The Students Cultural Centre
KUZE - An Idea Comes True
Since the University of Potsdam was founded its campuses were placed in four different locations - all in the periphery: in Golm, at Neues Palais, in Griebnitzsee and until 2007 in Babelsberg. This arrangement complicated the exchange between the students of the different locations. Common cultural activities and consequently a strong public perception in the city of Potsdam were barely existent.
To rectify that drawback, the 1998 AStA developed a first concept to create a students´ cultural center in the city and introduced this to the town´s responsibles. The idea gained great courtesy.
The NIL students´cellar at Neues Palais emerged as a lateral project from this idea in a co-operation with the University of Potsdam in 1998.
The first interesting municipal object offered was the old town school in Friedrich-Ebert-Straße. Several recommendations followed, but all fell through out of different reasons and it became more and more uncertain to get an adequate municipal place in "downtown".
Nevertheless the project had got many supporters in the student body. Therefore the 2001 AStA changed the course and after recommendation of then mayor Matthias Platzek they bargained with the private owner of Hermann-Elflein-Straße 10, the VDLB GmbH. So a subsidiary AStA-office in the city could be opened in 2002.
Together with Sanierungsträger Potsdam, the citie´s departments for buildings and culture, the owner, the country of Brandenburg and the AStA developed a concept to use the object as a students cultural center. The city, the country and the owner invested about 1 million Euros for building operations. 2004 the AStA signed a contract to rent the complex in Hermann-Elflein-Str. 10 and in November 2005 the cultural center was opened after 1 1/2 years of building activities with a week of festival.
An Idea comes true PART II
A dream comes true for many people, day by day. The students cultural center [KuZe] is now growing for more than six years. The KuZe is one of the most important cultural places in the inner city of Potsdam focussed on alternative, experimental and of course student culture. On the one hand as an open space for various projects and on the other hand as an cooperation between different user groups this mainly voluntarily run project is a model for the whole country.
Furthermore the KuZe suceeded in securing the entire yard for cultural purposes for the next 25 years and thereby realizing planning reliability for the included KunstWERK.
Carried by the student body of the University of Potsdam the KuZe offers not only a large variety of possiblities for self-development and „easy-to-participate“-cultural events, but also contributes to student representation, to political education as well as musical and intellectual activity.
Many usergroups, e.g. Amnesty international Potsdam, the coaching of refugee children, the Okev ( open art club ) and the printing club offer a diverse supply and invite to participate.
All these groups together with the body of students, the ekze, which is running the pub, the staff, a lot of volunteers and other active users come togehter in the „plenum of users“, which meets every wednesday evening. The plenum of the users is the organisational heart of the whole project, where the decision is taken which events are going to take place, which action is done next and to which direction the KuZe should develop.
This structure makes it possible to run the KuZe self-governerd and almost voluntarily and garantees its participative character.