AG CRITICAL DIVERSITY
The working group Critical Diversity was founded in 2016 as a working group within the Commission for Equal Opportunities at the UdK Berlin to draft a diversity policy. All Berlin universities are called upon to submit such a policy by 2022. This is a position paper describing measures that can be taken to further develop the UdK Berlin into a non-discriminatory art university. In order to emphasize that this endeavour will only be sucessful when dealing with existing discrimination and exclusion, the working group understands diversity as critical diversity. The development of a policy requires a participatory process and discussions with many actors in the field of diversity within and outside the UdK Berlin. For this reason, the working group has initiated the Council for Diversity and Equal Rights and set up the Critical Diversity Blog.
COMMISSION FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
The Standing Commission for Equal Opportunities (KfC) advises the Academic Senate (AS) and the university management on the development of internal university structures for the implementation of equal opportunities, thus complementing the function of the Women’s Representative. KfC’s specific tasks include strengthening gender/queer studies and intersectional perspectives in teaching and research and promoting equal opportunities for young artists and scientists. For example, the KfC makes an internal UdK selection of projects within the framework of the Berlin Programme for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities (BCP) and evaluates the mentoring programme for female artists and scientists. In addition, KfC proposes members for the Confidence Council (Vertrauensrat), which is convened in cases of (sexual) discrimination, harassment and violence. In order to develop structures and measures to implement diversity at the UdK Berlin, KfC has founded the working group Critical Diversity in 2016.
The task of the Women’s Representative is to work towards equal opportunities for women in higher education and to campaign for the elimination of existing disadvantages for female university members. This is stipulated in the Berlin Higher Education Act. The full-time Women’s Representative, the employees in the Women’s Representative’s Office and the part-time Women’s Representative in the faculties and other university instances are thus primarily responsible for women. The basis of our work, however, is an intersectional understanding that understands gender-related discrimination as broad and intertwined with other forms of discrimination.
The core activities of the Women’s Representative include counselling, monitoring recruitment and appointment procedures, and participation in various committees focusing on equal opportunities policy in higher education. In addition, the full-time Women’s Representative continuously implements
gender equality measures, which are developed in cooperation with other actors. Highlights in the last two years include the inter-university action day on proximity and distance in artistic education and the interdisciplinary project DiVAversity of Arts.
CONFIDENCE COUNCIL (RAT VON VERTRAUENSPERSONEN)
The Confidence Council works on the basis of the directive on protection against (sexual) discrimination, harassment and violence, which came into effect in June 2019. The aim of the council is to provide information on the subject of sexual discrimination, harassment, and violence, to support those affected, and to recommend and initiate preventive measures and concepts.
The council is open to all members of the UdK Berlin, including students, for whom the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) has only limited validity; the council would like to close this gap. Those affected have the possibility to contact a specific member or several members of the council. All members of the council are subject to the duty of confidentiality. The Confidence Council consists of one member of each status group within the university, one member of the Staff Council (Personalrat) and, if necessary, the representative for disabled persons (Vertrauensperson für Schwerbehinderte.) A deputy member is appointed for each member. The full-time Women’s Representative (Frauen- und Gleichstellungsbeauftragte) and the University Medical Doctor are permanent advisory members of the Confidence Council. Members are elected for four years.
CHAIR OF THE CONFIDENCE COUNCIL: PROF. MATHULDE TER HEIJNE
VICE-CHAIR: NADJA MÜLLER
PLEASE NOTE THE RESOURCES LISTED BELOW APPEAR AT THE MOMENT ONLY IN GERMAN
DIRECTIVE ON PROTECTION AGAINST (SEXUAL) DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE
INFORMATION ON SEXUALIZED DISCRIMINATION AND VIOLENCE FOR STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND STAFF OF THE BERLIN UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS (PDF)
COUNCIL FOR DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY
In January 2019 the working group Critical Diversity invited to a networking meeting on the topic of diversity at the UdK Berlin. The aim was to bring together UdK actors who are already working on topics such as diversity in different areas of the university. At this meeting, the idea of establishing an independent council for critical diversity development at the UdK Berlin was born. In June 2019, the Council for Diversity and Equality was founded. It currently consists of over 50 persons from all status groups and faculties and is open to all.
The Council for Diversity and Equal Opportunities serves
- the networking of different actors and groups on aspects of diversity and criticism of discrimination at the UdK Berlin
- the exchange, communication and joint reflection on a critical furthering of diversity,
- the feedback exchange during the development of a diversity policy for the UdK Berlin.
The Council for Diversity is self-organized and works independently. Its many voices allow it to speak decentrally.
