Information on protection against Corona Virus +++ Update
+++ Update 1 July +++ Mensa Vita changes opening hours for take away offer
The take away offer in Mensa Academica and Mensa Vita is well received by the students! Nevertheless, Mensa Vita will change the opening hours for the take away offer on 1 July. Due to lack of demand in the afternoon, Mensa Vita will close half an hour earlier and open its doors from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..
+++ Update 17 June +++ Dining halls open again from 22 June
After about three months of closure due to the pandemic, Studierendenwerk is slowly opening its dining halls again. The opening will take place step by step and starts on Monday, 22 June, with a take away offer at Mensa Academica and Mensa Vita. Find news here.
+++ Update 15 June +++ Bridging assistance for students in need in the starting blocks!
Starting Tuesday, 16 June, students who are in particularly dire need and directly dependent on help as a result of the Corona Pandemic can apply for bridging assistance in the form of a non-repayable grant from their Studenten- or Studierendenwerk.
The application can then be made online at www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende.de.
+++ Update 29.5. +++ Start of winter semester will be postponed!
According to an announcement of the Ministry of Education, the start of the winter semester 20/21 will be postponed to 2 November for first semester students and to 26 October for students of a higher semester. In return, the lecture period of the winter semester will end on 12 February. It is still unclear whether large preliminary courses and lectures can again be held as usual in the winter semester.
+++ Update 15 May +++ Childcare centers open again!
After emergency care was provided in most of the five Studierendenwerk Childcare centers in the past few weeks, the State Government has decided to allow children who are entitled to benefits and children who have received approved integration assistance to attend the Childcare centers again.
Further easing measures are to take place from 28 May.
+++ Update 8 May +++
- Canteens of the Studierendenwerk will remain closed for the time being even after May 11th
- Protective measures in buildings of the Studierendenwerk
According to the state government, gastronomic establishments may reopen from 11 May onwards under certain security conditions.
However, this regulation does not apply to the operation of university canteens for the time being, as their procedures differ greatly from those of normal restaurants. The state of NRW has not yet issued an ordinance providing for opening. This means that all refectories of the Studierendenwerk will continue to be closed for the time being, until binding regulations for an opening are available, which can be implemented in all of our institutions.
Important protective measures in the Studierendenwerk:
The new looser restrictions on handling coronavirus are subject to further conditions. In order to be able to trace chains of infection, for example, all companies with customer contact within their buildings are obliged to record the contact details of external persons.
This means that students/visitors to the Studierendenwerk must also leave data.
Please note the following for visits to our facilities as of May 8th:
- Access is only permitted with a face mask.
- In the foyer on Pontwall, which currently opens daily between 12 and 13 o'clock, only one person is allowed as a visitor at any given time. Please note: This also applies to students who only intend to top up their card at the machine.
- Visitors who wish to personally discuss their card matters at the Infopoint or who stay longer in the building are asked to keep a distance of 1.5 metres (5 feet) and to enter their names on a list.
+++ Update 24 April +++
- New university order of the ministry creates framework for digital teaching at universities
- Extended standard period of study due to Corona: Submit an informal application for BAföG extension now!
The online semester has started! In order to provide the universities with the necessary legal regulations for digital teaching in addition to the technical requirements, the Ministry has issued a legal regulation (Rechtsverordnung) that provides the universities with tools to enable them to maintain their teaching and study operations. The legal regulation is intended to enable online examinations and free attempts at examinations.
Extended standard period of study - what does this mean for BAföG? Furthermore, in view of the effects of the epidemic in the summer semester 2020, the individual standard period of study is to be extended by one semester for the students affected. Attention: The implementation is still being examined.
What needs to be done?
Even if the examination of the funding law has not yet been completed, every affected student that receives BAföG is recommended to submit an informal application for an extension as soon as possible - preferably in April, so that no deadlines are missed.
The application can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating the name and "Förderungsnummer", or handed in at the Infopoint daily between noon and 1 p.m..
+++ Update 16 April +++
- Dining halls remain closed
- Dormitories: Major events must be cancelled
After yesterday’s decision by the federal and state governments, all dining facilities of the Studierendenwerk will remain closed.
The crisis team of the Studierendenwerk assumes that even a longer-term- closure can be expected, which will continue beyond May. How a gradual start of operations could look like depends primarily on the currently unpredictable pandemic development and the required safety precautions.
In line with the decision regarding major events, all parties in the dormitories will be cancelled until the end of 2020
This also affects the big summer parties planned by the residents.
