The Student Parliament is a constituted student body, whose statutory bodies and representatives act as the voice of the students at the University.
The law states: The Student Parliament represents the university-related political, academic and interdisciplinary interests of the students, and supports their social, economic and cultural interests. They promote political awareness and a sense of social responsibility and equality among the students, and support the disadvantaged within the student body.
In carrying out their responsibilities, the Student Parliament promotes the exchange of ideas within the student body and are involved in issues such as the part the university plays in society, in promoting sustainable development, and the application of scientific knowledge and the effects these have on society and the environment.
In practical terms this means that the Student Parliament can become involved in university-related politics, such as the effects of the Bologna reform on the University, but can also negotiate a student semester ticket with transportation companies, or play an active part in the discussion regarding better public transport connections. They can also organize events and invite guest speakers to inform students about political subjects.
On 27 June, 2012, the government of Baden-Württemberg passed legislation to reinstate Student Parliaments in state universities. These were abolished in 1977. The new law took effect on 14 July, 2012.
Student Parliaments are generally understood to be the representatives of the interests of the students and their statutory bodies such as the Student Union.
However it actually has broader legal powers. All students automatically become members upon enrollment at the University. The students as a group are termed the student body which, as a legally-constituted body, can therefore conduct legal transactions in its own name and negotiate contracts. As an independent statutory body of the University it answers to the University and not the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Student Parliaments are statutory bodies in universities in all German states with the exception of Bavaria where, along with Baden-Württemberg, they were abolished in 1977. Baden-Württemberg passed legislation to reintroduce Student Parliaments in 2012.