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Student newspaper Erfurt University

Special I Winter term 11/12


Racist Attacks at the University

Everybody knows that but nothing changes at all

Last week, the University of Erfurt organized a Forum Uni Spezial about the subject of racism. Approximately a hundred students, lecturers and employees gathered in the universitys cafeteria to take part in the discussion. The reasons for this event were racially motivated attacks against students of the university that happened on campus or in the city. At the Forum Uni Spezial not only students but also the university directorate made it clear that those incidents should not be tolerated. Voices were being raised for projects to prevent racism and to encourage dealing with it. According to Gerd Mannhaupt, vice president for Studium und Lehre, the call for action can only be carried together, by lecturers and students as well as the universitys administration. When several verbal and physical attacks on students were reported in December, the student group AntiRa Campus Erfurt (group against racism on campus) was founded. The groups aim is to collect those reports and to help the persons affected. They support international students, trying to advocate for them. If possible, the group will establish links to other organizations, e.g. the Student Union. They are also fighting to bring the latest problems to public attention. Talking about racism the incidents should not be trivialized, AntiRa said. Furthermore, members of the group are planning seminars to inform and talk about subjects like racism. The groups meetings have been attended by more than 40 members of the university, among them professors, students and employees. Talking about racism, another topic attracted attention at Forum Uni Spezial: The Student Union tries again to achieve the

title university without racism university with courage. Erfurt would be the first German university to get this award. It is linked to an active commitment of the whole university against racism and discrimination. Every institution shall offer an informing event every semester. The members that voice their support for the title by signing it declare that in case of a racist comment or incident they wont stay passive but call the police or intervene otherwise. Two years ago the student union tried to achieve this title for the university but floundered on those requirements. Back then, they aimed for the signature of all members of elected committees by which the members would have been obliged not to look away and to show commitment against racism. However, several student departments didnt send in their signature, on the part of the highest committee of the university, the board of trustees, only a few signatures were sent in. One committee even decided against supporting the campaign. Chairwoman Andrea Scholz tried to justify this by pointing out that an intervention in racist incidents could be dangerous. Student Union as well as the universitys senate criticized this remark. It is not known yet whether the Student Union will choose the same path this time by contacting the representatives of the several committees and the support of the title-awarding organization has not been confirmed either. (ch)
Since weve been writing this article in a very short time and since were neither students of the English language nor native speakers, we hereby apologize for any spelling or grammar mistakes.

Important Contacts
Group AntiRa Campus Erfurt
Best contact, if you experience racist incidents on campus



Helps to take preventive actions, if racist incidents can be anticipated

Team Antiracism of the Student Union


Organizes events to raise the students awareness of discrimination

Springboard to Learning


Sends people with migration background to teach in schools, so that children learn to respect diversity

Equal Opportunities Officer Sabine Schmolinsky

Responsible authority for gender subjects



Strangers become Friends

International students are paired up with host families in Erfurt



Aids the victims of racist attacks


V.i.S.d.P.: Alexander Kott