The Presidential Editorial – Time is relative

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Hello all dear students.

When Einstein wrote his relativity theory, I guess he would never have guessed a student would start a post to pass a message in a virtual platform using binary calculations, deepwater cables and metal robots floating in space. That message would be sent from a cafeteria which used to prohibit ‘picnics’. Ok, Maybe he could have guessed, but in another dimension. Anyway, this initial post is to say that now that I am finalising my term as GISA President, looking back, time seems very relative.


In one sense I feel it went too quick. That June of 2016 just happened like a week ago.

The things I wanted to have done, but I could not due to lack of time, resources and opportunity. I wanted to make a student art exhibition, for instance; I wanted to hold a conference and include more students and their research. I wanted to write about some interesting student initiatives, like the fact that Tor Holmen is raising money to construct a school, or the fact that we have a very talented student with watercolor: Peter Grunawalt. Those are some examples.

At the same time, June 2016 seems a long time ago. Let us start with this. GISA is an iceberg. It is… GISAberg. What the students see is just the tip of what the members do and the time we give. Sometimes it gave me some frustration because no matter how much time I gave, the result would look like it was super simple, while in fact there was some background activity. Like the elections. Pay no heed to this comment as a complaint. In fact, I loved it and appreciate every moment, I just wish I could share some details of the processes with you. Thus I am writing in GISA Blog, something I wanted to do from the beginning!

Well for the elections I devoted around 9 hours in the friday day of the debate, plus 7 more hours in the saturday dealing with statutes interpretation, the same in the sunday, then some 4 hours in the monday with emails and organization and finally today three more hours. And looking back, I did similar actions several times. All of this was completely worthy and makes it look like I have been for three years in the position! Highly enjoyable, I must say.

Another aspect of the sands of time me and the other members are coming to perceive is the amount of skills we gained and experience that we will bring for our future. It is not just a matter of rhetoric and cliché words. I had the opportunity to learn and exercise about: program assisting and managing – each event, each forum, each assembly is a project itself and need details like budget, financing, communications, administration, negotiations. We learned how to interpret our statutes and how to make and apply policies. How to deal with members from different backgrounds. We learned that there are no Ubers in Ferney Voltaire!

Well, it has been a long and quick process. An adventure, I dare to say. Damn worthy all the effort, thanks to you and all GISA members.

We will talk more soon!


By André Sarli, GISA President 2016-2017

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