Schweizerischer Studentenverein

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The Schweizerischer Studentenverein (Swiss Student's Society, abbreviation SSS; French: Société des Etudiants Suisses) is a society of colour bearing students of both genders and at the same time a federation of student corporations which are called sections. Its members are students and former students of high schools, universities and universities of applied sciences in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy. Formerly, sections also existed in Belgium, France and in the Czech Republic. Its motto is virtus, scientia, amicitia!

Schweizerischer Studentenverein
Swiss Student's Society
Basic Data
Foundation: 1841
Members: 59 (113) sections; 1100 active members; 7500 veterans
Abbreviation: Schw. StV (SES; SSS)
Motto: virtus, scientia, amicitia!
Colors: red - white - green


The SSS was founded on August 31, 1841 as the federation of the catholic-conservative, colour-bearing and non-duelling corporations of Switzerland. Its insignia are since 1851 a red-white-green ribbon and since 1861 a red hat. The member corporations are free to choose any shade of red and the type of hat. The first four sections were founded in 1843: GV Zähringia (in Fribourg), GV Suitia (in Schwyz), AV Semper Fidelis (Lucerne) and AV Helvetia Friburgensis (Freiburg im Breisgau).

There are not only sections in German-speaking regions but also in French speaking Switzerland and in other countries. Originally, the SSS was a political movement of catholic-conservative students and therefore implicitly the antipode of the Schweizerischer Zofingerverein, which had a progressive-liberal political setting. The SSS intended to gather Christian, conservative forces against liberalism and radicalism. Nevertheless, after the Sonderbund War of 1847 it were members of the SSS who contributed to Switzerlands unity.

The SSS always meant to be a society of politically active members. Nearly all members of the Swiss Federal Council of the CVP were members of the SSS. This orientation to catholic conservatism diminished more and more since 1970. Officially, the SSS is no longer affiliated to the CVP and nowadays open to other political parties.

In 1873, during the time of the Kulturkampf, the SSS became a society limited to Catholics. It was only in 1977 that this principle was changed to "christian". Consequently, the SSS is now also open to Protestants again. Since 1968 women are allowed to join the society, too.

The SSS has a friendship agreement with the CV and the OCV. It is a member of the EKV.


As of today, the SSS has 69 sections in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy. This makes it the biggest society of colour-bearing students in Switzerland. It has 1100 active members and 7500 veterans.

The SSS was founded as a central society, not as a fusion of individual corporations which is why their members are directly members of the federation as well, including the right to vote. The supreme organ of the SSS is its General Assembly (consisting of all active members) which is held annually at the so-called Zentralfest ("central festival"), the biggest festival of colour-bearing students in Europe.

The General Assembly elects the five members of the Central Committee (CC), including the Central President (CP), the Central Actuary (CA), the Vice President (VCP), the ombudsman of the universities of applied science (FHCC) and the ombudsman of the high schools. The members are elected for one year; reelection is possible but not frequent. There are several permanent and temporary commissions to the support of the CC. The veterans are federated in the Altherrenbund (AHB), which has an own committee. The AHB and the CC are united in the Council of the SSS. Each member of the CC and the AHB has one vote - however, in case of equality of votes, the CC (as the committee of the students) prevails.[1]

Member corporations[edit]

In total, there are at least 113 corporations who were at least temporarily member of the SSS.

Sections with active and veteran members (59)[edit]

Sections without active but with veteran members (20)[edit]

Sections without active or veteran members (32)[edit]


  • Predicate:
    • GV = Gymnasialverbindung; High School Corporation (SG)
    • AV = Akademische Verbindung; Academic Corporation (SA), (CA)
    • AKV = Akademische Kommentverbindung; Academic Comment Corporation
    • FHV = Fachhochschulverbindung; Corporation at a University of Applied Science (SHE)
    • SAV / SAKV = Semiakademische Verbindung; Semi-Academic Corporation
    • AB = Akademische Burschenschaft
    • RV = Regionalverbindung; Regional Corporation (not affiliated to a university)
  • Style of the corporation:
    • G = Gymnasialverbindung; Corporation at a High School
    • I = Ingenieursverbindung; Corporation of Engineers
    • A = Akademische Verbindung; Academic Corporation
  • Language of the corporation:
    • g = German
    • f = French
    • i = Italian
    • r = Romansh
  • Gender of the members:
    • m = exclusively male
    • f = exclusively female
    • m/f = mixed

Notable members (selection)[edit]

Holy or blessed members[edit]


Further reading[edit]


  • Sébastien Grüter: Histoire de la Société des Étudiants Suisses. Imprimerie de l'Œuvre de Saint-Paul, Fribourg, 1916
  • Urs Altermatt (Editor): Den Riesenkampf mit dieser Zeit zu wagen… Schweizerischer Studentenverein 1841-1991. Maihof-Verlag, Lucerne, 1993, ISBN 3-9520027-2-0

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Zentralkomitee". Schw. StV. Retrieved 2011-08-29.