+++ Update 14 April +++
- Loosen measures for gastronomic facilities: The state has not yet made a decision
- Day rooms remain closed for the time being
The decision of the state to reopen gastronomic facilities and as well as university dining halls has not been made. So far, no concrete measures have been mentioned. It is also not yet certain whether they will take effect immediately after 19 April. For this reason, no binding statement can be made today regarding when and to what extent the dining hall can be reopened.
In the event that permission is granted to open soon, it is assumed that the opening will be connected to very stringent conditions. As soon as these are known, it must be examined whether and when they can be implemented in the individual facilities. However, it is certain that the opeing can only take place gradually and with a number of restrictions.
Due to current developments and the start of the summer semester as an "online semester", the day rooms in the dormitories will remain closed in accordance with the regulations of the universities and as a precautionary measure against infection with the Corona Virus. The closure is planned to be remained until the end of the summer semester (19 July 2020).
+++ Update 7 April +++
Summer semester starts on April 20 as "online semester“
Due to the increasing spread of the Corona Virus in North Rhine-Westphalia, the start of the lecture period at North Rhine-Westphalian universities has already been postponed to 20 April in mid-March. The Ministry of Culture and Science has agreed together with the state rectors' conferences (Landesrektorenkonferenzen) of the universities, universities of applied sciences (Hochschulen für Angewandte Wissenschaften - HAW) and the art and music universities to begin the current summer semester from April 20 initially as an "online semester" since it is not clear yet whether the current contact-reducing measures can end on April 20 or whether and how they may have to be continued. The universities have agreed on making a wide range of digital courses available. This will ensure that the summer semester can take place.
+++ Update 1 April +++
Cancellation of all anniversary events for the 100-year anniversary
2020 is the big anniversary year of Studierendenwerk Aachen. However, it is also the Corona year. A year in which everything is overshadowed by a virus and the efforts to slow down its spread. These are very difficult times for all of us. Nobody knows what is yet to come. Especially in our case, when will we be able to open our facilities again and take care of the students.
As for everyone, the uncertainty is very depressing for our employees. We think it is the right decision to postpone all the activities planned for our 100th anniversary to a later date because there are much more important things at the moment. This concerns our exhibition in Mensa Academica, the birthday celebration of the Mensa on 18 May and the official ceremony. But also the many other things we have planned will be dropped for the time being.
We hope that we will be able to start again next year at the latest and celebrate our anniversary in a relaxed and, if possible, liberated way. We are looking forward to it!
+++ Update 27 March +++
The Corona pandemic currently has substantial ramifications for everyone’s professional as well as personal everyday life. The loss of jobs to finance one‘s livelihood, the delay of the beginning of the semester, the cancelling of exams and the entry ban for countries that are high risk areas, have had a considerable impact on our dormitories‘ tenants and their tenancies.
It is our goal to alleviate cases of social hardship, which have been caused by the protective measures to contain the Corona epidemic. The measures are as follows.
Waiving of the notice period
Tenants who need or want to leave their rental objects due to Corona restrictions on short notice, currently do not have to abide by the notice period. The tenant can move out immediately. The reason for the cancellation needs to be added on the informal cancellation,
Reasons could be, e.g.:
- returning home due to the Corona pandemic
- discontinuing studies due to the repercussions of the Corona pandemic
- financing of the rental payment is no longer ensured (e.g. loss of job due to the protective measures to contain the Corona epidemic).
as well as the date to which the cancellation is to be effective.
Extensions without complying to the regular extension guidelines
Tenants, who, due to the Corona restrictions cannot leave their rental object, can apply for an exceptional extension (even if they do not comply to the regular extension guidelines).
The request is to be handed in with the following reason noted: ‚Extension due to Corona pandemic‘. The application can be informal, an e-mail is sufficient, if the reason for the extension request has been provided. There is currently no deadline for handing in the application. The exceptionally extended rental period can be up until 30th September 2020.
Reasons for an exceptional extension may be:
- due to the deferral of the exam period, exams could not be taken and the studies are being prolonged
- new accommodation can/could not be found, e.g. because an internship was cancelled on short notice
- returning to home country currently not an option
Should the currently rented room already have a new tenant, other options within the dormitory will be checked for. Alternatively, other dormitories will also be checked for available rooms. These checks and potential allocations need to take place individually according to availability. Should there not be sufficient available accommodation, the applications will be processed in the order of their arrival. Both tenants, as well as the occupancy committee (Belegungsausschuss) and the janitor will be informed accordingly.
