No More Silencing Students, IHEID

No More Silencing Students, IHEID

From IHEID Student Organizers

A grassroots group of students have come together to organize a direct action on December 8th, 2021 directed at transforming student-related policies at IHEID. All funds raised will help our collective action.

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A grassroots group of students have come together to organize a direct action on December 8th, 2021 directed at transforming student-related policies at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID). They will be occupying the Maison de la Paix cafeteria starting at 2 pm and do not plan to stop their occupation until meaningful action is taken toward their demands.

The demands of our sit-in are the following:

Governance: (1) An Independent External Audit of Internal Processes (2) the creation of an Independent & External Reporting Mechanism.

This means an external audit of Antenne-H (anti-harassment) body at IHEID, the Student Code of Conduct, the Règlement Interne (IHEID), Règlement d’organisation de l’IHEID, and other student-related IHEID policies; housing regulations, TA contracts, and MA program regulations (including capstone). We are demanding the creation of a Faculty Code of Conduct. We also demand an external review of outstanding sexual allegations by the Départment de l’Instruction Publique (DIP).

(2) Labor: Salaries of IHEID Teaching Assistants (TAs) need to match the Geneva Average TA pay.

TAs at IHEID get paid below the Geneva minimum wage. They are the lowest paid in Switzerland. IHEID PhDs have been advocating a pay increase for years. In comparison to TAs at UNIGE, IHEID TAs earn 16, 000 CHF less per year, even though the Confederation and Conseil d’Etat subsidizes the Institute, 33 CHF million per year. TAs financial precarity has a direct impact on the entire student body, our collective education, and the legitimacy of the IHEID.

(3) Representation: We want student representation on each level of IHEID decision-making.

More specifically we demand 2 student seats on the Conseil de fondation as well as 2 students on Le Collège des Professeurs. This would also mean the application of systematic representation for students according to IHEID’s internal regulations.

IHEID benefits from the majority of the student population’s international status; Meaning, 80% of students are unfamiliar with Swiss/Geneva laws, universities, unions, standards and resources. Majority of students do not speak French and are not taught French at a level high enough to understand laws, regulations, and standards. Additionally, international students whose visas, scholarships, or employment depend on IHEID, are particularly vulnerable to coercion, abuse, and intimidation. Furthermore, the attractiveness of Geneva as a global destination for political career aspiration increases the stakes and the likelihood of student vulnerability. It has become clearer, that the lack of financial transparency, and governing accountability has resulted in systematic exploitation of students.

Please donate any extra $$ you may have this month!

All funds raised will help our collective action towards meeting the demands stated above. Expenses incurred will include food costs and legal costs of our advocacy!

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