Yes We Campus!
Freie Universität kicks off the 2021/2022 winter semester with a week full of events and activities (October 4–7, 2021)
Oct 04, 2021
How many video chat frames would it take to cover the surface area of Freie Universität’s campus? How many would it take to represent all of the fields, topics, and projects that people at the university work on? How many would it take to show all of the people who study, teach, research, and work at our university? If you’ve already started to crunch the numbers, take a deep breath – we don’t have any exact figures. But one thing is for certain: The real-life campuses in Dahlem, Düppel, and Lankwitz (where Freie Universität Berlin is located) are by far more beautiful, more colorful, and more inspiring than the digital world in which we spent the last 18 months teaching, researching, and working due to the pandemic. The week of events on campus from October 4 to 7 is a chance for new students and those who haven’t experienced the university in person yet to come to campus and explore their surroundings.
#yeswecampus – The hashtag is the slogan for the week of events and activities. You’ll see it all around campus. In fact, you won’t be able to miss it in larger than life letters in front of the Holzlaube building on Monday, October 4 in Dahlem. The huge letters are about 1.5 meters tall and stretch to about 20 meters in length. Students, instructors, and employees are invited to share their thoughts, wishes, and impressions with the rest of the university community, as we head into a winter semester with as much on-site activity as possible, by leaving messages on the letters. On Monday at 1:30 p.m., Freie Universität’s president, Professor Günter M. Ziegler will mark the start of the new semester by adding his own message to the letters.
Food trucks will be there to provide refreshments, and live musical performances are scheduled. The square in front of the Holzlaube building is also the starting point for different campus tours. There are four to choose from.
Students and employees of Freie Universität, as well as residents of Berlin, will also have the opportunity to get vaccinated on campus on October 4. No advance registration is required. A vaccination van will be parked near the event area from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in front of the Holzlaube building at Fabeckstraße 23/24. The vaccination rate among Freie Universität students is currently quite high, according to a recent survey. Nine out of ten students have received their shots already. But that’s still not enough.
#yeswecampus = “3G rule” + Masks
The “3G rule” (meaning individuals must furnish proof that they have been fully vaccinated, made a full recovery from Covid-19, or produced a negative test result) and protective masks are the key to making sure that the winter semester can take place predominantly on campus. Spot checks will be conducted to ensure that everyone is sticking to the rules. The university’s Covid-19 FAQ page has all you need to know about the health and safety measures at Freie Universität to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The departments’ individual websites include specific information on how they will be conducting coursework, examinations, etc. during the upcoming semester. Several departments, including the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, have already been using a newly developed contact tracing web app to help stop the spread of infections. Freie Universität’s own Lutz Prechelt, a professor of computer science, created the app and explains how it works in the recent Featured Story “A Safe Start to the Semester.”
Questions? The Center for Academic Advising and Psychological Counseling Has Answers
If you’re a student, it’s good to know where to find Freie Universität’s Center for Academic Advising and Psychological Counseling – even when there’s no pandemic to contend with. You can find their offices in the Student Services Center. The team, led by Stefan Petri, is there to answer any questions you might have about studying at Freie Universität. They can also help you when times get hard, for example, if you are having problems staying motivated, finding your place in the community, or making decisions. They can also provide support with test anxiety, stress, and feelings of helplessness.
Freie Universität Berlin’s Libraries
Freie Universität Berlin’s libraries have reopened their workstations and study areas, though the number of spots available is still limited. You can find more information about using the workstations and the reduced-contact library checkout process here. The renovations to the Philological Library have now been completed. The German article “Frisch gemacht!” describes the improvements made over the last months and includes pictures of the work in progress.
Keeping Fit with Friends -- Inside and Out
The University Sports Center at Freie Universität is happy to announce that they will be offering indoor classes again this winter semester. Of course, participants and instructors will still need to observe the safety and health regulations in place. Registration for sports and fitness courses begins on October 1. Students, employees and former members of the university can sign up for a wide range of activities from “After Work Fitness” to jogging to canoeing.
Online classes will still be available, so you can do workouts wherever you might be: UniSport@Home. And if you’re working remotely from home, sign up for the Pausenexpress@HOME to help you take healthy breaks between video conferences and writing emails. Take time to stretch, bend, and rejuvenate!
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
There is still more good news: After a long 18-month stretch, the student cafeterias run by studierendenWERK BERLIN will be re-opening and providing more robust services again. The cafeterias and Mensen must follow the same safety and hygiene regulations that are in place for other gastronomical and hotel services in Berlin. That means that all cafeteria guests must observe the “3G Rule” and wear a medical-grade face mask while moving about the cafeteria. Contact tracing is also required. You can scan the cafeteria’s QR code using the German federal government’s Corona-Warn-App or the Luca App. If you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way: You can request an attendance slip, which you must fill out and submit. Please bring your own pen!
The following cafeterias will open on October 18 on the Freie Universität Berlin campus:
- Mensa and Coffee Shop FU II (Silberlaube building)
- Coffee Shop FU Rechtswissenschaften (Law Department)
- Mensa and Coffee Shop FU Koserstraße
- Mensa and Coffee Shop FU Lankwitz
- Mensa and Coffee Shop FU Düppel
- Mensa and Coffee Shop FU Pharmazie (Pharmacy building)
Veggie No. 1 (Mensa I) is currently closed for construction work. Once they are finished, the all vegetarian cafeteria will open for business again.
Benvenuto e buon appetito!
Ristorante Galileo is also back after a short summer break and ready to start the new semester. Located on the roof of the Silberlaube building, their tables offer a unique view of the Philological Library.
Cosimo and Chun Wai Dalessandro serve their guests a variety of dishes from the Puglia region of Italy as well as a selection of Italian coffees. Students pay special reduced prices.
Public University Events
Freie Universität’s “Open Lecture Halls” series is also set to resume with in-person events. However, the number of attendees is limited due to the current coronavirus regulations. If you want to experience the interdisciplinary public lecture series live and in color, please be sure to register in advance. Visit the “Open Lecture Halls” website to check the schedule for events for details.
Listen to the Music!
The Collegium Musicum, the joint orchestras and choirs of Freie Universität Berlin and Technische Universität Berlin, has around 120 orchestra members, 120 vocalists in the “Great Choir” and 36 in the Chamber Choir, as well as the Big Band, which is currently looking for new members – they rehearse every Tuesday. Starting October 18, the Collegium Musicum will resume rehearsals. The “3G Rule” will certainly apply, and special care will be given to keep a safe distance from other musicians. Masks will also be required, but can be removed when seated.
The symphony orchestra has no time to waste as they prepare for the 2020 German Orchestra Contest, which was postponed and will now take place on October 30. The “Great Choir” will hold its first rehearsal on October 19 at 7:00 p.m. On December 1 and 2, they will perform Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in the Apostel-Paulus Church in Berlin’s Schöneberg district. The annual tradition was interrupted by the pandemic. The end of the winter semester will be marked with a final concert on February 1 in the Berliner Philharmoniker concert hall – an event that also has a long tradition.