Announcements from your GISA Board:

GISA is happy to announce our new board members (as of May 1st 2021):! Aishwarya Tendolkar, Lorena Vilavicencio, Aayushi Rawat, Bushra Asghar, Aravind Ganapathi

A sincere thank you to the outgoing board for their successful tenure!

Alexa-Rae Barnes, Shubhangi Priya, Romina Pezzot, Luise Garleff, Massimiliano Masini. We look forward to this transition!

GISA hosted it's SPRING 2021 General Assembly on Wednesday, the 27th of April at ⏱️ 18h 15 The General Assembly was open to the whole Student Body, Faculty, and the Administration of the Institute. The Executive Committee of the GISA Board, as well as the three Specialized Committees (Professional Development Committee, Environmental Committee, and Welfare Committee), provided a brief overview of their current work and latest updates. In addition to this, the GISA board :

  • Vote on some changes to the Statutes and By-laws of the GISA,

  • Vote on some changes to the Statutes of the Professional Development Committee;

  • Discuss and open a 24hr vote on GISA’s endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and/or to support the Statement on the Aparthide Free Zone

  • Vote on the proposal to implement Resident Assistants at Picciotto and Grand Morillion.

Please find below some documents that were used on the General Assembly: 1. Agenda: 2. Change Language of GISA Presidents’ role 3. GISA Support of BDS Vote (poll to go out after GA and be open for 24 hrs); a. BDS Vote Description: 4. Proposed changes to the Statutes of the Professional Development Committee 5. Instituting Resident Assistance at each of the Student residencies. 6. The idea to suggest adding advocacy positions to initiatives. If you have any questions regarding the General Assembly or the documents, please do not hesitate to contact GISA’s Administrative Director, Alison Eddy. #gisa #generalassembly #studentpolitics

Dear students, After holding an online vote for 24 hours, the Graduate Institute Student Association (GISA) communicates its endorsement of the BDS movement and the Apartheid-Free Zones declaration. Thank you to all who voted. The turnout out was amazing... more than doubling the votes for previous social movements! 411 students participated in the vote (43.6% of all students), 300 (73% of voters) voted in favour of the endorsement of the BDS movement, 72 (17.5% of voters) against; 317 (77.1% of voters) voted in favour of the endorsement of the Apartheid-Free Zones declaration, 57 (13.9% of voters) against. Becoming an Apartheid-Free Zone and supporting the BDS movement, means that GISA is committed to the equal rights of every human being and the creation of spaces of proactive international solidarity, free of racism, discrimination, domination and oppression. Therefore, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in face of the occupation of their territories and violation of their human rights. The GISA Board wants to restate the importance of maintaining all conversations and discussions about this vote, and the topic more generally, respectful and empathetic, especially given the strongly sensitive nature of the context in which these movements act and of what they advocate for and fight against. So far, we have witnessed many fruitful discussions within our community and we believe that respecting and embracing our differently situated experiences and knowledge is the best way for all of us to reflect, learn, and enact a stronger and more inclusive student body.

Thank you all for voting and, again, good luck with this last month of classes.

Dear student community, The GISA Board is happy to announce that we have created a brand new website for you over the last month! Our goal with this new website is to make all the important information available for you in a friendly and accessible way. In this website you will find:

  • Our weekly meeting link that you can instantly add to your google calendar.

  • All the relevant information about our board members and the GISA specialized committees

  • A news blog section

  • The minutes of meetings with the class representatives

  • A section on practical information including but not limited to the welcome packet, the new student guide, the student parent guide, useful contacts

  • A section on transparency where you will find the GISA statues, the GISA budget, GISA’s annual working plan and report, the GA overview

  • A section on wellbeing well you can find the welfare committee, mental health support, anti-harassment support

  • A section on events with an event calendar where all the initiatives are going to be able to send their connection links and relevant information about their events

  • and last but not least, a section on the initiatives with the list of initiatives, the initiative portal and initiatives resources or important forms.

We are very grateful to our outgoing president Alexa-Rae Burk for inspiring us to create this new website and for her active participation in its design. We very much hope that you enjoy this new website and the new features on it. Visit our new website in the following link:

Women in Econ Léman:

This month we (i) launched the call for papers for our conference in the fall and (ii) had the first series of our Own Your Show Workshop. (i) Rare Voices in Economics Conference You can find all the description and further information about it on the website. (ii) Own your Show Workshop (pictures attached) Description: Presenting a project, pitching an idea or even asking questions in patriarchal environments can be especially challenging. As young professionals entering the job market, we might feel unworthy, insecure to share our thoughts or frustrated for not knowing how to take hold of our performances in situations we want to leave a positive impression. This workshop is about understanding how to see certain situations through the lens of performance and acquiring skills that will help you stand your ground.

Further details: Through a series of three 1.5-hour long meetings, participants will engage in role-play, discussions, and dynamic exercises that put into practice public speaking techniques. At the end, participants will have learned how to pitch a project, how to read the audience and techniques that will help them feel empowered and own their performance.

