Direct democracy within the Corporation
By electing the members of the Student Council, the Student General Assembly – comprising all USI Bachelor's and Master's students – entrusts them with making initial decisions on a given topic, in particular on how the Corporation should use its resources to support university life. As the Corporation's "sovereign", however, the Student General Assembly has the power to vote directly and therefore make the final decision on a given topic.
This is what makes the system a "direct democracy": the student body as a whole is guaranteed democratic control of the Student Council and its decisions.
Every student enrolled in a USI Bachelor's or Master's programme has two ways of triggering the "direct democracy" system:
- Student Initiative.
A Student Initiative is a formal call for action on a Corporation issue and/or a topic concerning university life, potentially leading to a vote by the Student General Assembly, i.e. the student body as a whole.
- Student Referendum.
A Student Referendum is an opportunity to formally dispute a decision made by the Student Council, again potentially leading to a vote by the Student General Assembly, i.e. the student body as a whole).
For a Student Initiative or a Student Referendum to be put to the vote of the student body, it needs to garner a certain number of signatures by a given deadline.
For more information on Student Initiatives and Student Referendums, please visit our dedicated pages:
Direct democracy within the Corporation is inspired by Switzerland's direct democracy system.