The Student Board of the John F. Kennedy Institute, the "Fachschaftsinitiative" (FSI), is the perfect contact point for all students who want to know more about the ongoing developments at the JFKI and who would like to participate in the running of it. The Student Board is not an elected panel; participation is voluntary and open.
It is, of course, also possible to become active without being part of the Student Board. However, the FSI tries to combine student activities and student involvement. In this way, the students' interests can be better understood and together it is just more fun.
The open group normally meets every fortnight – either on a Monday or Wednesday evening in one of the participants' apartment – to exchange news, make plans and discuss joint action and activities. And there is always a small budget for food and drinks. Over the last few terms a steady core of participants has developed. However, anyone who is interested is very welcome to take part! The FSI is always in need of new blood.
The FSI's communication is conducted via a mailing list. You can sign up anytime, but your registration will have to be confirmed by the administrator.
At the meetings, the student representatives in the Institutsrat (IR) regularly give an account of the Council sessions they attended. Furthermore, the Student Board discusses issues that will be decided in the following sessions. That way, the collegiate members of the IR get an impression of the opinion of the student body with regard to certain issues, and can thus represent them even better in the sessions of the IR. It is mostly active participants of the FSI who contribute as collegiate members in commissions installed by the IR. Presently this is the case with the commission for public relations, and the bachelor commission. Similarly, there is always one collegiate member on the search committee.
Out of the greater circle of FSI participants, smaller groups are evolving. One of these came up with the idea for the regularly offered "Student Seminars".
The FSI does not only deal with highly serious topics. When it comes to organizing the Institute's annual festivals, there is a lot of scope for creativity. From time to time it is even possible to pick up some insider gossip! To add to that, there is almost always enough time after the official meetings for the more enjoyable aspects of collegiate "work".
The FSI Student Board also provides a framework for the exchange of students' experiences, or, in certain circumstances, to discuss problems. When things get really serious, be aware that the student helpdesk will be available for discussing issues relating to exams or study conditions. In severe cases, professional help is offered by the consulting service of the Freie Universität Berlin.
With the introduction of the Master course in winter semester 2005/2006 and the Bachelor course in Winter Semester 2006/2007, an old tradition has been revived at the JFKI: Now that there are freshman students on a regular basis again, the FSI arranges a get-together breakfast for freshmen at the beginning of each winter semester, in order to make the new students feel welcome. Here the students are offered first points of contact and given information that they won't find in the official student guide (Studienhandbuch).
If you are interested in attending the FSI meetings and in participating, feel free to just drop in. When and where the next meetings are held is noted in the news section of this site. If you have concrete questions, requests or just want to contact the FSI first, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.