GISA SUPPORT FOR SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND CAMPAIGNS
Section 1: Purpose
1. The purpose of this Article is to provide guidance on when and how the Association can publicly support or endorse social movements and campaigns.
2. Although the main objective of the present Article is to give more leeway for the Association and its Board to show support for a social movement, any social movement denoting or connoting ideas explicitly in violation to the provisions of the Institute’s Student Code of Conduct or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is off the limits of the purpose of this Article.
3. This article does not regulate the Association’s support to, participation in, or endorsement of any mobilisation started by any Member of the Association and aimed at the pursuit of Members’ interests within the Institute (i.e. directed at the Administration of the Institute or to any member or group of the Institute’s community).
a. The role played by the Association in such mobilisations will remain at the discretion of the current Members of the Executive Committee as political representatives of the Student Body.
b. Any Member of the Association is free to show their support on an individual basis.
4. Student Initiatives under GISA can make free use of the Association’s logo for any reason that is not related to the support of a social movement. This includes, but is not limited to, posts for the Initiative’s events, conferences, in conjunction with its own logo(s) and other marketing purposes. However, the use of the GISA logo for explicit support of a social movement, both by the Association’s Board or by the Student Initiatives, shall be regulated by the provisions below. In case of uncertainty on the nature of the use of the GISA logo, the content of whatever document or platform where the logo is being used shall determine whether the use of the logo in that instance is permitted or not. The latter remains under the discretion of the current Members of the Association’s Board.
Section 2: Definitions
1. This section aims to define the key terms that are pertinent to this Article, in order to establish a uniform base of reference for the Association’s Board and its Student Initiatives. These definitions will be referred to in cases of confusion or ambiguity.
2. Social movements will be defined as follows: collective, organised, purposeful, and either spontaneous, immediate, or sustained networks of informal interactions between a plurality of individuals and groups engaged in a political or cultural challenge to authorities and social institutions and featuring specific repertoires of action.
3. For the purpose of this Article, social movements are classified as follows, accordingly to the specific way(s) in which the Association may endorse and/or support the movement:
a. Protests will be defined as public expressions of objection, disapproval, or dissent towards an idea or action, taking a diverse range of forms that may include but are not limited to demonstrations, sit-ins, and flash-mobs. The specific feature of this kind of social movements’ action is that the Members of the Association need to be able to attend it on behalf of the whole Association. This may entail, but does not necessarily require, that the protest is held in Geneva or Switzerland.
b. Campaigns will be defined as an active participation to organised, purposeful, and sustained non-physical mobilisations beyond a simple public declaration of support. This includes but is not limited to using GISA’s name and logo for opposing or supporting public bodies (governments, organisations, companies, etc.) and/or acts (legislation or other kinds of policies).
c. Statements of Support: oftentimes, outraging events occur around the world for which our community, strongly concerned by any threat to the harmonious existence of our planet, feels the urge to show solidarity and support. It may be the case of catastrophes or violations of human rights. Even though we recognise the politics in these circumstances and we do not want to neglect the specific and general responsibilities of such events, we distinguish general statements of support in similar contexts from the endorsement of campaigns as the former may be limited to actions on social media (e.g. Facebook or Instagram posts, GISA Newsletters, etcetera).
4. For the purpose of allowing Members of the Association’s Board, as individuals or as a collective, to express their own personal views outside of the larger Student Body that GISA represents, an endorsement by the GISA Board will not be equated to an endorsement by the entire Association. When such an endorsement is made, it will be clearly written whether it is the Association’s Board or the Student Body, through the corresponding voting mechanism, that is expressing support or affirmation.
Section 4: Follow-up actions for campaigns
The GISA Administrative Director shall keep an appropriate record of the campaigns being supported by the Association.
a. This record should detail:
i. the exact date when the Association approved the support for a campaign;
ii. the exact date, if applicable, when the Association suspended its support for a campaign;
iii. labels indicating the type of support provided to a campaign and, if necessary, the different types of support provided at different stages of the campaign; and
iv. any other relevant information for the Student Body to be duly informed about the current and previous campaigns supported by the Association.
b. The GISA Administrative Director will be responsible for making sure that the GISA Communications Director circulates updates about the social movements and campaigns being supported by the Association.
c. The Executive Committee shall appoint one permanent Member to be the liaison between the Association and each social movement or campaign. The GISA Administrative Director shall be responsible for coordinating the liaisons within the GISA Board and make sure everyone is keeping up with the corresponding social movement’s work and updates.
1. Any request of support to a social movement coming from a Member of the Association or a Student Initiative under GISA can be approved when the relevant social movement is in accordance with the provisions of the Institute’s Student Code of Conduct and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
a. The approval of support to a social movement in accordance with the provision above remains at the discretion of the current Members of the Association’s Board.
b. Current Members of the Association can appeal for the withdrawal of support from a social movement coming from a request by a Member of the Association or a Student Initiative under GISA. At least five percent (5%) of the current Members of the Association shall communicate their disapproval of the support to the Executive Committee.
c. In the case of five percent (5%) of the current Members of the Association appealing the support of a social movement, the Executive Committee shall call an online voting to determine whether the Association maintains its support for a social movement or not.
2. Participation in a public protest related to a demand or demands in accordance with the Institute’s Student Code of Conduct and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not require an online voting mechanism. Besides the promotion of and participation to the protest(s), the GISA Executive Committee is required to publish a brief report of the event(s) specifying the context, reasons, and claims of the protest, as well as the forms and extent of the GISA Executive Committee’s participation. Such report(s) may take the form of an official statement, content on social media, or article(s) on any GISA’s newspaper initiative.
3. Endorsement of a public campaign by the Association does require an online voting mechanism for such an endorsement to be approved.
a. The Executive Committee shall call an online voting if five percent (5%) of the current Members of the Association or one of the Members of the GISA Executive Committee request the public endorsement from GISA for a campaign.
b. The decision to publicly endorse a campaign will pass through a simple majority. The support from GISA means the use of GISA’s name as one of the organisations that supports the cause, but it does not include the direct provision of financial resources.
c. The endorsement of a campaign by the Association can be suspended by the decision of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is obliged to call an online voting, no later than four weeks after its decision, in order to uphold or reverse its decision. This decision will pass through a simple majority.
4. Signing solidarity statements on behalf of the Association does not require an online voting mechanism.
a. The approval by signature of any solidarity statement in accordance with the Institute’s Student Code of Conduct and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains at the discretion of the current Members of the Association’s Board.
b. Any proposal for the signature of a solidarity statement shall come from a Student Initiative currently active or one member of the GISA Executive Committee. All proposals should be submitted to the GISA Board and will be discussed during one of the Board’s weekly meetings.
c. Current Members of the Association can appeal for the withdrawal of the signature from a solidarity statement. At least five percent (5%) of the current Members of the Association shall communicate their disapproval of such a signature to the Executive Committee.
d. In the case of five percent (5%) of the current Members of the Association appealing the signature of a solidarity statement, the Executive Committee shall call an online voting to determine whether the Association maintains its support for a social movement or not.
e. The GISA Executive Committee, through its Communications Director, when relevant, should publish follow-up communications on social media in order to ensure students are updated on the circumstances that prompted the adoption of a statement of support in the first place.
5. The Members of the Executive Committee and the Presidents of the Specialised Committees remain free to express, on a personal level, their support to any social movement without any public consultation.