The General Student's Committee (the AStA, short for Allgemeiner Studierendenausschuss) represents the students of the Technische Universität Berlin. Its first aim is to support students who want to get together and assert their rights against the university administration and other bodies.
The AStA is the executive organ of the student body and is elected through the student parliament. The student body is financed by the students themselves, who pay the student body contribution (the 'Studierendenschaftsbeitrag') of 9,10 Euro every semester. Because of this financial structure, the AStA can represent the interests of students more independently than for example advisory services financed by the university administration, or party-affiliated organisations.
The AStA of the TU Berlin consists of different collectives, in which staffers, appointed representatives and volunteers work together on a level playing field. These collectives are mostly departments working on certain issues. The departments usually consist of representatives appointed by the Student Parliament and volunteers, but also of the AStA's service collectives. All collectives and volunteers meet and coordinate within the AStA plenary meeting.