Inside Gauss Haus: What is the Gauss Haus Council?

Inside Gauss Haus: What is the Gauss Haus Council?

Artwork by Fabie Diffé

Gauss Friends is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2008. For many years it relied on the volunteer efforts of great people to provide various care and activities. However, there came a moment when we needed to find a more sustainable way to sustain this for many years without depending on the volunteer efforts of many people. Therefore, the Gauss Friends submitted an application to the Study Quality Commission (Studienqualitätskommission) to establish the Gauss Haus Project.

When the application to the Study Quality Commission to create a coordinating position and 2 student assistants (86 hours/month) at the Faculty 6 was accepted, the idea arose to create a council at the same time to be able to recommend actions to the Institute. In addition, one did not want to lose the democratic basis by the emergence of the Gauss Haus Project at the institute and thus always remain capable of acting.

The Gauss Haus Council was initially formed through the bilateral cooperation of the association “Internationaler Kreis der Carl Friedrich Gauß Freunde e.V.”, the Department for International Students and the Department for International Affairs of the General Students’ Committee (AStA) of the TU Braunschweig. There was an effort for the creation of a transparent infrastructure of communication and co-determination for the realization of joint events and activities. After the foundation of the Gauss Haus Project and the association “Alumni Braunschweig International”, both organizations were also included in the Gauss Haus Council. 

An alibi participation of (foreign) students in decision-making processes is a weak point that often characterizes various participation models in practice in the area of support for international students. In the Gauss Haus Council, the representatives of the AStA departments elected by the student parliament are directly involved in the decision-making. The Gauss Friends Association is also represented on the Council – i.e. an international student initiative founded jointly by foreign and German students. 

This close cooperation in the Gauss Haus Council made it possible to place the Gauss Haus Project on a broad basis of legitimacy and participation. After the regrettable termination of the Gauss Haus Project, the Gauss Haus Council currently consists of 12 members, who are distributed as follows and meet once a semester:

  • 4 representatives of Gauss Friends e.V.
  • 3 representatives for international students
  • 1 speaker for international affairs
  • 4 representatives of Alumni Braunschweig International