Welfare Committee


The Welfare Committee (hereafter “The Committee”) is established as a specialized committee of the Graduate Institute Student Association (hereafter “GISA”) to promote the welfare, mental health and health of the students of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (hereafter “the Institute”).

The Committee is formed initially through a mandate given by the General Assembly of the Graduate Institute Student Association. Thus the Committee ultimately enacts the will of the General Assembly.


  • The Committee is tasked with representing and advocating student interests to Institute administration as it relates to health, mental health, student welfare, and other related issues. This includes, but is not limited to, advocating for adequate funding and staffing to best meet the overall welfare needs of students.

  • The Committee serves as a specialized committee of GISA. As such it is expected to make regular reports regarding student opinion and current welfare concerns of students. The Committee should seek out and survey student opinion in an inclusive and comprehensive way such that all student viewpoints and needs may be taken into account and represented to Institute Administration in an accurate and complete manner.

  • The Committee will plan and execute, in consultation with the Institute or independently, innovative programming to support student welfare. The Committee will serve as the main conduit of coordination between students, GISA, the student support and various organs related to student health and welfare in the institute.

Roles and Responsibilities 

  • Attend weekly GISA board meetings (2 hours) + preparation time 

  • Schedule and attend Welfare Committee Meetings (1 hour/weekly) 

  • Host, organize and attend Welfare Committee related events that are organized (for example, hot chocolate gatherings and other wellness related activities)

  • Support students with welfare related activities, events and meetings (for example Action for Happiness) to provide a thriving ecosystem for wellness activities 

  • Attend bi-annual Gender and Diversity Commission meetings 

  • Create a bi-annual winter and summer working plan.



Student Initiatives (Ongoing Events)

  • Running  the “Quarantine Buddy Initiative 3.0” to pair new students at the Institute with current students via online platforms such as Zoom and MS Teams.

  • Running weekly Zumba classes with Laura Silva Aya on Wednesdays and Thursdays @ 6-7 PM.


  • Meetings with admin (as needed) 

  • Support admin with welfare related activities and tasks. Including health and wellbeing week, meditation events, registration for appointments with the Institute’s psychologists.

  • Assist and direct students to the right departments within admin.

  • Assist students based on referrals from admin.

Student Outreach

  • Engage with students through managing social media channels (544 people on Facebook, 346 on Instagram and a Contact Database with 300+ students’ email addresses) to communicate the WFC’s organized events and other wellness topics/events.

  • Organize wellness and community building workshops in collaboration with other Initiatives. Examples include virtual Storytelling Workshop by Richard Richards and the menstrual cup distribution which was in collaboration with GISA, SIA, EC, Feminist Collective, Global Health Initiative.

Student Welcome Week

  • The Welfare Committee has played an important role in welcoming new students to campus by organizing events such as yoga in the park and “Know Your Resources”, which helps students to familiarize themselves with the campus.

Sanitary Program

  • Organized the menstrual cup workshop with Dr. Tanaya Narendra, organised in collaboration with GISA, SIA, EC, Feminist Collective, Global Health Initiative.

  • Distribute free menstrual cups at the  various Student Residences in association with Paint It Red

CO-VID19 Crisis*

The workload significantly ramped up during the CO-VID19 crisis. Roles, tasks and responsibilities of the President included

  • Continuing with the  IHEID Solidarity challenge in collaboration with GISA communications and the Graduate Institute Communications team to help provide creative ways for students to connect and engage with one another during the Covid-19 quarantine (Quarantine Buddy 3.0 Initiative).

  • Working with the Graduate Institute communications team highlights student-led efforts from across the student body to provide a sense of solidarity and support in the monthly Campus Newsletter.

  • Running Live virtual Zumba classes provided free of charge for students (for mental and physical wellness) during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Working with class reps to gather a list of questions and students concerns around accessing psychological support and communicating with the admin for release of updated FAQ doc. Sharing this information via social media, GISA newsletter, class reps and TAs


* During this unprecedented time, the volume of work required to meet the needs and demands of students facing wellbeing and welfare challenges was extremely difficult, rewarding and time consuming with 6-8 hours a day being assigned to this challenge during the height of the crisis. 


Email: gisa.welfare@graduateinstitute.ch

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