Category Archives: Campus & Local

Underrated University Events: The Elections

It took around two terms at Augsburg University until I realised that there are elections – and four more to wake my interest. Credit to a coursemate of mine, who ran as a candidate for the Young Socialists (Jusos). This term I wanted to vote. This term I wanted to use the right we all have and barely ever think of. And there’s more: I even planned to write an article about my experience and the electoral system.

The Plan

The first thing I did was visit my coursemate. Solid as a rock he stood, promoting the elections, waves of his fellow students passing him by with very indifferent looks on their faces. Most of them didn’t even glance at the small booth in front of Alte Cafete where info material and small giveaways were neatly arranged on the table, waiting for interested people to come. I was greeted with a smile as I advanced with determination. In a few moments, I thought, I would finally understand the electoral system and the possibilities of participation we all have. I thought of this to be the easiest research I’d ever done.

How my plan failed

The guy standing in front of me answered my question on the electoral system with a slightly uneasy smile and led me to an enormous chart. Really, it was huge. After two minutes I lost my confidence and after five my focus. Most countries have easier electoral systems. Even the American system is easier to understand. How should I ever write an article about that? I had to change my plans, so I decided to write about how I experienced voting in general. Polling day advanced.

How my second plan failed

As always, I waited until the very last moment. Only 15 minutes were left before the polling stations would close. Stressed out I was looking for the small slip of paper with the room number given to me by my coursemate. I couldn’t find it. Running around I asked people where the polling station was. Nobody knew! I couldn’t see a damn sign anywhere. Not even an arrow! How was I supposed to write an article about an election I never took part in? I could’ve written about how the university should inform the students about the elections from their first day on. Or how they could put up a big banner with information as they do for the exam enrolment. Finally, it came to my mind that there is something more important to say.

The last straw

I decided to say thank you. Thanks to all fellow students who ran as candidates in these elections. Thanks to everybody who voted in the election or took part in its organisation. And finally, thanks to my coursemate and all the other students who make an effort to represent us, even if we don’t know. Without them, we would hardly be represented at all. If we don’t take part in the elections for ourselves, we should take part as a small gesture of respect and appreciation towards our representatives. It would have the positive side-effect of shaping the university’s politics as we want them to be. How is there supposed to be any change, if we don’t vote on it? Next time I will vote. We should all vote. It just takes a few minutes and doesn’t hurt. Or so I’ve been told.

Author: Nicolas Pols

Underrated University events : International Day

I have been studying at the University of Augsburg for over two years, but I’ve never heard of International Day. As somebody that’s highly interested in other countries’ cultures and especially their food, it’s safe to say that I was excited to be part of this event for the first time.


Foreign students present their country

The biggest part of this event is, of course, the presentation of countries from all over the world, done by students that are either natives or have lived there. Since our table was right next to India, and I was very intrigued by the delicious-looking food that people were handing out right next to us. I decided that the “Asia corner” would be my first stop. My first time walking through, I decided to have a look at everything before starting to talk to people. The people from the Indian table, apart from having great music and food, also offered henna tattoos, which looked absolutely beautiful. Right next to them, I was immediately offered some rice from the nice man behind the Pakistan table. I continued my journey looking at every country from Japan to China over to Korea. I also met quite a lot of people interested in Australia and New Zealand. Beside their curiosity in vegemite, they also wanted some information on studying abroad and on what to look for when applying. Right at the entrance, I saw a flock of people collected around Georgia. When I looked closer, I realized what was keeping them: some very nice-smelling food.

But what’s the one thing that attracts students more than food? Alcohol! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try any of it but people looked thrilled at the shots offered right next to “HS I”. Exams are getting closer and what better way could there be to prepare yourself? These are just some highlights that I saw, but these weren’t even half the countries you were able to get a glimpse of. So all in all, if you missed this time, make sure to visit next time, because the people you meet are delightful. Here’s a big thank you to everyone that put so much effort into showing us their home or favourite travel detination.

What else was there?

