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Student Board

Students at the John F. Kennedy Institute: Student Role and Voluntary Activities

Student involvement has always been a big part of the JFKI experience. Even though everybody is constantly juggling term papers, essays, internships and student jobs, student involvement has become a cornerstone of the JFKI student life.

There are numerous ways students can get involved at the JFKI, and we are always trying to accommodate everyone.

  • The "student board", the student council of the JFK meets regularly to discuss what is going on at the institute. Academics, university politics and general student issues are the main focus of the student board meetings. Planning and organizing the annual summer and winter parties, and big events, like the JFKI election nights, is also an important part of the student board.
  • Student representatives: two JFKI-students are elected members of the "Institutsrat", the institute's decision-making body. In addition to that, one student of the JFKI has also been elected member of the "StuPa", the University Parliament of the Freie Universität Berlin, in the last election.
  • For those who are more interested in the less serious side of university life, our very own student-run "Caféte" is a great opportunity to get involved. The cozy café, with its comfy couches and friendly folks, is the heart of the institute. A great place for socializing, grabbing a quick cup of fair-trade coffee or having a delicious homemade sandwich, the Cafete is always looking for people to cover a weekly two hour shift. Just ask the people at the counter or shoot us a message at the Cafete Facebook page.
  • Learning without the pressure to achieve and discussing and exchanging ideas with fellow students: that's the idea of the students' seminar. The student board normally organizes one seminar per semester. In previous years, topics such as alternative media, American subcultures, foreign policy and security policy after 9/11 as well as US-Latin American relations have been discussed. In a reading seminar, students also analyzed Noam Chomsky's and Edward Herman's work "Manufacturing Consent", in which the authors develop a propaganda model and elaborate on the problem of "corporate media". Under the title "The Real Life", in 2006, the student board organized a seminar in the form of weekly excursions where the participants took a look behind the scenes of such organizations as the German Marshall Fund, the German Foreign Office and both the US and the Canadian embassies.