Student Representatives‘ Council (Fachschaft)
The German term “Fachschaft” technically refers to the entire student body within a faculty. But it is commonly used to refer to the elected student representatives of the university’s faculties (comparable to a school’s student council). Once a year (in November), the faculty council (“Fachschaftsvertretung”, short “FSV”) is elected at the same time as the student parliament. The faculty council consists of eleven or 15 members – depending on the number of students majoring in the faculty – and elects its executive authority at an inaugural meeting: The Student Representatives’ Council (“Fachschaftsrat”, short “FSR”). These representatives are commonly referred to as “Fachschaft”. There are currently 49 of these student representatives’ councils at Münster University, some of them representing less than 200 students with a major or minor in their respective faculties, some representing more than 5,000.
The council concerns itself with everything of interest for the student body: study counselling, sale and loans of scripts and old exams, introductions for freshers, parties, evaluations of lectures, etc., etc. In general, student representatives’ councils are especially appreciated because of these services. The fact that one of their main tasks is also to represent students towards teachers, AStA, etc. is often neglected. The members of these councils often efficiently represent the students’ interests in committees such as the department’s council or the department’s executive board, e.g. concerning new study regulations or when appointing new professors; this work often remains hidden.
The council usually meets up every week for an official conference (“Fachschaftssitzung”). These conferences are open to everyone, meaning every student is welcome to participate in them.