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Advising Services & Protection Against Discrimination

The following provides an overview of the key contact persons, advising services and representatives for specific groups regarding diversity, equal opportunities and protection against discrimination. In addition to general information and advising services for TU members and visitors, this overview also includes information about where you can obtain support and assistance in cases of discrimination.

You are not alone! – Advising and support in cases of discrimination

If you have experienced discrimination, unequal treatment, (sexual) harassment, (physical or psychological) violence or bullying, either on campus or in other contexts relating to your work or studies at TU Berlin, or if you have observed such incidents or are actively involved as a witness, then there are a number of specialist advisory services and points of contact to support you, even if you are not entirely sure if the events you experienced or witnessed really were discrimination or if the events occurred some time ago. Expert advisors are available to listen to you and show you which options you have for taking action.  

There are services offering support for dealing with discrimination in all forms as well as services specializing in one particular area.

Every point of service provides you with confidential support regarding how you can best protect yourself and the various options you have for taking action. Advisory sessions guarantee your right to anonymity. All information and personal data as well as the content of conversations are treated in absolute confidence. The advisory services only take active measures in agreement with the affected person.

You can contact the anti-discrimination officer at any time. The anti-discrimination officer is the main contact person for actual cases of discrimination affecting members of the University as well as visitors.

Contact persons in cases of sexualised discrimination and violence are the Main Women's Representative and the Local Women's Representatives.

In urgent situations involving violence, you can contact the police at anytime for free at dialing 110 or TU Berlin´s own emergency number 3333. Alternatively you can contact the University’s security staff at 0172 3143730. Psychological Counseling has put together some information for dealing with psychological emergencies.

What can I do if something happened? – For those affected

Experiencing discrimination, unequal treatment, sexual harassment, (physical and psychological) violence or bullying can be hurtful, bewildering, cause shame, or lead to a feeling of being unable to deal with the situation. It can lead to our feeling angry or create a sense of helplessness and vulnerability. There is no one right response and equally so very few incorrect ways to react. People react in different ways - depending on their personalities, how they feel on a given day, the situation, the other people involved, previous events and experience and the anticipated consequences... Sometimes our responses are immediate and sometimes develop over time after we have gained some distance from events or possibly spoken to others.

It is not easy to discuss or counter discrimination, unequal treatment, sexual harassment, (physical and psychological) violence or bullying. Putting up with these forms of behavior can, however, also have consequences.

What can I do in a situation?

  • Listen to yourself. Experiencing discrimination, unequal treatment, sexual harassment, (physical and psychological) violence and bullying is hurtful and can release strong emotions, including a powerful urge to take action. You do not have to prove anything to anybody, your response doesn’t have to be smart or eloquent and you don’t have to react in the ‘right’ way straight off. But you do not have to accept the discrimination you are experiencing either. Think about what would be good for you in the moment and what you would like to do. Walking away from the situation is fine, just as is discussing events in a calm way or clearly saying ‘stop!’.
  • Try to remain composed. Make your position clear. Ask questions. Ask why someone is behaving to you as they are or the reasons for a decision and state as clearly as possible that something is not acceptable to you (and if possible, why). This does not mean to say that emotions are not OK. It may be helpful to ask who the supervisor or manager is and which options you have for making a complaint.
  • Look to see if there is anyone who can support you. There is often a neutral or affected third party who you can speak to and ask for active support. This could be in the form of emotional support, as a witness at a later date and to help create public awareness.
  • Gather evidence, speak to witnesses. Try to gather evidence. Ask for the reasons for a particular decision or behavior. Request written documents. Take photographs, save digital documentation etc. Make a note of the names of persons involved and witnesses. 

What can I do when the situation is over?

  • Take yourself to a safer place and if possible try not to be alone. Contact a person who you trust and speak with them about what has happened.
  • Take yourself and what you are feeling seriously. You are not to blame if another person discriminates against you, harasses you or uses violence against you.
  • Take evidence: After a physical attack, you should take photos of injuries, damage or defilement. You can contact a doctor to prepare a statement listing all your injuries. Make a record of events and injuries etc. to refer to at a later date. So as not to forget important information, you should do this as soon as possible. A template is available here.
  • Seek professional help as soon as possible. You find a list of advisory services at the campus or in Berlin here.

 

 

 

What can I do if something happened? – For witnesses

Witnessing discrimination, unequal treatment, sexual harassment, (physical and psychological) violence or bullying or acting as a witness in such cases often produces pain and anger or a sense of helplessness among witnesses and those offering support. It is generally very difficult to keep a clear head in such situations.

