The Studentenwerk e.V. (stuwe) is not as well-known as the Studierendenwerk Stuttgart (a state-run non-profit organization for student affairs in Stuttgart). Both institutions have their roots in the establishment of the association “Stuttgarter Studentenhilfe e.V.” 100 years ago. In 1975, the federal states established “Studentenwerke” as public agencies. This is how today’s Studierendenwerk Stuttgart came into being. But the association “Studentenwerk e.V.”, too, remained in existence. For example, the securities portfolio and bank deposits financed by the Max Kade Foundation remained with this association. Therefore, in line with its statutes, stuwe has since been able to financially support social, cultural, and sports activities and institutions of the students from the University of Stuttgart, the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart, the Stuttgart Media University, and the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart.
Due to the corona pandemic, currently no projects can be funded as they do not take place, such as concert tours or events of the Student Council of the University of Stuttgart (stuvus). “Therefore, the stuwe board discussed how we can use the money wisely, because as an association we are not allowed to build assets,” explains Prof. Klaus Jan Philipp, who is the association’s chairman of the board.
200 students will each receive support in the amount of EUR 300
“We then decided that we want to help students who are experiencing financial hardship due to the corona pandemic, such as those who no longer have a part-time job and lack other income. We want to support these students with a one-time aid of EUR 300,” Philipp explains. The total amount of funds is EUR 60,000. In each of four application rounds, 50 students will receive a grant. A total of 200 students from the four participating higher education institutions can be supported. The students were informed about the opportunity by email, via the social media, and through stuvus.
A lot of incoming applications
To apply for the emergency aid, students have to prove that they are enrolled at one of the four higher education institutions and describe their emergency situation. “In the first round in March, we received 1,500 applications! We didn’t expect such a high number, which is 5 percent of the total number of students at the four universities,” says Christian Rickenstorf, who is one of the two student members of the board. The emergency situations described in the applications are often worrisome. The students need the money for paying their rent, food, or study material. “You have to realize that, to these students, EUR 300 is a lot of money,” explains Prof. Klaus Jan Philipp.
A new application system
The first round has now been completed. Applications for the second round must be submitted by April 18. There will be two additional application rounds in the summer. Each student can be supported only once. It was a lot of work to process the applications and select the students. “We are a small association, our members are working on a voluntary basis. Therefore we must think carefully about how we organize the corona aid, so that we succeed,” says Jeremias Hubbauer, the other student member of the board. For this reason, the association installed an application system on its website that simplifies the application process. This system will also be used in the future, beyond the corona aid.
About the association
The stuwe association wants to become more visible. Therefore, its web presence is currently being further developed. In addition to Chairman Prof. Klaus Jan Philipp, members of the board include Cornelius Audick (Chamber of Industry and Commerce), Dr. Günter Köble (Treasurer) as well as the two students Christian Rickenstorf and Jeremias Hubbauer. The rectors and chancellors of the higher education institutions are ex officio members of the association. The association currently has about EUR 30,000 to 40,000 available annually. The association’s board decides which projects will be funded. The biggest project funded by the association was the realization of the “Unitop” meeting place for students on the Vaihingen Campus at the beginning of the year 2000.
Other funding was provided to the University of Stuttgart’s Söllerhaus, which is situated in the Kleinwalser Valley and is operated by the “Association of Friends of the University of Stuttgart”. Also, concert tours of the Academic Choir and the Academic Orchestra of the University of Stuttgart as well as other institutions for students are supported on a regular basis. In addition, stuwe supports student excursions, as long as they are not a part of a course or other teaching activity, and studies abroad in connection with a final thesis. Other projects funded by stuwe include exhibitions, an outdoor fitness park on the Vaihingen Campus that will be completed shortly, and stuvus events such as the Campus Festival, which was originally scheduled for 2020.