The Geography Student Association commits to the principles of a free and democratic constitution based on the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany. From this, there arises an obligation not to tolerate acts and statements such as insults, racism, any violence, invasive behavior, as well as discrimination based on gender, origin, religion, sexual orientation, external appearance, disabilities and handicaps, and worldview (unless it contradicts the free democratic order and/or is classified as extremist) and to actively take a stand against them. The event must be organized with sensitivity to discrimination and barriers to ensure inclusive participation. If needs arise that have not been considered in the planning, we always ask participants to let us know. Any form of discrimination, invasive behavior, violence, and bullying will lead to exclusion from the event.
Before the trip:
Information for students Even in the invitation to the trip, the principles of the Geography Student Association are pointed out on all channels used to communicate the event (e.g., email, WhatsApp, Instagram, website, posters). At a minimum, these principles should appear in the text as follows: “The event is organized with sensitivity to discrimination and barriers to ensure inclusive participation. If needs arise that have not been considered in the planning, we always ask you to let us know. Any form of discrimination, invasive behavior, and violence will result in exclusion from the event.” It should also be noted that Safe(r) Spaces will be offered on the trip for all people who need them. Furthermore, it is highlighted that individuals who cannot afford to participate due to financial reasons will be supported by the Student Association (see concept for financial support of the Student Association). When inviting them to the trip, students are also informed about the drinks provided by the Student Association: beer, alcoholic alternatives, and non-alcoholic beverages. The organizing team may indicate that students can bring their own drinks, like wine. However, the Student Association emphasizes moderation in alcohol consumption. The email will also include the phone number of the “Waldjugendcamp” so that students can contact the Student Association in emergencies during the journey or rally. Accordingly, the phone must always be within reach of a member of the Student Association. During registration for the trip, participants have the opportunity to specify their pronouns (in a free field), which will then also be printed on the buttons. Additionally, there’s also an option to express the need for a Safe(r) Space. Organization Team The organizing team must ensure that in addition to the university bus, a car is available for emergencies.
On the trip:
Plenary and general behavior
Once all students have arrived at the “Waldjugendcamp”, there is a plenary session that all members of the Student Association and students must attend. In this plenary, the awareness team and its function are introduced. Ideally, there should always be at least two representatives of different genders available. These representatives should remain sober and approachable. However, all other members of the Student Association must also take responsibility and stay vigilant. For each house in the camp, there are two representatives from the Student Association who also serve as contacts for students. In general, members of the Student Association should support each other and not leave a fellow member alone with a problem. The principles of the Student Association are clearly communicated again in the plenary. A violation of these principles results in exclusion from the event. It’s communicated that individuals who feel treated unfairly by members of the Student Association can address their concerns to the awareness email after the trip. Students are also reminded on the trip, possibly several times, that responsible alcohol consumption is desired and that they should look out for each other. Forced alcohol consumption is not tolerated. If members of the Student Association notice that someone is not feeling well due to alcohol, they should be addressed directly, and alcohol consumption should be stopped. Strong alcoholic beverages will not be handed out.
Design of the trip
To ensure a mix among the students, there should be various group configurations for cabin and rally group distribution. To get to know each other better, introductory games should be conducted on Friday. There could also be a group activity on Saturday evening (e.g., campfire with stick bread, marshmallows). A rally is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, where students can explore the surrounding area on their own responsibility and playfully strengthen group dynamics. Here, the members of the Student Association also advocate for responsible alcohol consumption and mutual consideration (for more information, see awareness concept for freshman rally). Additionally, posters should be put up similar to the Geo-Party ones pointing to awareness and the awareness team. These should especially be found in retreat places like restrooms.
After the trip:
After the trip, care should be taken during the photo evening about which photos or videos are shown. Members of the awareness team can assess which ones can be shown to the large group and which cannot. After the trip, the event should be evaluated by the participants. The goal is to give unnoticed and unseen perspectives space to continuously improve the event. It should be determined whether people felt comfortable at the event, what they liked, and what suggestions for improvement exist. It is (again) emphasized that individuals who feel they have been treated unfairly by members of the Student Association can reach out to the awareness email.
In summary, the provided text emphasizes the importance of inclusivity, respect, awareness, and safety during a trip organized by the Geography Student Association. They put measures in place to ensure that everyone feels welcome, valued, and safe, while also promoting responsible behavior, especially concerning alcohol consumption.