It is not easy to discuss or counter discrimination, unequal treatment, sexual harassment, (physical and psychological) violence or bullying. Simply accepting these forms of behavior can, however, also have consequences.

  • Do not look away if you feel someone is being discriminated against or sexually harassed. Stay where you are and make it clear that you have observed what is taking place.
  • Ask the the person affected if they are OK and offer them support. Give them your contact details so they can get in touch with you later if they wish to. You can help the affected person to understand that what has occurred is an infringement of their individual rights.
  • Speak to the person whose behavior is discriminating or harassing and make clear to them that their behavior is unacceptable.
  • Make yourself available as a witness in the event of a complaint or prosecution.
  • Make a record of events to refer to at a later date. Do this as soon as possible so as not to forget important information and details which could later be useful when making your witness statement (should the affected person request you to do so). A template is available here.
  • Always act in consultation with the affected person and do not assume that you know better than they do what they need. The needs of the affected person are paramount and you should never take measures without first getting their agreement.
  • You too, as a witness, can approach advisory services for support. Please ensure when doing so that you provide no details concerning the affected person without their express wish that you do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following overview is intended to inform people of what is on offer, help them find what they need and network with others. It is organized by target group (students and staff) and inequality dimension as well as by the services offered by or through TU Berlin, both directly on campus and beyond the University throughout the city.

This information is being constantly updated and is not presented hierarchically in order of importance.

For Students

Advisory and support services in general

Anti-Discrimination Representative

The anti-discrimination officer supports all members of and visitors to Technische Universität Berlin in issues relating to anti-discrimination and provides confidential advice regarding discrimination for both direct victims and those who have witnessed incidents. The anti-discrimination officer also assists students at the University in a private capacity with submitting a complaint in accordance with the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG).

 

Academic Advising Service

The Academic Advising Service answers all inquiries from students and prospective students concerning their choice of degree and provides students with advice throughout their studies. We can also direct you to other points of contact as required.

 

Psychological Counseling

TU Berlin Psychological Counseling provides support for students experiencing personal difficulties and crises and can help with any problems which impact upon your ability to study.

 

AStA advisory service on social issues and questions relating to University regulations

AStA advisory service on social issues and questions relating to University regulations provides you with unconditional support in cases of discrimination.

What we offer:

- a networking space where you can meet with other affected persons

- information relating to university regulations and general legal issues

- a conversation to provide you with support and, if required, further contact to advisory services in Berlin

Women and queer students

Central Coordinating Office for Women`s Advancement and Gender Equality

The Central Coordinating Office for Women`s Advancement and Gender Equality offers advice and support in cases of discrimination, harassment and violence as well as advice in case of conflicts, guidance for appointment procedures and assistance in the various stages of an academic career. The local women´s representatives in the various faculties provide further points of contact.

 

AStA`s Queer Department 

https://asta.tu-berlin.de/asta/queer

 

AStA`s Women Department

https://asta.tu-berlin.de/en/asta/frauen

International students and those affected by racism, antisemitism, antiziganism [1]

AStA`s Counseling for International Students

https://asta.tu-berlin.de/en/node/1125

 

Department for International Students

https://asta.tu-berlin.de/en/asta/aref 

 

Advising for students and prospective students with refugee backgrounds

The advisory service for students and prospective students with refugee backgrounds is part of the Academic Advising Service. Advisors can be contacted during the open office hours and can arrange appointments and contact with expert advisors and other points of contact.

 

Exchange Students

https://www.auslandsamt.tu-berlin.de/international_office/betreuung_internationaler_austauschstudierender/parameter/en/

 

International Students

https://www.betreuung-int-stud.tu-berlin.de/menue/home/parameter/en/ 

 

[1] Alternatively, we would like to refer to (self-)designations like BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), Sinti*ze, Rom*nj or Jews*. Since we do not want to exclude other possible self-designations, we have decided to subsume them under the different forms of discrimination.

Students with children or care responsibilities

Family Services Offices

The Family Services Office provides general advice on all aspects of combining studies and family life, issues relating to the organization of studies (pregnancy, parental leave, parental allowance) as well as caring for children or dependents. We also provide advice and support in the event of conflicts with lecturers relating to managing studies and family life.

 

Academic Advising Service prospective Students with Children

The Academic Advising Service prospective Students with Children is part of the Academic Advising Service. Advisors can be contacted during the open office hours and can arrange appointments and put you in touch with expert advisors and other points of contact.

