When the StuRa is not in session, the important decisions are passed on to the departmental conference. As the executive body of the students at Heidelberg University, it normally meets during the weeks when the StuRa does not meet, i.e. also every two weeks (Tuesdays, 5 p.m.). A so called ‘Referent’ oder department head speaks in the name of their department (e.g. IT or social affairs) and is elected by the StuRa, as well as entitled to vote.
“The StuRa sets up departments for individual areas of work and selects department heads from the student body. The Referenten work independently in their field of work and prepare draft resolutions for the StuRa. You can only be a Referent in one department.” (StuRa)
The StuRa has the following departments:
- IT’s FuN department (Inter*, Trans*, Women and Non-Binary Department)
- University networking (external department)
- International students
- Constitution of the VS and committee coordination
- Teaching and Learning
- Public relations
- Ecology and sustainability
- Political education
- QSM department
- Queer department(autonomous unit for persons affected by sexuality-related discrimination)
- Legal issues (Justice department)
According to the StuRa an autonomous department is “an active group of students from the circle of students who feel themselves affected by a particular criterion (self- and external attribution) and advise the StuRa and the RefKonf on how to deal with it”. These are therefore somewhat more free than a normal department, but also have fewer rights in the conference.
There are autonomous departments for:
- women affected by gender-specific discrimination,
- students with disabilities or chronic diseases,
- sufferers of racism and discrimination based on cultural attributions,
- sufferers of sexuality-related discrimination.