The “Referatekonferenz” (Department Conference, or in short and German: RefKonf) is the executive body of the students at Heidelberg University. It usually meets in the weeks when the StuRa is not in session, i.e. every two weeks. The so-called “Referent:innen” (speakers), who are elected by the StuRa into departments and deal with certain topics (e.g. IT, social affairs or culture), are entitled to vote.
The StuRa sets up departments for individual areas and elects students as department heads. These work […] independently within the framework of resolutions of the StuRa, implement its resolutions or draft resolutions if there is no resolution yet.Translated from: Studierendenrat der Universität Heidelberg – Referate, retrieved 2021-09-07
An Autonomous Department is an active group of students […] who feel themselves affected with regard to a specifically defined criterion (self-attribution and attribution by others) and advise the StuRa and the RefKonf on how to deal with it.Translated from: Übersicht über Gremien und Ämter der Verfassten Studierendenschaft sowie Gremien der Uni Heidelberg (PDF), page 41, retrieved 2021-09-19
The whole thing is somewhat freer than a normal department, but therefore also has fewer rights in the RefKonf: The speakers of the Autonomous Departments only have an advisory vote in the RefKonf.
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