Due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, this year’s committee elections of the University of Stuttgart could not take place as usual in the summer semester. Instead, they were postponed to the winter semester and are to take place from 23 November to 2 December. For the first time, they will be carried out in the form of an online election. As a result and in accordance with statutory provisions, the current representatives will continue in office until a successor takes over.
Questions and information on the committee elections
According to § 2 subsec. 1 WahlO (election regulations), only members and affiliates of the University of Stuttgart who are on the electoral roll can vote and be elected. The decisive date for the eligibility to vote and the eligibility to be elected (electoral deadline) is the day of the provisional closure of the electoral roll. After this deadline, corrections and changes to the electoral roll can only be made under certain conditions.
No, everybody must vote in person. Persons entitled to vote who are prevented from casting their vote due to a physical disability can make use of the assistance of a person of trust.
The electoral roll is a formal register of all those entitled to vote (and thus also of those who can be elected). It is an essential formal basis for conducting the election.
The Electoral Commission of the University of Stuttgart creates an electoral roll on which all persons are listed who are entitled to vote by the electoral deadline. The following data are stored on the electoral roll:
- consecutive number,
- last name,
- first name,
- official title or professional designation, or student ID number in line with § 60 subsec. 1 sentence 1 LHG (law on higher education institutions in Baden-Wuerttemberg),
- faculty affiliation or the affiliation to any other organizational unit,
- the allocation to a member group,
- note on the issue of absentee voting documents,
- note on the voting, and
All employees entitled to vote who are on the electoral roll will receive an election notification by internal mail. The notification includes the following information:
- last name,
- first name,
- official title or professional designation, or the student ID number in the case of students and doctoral researchers,
- faculty affiliation or affiliation to any other organizational unit, and
- the allocation to a member group.
Enrolled students and doctoral researchers who have not received a notification by internal mail (because they are not employees) will receive this information via their C@mpus email address.
If you have not received this information, please contact the Electoral Commission.
In principle, absentee voting is possible within the framework of a ballot box election, provided that the voter is prevented from voting in the voting room at the time of the election.
How do I request an absentee ballot?
Absentee ballots can be requested in an informal way by sending an email to the Electoral Commission. Please provide us with the following data:
- Last name
- First name
- Student ID number, if applicable
- Faculty / institution / department
- Email address
- Students and doctoral researchers: the address you provided to C@mpus
Members of the other voter groups: your internal-mail address
If you cannot be reached at the provided address for a longer period of time, please send an alternative address to the Electoral Commission.
How much does the absentee vote cost?
The return envelope for your voting documents is not pre-paid. Please make sure that you mail it with sufficient postage when you send your voting documents back to the university.
Can I vote in person before the election (early voting)?
If you pick up the absentee voting documents in the Legal Department, you have the option of completing the voting documents on site and placing them in a sealed ballot box.
How does absentee voting work?
You will receive the following documents from the Electoral Commission:
- Return envelope
- Voter notification card
- Ballot envelope
Please make sure that you mark your ballot in person and that nobody is watching you. Then fold the ballot paper once, place it in the ballot envelope and seal the envelope properly. Ballots whose envelopes are not sealed will be rejected.
Next, please complete the voter notification card. The voter notification card and the sealed ballot envelope are then placed in the return envelope, which is pre-printed with the address of the Electoral Commission of the University of Stuttgart.
Please seal the return envelope and
- submit it in person to the Legal Department, Electoral Commission, or
- send it to the pre-printed address of the Electoral Commission by internal mail, or
- mail it with sufficient postage to the pre-printed address of the Electoral Commission.
In any case, please allow for a sufficiently long mail delivery time.
By when must the absentee vote be received by the Electoral Commission?
The marked ballot in the return envelope must be sent by (internal) mail in good time so that the Electoral Commission will receive it by the end of the second election day. Envelopes received later than that date cannot be considered. The risk of late delivery is borne by the voter. Alternatively, you can hand in the return envelope in person at the Legal Department, Electoral Commission, 3rd floor, 24b Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse, Stuttgart 70174.
Please note: There must be sufficient postage on the return envelope if you send it by mail. You should also bear in mind that the return envelope must be sent to the Electoral Commission in good time in order to ensure that it will be received by 3 p.m. on the last election day (5 June 2019) at the latest. The risk of late delivery is borne by the voter.
The (academic) Senate
The (academic) Senate is the highest academic committee of a university. All member groups participate in it. The Senate enacts all statutes of the university (it has the so-called “right to enact statutes”). Statutes can be compared to laws at the state level. Statutes are, for example, exam regulations, administrative regulations for the university’s institutions, doctoral degree regulations, election regulations, and the University Charter (the “basic law” for the university).
The Senate and the University Council elect the full-time members of the Rectorate (the Rector, the Chancellor, and the CIO) as well as the part-time vice rectors.
The Senate adopts the structural and development plan, which is drawn up every five years and contains the basic planning for the university’s internal structure (professorships, facilities, structural measures).
The Senate also issues statements on recommendations of appointment that were submitted by the faculties, on the budget, and on the dedication of professorships.
