Creation and Dissolvement of Initiatives

Creation of Student Initiatives


As stated in the GISA statutes by-laws, a student initiative can be formed and coordinated by any current IHEID student of any program (Master and PhD) and year. The process of an initiative foundation follows a number of steps, starting with filling in the ‘student initiative creation form’ which can be found on the GISA website. Students interested in founding an initiative should (1) check all the existing initiatives and offers that already exist at the IHEID to make sure that their idea doesn’t already exist in a slightly different format. As GISA Exec is managing 30+ initiatives, while there are only limited resources, collaborations are welcome and appreciated. After checking all the existing offers, a student shall (2) think of a potential name, find coordinating members (head of initiative, treasurer, communications head, and events coordinator are required positions that have to be filled in), general objectives and aims, short-term and long-term goals, and brainstorm about the added value of the initiative to the student community. Additionally, it is important to (3) think of how to ensure engagement of students within the offers of the initiative and collaboration opportunities with other initiatives of the IHEID as well as potentially other stakeholders in Geneva. (4) Lastly, interested students are encouraged to reach out to GISA board members and visit the weekly GISA board meetings (these are always open for students – students can join on a weekly basis if interested) for any type of consultation. 


Longevity and sustainability are important values to GISA. We would like to avoid the successive creation and dissolvement of initiatives within short time spans. Thus, we would like to encourage students to think of how an initiative will keep on existing after your own membership. As students at the IHEID tend to stay only two years (as a Master student) to five years (as a PhD student), it is desirable to imagine and ensure an ongoing engagement and participation of students who might take over the initiative after you. Also, it is up to the initiatives to find new members and – particularly important – new coordinating members for the initiatives board. 


The mere submission of the initiative creation request does not implicate automatic authorisation. After receiving the student initiative creation request the GISA Executive Board reads the proposal, discusses different options, and votes on the potential creation. Before the vote, the GISA board might invite the requesting students to the GISA board weekly meetings in order to discuss potential questions/ regards etc. The decision is being made on a majority procedure. 


Key factors for the decision:

  • Compliance with the student code of conduct

  • Compliance with the GISA statutes and By-Laws

  • Openness to all students of the institute

  • Duplication in interests, visions, objectives, and goals with another student initiative can be a factor against the creation of a new initiative.

  • If there is an initiative that works on similar topics than your envisioned initiative, GISA requests you to reach out to them in order to join their team and possibly create a ‘sub-group’ within the said existing initiative. 

  • The rejection to consider collaboration with other student initiatives can be a factor against the creation of a new initiative.


Please find below the related section that can be found in the GISA statutes


GISA Statutes – By-laws Article II: Student Initiative Support Policy


Section 2: Creation of Student Initiatives


  1. Only Student Initiatives created through the process detailed in this Section may be approved for financial support. Exceptions may be determined by the GISA President.

  2. To create a Student Initiative, interested students must deliver an application to the GISA Executive Committee, which is available on and shall contain:

    1. The name of the organisation and category;

    2. Indication of the organisation’s purpose, mission and events planned;

    3. The submission of the request shall indicate the students who will be President, Treasurer, Events Coordinator and Communications Director. Besides, it is highly recommended to have an ad-hoc advocacy position. Contact information for these members needs to be provided.

  3. The Executive Committee may consult the founding members as to the needs of the Initiatives, the Initiative’s purpose, events or any other relevant information prior to making a decision.

  4. Applications to create Student Initiatives will be received throughout the year and processed within two weeks.

Dissolvement of Student Initiatives 


As articulated in the GISA statutes by-laws, a student initiative can be dissolved due to inactivity or by request of its own members. Inactivity is defined as two consecutive semesters of no events, publications or other activities organized by the initiative. Internal meetings are not considered as an activity as they aren't open and accessible for the whole student community. The request for budget is irrelevant to this procedure. Please find below the official wording that can be found in the GISA statutes – By-laws article II which deals with the student initiative support policy. 


GISA Statutes – By-laws Article II: Student Initiative Support Policy

Section 7: Dissolution of Student Initiatives


  1. Student Initiatives may be dissolved only due to inactivity or by request of its members.

    1. ‘Inactivity’ shall be understood as two consecutive semesters of no events or publications or other activity organised by the Initiative, regardless if budget was requested. Internal meetings held by the Initiative shall not be considered for the purposes of assessing inactivity.

    2. If a Student Initiative report is available at the end of the preceding term, it shall be given due regard in the proposed dissolution.

  2. The Executive Committee is capable of dissolving a Student Initiative.

  3. The Executive Committee must communicate its reasons in writing to a student Initiative upon its dissolution.

  4. A Student Initiative may appeal a dissolution to the General Assembly, which can overturn the decision with a simple majority vote among those present at the meeting. The Administrative Coordinator shall be responsible for registering attendance and the votes cast, which figures shall be made public.