality, but naivety. Absolute political neutrality is not possible for an AStA simply because of its character as a decision-making body, since a decision on a political issue is always a political decision.
Of course, this does not mean that we politicize every topic in the AStA or that we only use our resources for political discussions and actions, as we think you can see from the multitude of absolutely non-political projects that we implement, such as ModLUK, RaveING, Fahrradstation etc.. We just want to clarify why we think that political discussions and considerations should also have a place in the AStA.
Furthermore, we do not want to be misunderstood to the effect that we want to instrumentalize our powers to implement some ideology or to dictate a political opinion to the students. But we are human beings and as such we also have political and ethical opinions, which are diverse in the AStA.
This is precisely where the "political mission statement" comes into play, which we are currently developing. This is not intended to be a dogma or an agenda that we can use to fight together for our political convictions. Nor is it to be misunderstood as an even greater investment of our time resources for political work. Rather, it is intended to accomplish two things:
- Firstly, the political mission statement should create transparency about the political opinions represented in the AStA and our efforts to act towards the students as well as the other bodies. This should help to proactively avoid misunderstandings, contribute to political education etc. through "confrontation" according to §2 point 2 of the statutes of the student body and give the StuPa as well as the FSRs the opportunity to enter into an open and constructive discourse with us about our opinions.
- Secondly, the mission statement should make our work as AStA easier. On the one hand, it means that we don't have to have the same discussions over and over again and, in the long term, have to invest fewer resources in political and ethical disputes. On the other hand, it enables us to represent the student body (statute §18 (1)) and to take a stand (statute §2 point 3) on the points on which the StuPa can agree with us.
For these two reasons, we consider the development of a political mission statement in this form to be profitable both for the cooperation of the committees, our work as AStA, and indirectly and directly for the students. We hope to have explained our position conclusively. If you have a different position on this matter, we invite you to enter into an open discourse with us.