FAQ on the Student Corporation

What is the Student Corporation, in short?

The Student Corporation is the organisation to which all Bachelor’s and Master’s students regularly enrolled at USI belong. It is led by the student body representatives the Academic Senate and performs tasks recognised by the University. Such tasks include promoting university life on USI campuses thanks to a budget allocated by the University.

Click here for more information on the Student Corporation.


Who decides how to use the Corporation budget? Is it true that few students, the student representatives, can make decisions that affect everyone without others having a say?

Decisions on the use of the budget are taken in the first instance by representatives of the student body in the Academic Senate, which constitutes the "government" of the Corporation, called the "Student Council".

That being said, other students can also have a say on these decisions. All USI students make up the "General Assembly". The General Assembly is the "sovereign" of the Corporation: it has the power to intervene in the decisions of the Council through "direct democracy" and thus have the final say on the use of the budget by voting. "Direct democracy" was conceived and desired within the Corporation precisely to allow democratic control over the Student Council and thus "compensate" its decision-making power.


What is "direct democracy"?

It is the power of the student body as a whole (Student General Assembly) to take the final decision on a particular issue directly through a vote. "Direct democracy" is triggered through two means, Student Initiative and Student Referendum. If a Student Initiative or a Student Referendum collects a set number of signatures within a deadline, the student body as a whole is called upon to vote on that Initiative or Referendum.

Click here for more information about "direct democracy" within the Corporation.


Can everyone trigger "direct democracy"?

Yes, every student regularly enrolled in a Bachelor or Master programme at USI can trigger "direct democracy" by launching a Student Initiative (find out how) or by launching a Student Referendum (find out how). We remind you that the Initiative or Referendum in question will be put to the vote only if the set number of signatures is collected within the deadline.


What's the difference between Student Initiative and Student Referendum?

A Student Initiative is proactive: it formally proposes a project or action to be taken in regards of the Corporation and/or university life and tries to bring this proposal to the vote of the Student General Assembly (the student body as a whole).

A Student Referendum is launched to formally dispute a decision taken by the Student Council (the student representatives in the Academic Senate) and attempts to bring the disputed decision to the vote of the Student General Assembly (the student body as a whole).

Click here for more information on Student Initiatives.
Click here for more information on Studnet Referendums.


How was the number of signatures needed to vote on a Student Initiative or Student Referendum determined?

The number is just under 10% of the total number of Bachelor’s and Master’s students. The 10% was considered a significant threshold of the student body's initial interest in a particular issue. Considerations of sustainability of the system were also made, given the administrative resources of the Corporation.


I have an idea or a proposal, but I prefer not to launch a formal Student Initiative.

You can freely submit an idea to the Student Council.

Click here to find out how.


What is the difference between freely submitting an idea and launching a Student Initiative?

The Student Council is not required to act in order to implement an idea or proposal submitted in an informal way and not through a Student Initiative. In the case of a Student Initiative, i.e. a formal proposal for action, the Student Council, on the other hand, is obliged to take action to implement it if the Initiative is approved by a vote.


Where can I read the decisions taken by the Student Council?

In the List of Decisions
click here to go to the List of Decisions


Where can I find open Student Initiatives and Student Referendums in order to sign?

A list of all the open Student Initiatives is available in the List of Initiatives
click here to go to the List of Initiatives

A list of all open Student Referendums is available in the List of Referendums
click here to go to the List of Referendums


Why can student associations launch formal proposals without the need of collecting signatures?

The Corporation was also created to support student associations' projects. With this in mind, a "privileged" channel has been provided for student associations' proposals.


Why are there deadlines for proposals from the associations, for the decisions of the Student Council and for the launch of Student Initiatives?

Deadlines are set on the Corporation calendar to guarantee that all procedures of "direct democracy" and the respective timeframes fall within the semesters.


In short, what are my rights and how can I exercise them?

As member of the Corporation you can exercise the following rights: