Practicalities for the USI community

Student associations: foundation, rights, duties

USI encourages cultural, social, recreational and sports-related initiatives proposed by students.

To this end, it supports the establishment of non-profit student associations, giving credit to their activities and to their role by providing them space and resources.

The term “Student Association” identifies a group of students currently enrolled at Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), who come together to promote a common interest. Such organisations are founded and run by students, but may include other members of the academic community such as alumni, faculty, and staff – as long as the member’s majority is formed by students enrolled at USI.

USI is aware of the vital contribution that Student Associations provide to education and the academic life: however, from a formal point of view, an officially acknowledged Student Association, should not be considered as an emanation of USI and its academic activities. 

The following document illustrates how to start a new Student Association and how to get USI’s formal acknowledgment, with relevant rights and duties.

For any further information, please contact

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  • Steps to become a student association formally acknowledged by USI

    1. State in a concise manner the goal of the new association
    2. Verify here if an association with a similar profile already exists. If so, consider the possibility to cooperate with the already existing association
    3. Evaluate if the association has the basis to last through time, especially if there is potential to attract new members on a yearly basis, thus guaranteeing the future of the association’s activities
    4. Think about how the activities of the association fit in those of the University’s and how to develop programmes and events aimed at promoting USI’s identity
    5. The association’s Executive Board should be composed of at least 3 students (a President who will also be the legal representative of the association, a vice president and a treasurer)
    6. Make sure there is a minimum of 10 USI students interested in taking part in the activities of the association. Mark down names and e-mail addresses of the people interested (attach the list to the registration form).
    7. Draw up the statute of the new association, according to this model (in Italian) or other association’s models.
    8. Carefully read all paragraphs pertaining to Student Association’s benefits and obligations (next chapters)
    9. Fill out the registration form.
  • Benefits

    • Free reservation of classrooms and related audio and visual equipment for all activities strictly related to the association, except for student parties. All reservations on the Lugano campus can be made by writing to stating the size of the room needed, the date, the time, and the purpose of the reservation. All reservations should be made well in advance and students are asked to be flexible in case of lack of available spaces
    • The possibility to use the definition “Student Association of Università della Svizzera italiana” for promotional purposes. However, the use of the official logo of Università della Svizzera italiana is prohibited
    • The possibility to set up a dedicated space during information sessions for prospect students and in the list of acknowledged associations
    • A personal mailbox and URL under domain (website construction not included)
    • The right to send e-mails to the whole academic community from the association’s account
    • The possibility to ask for the publication of events on USI’s website and on the newsletter USI Flash (internal communication) by writing to the Media and Communications Service, which will select the most significant events for the USI community
    • Quick consultation:
      - from the Media and Communications Service concerning press releases (the publishing must however be done independently) and the use of social media to promote activities;
      - from the Graphic Desing Service for the creation of a graphic layout or the design for your own visual identity
    • The possibility to advertise events on campus screens
    • An annual 100 CHF coupon to use at the Copy Center to promote your activities. Printing orders must be submitted to the Copy Center at least a week in advance
    • An annual coupon for 100 business cards (according to the association’s design and without USI’s official logo). The order of business cards must be submitted to the Copy Center at least a week in advance 
    • The chance to set up a table on campus for ticket or bake sale or fundraising; it is required to book the space by writing to;
    • The possibility to request USI merchandising at the Study Advisory Service for special events. The service will carefully evaluate whether providing or not the merchandising according to the nature of the activity
    • The possibility to advertise at USI exhibitions or events that can be of student’s interest, with prior approval of the University.
  • Association obligations

    • The Student Associations acknowledged by USI shall be established to carry out – in favour of students and for non-profit purposes – cultural, educational, recreational activities, to support education and to represent the student body. They must not replace or be in contrast with USI’s institutional activities.
    • They must be based on principles of democracy, and equality for all members.
    • Each association in its presentation must clearly state its goals, fields of interest, language of the activities (if possible please include both Italian and English) and the name of the legal representative. The association is therefore required to publish on its own website the statute in full.
    • It is forbidden for every Student Association to promote its activities suggesting that they are organised directly by Università della Svizzera italiana.
    • All associations are required to provide valid and updated contacts. All associations will be monitored periodically to verify whether they are still active.
    • The website content is entirely under the responsibility of the associations. The same goes for the activities proposed.
    • Use of spaces: the users are asked to leave the classrooms in the same conditions as they found them. The legal representative of the association will be held responsible for the care of the equipment and classrooms.
    • USI reserves the right to withdraw its support to an association if the following should occur:
      - Failure to respect the association’s institutional goals
      - Harmful acts and behaviour directly attributable to the association, which may lead to serious damage to USI’s image and interest, to the academic community or to the image, interests and dignity of a third party in general
      - Failure to comply with other obligations included in this guidelines




Updated on: 01/03/2018