About the teacher: Nathaly Leduc is a theater-maker with a background in Anthropology and Social Communication. She leads workshops based on theater games designed to increase trust, stage presence, and self-confidence. Currently, Nathaly works in a multidisciplinary project in collaboration with teachers, scholars, speech professionals that seeks to empower youths to express their opinions and discuss reparations for social inequalities heightened during the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, she works in projects with the migrant population in Geneva in which they learn how to speak French while telling their life stories on stage.

Gender, Peace & Security Coalition :

Panel Discussion: Gender and Protest. 10th of May, 6pm-7.30pm CEST. Social Movements have filled the headlines of last years' newspapers: Black Lives Matter, protests following the presidential election in Belarus, Reclaim These Streets in the UK, Bring Back Our Girls and End SARS in Nigeria, abortion rights protests in Poland, and many more. Social movements may provide the basis for political campaigns, spark societal dialogue and give visibility to niche issues - the effective right to protest is an essential pillar of democratic societies. As UK protestors take to the streets to "Kill the Bill", we are preparing a panel discussion featuring social leaders, researchers and artists on gender and protest. Within the panel we will discuss protest strategies adopted by different social groups, gendered perceptions, gender performativity, and questions of agency to shape national and international social movements. Our speakers include Ms Aisha Yesufu, leader in #BringBackOurGirls and End SARS, and Dr Alison Dahl Crossley, Executive Director at The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. Make sure to follow our social media channels where we will announce further speakers as we move into May! Podcast in collaboration with JDI: We are currently working on a podcast/dialogue with JDI which will focus on “Environment, Gender,Peace and Diplomacy.” We will be interviewing a professional working especially on Environment, Gender and Peace and will provide a roundtable discussion on the interconnectedness of these topics. It will be launched in May and keep your eyes on our social media so you won’t miss it!

GISA China & East Asia Studies:

This month, CEAS had the honour to run an anti-Asian racism campaign alongside GISA and SIA. This campaign aimed at raising awareness, bringing together the voices of many members of the Asian community here in Geneva and providing a platform for individuals to share their experiences of everyday racism. Read more about our campaign here: In the second week of May, CEAS will host a panel discussion on anti-Asian racism. This event will discuss the rise in violence towards Asian communities, the recent #stopasianhate movement, and East-West relations more broadly, featuring speeches by expert speakers and a Q&A with the audience. Follow our social media for more updates, to be released soon!

GISA Lafayette :

With Covid-19 having posed extraordinary challenges to our understanding of freedom, justice, and solidarity, the first edition of the Geneva Debate puts forward the following motion:

La Maison estime que: the state should make vaccination against Covid-19 a legal requirement for its residents.

On 26 May 2021, young people from the Graduate Institute will engage in an hour-long debate at Maison de la Paix in front of an online audience and a distinguished panel of judges. The Geneva Debate is both proud and honored to present to you the following members of our student body:


  • Clara Danbakli

  • Nicolle Renion

  • Nivedita Mantha

  • Ryan Mitra

  • Sarthak Roy

  • Zhen Lee

  • Vanina Meyer

Can International Geneva lead as a global beacon of hope for peace and development in an era of radical uncertainty? The Geneva Debate answers in the affirmative. Almost a hundred years after the founding of the Graduate Institute, a group of students will seek to create a new space for conversation and reflection in our institution that responds to the challenges, solutions, and ideas that will shape our footprint as future leaders in the XXI century.


  • Prof. Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, Professor and Chair International History and Politics Department, The Graduate Institute.

  • Prof. Suerie Moon, Co-Director, Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute.

  • Prof. Emanuela Ceva, Full Professor of Political Theory, University of Geneva.

  • Ms Kritika Khanijo, Legal Consultant, World Health Organization.

  • Mr Mario Jiménez, Programme Manager, GAVI / WEF Global Shaper.


  • Mr Marcel Mione: Journalist and Host – Géopolitis, Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS).


Professional Development Committee :

As the semester is coming to an end, the PDC continues to conduct events with full force and we’re already excited for the new semester. The GISA PDC elections happened in April, Aravind Ganapathi and Ciara Rainsby have been elected as the new President and Vice-President of the PDC, respectively. The PDC also collaborated with the Alumni Office to organize the last virtual Alumni Roundtable event of the semester on “Careers in the UN System”.

The PDC also collaborated with the MDRI, TASC platform to bring to the students a ‘Youth Thinking Ahead’ annual summit which aims at driving critical discussions and helps to bring a global voice to young people in the field of International Affairs and Development.

We also plan to have a communications workshop for all the students wishing to build a career in communications and strategy. We are also continuing with the CV and cover letter checks, and we have had sessions with over 30 students as of today and the response has been wonderful!


We hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the new hybrid format at the Institute! While we know the option to be in-person is still limited to a few students, we hope that we can still continue to thrive and learn in the Institute space. Below we have attached some of our upcoming events, updates, and reminders. We have chosen to slow down many of our events in order to grant a space of rest for students and the community during a time of change, COVID distress, and heavy workloads/finals. However, we hope we can still continue to use May to advocate and spend time together. ♥️

Upcoming Events:

The Feminist Collective x QISA | Art Swap Stay tuned during the end of May for the FemCol x QISA Art Swap, featuring book, art, and music recommendations by women, non-binary, and trans* artists and authors!

Diversity & Inclusion Workshop updates Meetings Friday @ 4pm CET 30 April we will have a brainstorming session! You can find all of this information, including how to get involved, on the QISA Events page! Decolonizing Sexuality updates We have decided to delay our decolonizing sexuality series for Fall of 2021 in response to important community feedback. You can find our statement here. However, while we are delaying the bigger events, we certainly will not be delaying the conversation. We hope to host smaller events around the topic, including a book club/swap, Common Room Chats, and collabs with other initiatives. Stay tuned for these future events! Weekly Meetings Monday @ 19:15 Add it to your calendar here if you would like to attend!

Updates & Reminders:

We are extremely excited to announce the 2021 Welcome Packet! You can download the Welcome Packet at this link or at!

Make sure to check out our events page/calendar frequently to see what we're up to!

Furthermore, even outside of elections, we always encourage students to get involved! If you have suggestions for an event, would like to learn more, or just find a community, don't hesitate to reach out to us!

Website Updates

We have adjusted our theme! Check it out here or at! QISA stands in support and solidarity with the BDS and Apartheid-Free Zones movements.

We are proud to support GISA in their endorsement of these movements as we work towards creating a safer and more inclusive environment for the IHEID community. See our full statement here. QISA Support for India In solidarity with the current COVID-19 situation in India and our Indian community here at IHEID, we encourage everyone to attend and participate in the COVID-19 Fundraiser for India, hosted by SIA, Welfare Committee, and MentorEd. Garage Sale 2 May 2021 @ 12 - 16h CET Food and Bake Sale 3 - 7 May 2021 12 - 16h CET Delivery at PCR Sign up for meals here. Update on All Gender Restrooms We have recognized that the signage for the all-gender restrooms has inaccuracies regarding its accessibility. We have been in contact with the appropriate Institute staff and administration and should have this resolved as soon as possible. Please find our full statement here. As a reminder: these restrooms can be found interpetale, in the hallway leading down to S7, S8, and S9!

**Need someone to talk to? Check out our Welfare Contact page for more information** Update: Welfare Tea now every other Tuesday @ 16h-18h President office hours: Fridays 13h-15h You can make an appointment here! We hope everyone has a wonderful and restful May! With love, QISA

GISA Environmental Committee:

We walk for our climate, for our future on MAY 21 - SAVE THE DATE! The Strike for Future will take place in cities across Switzerland and beyond. Critical research and essays are important. But it is worth to also step out of the library and use your body and voice to stand up for what you stand for! You are invited to join and make your friends join the whatsapp group for the IHEID community to stay informed about the strike. Otherwise, stay tuned for EC communication on social media. - looking forward to walking with you - The Environmental Committee

Plant Assembly Support for the petition « Reinvent the Plainpalais Plain » 26 June 2021, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Plainpalais Plain Register and order free seeds now!

Citizens of Geneva, let's join forces to green the city and create an ecological and lively environment. The Plant Assembly will remind us of the power of collective effort and how together, we can build back better and greener. This strong visual impact will be formally embodied in a petition calling to "Reinvent the Plainpalais Plain" in an ecological and vivid manner. To address the mental distress and loss of contact with nature induced by the lockdown, we invite you to join our movement by adding your plant to the Plant Assembly and signing the petition. Registration is now open! Bring any of your own plants or order free seeds on our website. On 26 June 2021, bring your plant between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and pick up another plant between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Our approach is based on participatory, solidarity and ecological principles. In this perspective, we encourage participants to swap their own plant for a different one. The event is organized by GREENHEVA, in collaboration with the Environmental Committee (IHEID), the Union Chrétienne de Genève (UCG), the Association Etudiants-es pour le Développement Durable (EDD), the artist Pablo Silva (@pablokttt) and supported by Greenpeace Switzerland. Website for additional information & program overview Contact:, Tel. + 41 79 327 37 71

Human Rights, Conflict & Peace Student Initiative:

The TechSec Initiative, the Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Initiative, and GISA will host "The Facebook Oversight Board" event on May 5th at 5pm on WebEx. The Facebook Oversight Board is a recently established mechanism tasked with reviewing users' appeals against Facebook's content decisions and helping Facebook answer some of the most difficult questions around freedom of expression online. Stefania Di Stefano, a PhD candidate at the Graduate Institute focused on human rights in connection with social media, will give us a briefing session on the implications that the newly created Oversight Board can have on human rights issues related to freedom of opinion and expression online. Can this system be the solution to content moderation online? Join our briefing session by registering here:

Our mailing address is:

Graduate Institute Student Association

Avenue de France 20

Maison des Étudiants Edgar des Picciotto

Geneva, 1202


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