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Past Student-Led Projects

Open Campus Against Closed Borders

Open Campus Against Closed Borders

Open Campus Against Closed Borders sought to welcome to BCB campus refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers interested in the resources and community that a university has to offer, but without the status and means to enroll in one.

The project hosted bi-monthly salons on campus in which students and refugee participants could gather to partake in sessions of discussion on topics that they found relevant. The salon planned to be concerned with translating the political and philosophical studies we do in liberal arts into conversation and action that is accessible, relevant, and co-constituted by and for our participants; together we hoped to share what is at stake in the things we study abstractly, and respond by developing concrete projects that would reach beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Another goal of the salon discussions was also to practice English and we provided individual tutor sessions for English and German language practice.

The first priority of the project was the development of a close-knit community defined by trust and openness between professors, students, refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers that took part. We did not assume to already know the needs of the community we hoped to serve; we hoped rather that members of the community themselves would take leadership roles in designing the projects that intended to serve them. Thus, the curriculum was determined by students, professors and refugee participants collaboratively throughout the gatherings, with the goal of prioritizing marginalized voices and non-Eurocentric perspectives in our engagement with literature, theory, film, art, theater, or current events. The project facilitated an array of on and off-campus events such as refugee-led lectures, film-screenings, theater/dance/open-mic nights, cooking gatherings, etc. all of which would function as fundraisers to give back to the community at large.

Open Campus Against Closed Borders started in the academic year 2015-2016 and evolved into the ongoing community engagement project Campus Conversations and is now funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).
 
Bard Berlin Goes GREEN! 

Bard Berlin Goes GREEN! 

Bard Berlin Goes GREEN! was an initiative established in the academic year 2015-2016 to make us all aware of what can be done to live in a more environmentally sustainable way and to encourage the BCB community to change small habits to become more eco-friendly. We all come from different countries and cultures and it is natural for us all to have different levels of environmental education. Now that we all belong to the same community of Berlin and Bard College Berlin, it is time to get on the same page. When referring to the environment, we sometimes relate to the issue of recycling only but there is so much more we can do! Turning the lights off when you go out of your dorm, unplugging a device that permanently consumes energy, or using the other side of your printed page – these are only some examples. Changing small things not only makes the campus more environmentally friendly, it also allows us to live in a cleaner and more organized space.

Through encouraging reminders and signs, Bard Berlin Goes GREEN! set up systems that made it easier for students and professors to reduce their negative impact on the environment. It is believed that big change comes with small, incremental steps, and its legacy remains on campus.   
 
Pankow Theatre Company

Pankow Theatre Company

The Pankow Theatre Company ran from 2015-2016 and provided weekly theatre workshops in English for German high school students in the local community of Pankow. The theater workshops took place in collaboration with the Pankow Youth Club JUP. The aim of the sessions was to create a comfortable environment for the students to practice their English through theatre. Theatre is an effective means to not only explore a language but also to build an identity and gain self-confidence. The project concluded with a final presentation in which the project participants presented for parents, relatives and students. Each session was co-lead by volunteers from BCB providing an opportunity for BCB students to get involved with an independent student-run project and with the Pankow community.

 
Tell Your (Hi)Story

Tell Your (Hi)Story

Tell Your (Hi)Story is a project that ran from 2016 to 2017 with the aim of strengthening the understanding of other people’s cultures and views. It saw that our knowledge and understanding about political or historic events of other parts of the world often depend on our own social, political, and geographical background. As part of an international community at Bard College Berlin and the multicultural city of Berlin, the project provided a platform and a safe space for the campus and the college’s surrounding community to share aspects of their cultures, to represent their heritage, or to tackle controversies about their history or politics that they felt had been misrepresented or not addressed. Through the medium of storytelling and discussion, “Tell your (Hi)Story” strove to help recognize the diversity of the student body on a level deeper than simply knowing the number of countries they came from.
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