PAMPLONA - As news breaks that another European institution is struggling from the economic crisis in Europe, despair intensifies.
The Österreichische Hochschülerinnen- und Hochschülerschaft, abbreviated ÖH, is the Austrian Students´ Union and is the general students’ government body in Austria by federal law. It represents the interests of the Austrian students on faculty, university, national and international level. Similar to other chambers in Austria (eg. AK, WKO, LK, ÖAK, BAIK, ect...), membership is compulsory, including PhD candidates., thus all 330 000 students studying in Austria are members of the ÖH.
The ÖH holds university elections at all university representation levels every two years in spring where factions compete for to get elected into university assemblies. The colleges of education and universities of applied science hold an election every year where individuals compete to be elected. The universities then elect their federal assembly delegates according to the local election results. The federal assembly delegates can choose to join together to form clubs that usually reflect the faction at university level. Some delegates do not belong to a club.
Currently there are nine clubs in the ÖH federal Assembly, some clubs are close to political parties in Austria or are party sub organizations, some are aligned to a political ideology or philosophy and some are independent. Here are current clubs listed in delegate strength order (EC 2011-2013)
The Federal Executive Committee of 2011 to 2013 is supported by a coalition of FLÖ / Gras / FEST / VSSTÖ.
The two ESU delegates are assigned to the strongest and second strongest club unless the strongest club has twice as many federal assembly delegates as the second.
In Austria-Hungary student clubs were present along ethnic populations, with for example a German student club and a Slovenian student club in the University of Graz. From 1919 to 1945 Austrian university representations where members in the German Student Union (Deutsche Studentenschaft - DSt) which from 1931 onwards was dominated by the faction National Socialist German Students' League. In 1945 the DSt was disbanded and the ÖH was founded.
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