Students with disabilities and chronic illnesses

Representative for Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses

The Academic Advising Service prospective Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses is part of the Academic Advising Service. Advisors can be contacted during the open office hours and can arrange appointments and put you in touch with expert advisors and other points of contact.

Student assistants

Staff council for student assistants (PRSB)

The Staff Council for Student Assistants advises in general on employment, labor contracts, the tasks you are asked/expected to perform, periods of contract, (special) leave, illness, maternity and parental leave, termination of contract and dismissal, child allowance payments, health and pension insurance. The scope of the advisory service does not include legal issues.

For Employees

Advisory and support services in general

Anti-discrimination officer

The anti-discrimination officer advises you in confidence in the event of a case of discrimination and supports you should you wish to submit a complaint in accordance with the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG).

 

Social Counseling for Staff

Social Counseling for Staff offers pyscho-social counseling for health issues, addiction and addiction prevention, and debt as well as advice for dealing with conflicts with colleagues and/or supervisors. We also offer a conflict moderation service but no mediation.

 

Staff Council

The Staff Council is the main staff representative body and is elected for a period of four years in accordance with the Berlin Law on Staff Representation. You can approach us with any problems you may have relating to your employment at the University. We are bound to silence and will deal with your questions with absolute confidentiality.

 

Health Management

The Health Management at TU Berlin aims to create working conditions to promote good health and to support you in your efforts to do something good for your health. It also offers advice on operational integration management, on reintegrating into working life after a long period of illness as well as guidance on maintaining good health, such as redesigning work organization, and the Hamburg model for phased reintegration into working life.

 

Medical Service

The Medical Service at TU Berlin offers advice on reintegrating into working life after a longer period of illness, ergonomics in the work place, occupational health, and vaccinations as well as maternity protection and travel insurance. It also advises on conflicts associated with health impacts (psychosomatic, psychological and/or physical). 

Women and queer employees

Central Coordinating Office for Women`s Advancement and Gender Equality

The Central Coordinating Office for Women`s Advancement and Gender Equality offers advice and support in cases of discrimination, harassment and violence as well as advice in case of conflicts, guidance for appointment procedures and assistance in the various stages of an academic career. The local women´s representatives in the various faculties provide further points of contact.

Employees with children or care responsibilities

Family Services Offices

The Family Services Office provides general advice on all aspects of combining professional and family life, such as work organization (flexible working arrangements, teleworking, etc.) parental leave, parental allowance, childcare or caring for dependents. We also offer advice and support for members of staff who are experiencing conflict with colleagues or managers as well as guidance on all aspects of combining studying and family life and commitments.

Employees with disabilities and chronic illnesses

Office of staff with disabilities

The Office of Staff with Disabilities offers support and assistance with completing applications; guidance and instructions on equipping the workplace and measures for assisting with work; advice concerning conflicts and support with starting/returning to work. 

Trainees and apprentices

Youth and trainee representation

https://www.jav.tu-berlin.de/menue/home/

For Junior Scholars

Advisory and support services for (post-)doctoral students & research assistants

TU-DOC - Office for doctoral and postdoctoral studies

TU-DOC - Office for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Studies works to continuously improve the general conditions for junior scholars and the networking of doctoral programs at TU Berlin. It also provides information about current calls for scholarships, prizes and other funding options, organizes regular intercultural events and courses and advises in cases of conflict.

ProMotion - virtual college for female doctoral candidates 

ProMotion offers training, exchange and networking for all women doing a doctorate at TU Berlin.  The program also offers an advisory and support service for dealing with conflicts with colleagues, supervisors and/or evaluators. 

Faculty ombudspersons for doctoral candidates

Each faculty has appointed ombudspersons to advise doctoral candidates in cases of conflict and other problems. All conversations with the ombudspersons are on a strictly confidential basis and any further measures will only be taken with the agreement of the doctoral candidate.

 

Of course, all enrolled doctoral students can also use all other advisory and support services for students and all research assistants can use those for staff.

