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Yannik Breitenstein has been the new President of the Student Union (SHSG) since June 2018. He has been involved in the SHSG since his Assessment Year and most recently was its Vice-President. It is not only Breitenstein who profits from this experience. "Since a new team is constituted every year, safeguarding continuity is crucial for the work of the Student Union," says the Economics student.
"I want to give something back to my university and to play a part in it."
Yannik Breitenstein regards it as important that students do not simply acquire their degrees but are actively committed to their university and its continued development − even if they themselves will not profit from this any longer. "I don’t consider it a matter of course to be able to study at the HSG," says the trained chef. "This is why I want to give something back to my university and to play a part in it." Precisely because his biography does not conform to typical expectations, Yannik Breitenstein is pleased to be able to represent the students both intramurally and extramurally.
His most important projects have included the realisation of the new coworking space "theCo" in Müller-Friedberg-Strasse, which was opened in May 2018. This coworking space, which is run by the SHSG, does not only create a place to work and study but is intended to encourage cooperation and exchange as well. Assessment students are able to talk to doctoral students and faculty members, alumni are able to share their experience, and the St.Gallen general public is also involved. "We want to host public lectures and invite citizens to have a cup of coffee with us and engage in conversations with us," says Breitenstein. "We want to show how positive it can be when students are closer to the town, also with a view to the campus planned at Platztor." The Student Union has also deliberately opted in favour of regional suppliers. The fair-trade organic coffee, for instance, is supplied by a St.Gallen roasting house.
Yannik Breitenstein can see future challenges in the field of digitalisation. "Many students wonder whether they are still well equipped for the future if they completed a classic degree course," says Breitenstein. This is why the SHSG offered a summer school on the internet of things, blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning in late August 2018. "Since the University cannot cram everything into contextual studies, this is an ideal niche for us, and we want to extend this offer."