The voice of the student representatives in the Academic Senate
Institutional Communication Service
17 April 2023
USI Academic Senate also offers the opportunity for students to participate in the assembly as faculty representatives. Here are the testimonies of Aurora Spagnol, a student in the Faculty of Informatics, and Guido Junior Maria Pedone, a student in the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society.
Since last September, you have represented the student body of your faculty in the Senate. What is the role of the student representatives in the Academic Senate?
"Unlike the faculty and the intermediate body," Aurora begins, "we students directly represent the faculty of which we are a part. Alexander Vescovi and I carry the voice of the students of the Faculty of Informatics in the Student Council, the so-called government of the Student Corporation, and in the Academic Senate."
"As the student representative of the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society in the Academic Senate, I am responsible for making the student voice heard in this body," Guido continues. "In addition, I am a member of the Senate's presidential office and president of the Student Corporation Council."
The Academic Senate aims to strengthen the unity within the University: have you succeeded in making the student voice heard?
"The Corporation is not limited to representation but implements and supports projects to promote university life," Aurora continues. "Support is financial and organisational at all event planning stages with the associations and their presidents. Moreover, our dialogue is not restricted to these occasions, which are linked to individual initiatives."
"Our role in the Academic Senate is to represent the interests of the students of our faculty, discussing issues of general interest and, in our small way, proposing possible solutions to various issues," adds Guido. "Some of the issues are about improving the quality of the university experience, increasing student participation in university bodies and promoting unity between faculties and bodies."
Can you cite concrete examples of issues discussed in the Senate that closely affect the student body?
"In the Quality Commission, of which I am a member," Aurora continues, "we are considering measures to involve students more in the other senate committees and increase their participation in university initiatives. Unfortunately, this process will take time, and I will not be able to complete it during my term since this is the last semester for me".
The representatives of the student body in the Academic Senate are also members of the Student Council, the so-called government of the Student Corporation. What is your role in the Student Council?
"We also meet in the Committee of Student Associations," explains Aurora, "which includes the Pro-rector for Education and Students' experience, the Chancellery of the Corporation and the student representatives in the Faculty Councils. Roberto Palmieri and Albert Cerfeda represent Informatics students in this body. During the meetings, we can discuss critical issues reported to us in the degree courses and associations we represent and propose solutions".
"As student representatives, we work with the associations to promote projects aimed at increasing student participation in academic and university life," Guido continues. "To achieve this, we can draw on a dedicated budget to financially support student association initiatives."
How has your experience in the Student Senate and Student Council enriched your training and growth?
"I had already been elected Institute representative in high school and my course during my three-year degree," says Aurora, "but the experience in the USI Senate was the most enriching. Knowing what the topics of discussion are and being able to contribute to the individual working groups is a great opportunity to get to know the other members of the university and establish a constructive dialogue. As representatives in the Academic Senate, I hope that others will seize the opportunity to take forward this process of empowering student opinion in the decisions that affect us. All you have to do to get started is apply in September. Good luck to everyone!"
"This experience in the Academic Senate and the Student Council has been extremely educational and enriching for me," says Guido, "and has allowed me to establish a constructive dialogue with the different university members. I hope that other students will feel motivated to run for office to represent the interests of the student body of the different faculties in the Academic Senate and the Council of the Student Corporation, as these positions represent a unique opportunity to actively contribute to university life and make the student voice heard in the decisions that affect us".