Not only were you able to get an insight into other countries’ cultures but you could also meet experienced people who were ready to reply to your questions. Whether you consider studying or working abroad, and no matter which continent you consider going to, these people are there to help you. And, last but not least, there was… us. We were there, too, to spread the word about eMAG. In case you missed out on this one (like I always did), make sure you follow our social media accounts where we post regularly about events on and around campus:
Instagram: @emag_ua
Facebook: @eMAGUniAugsburg

Author & Picture: Melani Cifric

Sympathy for a killer


The lights come on and in a nightgown Ruth Ellis (Lotte Albrecht) enters the stage to the bittersweet Blues of Billie Holiday, which immediately draws the audience into the stylish, but flawed version of the 1950s that forms the backdrop for the story preceding Ruth’s death. On 13 July 1955, at the age of 28 she is hanged, the last woman in Britain to suffer this fate. Her crime: she shot her lover in cold blood. What drove this young, beautiful woman over the edge? Why did she not even attempt to defend herself? These are some of the questions “The Thrill of Love” by Amanda Whittington aims to explore.

An emotional rollercoaster

The story is told in flashbacks through the perspective of Inspector Jack Gale (Jack Sigel). During his investigation he reconstructs a selection of events that give us an insight into the seedy world of gentlemen’s clubs and the women working the nights. Always present on bar room stage, he is a constant reminder that even the happiest moments in the lives of the women there are nothing but stepping stones on the path to the grim future we already know. However, these scenes of joy are one of the greatest feats of the play: it’s all too easy to get lost in the hopelessness and sadness that is usually associated with the story of Ruth Ellis. The playful banter between the women is a welcome break and allows the actresses to display their perfect timing and quick delivery. Thanks to these moments the characters become more than just parts of a tragic story. We become invested in their hopes and dreams, although we should know full well that they are unlikely at best. When this realization finally kicks in during the second half of the play, it hits that much harder.

Powerful performances

There are no extras in “The Thrill of Love”. Every character has his or her moments. The club’s manager Sylvia Shaw (Lucie Marchand) appears to be all business, but she cares deeply about all the women who work for her. The charwoman Doris (Anna Hilbel) often puts her needs behind those of others, even if it puts her own happiness at risk. The young Vicky Martin (Sara Steffes) hopes to meet powerful men and become a star on the big screen. Even Inspector Gale, cold as he may seem, turns out to be motivated by more than the mere desire to solve a case.

An unforgettable evening

“The Thrill of Love” is a powerful experience. The crew surrounding Rudolf Beck has managed to create a captivating atmosphere that lingers long after the curtain closes. We may know the outcome from the very beginning, but we don’t know the story behind it. In finding out, it’s difficult not to feel somewhat like a voyeur. Personal tragedies happen in silence. It’s when they emerge that we start to care.

 

Performances:

Thursday 6th December
Friday 7th December
Tuesday 11th December
Thursday 13th December

8 p.m., Hörsaal II

 

Author & Poster: Andreas Böhm

The Thrill of Love

Anglistentheater is back!

Amanda Whittington’s “The Thrill of Love” is based on the true story of Ruth Ellis, who was the last woman to be hanged in Britain. You want to find out why she shot her lover seemingly in cold blood? You want to know why she didn’t try to defend herself? Well, you’re in for an emotional story of strong women and broken dreams.
Get your tickets now and be part of the German première of “The Thrill of Love”.

For more info go to the AnglistenTheater’s website.

“Love and madness go always together”

The guitar music that reaches out at me as I enter Hörsaal II to watch this term’s production of the Anglistentheater is soothing, somewhat relaxing. It fits the scene I see on stage where two young children (Lea Bess, Tara Vogel; Milla Hünig, Midori Tran) and a nurse (Julia Teuchner) are playing quietly with a toy ship. However, the lapping of rain and low rumbling of thunder in the background announce imminent disaster.

What’s the play about?

