A café that is only open in the evenings? Barkeepers that sit in the same lecture rooms as you during the day? All kinds of events without any commercial incentive, just simply to celebrate enjoyment? The student café Faust fuses a number of apparent contrasts but nevertheless remains: a large, comfortable living room for all students at the University of Stuttgart and their friends.
Café Faust’s popular party to celebrate the beginning of the winter semester 2016 was held in the vaulted cellar and in the courtyard on Thursday the 27th October. Anyone who found themselves standing in front of a locked door during renovation works in the summer semester finally had the chance to look forward to the reopening of the student café: Regular opening hours are every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 5:00pm. In addition to regular jazz sessions, upcoming events are also announced on Facebook and on the café’s website.
The voluntary staff are also regulars at the café, meeting up every two weeks
Regular visitors appreciate café Faust’s ambience, and the comparatively cheap drinks. But how can the Faust even afford to sell beer for 1.50 euro? That is partly thanks to money saved on employment costs. The students who work here are volunteers – and there are a lot of them. While some of the volunteers take on two-and-a-half hour bar shifts, others buy the drinks, manage the groups who meet here regularly, pay the bills, take care of the technical equipment or clear up any problems or questions in consultation with legal advisors. The students give their free time and energy willingly, not only to help maintain the café, but also to improve it.
And they do a really good job. Faust is very popular, particularly in the case of events held during the week, and it is often livelier than comparable bars in Stuttgart. The concept only works because every single volunteer takes on responsibility, both for themselves and for the running of the bar. The fact that at Faust everyone is equal and no one rules from above is a good foundation for the development of a sense of responsibility.
Every newcomer receives training
The volunteers are also regulars and meet up here every two weeks. They discuss current requests from artists, upcoming events and suggestions for improvement, both in terms of working and the equipment. Furthermore, there is also a bi-annual general meeting. All members of the association ‘Friends of Faust e.V.’ are invited to attend. It is here that committee members, the treasurer and their deputies are elected.
Because it is important that Faust maintains its current character and quality, the team is pleased to welcome any students who wish to support the establishment in whatever way they can. Regardless of whether you are in your first or last semester, if your timetable is full or you have lots of free time: Anyone who wants to help out is more than welcome. Even if you don’t have any experience in bar work: Every newcomer receives training. Just come along during opening hours and talk to whoever is working behind the bar.