Due to its unique cultural diversity and internationality of students from over 100 countries, but also because of the International Foundation Year Program, an increasing number of students on the campus of Jacobs University are under age (in Germany defined as students under the age of 18) according to German Law, hence subject to additional legal and university policies.
When Jacobs University admits an underage student for a study programme on campus, certain obligatory legal supervision duties become relevant for the university. These include the obligation of pointing out relevant dangers and referring to and acting upon the established regulations such as the German Protection of Adolescents Act (Deutsches Jugendschutzgesetz). These regulations give an orientation for the general dealings with and handling of minors at Jacobs University. In the following, the legal framework according to German Law is outlined.
I. Current Legal Framework
The German Protection of Adolescents Act (Deutsches Jugendschutzgesetz, BGBI. I, p. 2730 of July 23, 2002) regulates the provisions for adolescents being at certain places. In the following only the laws for minors over the age of 16 are considered, since the regulations for younger students are not relevant for Jacobs University at present.
a. Adolescents over the age of 16 are allowed to visit discos or clubs until 12 pm. This also applies when the adolescent is accompanied by an adult (= 18 years or older). This does not apply, when the event has its own rules and regulations set by the respective organizer. This also does not apply for concerts, as they are not qualified as dance events.
b. Adolescents may visit restaurants from 5 am to 12 pm. They are not allowed to enter night bars, night clubs, public amusement centers, casinos or any similar establishments.
c. Movies in cinemas are tagged with the respective age restriction by the German Voluntary Self-control of Movie Production (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft, FSK). The age restriction (6/12/16/18 years of age) applies even if an adolescent is accompanied by an adult. If a movie ends after 12 pm, an adolescent is only allowed to visit or be present at a cinema in company of an adult.
d. Adolescents are only allowed to buy or rent DVDs, videos or other film productions if they are approved for their age group and labelled accordingly. Correspondingly, this applies for electronic games.
e. Adolescents are not allowed to consume alcohol in form of spirits or food containing spirits in restaurants, shops and in public. Equally, shops and restaurants are not allowed to sell spirits to adolescents.
f. Adolescents are not allowed to consume tobacco in form of cigarettes in restaurants, shops and in public. Equally, shops and restaurants are not allowed to sell cigarettes to adolescents.
g. Any job activity is subject to the German Adolescent Labor Protection Law (Jugendarbeitschutzgesetz, BGBI. I, p. 965 of April 12, 1976).
II. University Policies regarding Minors
The German Protection of Adolescents Regulations (Jugendschutzbestimmungen) provide a basis and orientation for dealing with minors, while more flexible rules can be established by Jacobs University in domains not regulated specifically by law.
The following constitutes a set of rules for a conduct of behaviour on campus and when leaving campus beyond the above mentioned laws in the domains that are not regulated by German law. This area is regulated by university policies. It refers to life on campus and when leaving campus, i.e. for sports, biking, taking a walk or meeting friends off campus. Here the rules and regulations relating to legal supervision duties cannot be generalized, but can only be specified depending on each singular case, depending on the potential for danger, the underage student herself/himself and her/his maturity as well as previous behavior.
A. Jacobs University Standards and Procedures
a. Underage students naturally are not under supervision at all times within the university system or in university accommodation. It is possible for students to leave the campus at any time; supervision does not take place off campus.
b. The obligation of supervision carried out by Jacobs University implies that underage students are supervised and taken care of in an appropriate manner. This includes a constant and continuous personal contact and relationship between a university representative, being the College Masters, and the underage students, which, if necessary, should be initiated by the employees of Jacobs University.
c. Topics that should be covered in personal conversations when enrolling and on a regular basis from then on are: violent assaults and attacks, sexual assaults and harassment, drug consumption, drunk driving, car crashes or other accidents, etc.
d. As to all other students or guests in the colleges, the House Rules also apply for underage students.
e. Minors are allowed to visit TheOtherSide and H3 parties until 12 pm (info to bar team and RA as supervisors).
f. If an underage student takes on a student job at Jacobs University, the German Adolescent Labor Protection Law (Jugendarbeitschutzgesetz, BGBI. I, p. 965 of April 12, 1976) apply.
g. Jacobs University has an academic calendar that specifies vacation times such as Winter Break, Intersession, Spring Break and Summer Recess. It can be found on the website: Academic Calendar
h. Staff and faculty members are informed by the Registrar’s Office in the beginning of the academic year about underage students and are responsible to check this list when they plan an excursion. In the case of an excursion, the Parental Release Form and the Excursion Questionnaire are sent to the parents and need to be sent back signed by the parents / legal guardians with all information filled in before the excursion takes place. If the questionnaire is not sent back as required on time, the underage student cannot participate in the excursion.
i. Underage students are allowed to visit the Counseling Center. It is up to the underage students to decide if they inform their parents/legal guardians about this or not.
j. Jacobs University Bremen is exempt from liability for any violation against supervisory obligations, should they occur. Excluded from the aforementioned liability exemption are claims made for injury to life, limb, and/or health and for claims made against Jacobs University Bremen for compensation for damages caused by intentional or grossly negligent breach of their supervisory obligations.
k. The decisions taken in individual cases and their general documentation serves Jacobs University as a safeguard regarding liability from a legal point of view.
B. Rules and Regulations for Anybody Aged 18 and Older dealing with Minors
a. Obligations for the Pulse Express (selling of alcohol and cigarettes): the Pulse Express does not sell cigarettes or any alcohol other than wine and beer.
b. Our cigarette vending machines are equipped with legal requirements regarding underage students.
c. TheOtherSide is not allowed to sell alcohol other than wine and beer to minors and minors have to leave TheOtherSide at 12 pm.
d. Having sex with minors can be considered a breach of law. Sexual acts practised on young persons (under 18) are punishable by law if it is done by exploiting a coercive situation of young people, i.e. against their will or because of threat or blackmail. Sexual acts are prohibited for supervisors or guardians with children under the age of 18. Information needs to be provided to all community members.
e. The IRC only lends out media according to the age rating.
f. Computer Games (i.e. in the colleges) are only made available according to the age rating.
g. Jacobs University does not perform internet censorship. The internet is open to all university members in the same way. The protection of minors lies with the content offerer. This is valid for offerers in the internet as well as for each content offerer within the university (i.e. when course materials are distributed, it needs to be taken care that they comply with the Protection of Adolescents Acts. The Telemedia Act (soon: Information and Communications Technology Guideline) explicitly indicates this.
h. Passing on or selling drugs to minors (but also to adults) is considered a criminal offense involving legal consequences and can be brought to court.
i. For possible consequences in cases of trespassing any of these boundaries, please see The German Protection of Adolescents Act (Deutsches Jugendschutzgesetz, BGBI. I, p. 2730 of July 23, 2002) article 6.
C. Rules and Regulations regarding Parents / Legal Guardians
a. With signing the Enrollment Acceptance Form, the parents or legal guardians of minor students declare that the resulting possible increase in personal responsibility and self-discipline required by the adolescents will not be over-challenging. Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH, its employees and other authorized persons are in this respect relieved from their supervisory obligation.
b. Parents or legal guardians will take all necessary measures required to ensure that the minor student has an adequate understanding of the educational system at Jacobs University Bremen in order for them to avoid violation of their obligations and to avoid them being the cause of any damage or negligence.
c. Parents or legal guardians are liable for their children.
d. When excursions are planned, the responsible faculty or staff member sends the Parental Release Form and the Excursion Questionnaire to the parents and gets it back signed by the parents / legal guardians with all information filled in before the excursion takes place. If the questionnaire is not sent back in the required form on time, the underage student cannot participate in the excursion.
e. Information about the academic status of students is given to the students directly by Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH. Underage students are expected to inform their parents or legal guardians. Parents and legal guardians may receive information on the academic status of underage students upon special written request. Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH reserves the right to forward an academic status report to parents when deemed necessary.
It is important to have this document recognized by both the parents and the minor when he/she enrolls at Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH.
The Standards and Procedures regarding Underage Students at Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH shall be governed by the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany. Place of performance and exclusive place of jurisdiction for all disputes arising out of or in connection with the Standards and Procedures regarding Underage Students at Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH shall be Bremen, Germany.