Ben Power’s version of Euripides’ Greek tragedy Medea shows how boundless love can turn into boundless fury. I don’t want to give away too much, as you should really experience the story yourselves, but here’s a rough outline of the story: Jason (Maximilian Leoson) abandons his two sons and his wife Medea (Lotte Albrecht) to marry Krёusa (Sara Steffes), the daughter of the Corinthian King Kreon (Jack Sigel). Heartbroken and riven by grief, Medea vows revenge on her husband. She wants him to experience the same endless pain she feels after his betrayal. Or as she puts it: she chooses to take back her life. The disaster takes its course.

An absolute must-see

It was the perfect interaction of all relevant factors that made me like this theatre play so much. The casting is spot on, from the bigger roles to the smaller ones, such as the Corinthian women (Kristina Becker, Jasmin Gall, Lucie Marchand), Jason’s attendant (Kathrin Bayer) or the King of Athens, Aegeus (Baris Kirat). I especially loved Lotte’s performance of Medea, perfectly portraying her as a grieving yet strong and independent woman with a sprinkle of madness in her eyes. Not only were the performances amazing; the sound and costumes need to be praised, too. Medea and Jason are both wearing harem pants and look unkempt, which makes it clear that they are two of a kind. They stand out against the Corinthians, all dressed neatly, all the women wearing more modest make-up than Medea. Ominous music and thunderous rumbling are used to prepare the audience for upcoming disasters.

Go and watch it!

I left the play thinking about what I’d just experienced for quite a while. Can a broken heart really make you perform such evil actions? Do love and madness always go together? Is Medea strong or a psychopath? Or is she maybe both? The fact that it’s almost impossible not to think about these things afterwards shows just what a good job the Anglistentheater team has done. With this performance of Medea, they have once again surpassed themselves and exceeded my expectations, as they do every semester. So I highly recommend you watch one of their shows, which take place on Thursday the 07th, Friday 8th, Tuesday 12th and Thursday 14th at 7:45 pm in Hörsaal II here at Uni. Tickets can be ordered online with the order forms or bought at the Taschenbuchladen Krüger located near the Königsplatz.

 

Text: Jessica Jones
Flyer: Andreas Böhm
Photos: K. Satzinger-Viel

 

My personal hell

We all dread that moment at the beginning of term when the lecturer says this magic word that creates a wave of desperation in the room: “presentations”. Yes, we all hate them. Not even all lecturers are convinced of these infamous presentations, as after them the presenters will be the only ones to know about the topic. We all try to be nice and not look too annoyed. But don’t we all feel the same? Or, at least most of us? Rumour has it that there are indeed some people out there who like presentations. Anyway, what’s even more dreadful for most of us is the lecturer telling us: “Work in groups of two or three.” Yay, exactly what I didn’t want to do. Let’s face it – we’re all much too different, some even misanthropic, to be able to really like this kind of work. There are so many types of group members that you wouldn’t want to come across that it seems almost impossible to be lucky for once and find THE partner that really is a joy to work with.

So, what kind of team players will you come across when doing presentations in a group? Let’s have a look at some of them…

The one that never has time

Just after the topics and partners have been assigned, you try to approach each other carefully and swap numbers to keep in touch. It’s clear that you’ve got to meet at least once. Rarely will you be able to do everything just online. It’s possible, but only with very few topics. So, the first hurdle is to find a time when you could meet.

Of course, you all assure each other that you’re flexible enough and will meet anytime there’s no other lecture. You start with Monday – doesn’t work, the sister’s friend’s cousin needs help attending their garden. Okay, how about Tuesday? Nah, doesn’t work, as there’s a shift at work. Sure, what’s with Wednesday? Uh, classes all day. Thursday? Your partner’s grandmother needs help with the cat’s appointment at the vet’s. Friday? Leaving for the whole weekend. Next week? Same procedure ….. “But I’m really flexible. I’m free almost every day.” Uhm, yeah. If you say so.

