In Germany, one of the biggest attacks on students in recent years is taking place under the radar of the general public.This is about the abolition of the semester ticket, which is being pushed by the federal and state governments. The semester ticket is not a uniform, Germany-wide ticket for students, but looks different depending on the state and university and has different prices. The semester ticket is part of the annual semester fees and is negotiated by the respective Asta of the university. An Asta, or Asten, is the general student committee, a kind of small "pseudo-government" for students that is elected by the student parliament.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, students have the good fortune that there is a so-called federal state semester ticket, which means that all students of all (technical) universities pay different prices for the semester ticket, which in most cases are between 30 and 40 euros, but can travel around the clock in the entire state and optionally even take other people in their own regional transport association. For the majority of the 750,000 students in NRW, the semester ticket is an achievement they do not want to do without. Above all because in the FRG 30 percent of the students live in poverty, under those alone or in WGs live, are it even 80 percent. For comparison, in the total population this value lies with 15,8 percent. To lose a cheap ticket with which one can travel all over NRW would be a great burden for all students, especially for those from working-class families.

The Westdeutscher Rundfunk headlines that the semester ticket is on the brink of collapse. Why is that? The reason is said to be the introduction of the 49-euro ticket. The price of this ticket is relatively close to the prices negotiated by the Asten with the transport associations. The reason for the relatively low cost of the semester ticket, between 30 and 40 euros, is a so-called solidarity model. All 750,000 students in North Rhine-Westphalia have to pay the semester fee if they want to continue studying each semester, which includes the mobility fee for the semester ticket. Because all students pay, the transport associations grant a volume discount, so to speak, and the prices are low. However, for years this has been calling all kinds of egoists and bourgeoisie kids to the scene, who repeatedly try to sue against the solidarity model, because they would not need the cheap semester ticket. Until now, all courts have rejected these lawsuits, the advantages of the semester ticket are too great. However, this legal assessment is now changing with the introduction of the 49-euro ticket.

Fearing a wave of lawsuits and subsequent compensation figures, one Asta after another is now beginning to cancel the semester ticket. The Asten of the Technical University of Dortmund, the University of Applied Sciences Dortmund, the Ruhr University Bochum and the University of Düsseldorf have already cancelled their contracts with the transport associations. Also in Berlin semester tickets were already quit by Asten of the universities there. The result is tens of thousands of students without tickets. That the Asten are here not only victims of bad complaints, but also traitors of the students becomes clear if one concerns oneself more near with the topic.

That the students are now in this situation is not simply because the Deutschlandticket is suddenly there and everything has just gone stupid. On the contrary, since it was clear that a Germany ticket at a relatively low price should follow the 9-Euro ticket, the traffic light coalition and especially the Ministry of Transport was also clear that such a comprehensive ticket must guarantee benefits for different population groups. In other areas this was also done. For example, workers can buy a Deutschlandticket for 35 euros, and schoolchildren can buy a subscription based on the Deutschlandticket for 29 euros. For students this is still pending and it is to be purely until the year 2024. Responsible for this attack on students are the Federal Ministry of Transport with the FDP Minister of Transport Wissing, who has already proven in other transport issues such as the Deutschlandtakt that he does everything to keep local and long-distance public transport in a desolate state and to strengthen the leading role of the German car industry. He is receiving support from the NRW Ministry of Transport under the Green Party's Oliver Krischer, who chaired the conference of transport ministers this year and also sabotaged a clarification in the interests of the students.

And the Asten? They appealed and begged the respective transport ministries for a solution and now that there is none, they save their own skin from possible compensation payments and let the students jump over the cliff without tickets. Instead of the alleged student representatives mobilizing the students en masse on the streets for their rights in the face of such an attack on a fundamental right as cheap mobility, they leave it at a few cheap declarations and symbolic gestures. The Asten, which are also united in different associations, could also at least have decided not to surrender to the possible lawsuits and, in the case of a possible payment of compensation sums, to make the federal and state transport ministries responsible in court for their literal bankruptcy. But one ducked also before it fearfully. At this point, the necessity of a revolutionary student movement, which stands firmly on the basis of the ideology of the international proletariat and thus, importantly, independent of the legalism and parasitism of state funds, institutions and bourgeois parties, mobilizing students for their rights and demands and leading them as part of the necessities of the revolution in this country, reveals itself once again.

Because the attacks that show up in the context of the semester ticket can also hit the workers and other classes and strata of the people at any time. Already now it is publicly discussed whether the 49-Euro ticket should be abolished again next year, because the Federal Ministry of Transport does not want to provide the necessary funds to cover the additional costs. By the end of October, this issue is to be decided and reveals another attack of the traffic light government on the working class and the people in the FRG to distribute the costs of the crisis and military spending in the federal budget on the backs of the masses.

Title Image: The Asta of Dortmund University of Applied Sciences announces the cancellation of the semester ticket, source: