Who are we?
The Helvetia Basiliensis Student Society is a section of the Swiss Student Society Helvetia, which has sections in five cities throughout Switzerland including Bern, Zurich, Geneva and Lausanne. We seek to bring students together beyond the boundaries of one’s own faculty and generation through enabling our members to expand their horizons and form friendships with current and past students of the University of Basel.
As a society, we are politically neutral and promote acceptance of all faiths and none. We value the democratic fabric of modern-day Switzerland and we encourage our members to develop their own understanding of politics as much as possible and to be able to situate this understanding in a historical context. This goal of ours has a lot to do with our origins as an organisation which was in part responsible for Switzerland coming together as a federal state in 1848. Many of our members have taken up positions in the executive body of Switzerland (Bundesrat) including Stefano Franscini and Henri Druey who served on the first Bundesrat, and at one point there were even three of our members serving simultaneously on the Bundesrat. Today, we still have members who are active in the political world such as Kurt Fluri H!, however being a successful “Helveter” is by no means restricted to the realm of politics.
Why should you join?
The Helvetia Basiliensis is the perfect opportunity to really deepen your understanding of not just Switzerland, but also friendship. Through our many trips around Switzerland and the many festive events we organise, the Helvetia Basiliensis can provide you with the chance to meet extraordinary people who you wouldn’t normally come into contact with. However, this is much more than just networking: You will meet people who will always have your back and you will form friendships that are hard to come by these days.
The Helvetia Basiliensis is a lifelong association, i.e. a member remains as a “Basler Helveter” throughout their entire life. Once a member is no longer a student, they continue to have access to the society as an “Altherr” alumnus and take part in many of the joint events between the active students (Aktivitas) and the Altherren. This intergenerational aspect of the society makes for a stimulating and intellectually nourishing atmosphere. Life as a student with the Helvetia Basiliensis really is an eye-opening experience.
The colours carmoisine red and white are worn by the members of the Helvetia Student Society. Each member has the right bestowed upon them to bear these colours when they first join the society and are given a band and Mütze (a cap). Our red-white-red band and the red Mütze play an integral role in shaping our identity as a community as they allow us to express our allegiance to the society and our loyalty towards one another. They also serve as a symbol for our appreciation of the society’s rich traditions. We wear the colours at every official society event throughout the semester.