The list of tasks of the Senate can be found in the LHG and comprises 15 points, of which only some are mentioned above.
The Senate sets up numerous committees that prepare its resolutions and statements. A substantial part of the Senate’s work takes place in these committees.
All member groups also participate in the large faculty boards (“large” faculty boards because all professors of a faculty belong to them without having been elected). They decide on the affairs of their faculty, in particular the study and exam regulations of the respective study programs, the recommendations of appointment when positions as a professor are being refilled, and the faculty’s structural and development plan. The faculty board elects the Dean and the other members of the Office of the Dean.
Furthermore, the faculty boards appoint the committees on student affairs and teaching, which arrange the further development of the courses offered. Many resolutions of the faculty boards are passed on to the Senate, where they are finally adopted using the Senate’s right to enact statutes.
General meeting of the Stuttgart Center for Simulation Science
In terms of its tasks, the general meeting of the Stuttgart Center for Simulation Science can roughly be compared to a faculty board. The meeting decides on the courses offered by the Center as well as on its structural and development plan.
Student Parliament (StuPa)
The Student Parliament (StuPa) makes fundamental decisions that affect the stuvus student council, and it controls the executive committee of stuvus. For example, it conducts the elections to the executive committee as well as the elections to the heads of department and the working groups. It also adopts the statutes, regulations, and budgets of stuvus and handles general motions, such as official statements by the student body on a particular issue, and large expenditures. The StuPa also decides in the event of disagreements within stuvus.
Participation of the university members is based on the “qualification, function, responsibility, and concern” of the individual university members. These four terms define the so-called group university and justify the division of its members into member groups. This classification should be made in such a way that the individual member groups are “homogeneous” in the sense that the individual members of a member group are as similar as possible with regard to these four terms.
What member groups are there?
The LHG defines the following member groups for participation in the committees, which are set up according to the respective member groups:
- university professors and adjunct professors, insofar as they work full-time and mainly perform the tasks of a professorship,
- academic employees except teaching staff (§ 52 subsec. 6 LHG),
- students (according to § 60 subsec. 1 sentence 1 letter a LHG),
- doctoral researchers (according to § 60 subsec. 1 sentence 1 letter b LHG), and
- other employees.
The term “other employees” is not meant in a pejorative sense, but is a default regulation (a common legal terminology) in the sense that all university members who are not explicitly a member of one of the other groups will be allocated to this member group. For this reason, members of the support staff belong to this latter group. In the University Charter of the University of Stuttgart, the members of this voter group are also called “administrative and technical staff”.
There are numerous circumstances that lead to the fact that a person entitled to vote initially belongs or can belong to several member groups. However, you can only vote and be elected in one member group, so there are regulations necessary that determine the allocation of these cases to a particular member group. Allocation to a member group is the same for all elections taking place at the same time.
Doctoral researchers / Academic employees
If you are enrolled as a doctoral researcher and at the same time are working full-time at the University of Stuttgart, you can decide whether you want to be a member of the “academic employees” voter group or the “doctoral researchers” voter group. Please inform the Electoral Commission by mail or, preferably, by email, about your decision: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not make use of this option, you will be randomly allocated to one of the two voter groups. Your voter group will be the same for all elections taking place at the same time and can only be changed when the next regular elections of this voter group are due. If the eligibility to vote is determined randomly by the university, you can change your voter group for the next regular election, regardless of the voter group.
Other voter groups
If you belong to two or more of the remaining voter groups, you can inform the Electoral Commission by mail or, preferably, by email about which voter group you want to be in: email@example.com. If you do not make use of this option, you will be allocated to the first applicable of the following voter groups: university professors, academic employees, students, doctoral researchers, other employees. Your voter group will be the same for all elections taking place at the same time and can only be changed when the next regular elections of this voter group are due.
Faculty affiliation of university professors
If you are, as a university professor, not a member of a faculty, you can specify in writing to the Rectorate which faculty you wish to be affiliated to. Faculty affiliation is the same for all elections taking place at the same time. If you belong to several faculties by co-optation, you are entitled to vote in all these faculties in the senate election, but you are not eligible to be elected.
Affiliation of academic staff and other employees to several faculties
If you are in the “academic employees” or “other employees” voter group and belong to more than one faculty, you are entitled to vote and eligible to be elected in the faculty in which the greater part of your employment relationship is located. If no clear faculty affiliation can be determined, you will be affiliated to the faculty with the lower order number, unless you decide on a different faculty and inform the Electoral Commission (by email to firstname.lastname@example.org). Faculty affiliation is the same for all elections taking place at the same time.
Affiliation of students to several faculties
If, as a student, you belong to more than one faculty because of your study program(s), you are only entitled to vote and be elected in the one faculty that you specified when you enrolled. If you did not specify a faculty, you will be affiliated to the faculty of your first major subject, unless you decide on a different faculty and inform the Electoral Commission (by email to email@example.com). You also must inform the Admissions Office in person during opening hours about your decision.
How do I change my voter group or faculty affiliation?
You can request a change of voter group or faculty affiliation from the Electoral Commission