For 20 years, "universal", the newspaper by and for UPB students, has been an integral part of the university. A new issue is published every fortnight during the lecture period, is available for readers in the refectories and reports on topics relevant to students. These include university politics in the student parliament or AStA, everyday student life and campus life, and leisure tips. This year, "universal" received the Alumni Award for student engagement. Every year, the university's alumni association, Alumni Paderborn, awards honorary student groups at the university that develop a special degree of initiative. The award comes with prize money of 1,000 euros.
A lot of work goes into each new universal issue. The pages are filled by a "hard" core of six to eight members, plus a larger circle of editors who provide small and large contributions. Before Corona, they met regularly for editorial meetings to plan and implement the issues. In the online summer semester of 2020, the universal editors* had to rethink and have since focused on publishing their contributions on social media. The current editor-in-chief Tanja Dittmann is enthusiastic about her work: "It's very exciting to see what goes on behind the scenes on campus - besides lectures and seminars. The universal is an important medium for me to inform about that." Especially the university-political topics are important to the team. They work independently, critically question decisions of the committees from the students' point of view, analyse the effects and, if necessary, make constructive suggestions for change.
The Alumni Paderborn members agree: "universal" is an important mouthpiece and information medium for the student body. It creates a connection between students and the opportunity for exchange. For 20 years now, a large number of students have been committed to the publication and enriched the diversity of opinion on campus. In particular, the independent reporting and critical analysis of university policy issues and the work of student committees are important democratic elements.
Further information on the Alumni Paderborn Award "Excellent Commitment" and the previous award winners can be found here.