The one that decides everything

Hi, nice to meet you. I saw you in that lecture last term. You seem to be nice. That’s cool. Let’s get started. What’s your number? I know this topic. I’ve already done the research. How about we meet tomorrow morning at 7 am? Yes? Cool. Okay, I’ll do the Powerpoint. Well, I even started. I can send you the material. Found everything at the library and scanned it. I’ll send it to your mail. What’s your mail address? Oh, and I have a great source. We’re gonna use it. This will be so cool. You’ll see – the lecturer will be impressed. I’m really experienced with this. Oh, and don’t worry about the handout. I’ll do it. I’ve got a template. And I even prepared the outline of our presentation.” And you end up standing there, having done almost nothing for the presentation, not liking how it looks, not knowing what it’s even supposed to be about and trying to mumble a few words while your partner eagerly talks for thirty minutes straight.

The one that is a ghost

Sometimes you don’t get to choose who to work with. It’s a name you’ve come across several times, but you can’t seem to remember the corresponding face. Well, you figure you could just call out the name at the end of class. No answer, just people looking bewildered. Okay, contact the person on Digicampus. After your first message you receive no answer. You send another one the following week (there was another no-show in class) and – again – receive no answer. Your third mail gets you a short answer telling you that the person has been out of town and will gladly work with you. The time comes round and you wait where you wanted to meet. But you’re stood up. Next attempt – it’s just two weeks left until the presentation is due – yet again, another no-show. Now’s the time to get worried. You approach the lecturer and try to explain the situation. Mostly they show sympathy, but in the end you’ll just do the presentation on your own. Your partner’s identity shall forever remain a mystery.

Concept: Tobias Lorenz & Angie Czygann
Text: Angie Czygann
Picture: Niklas Schmidt

eMAG’s Facebook dilemma

So, turns out Facebook might be a shady company. I know. Who’da thunk? While private users have begun to jump ship or at the very least to post memes about Mark Zuckerberg’s peculiar way to drink water, public pages – like eMAG – are having to make a pretty tough decision.

Yet another Facebook scandal

Alright, let’s start with a very brief, by no means, complete summary. Facebook is collecting user data, and this goes quite a bit deeper than what some people like to admit. Call logs, contact lists, even where people live. Pretty useful stuff, one might say. Would come in handy if you were to – oh, I don’t know – create ads to sway people’s opinion on stuff like the 2016 Brexit vote or certain presidential candidates in the US. Well, Cambridge Analytica found a way to collect this data and sold it to customers who in turn used it for… You can do the math. Of course, Mark Zuckerberg distanced himself from these practices in the senate hearing last month, but whether his company will change its data-guzzling ways is more than doubtful.

The convenience of networks

And this is where we all come in, actively this time. The development of Facebook’s user base hasn’t really changed all that much following the latest scandal, but a number of influential personalities have openly encouraged people to delete their account, for example Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Space X. So there is at least a chance that the already sub-optimal public opinion about Facebook could lead to people leaving. The problem is, where to?

You see, people have been concerned about Facebook for a long time, but we’re all so invested in its ecosystem that moving on from it seems like a huge step. You’d have to find services that can do everything you’ve found in Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. And ideally, they should have a user base as all-encompassing as these apps, too. Facebook is all about being convenient. Looking for capable alternatives and convincing your family, friends and colleagues to actually use them is anything but that.

Ties that bind

For eMAG the issue is similar, but with a slight twist. For us Facebook’s massive reach means that we can use those existing networks to get word going when we have a promotion event, a new article ready, or our latest issue around the corner. People who are interested share it and all of a sudden 200 people most of our team members have never seen know our release date. That’s just neat! But doesn’t that also mean that we encourage people to stick around on a platform that has done enough shady stuff to deserve being shunned indefinitely?

We’re not pretending that we’re as big as Kanye, but this definitely is a problem that every influencer and page administrator on Facebook needs to be aware of. If you use Facebook for promotion, you bind people to that system and it’s gotten really tough to justify that now.

To leave or not to leave…

So, this is where we’re at. If we quit Facebook, we take the moral high ground. We also throw away most of the promotion work we’ve done since the magazine’s inception. If we stay, we are able to reach a modest, but ever-growing number of readers and can hope to reach people outside the campus on a regular basis.

If you know of any alternatives, please drop us a line, through Facebook, if need be. Every social network has to start with just a handful of users. Maybe you are one of them. We’re definitely open for a service that respects its users.

Text & Picture: Andreas Böhm