Council meeting minutes from 2023-02-14
minutes of the students' representative council for study programs of computer science
|Present:||Alexander Rogovskyy, Max Walter (from: 18:23), Lukas Abelt, Clemens Beining (till: 18:43), Manuel Messerig, Sophie Kohler (from: 18:59), Keerthana Burly (from: 18:23), Anton Voran, Abdul Rafay, Ferdinand Könneker, Anton Wittig (from: 18:29), Vikram Singh (till: 19:49), Nicolas Erbach (till: 19:35), Simon Döring, Daniel Wägner|
|Minute taker:||Anton Voran|
Last Week we had the Breakfast. We ran out of food rather fast, which is rather unfortunate and surprised a lot. Also behind the scenes some things went wrong. For example the room was not as clean as some people wished for. Then there were some minor issues, like putting up the cheese etc. wrongly. Then we ran out of buns as soon as we restocked the toppings. Running out of buns marks the end of the breakfast as they are the only ingredient we cannot sensibly restock short-term. The soup was recepted kind of well, next time we want to add more ingredients as it was rather bland. There are currently a three possible sponsors for the next breakfast. We will inform them on longer notice.
We will think about how to restructure the breakfast next time, as it was suboptimal. Our lessons learned are: Buy more food, Do not restock, let some person check the room on the day before, be sure that there are always people who knows "how the breakfast works".
There have been complaints that people have a rather hard time finding theses topics and chairs. We would like to improve that situation. In our opinion the problem has multiple reasons, under which there is the lack of an overview of what chairs exist, as all information is split across over the websites of the different research institutes and the SIC. A central information page would help in that regard. Furthermore there is no general information what a thesis even is, so students do not know what they can expect. With that there comes the lack of information of how to approach a thesis, e.g. how to contact professors, a style guide etc.
These ideas came up in discussions with professors and they majorly share our opinion. We will discuss this topic again considering the results of the Deans Lunch.
Sometimes we communicate with other people outside of council, which is hard to track as other members cannot see all emails. We would like to add an internal mailing list, where it is easier to also pull other people. On the other hand, the current mailing system works well and it would be rather easy to extend.
We discussed about having more mailing lists, which we are not sure about. However the discussion board on Discord might be a good alternative.
We would like to add a Task Force which handles the communication with new professors, inviting them to meetings and paticipating in hiring commitees. We are in favour of doing that (9 in favour, 0 abstaining, 0 against). Clemens has been voted to be the member of this task force.
The next Game Night will take place on 10th of March. Vikram will host it. There will be a doodle this week where we ask for manpower. The doodle should be filled out until end of the week. The happening of the Game Night depends on the amount of people that can help. If there are not enough helpers, there will NOT be a game night.
We currently get the admissions from the facility management and other institutions for the lockers of the bioinformatics. They will be free for the students to use. We will install them in E1.1 next to the mailboxes. We will pick them up as soon as possible.
There are not enough memes at the SIC, especially as computer scientists are close to the topic. We plan to hang them up as Posters on Campus, e.g. on our Pinboard. There existed a meme page on social media, which were stopped due to some unhumourous people. In general, posters are currently actively fought against by the university authorities. We also think a designated Discord channel would be a good idea, however we would need to moderate that, as some people create inappropriate creations. In general the Council is in favour of creating some infrastructure. We will ask for permission if that is okay.
A member of the council got told that some people feel like studying Computer Science at Saarland University is harder than at other Universities or other majors. We gathered the opinions of the student council members to that statement. There is an agreement that the Master studies are manageable in general. There are lots of courses to choose from, varying in difficulty, making it possible to only choose lectures only on the easier side. The Bachelor Studies have less flexibility in choice, especially in the first semesters there is a heavy workload. People often have other expectations for computer science studies, and the heavy theoretical focus here makes it quite hard. Furthermore very few people actually stay in the expected time for a bachelor thesis. This has the effect that people often go over the standard study time period.
In general it is hard to compare to other universities, as there are no numbers of graduates or similar published anymore, and it is very hard to generalise them as the data would need to be filtered, which would take a long time.
There has been made the remark that studying here feels not complete with the Masters Diploma but a PhD, increasing the pressure of success on students. However the majority of the council has the opinion that exactly that is a strong point of the university, i.e. it makes the broad amount of core and advanced lectures possible.
The "Zeit"(weekly newspaper of record) has ranked the teaching at Saarland University pretty low, but the University does not seem to care about that very much. In contrast, they advertise the location with its strong research department.
The council has few hope that the studying situation can be improved short-term. There are some long-term ideas, for example enabling some more support for theses (see above) or improving the QUALIS evaluations such that they provide better feedback to the professors.