The Technion Students Association isn’t only the largest in Israel, it is also the most active – organizing a plethora of events and initiatives which enrich the overall student experience.
Thanks to Technion’s diligent Students Association, students not only enjoy a rich selection of extracurricular activities and cultural events; they also benefit from a support network that helps them cope with the academic challenges. Under the leadership of Students Association Chair Amir David Nissan-Cohen, a Computer Science Master’s student, and Graduate Students Chair Asaf Hershkovitz, a PhD student in Materials Engineering, the organization is busier than ever.
One of the Students Association projects that gained steam this year involves graduate students helping undergrads with their coursework. The Students Association also organizes approximately 40 workshops each semester for students who feel that they are behind in their course material, and 40 more prior to final exams. Each workshop is 20 hours long and heavily subsidized.
This year, the Technion Students Association (TSA) launched a new joint effort with the Center for Promotion of Learning and Teaching whose goal is to improve the quality of teaching at Technion. The Association is involved in training teaching assistants, advocating for more filmed courses, and processing student feedback on teaching quality and content.
PARTIES, SPORTS AND MORE
In addition to providing academic support, TSA ensures that Technion students have access to a wide array of extracurricular activities and cultural events throughout the year. The 4,000 tickets to each of their four annual mega parties usually sell out fast, and the two-day Student Festival held every May attracts 18,000 people a day, making it the largest of its kind in Israel. Moreover, on Wednesdays from 12:30 to 14:30 there are no classes on campus and during that time the Students Association hosts a different event every week, such as a concert or crafts fair. “But every day there is something going on,” reveals Nissan-Cohen, adding that TSA runs 36 different competitive sports teams, some of which are quite successful. Over 3,000 students take part in sports.
Nissan-Cohen also stresses the importance of volunteering and community outreach. Every two weeks, a busload of students participates in a voluntary activity such as helping in local hospitals, painting apartments for elderly people or cleaning up litter from the beach. Another project involves the collection of old computers and other equipment, which students overhaul and then donate to NGO’s or disadvantaged students.
“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” – Aldous Huxley
Other projects that the Association initiated this year include opening a Gymboree for children and building a music room where students can practice and record. Moreover, it organized the first Technion-wide hackathon, in collaboration with the private sector. Over 650 students participated in the 30-hour hackathon – the biggest held in Israel.
1/3 GRAD STUDENTS
One out of every three Technion students is working towards an MSc or PhD, and this large cohort has very different needs and priorities from undergrads. “They are generally at a later stage in life; many are married and have children; and they have different cultural interests than younger students,” points out Asaf Hershkovitz. Many live in the Graduate Student Village, which Hershkovitz describes as “one of the nicest neighborhoods in all of Israel.” The Students Association has improved the amenities at the Village, adding facilities such as a laundry room and outdoor exercise machines.
Special programs organized for graduate students include cooking workshops, plays and concerts, and subsidized meals for graduate students at campus eateries. There are activities for their children, such as the annual kid’s carnival at the end of the summer vacation.