Ravenna Campus

Campus Coordinator's program for the three-year period 2022-2025

Two main reasons explain why my attention has basically always been focused on the relationship with the city and the territory, both in its institutional aspects and in relation to citizenship: having been trained as a geographer and having carried out my entire career in Ravenna.
In this perspective, I participated in the drafting of the Campus project (2015), whose objectives I continue to consider essential; in particular the two main points on which the program of my mandate is grounded:

 

1.     "Recognize the Campus representativeness of the local academic community and its operational autonomy in promoting projects that convey the needs and peculiarities of the Campus’ components, to be submitted to the academic bodies”.

The Campus must be perceived as a "territorial, local value" and not as a more or less welcome guest. Its potential must be enabled to develop in an effective dialogue with citizens and local institutions.
As is well known, interdisciplinarity is an identity code of our Campus, which has its strength in the declination on the themes of cultural and environmental heritage: an even more timely identity considering the direction taken by the ongoing revision of the disciplinary sectors. A direction which enhances what is already a reality on our Campus, not to mention the greenand the digital transition’s issues, already effectively rebounded from the political debate to the scientific projects carried out in Ravenna. This reality, already lively and dynamic in itself, deserves to be valued and encouraged to develop a sense of community and its potentials, recently enriched by the arrival on the Campus of the degree program of Medicine and Surgery. To this end, it is appropriate to increase shared participation in the management of the major issues on which the life of the Campus is articulated, through the activation of specific delegations, which give the collegiality of the Board more solid foundations, also in view of the reform of the Statute. The complexity of the issues at stake is such that it can only be tackled with a cooperative and open to discussion approach, and this applies to all the components the Campus is made of.
In fact, if those who do research and teach have many reasons to complain about the infrastructural deficiencies and the penalizing methods in which they carry out their work, the technical and administrative staff, not to mention front desk services staff, have no less reasons to claim more resources and greater dignity to one's commitment to building a truly welcoming environment.

 

2.     “Promote special measures to support student services in Campuses, starting from the analysis of needs and going beyond the criterion of historical spending trend, since it can be held liable for maintaining the disparities between newly established and long-standing structures. The aim is to restore an ad hoc budget for rebalancing interventions to be carried out in Campuses according to targeted projects.”

It has always been my firm belief that internationalization, in a broad sense, is a founding value of university study and research, and my personal experience proves it.
The awareness of the radical difference in today's study experience compared to just twenty or thirty years ago, however, has made evident, in my opinion, the paradoxical situation experienced by students (foreigners and nationals) and in which we all are bound to work.
Beyond the substantial share of commuters (who, as is well known, attend the Campus with the most disadvantaged position in the transport networkcompared to the other Campuses in Romagna, and who would perhaps even be tempted to stay if the offer of accommodation were adequate), Italian resident students are confronted with an evident lack of accommodation, spaces and services, which for their foreign colleagues is compounded by the obvious difficulties of integration, starting from the language issue.
If we add to all this the extreme mixture of different cultural and educational traditions, it is not difficult to realize how this richness can overturn itself into a barrier of mutual incomprehension if it is not enabled to dialogue and confront each other internally, among the students, and with the city.

This means remedying not only the chronic scarcity of spaces and housing, but also the absence of places where cultural work is still a practice of sociality. A task that falls to the governance of the Campus.

The question of the quantity and above all the quality of spaces and services is certainly the main problem on which the Campus will have to focus its resources and energy, especially in consideration of the specific needs that the arrival of Medicine has put on the plate. However, also fundamental is the goal to consider and resolve the logistical criticalities that each site of the Campus has to face almost daily, which, in turn, exert pressure, often unbearable, on the administrative component, already struggling with staff shortages and a bureaucratic framework that, in spite of the requests for simplification, makes the work of all of us fragmented and hectic: in this situation, the time for research must be carried out almost stealthily, so to speak, to cope with the countless administrative requirements - a supreme paradox really unacceptable for a university institution.
But, if culture is food for thought, and not just a means of finding employment, then we cannot accept becoming a fast-food university, more concerned and committed to investing energy and resources in attracting students than in providing maybe not even good reasons to stay, but at least to attend our spaces for a longer time than that exclusively devoted to classes, exams, and so on.

We are in a phase characterized by critical levels of social disintegration, which the pandemic has brought to a breaking point, and it is more necessary than ever to re-evaluate the role of the University as a place of sociality through cultural work.
I therefore believe it essential that the proactive role of the Campus, in its broadest collegiality, must also manifest itself in the organization and coordination of a network of cultural work’s places, striving to turn cultural events into occasions for students to experience them in an active sense. This perspective, I am convinced, would be enriched if seen also in coordination not only with all the local actors but also with the other Campuses.

Today's university cannot fail to undertake the task of building informed citizenship, and this goal will remain a chimera if we do not create its conditions of possibility. Among these, I am convinced, a fundamental role can be played by the collective work around the Campus sites, precisely, as cultural work’s places.

It is not a simple task, and it is not a short-term project, but we live in an era that is lacking long-term vision, and I find it difficult to imagine who else, if not the University, could take charge of them.

                                                                                              Mario Neve