New sub-tenancies will be declined
The rapid spreading of the Corona virus in these past few days is alarming. We need to do all we can in our dormitories to avoid an erratic increase of case numbers and protect our tenants from infection, where possible. To achieve this, reducing contacts is crucial. This is the reason why we cannot accept any requests for sub-tenancies at this point in time.
However, to enable our tenants to attend internships and not having to be burdened with paying double the rent, we are offering a hiatus from their rental period. Simply note „rental period hiatus“ on the cancellation. Subsequently, the tenant will receive a confirmation of the rental period hiatus with further instructions/ information on what to do prior to their return.
Cancellations by the main tenant while having a sub-tenant
Should the main tenant cancel the contract for their rental object, we will allow the sub-tenant to stay for the remainder of their sub-tenancy agreement. The sub-tenant is obligated to contact the Student housing office immediately upon finding out about the cancellation, in order to arrange a new contract.
Delayed arrival due to travel/entry bans
Should a new tenant not be able to arrive for the agreed start date of their tenancy due to an entry ban, they will still be entitled to their dormitory room. Proof for the delayed arrival needs to be sent to the Student housing office immediately upon finding out about the entry ban.
Respite of rental payments
Loss of jobs due to the protective measures to contain the Corona epidemic can cause loss of income amongst our tenants, who may be financing their livelihood with these earnings.
To alleviate the cases of social hardship, we are enabling a respite of the rental payments for the months of April, May and June 2020. The amortisation of the rental respite may be paid in instalments beginning with the month of July until December 2020. The offer includes suspending the rental payments from April until June 2020 entirely or partially. The application form needs to be requested from the Student housing office timely.
We are doing whatever we can and within the scope of our possibilities to decelerate the spreading of the Corona virus, to protect our tenants and to lessen the cases of social hardship.
Every tenant should be showing the same commitment by adhering to the measures imposed by the provincial as well as state government. Unfortunately, we repeatedly receive feedback from janitors and craftsmen, that tenants deliberately defy the distance-regulations (1.5 – 2m). Hence our urgent plea: Keep your distance!
+++ Update 18 March +++
Studierendenwerk crisis committee has just decided to set up an emergency supply in front of Mensa Academica, Pontwall, starting tomorrow, 19 March. Two hot meals (vegetarian and non-vegetarian) will be served outside the building from noon to 2 p.m.. The offer is initially valid for 19 and 20 March.
We kindly ask to maintain the distance rules.
+++ Update 17 March +++
On the recommendation of its crisis management team, the management of the Studierendenwerk Aachen has just decided to close all its gastronomic facilities from Thursday, March 19, in order of protection from the increasing risk of infection from COVID-19.
At this point in time we cannot make any binding statement about the duration of the closure. We would like to thank all of you for your understanding. We will keep you updated on our channels.
+++ Update 16 March +++
On the recommendation of the Ministry of Culture and the crisis committee of Stadt Aachen and StädteRegion Aachen, the universities will cancel all examinations, homework and final papers due to the increased risk of infection with the Corona Virus. AStA of RWTH collects all information on its website.
The Studierendenwerk crisis commitee will then have to examine whether and to what extent the current supply in the dining halls can still be maintained.
In addition, the German state government has decided that from Monday, 16 March, children up to school age and schoolchildren will not be allowed to enter any kind of childcare facility. This also applies to Studierendenwerk childcare facilities, which close with immediate effect.
Further measures in dining halls:
- Mensa Goethestraße will temporarily be closed from Tuesday, 17 March. Due to the size of the facility, it is impossible to comply with the required extended hygiene measures (for example minimum distance).
- From today, the tables in the dining halls will be positioned in such a way that guests can only sit at a certain distance from each other. It is important to stick to this table arrangement!
In addition, the measures announced on 13 March apply.
+++ Update 13 March +++
Based on current developments and the recommendations of Robert Koch Institute and the authorities responsible for us, we feel obliged to take further measures to restrict the distribution of the Corona Virus. This applies especially to the Studierendenwerk dining halls. In addition, a recommended course of action was passed on to the students in the dormitories.
The aim is to limit the use of our facilities as learning and day rooms, as this would further increase the risk of infection with the Corona Virus. The decision was also made in view of the fact that all reading and learning rooms in the universities will be closed next week. We consider it necessary to act in accordance with the universities at this point.