Advisory and support services concerning Covid-19

The TU Berlin's crisis management team provides continuous information on current measures, effects and support options for all TU members. In addition, some counselling centres offer special services and information for students and staff*. All TU members are encouraged to contact the counselling centres directly, especially when they have difficult problems, in order to find individual solutions together.

for Students

Counseling Services of the Academic Advising Service and Psychological Counseling

 

If you have any questions about studying in the current situation, please contact the Academic Advising Service:

https://www.studienberatung.tu-berlin.de/menu/allgemeine_studienberatung/parameter/en/

There is also a collection of tips for the time at home and studying at home:

https://www.studienberatung.tu-berlin.de/menu/allgemeine_studienberatung/aktuell_tipps_fuer_die_zeit_zu_hause/parameter/en/

Furthermore, the TUB's Psychological Counseling Service has compiled a series of first aid tips for maintaining mental health in times of restricted mobility.

https://www.studienberatung.tu-berlin.de/menu/beratung/psychologische_beratung/covid_19_erste_hilfe_tipps_und_hinweise/parameter/en/

The Studierendenwerk Berlin has also put together some information about Bafög, living, working and psychological support:

https://www.stw.berlin/en/organisation/themen/corona-faq.html

 

 

Counseling services of the AStA

The social & Bafög counseling currently provides information twice a week via mail or by telephone on all financing issues, especially with regard to possible changes by Covid-19:

https://asta.tu-berlin.de/en/service/sozialberatung

What kind of social benefit can I claim if I have lost my job due to Covid-19? How do I apply for this? What about my BAföG financing this semester? Is Covid-19 a reason for extending BAföG? What do I do if I cannot pay my rent? Can I apply for Hartz 4 or housing benefit?..

The university and student advisory service continues to provide advice twice a week by e-mail and via Internet telephone conference tool on all study-related questions and especially on the changes in studies due to Covid-19. You will need to make an appointment with us beforehand. 

asta.tu-berlin.de/aktuelles/hochschulberatung-ver-nderungen-und-hinweise-wegen-covid19-wir-beraten-weiter-nur-anderer

There is also a summary of all short and long term changes and new regulations for examinations, deadlines and study organisation due to Covid-19:

asta.tu-berlin.de/aktuelles/auswirkungen-corona-auf-euer-studium

  

for Employees

Crisis Telephone of the Psycho-Social Counseling

https://www.tu-berlin.de/sozialberatung/menue/aktuelles/

The current situation represents a great challenge for everyone - especially for those people and groups of our university, as well as for the population, who are already experiencing high burdens - disadvantaged positions and living conditions are often intensified at the moment, which is why it seems important, especially from a discrimination-sensitive perspective, that particularly marginalized population groups now receive support. The following overview by characteristic dimensions of discrimination would like to make a contribution to this and refers in particular to the references of other initiatives that have already been compiled.

Women and queer people

Overview of emergency numbers in case of domestic violence

https://www.landesfrauenrat-berlin.de/2020/04/01/unterstuetzung-in-zeiten-von-corona-die-wichtigsten-nummern-und-links/

https://www.frauenkreise-berlin.de/im-notfall-help

 

Emergency financial aid for female* students

independent of study subject or nationality, but condition of Christian denomination

https://www.hildegardis-verein.de/corona-soforthilfe.html

 

Ad-Hoc-Help for queer people

https://karada-house.de/2020/03/28/queer-relief-for-corvid-19/

 

Black Trans Solidarity Fund of the Black Student Union Bremen

https://www.facebook.com/1890362057947637/posts/2519352051715298/

 

Consultation for queer BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) regarding financial support and applications

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-MypS_qjTb/

Those affected by racism

Informations & Updates in different languages for migrants & refugees

https://www.welcome-united.org/de/corona-informationen/

https://fluechtlingsrat-berlin.de/wp-content/uploads/newsletter_fr_berlin_mrz2020.pdf

 

Consultation for queer BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) regarding financial support and applications

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-MypS_qjTb/

 

Black Trans Solidarity Fund of the Black Student Union Bremen

https://www.facebook.com/1890362057947637/posts/2519352051715298/ 

 

Information for illegalized people

https://medibuero.de/aktuelle-informationen-zu-corona/

People with mental illnesses/ health issues

Deutsche Depressionshilfe

https://www.deutsche-depressionshilfe.de/corona

 

Berliner Krisendienst

https://www.berliner-krisendienst.de/

 

Psychological help for students in French, English and Spanish

http://www.apsytude.com/fr/apsytude/nos-actions/happsy-line/

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

Quick Access:

Schnellnavigation zur Seite über Nummerneingabe

New anti-discrimination law of Berlin

Emergency fund of the Studierendenwerk Berlin

Dealing with psychological emergencies

Sample template for a memory protocol

If you have questions, suggestions or if you want to add your offer, please contact us!

Lena Saenger
due to Covid-19 only mail
Main Building
Room H 1057

Website

Diversity Strategy TU Berlin

Experiences of discrimination regarding the Corona crisis

Diversity & equal opportunities at the TU Berlin