CONTACT PERSON: CLAUDIA HUMMEL
COMPLAINTS OFFICE WITHIN THE GENERAL EQUAL TREATMENT ACT (AGG)
The General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) stipulates that every institution has a comprehensive right to complain about discrimination and that the institution must set up a complaints instance. At the UdK Berlin this instance is the chancellor Dr. Prechtl-Fröhlich. The AGG protects in cases of discrimination. It applies in specific areas such as work and housing, as well as in so-called mass market business. At the UdK, the AGG applies to employees. Students are only indirectly covered by the AGG, so there is a “protection gap”. This gap has now been closed by the Anti-Discrimination Act (LADG), which explicitly includes the education system and thus also the universities and students.
CONTACT PERSON: DR. ULRIKE PRECHTL-FRÖHLICH
COMMITTEE FOR EQUALITY AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS OF THE STUDENT PARLIAMENT (STUPA)
The student parliament is the legislative body of the students, where contents are developed and decisions are made. The StuPa of the UdK Berlin consists of 30 members elected by students and appoints the AStA-representatives.
The StuPa Committee for Equality and Social Affairs is mainly concerned with the topics of gender justice and diversity, with issues of desegregation and classism, and with the equality of women within the university community, with a focus on intersectionality and the needs of students who have experienced discrimination.
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION AND INTERCULTURAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT OF THE GENERAL STUDENTS’ COMMITTEE (ASTA)
The AStA represents the student body in committees and is the executive of the student parliament (StuPa). There are currently eight departmental offices, each of which is headed by students. Accordingly, the higher education policy issues are divided among these persons.
The Anti-Discrimination and Intercultural Affairs Department within the AStA is a contact point for students who have experienced discrimination. It works closely with the Women’s Representative and the International Office of the UdK Berlin. The person occupaying this office is part of the AG Critical Diversity and the Council for Diversity and Equal Rights.
Interflugs is an autonomous self-organized group managed by students at the Berlin University of Arts. Financed by the UdK, Interflugs works to channel the resources of this privileged academic context in a way that could challenge its own discriminatory structures, offering to the community services information and support to develop their own projects and initiatives. The initiative organizes equipment to lend, video/audio editing rooms, project funds, workshops, lectures, events and so on.
Common Ground is a student initiative founded by AStA at the Berlin University of the Arts in 2015. It supports people with refugee experience and disadvantaged internationals before and during their study application process. Its members act as mediators between prospective students and other university initiatives, such as AStA, International Office, Studium Generale, and Artist Training.
Common Ground is also a place for community building. Each year the group organizes and funds several social art projects with, for, and by people with refugee experience. The support comes through financing the realization of projects and/or establishing helpful contacts with other students and artists. New opportunities for participation in the university context and raising awareness of the issues relating to migration and exile are regularly offered.
I.D.A stands for intersectionality.diversity.antidiscrimination. It is an autonomous student initiative founded by the AStA Department for Antidiscrimination and Intercultural Affairs and other students. This initiative aims to build a network of students to generate more transparency in and access to higher education policy. Seminars and workshops are also organised to raise awareness.
COORDINATION OFFICE DIVERSITY
In 2018, the Coordination Office for Intercultural Diversity was established at the International Office, forming an interface with Intercultural Mentoring in Studium Generale. The Coordination Office enables the development, practical testing, evaluation and optimization of model projects and formats according to their contexts. This includes the structural development of a welcome culture (Willkommenskultur) for international students, further training courses to raise awareness among university staff and new communication platforms for international students. One third of all degree-seeking students at UdK Berlin are international students (as of 2020).
The project is supported by the DAAD with funds from the Federal Foreign Office (AA).
COUNSELLING FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND CHRONIC DISEASES
In order to enable affected students and applicants to have equal opportunities and barrier-free studies, the UdK Berlin has a representative for the interests of students with disabilities and chronic diseases. This is the contact person for all questions arising in connection with the study programme, starting with accessibility to buildings, to the consideration of individual needs in courses and examinations. Those affected can, for example, apply for adapted study and examination conditions to compensate for disabilityrelated restrictions. Possible options include time and/or deadline extensions for study and examination performances, compensation for attendance that is insufficiently observed due to illness, adapted internship conditions, etc. Financing of assistants or technical aids for studies can be applied for through the Studierendenwerk Berlin.
The project ARTIST TRAINING is a continuing education program for professional artists in exile. Since 2016, basic and advanced modules offer information and contacts in the fields of music, visual arts, performing arts, film and cultural journalism. Networking events facilitate concrete professional contacts; consultations are tailored to the individual situation. The aims of the programme are firstly to develop networks for artists seeking refuge in Berlin within the city’s cultural community and creative industries by introducing the institutions, secondly to establish an artistic professional practice on site, and thirdly to support the positioning in the respective artistic field.
The current projects Artist Training Berlin (State of Berlin), ARTISTIC COLLECTIVES (ESF and State of Berlin) and DIGITAL BASICS (DAAD PROFI) are located at the UdK Berlin Career College and are funded until December 2021.