For the time being, we would like to maintain the supply of food and drinks for the students. However, we also see it as our responsibility to minimize the risks of infection and to reduce the offer.
Measures in the dining halls from Monday, 16 March 2020 (at first valid until 14 April):
- The dining halls will limit the food offer to lunch. All dining halls, coffee bars and cafeterias will therefore not open until 11 a.m., and the food will be served as usual from 11:30 a.m..
- The food offer will be reduced to two warm subsidised meals ("Classic" and "Vegetarian"). No food served at the special counters.
- Mensa Academica: The vegetarian meal is served on the ground floor and the classic meal is served on the first floor. The serving time on the first floor is extended from 2:15 p.m. to 4 p.m..
- Cutlery and spices are distributed by the dining hall staff only. No self-service in all dining halls.
- In the Caffè-Lounge in the FH building Bayernallee, cash payment is no longer possible. The available chip cards are to be used.
- Please continue to follow the recommended health regulations
Measures in dormitories:
- Day rooms in which several people are staying at the same time are closed (for example, study room, sauna, meeting room, fitness room and bar). Excluded from this are storage rooms in which common furnishings are set up, for example in the laundry room, printer room, server room, oven room.
All house representatives and residents have already been informed.
- All Studierendenwerk childcare facilities are closed until further notice.
In addition, the measures already taken by our info centers continue to apply.
+++ Update 11 March +++
According to the crisis committee of Stadt Aachen and StädteRegion all big events with more than 1,000 attendees are canceled until 10 April due to Corona Virus. University facilities and Studierendenwerk dining halls are exceptions that are meant to maintain the daily process.
Studierendenwerk and the university have a common consensus on the need of taking measures to protect students and the staff as soon as possible. Restrictions are to be imposed to check the spread of Corona Virus.
This applies to the dining halls and cafeterias as well as to info and service centers.
The following measures are taken immediately:
- The food offer is limited in all dining halls. All self- service counters are closed, for example the side dish and salad buffet.
- Bistro Templergraben and ESStw are currently closed
- We kindly ask our guests to follow the recommended health regulation
- No visiting hours take place. This applies to the BAföG and Housing Office. Please note the telephone hours.
- Our Infopoint is open between noon and 1 p.m. only. During this time the staff will only take care of urgent matters that cannot be dealt with via telephone or email. Currently, it is not possible to register for AUTOLOAD, to buy Guest Cards, or to transfer the money from a Student Guest Card to the BlueCard/FH Card.
- All external events that are meant to take place in Studierendenwerk facilities will be canceled, no matter the number of attendees.
- The bathroom soap dispensers in all facilities contain disinfectant. Furthermore, instructions about how to wash hands properly were put on the bathroom mirrors.
- The dining hall staff is aware of this issue and obeys to the DEHOGA- Bundesverband (Deutscher Hotel- und Gaststättenverband e.V.) instructions
- The facilities put on posters to inform about the most important precautionary measures (see below)
- In cooperation with RWTH Aachen and FH Aachen, a crisis committee was called up to work out a phased plan and define measures and escalation levels.
What are guests asked to take in consideration?
- Please do not panic, but be informed about the virus and the precaution measures – currently, there is no need to worry at Studierendenwerk facilities.
- Please note the telephone hours for the Housing and BAföG Office
- Those who fell ill are kindly asked to stay away from Studierendenwerk facilities
- Please put the BlueCard or FH Card on the card reader at the cash desk by yourself
- The following measures offer the best protection against the Corona Virus:
- Avoid shaking hands
Wash your hands thoroughly
Keep 1.5 meters (5 feet) distance
Keep your hands out of your face
Cover your cough and sneeze
Where can I find more Information? (Mostly in German language)
- Corona-Info-Hotline Stadt Aachen: 0241 510 051
- Corona-Info-Hotline RWTH Aachen: +49 241 80 90674
- Corona-Info-Hotline NRW-Gesundheitsministeriums: 0211 9119 1001
- Those who feel ill (Symptoms: fever, sore throat, cough) or have had contact with the Corona Virus can contact the local public health department or call the following hotline : 116 117
- FAQ des AStA der RWTH
- Informationen des Robert Koch-Instituts
- FAQ des Robert Koch-Instituts
- Informationen der Stadt Aachen
- Informationen der RWTH Aachen
- FAQ der RWTH Aachen
- Informationen der FH Aachen
- FAQ der Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung
- Informationen des Auswärtigen Amts
- FAQ des Ministeriums für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales NRW