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In Pisa The Small Festival of Trust

Between 7 and 11 June, the second edition of the ‘Piccolo Festival della Fiducia’ was held in Pisa, promoted by the Libreria Pellegrini in collaboration with the San Frediano University Chaplaincy.

In the square in front of the church, two meetings were held each day, at 18.00 and 21.30, with the theme: “Do we still know how to say us?”.

Talks by Bizzocchi, Mazzoni, Affinati and Rondoni

Under the scientific direction of Prof. Tommaso Greco, Professor of Philosophy of Law at the University of Pisa, several University professors took the stage, including Prof. Roberto Bizzocchi, who spoke with Eleonora Mazzoni about the figure and work of Alessandro Manzoni, and writers, such as Eraldo Affinati, who proposed a reflection on the figure of Don Lorenzo Milani, two great personalities whose anniversaries fall this year.

The conclusion of the Festival was also very significant, with poet Davide Rondoni reading poetic texts and commenting on them, also referring to the Gospel and the letters of St Paul, on the theme of trust. These narrations were pleasantly alternated by musical pieces performed by Maria Di Bella on the violin and Franco Bonsignori on the accordion.

What kind of trust at the university?

But for the students, Saturday evening was the most significant, because they had the opportunity to talk with Prof. Enza Pellecchia, Pro-Rector for University Cohesion and Right to Study, and Prof. Alessio Cavicchi, Delegate for the Promotion of Entrepreneurial Culture and Innovation, both from the University of Pisa.

‘Is there still trust in the university’? This was the underlying question that guided the student-teacher dialogue. The meeting was organised and led by the students of the GrUSF (Gruppo Universitari San Frediano), which meets and works permanently at the university chaplaincy.

Marco Argento, one of the animators of the GrUSF, comments on the meeting:

“It was very nice to be able to discuss aspects of the university that we sometimes take for granted or are inevitable. We expressed the need for mutual trust that should reign between students and professors. But above all, we expressed the desire to do everything possible not to leave the weakest students behind and to avoid experiencing the time spent at university in a disoriented way. It is necessary to take care of out-of-school students, who tragically represent the norm, and those students who, due to the large numbers in university lecture halls, remain isolated and are unable to integrate into the university environment.

We highlighted that the university is not only built by the professors, but also (and perhaps above all) by us students who, with our contributions, reflections and commitment, can make it a better place for us and for the students who follow’.

The centrality of relationships

Among the various issues discussed, one of the most strongly felt was the human relationship with teachers, which is sometimes lacking: there are professionals who are trained and excellent in their field, but with few social skills. The debate therefore revealed the need for teachers to be trained also from this relational point of view.

It was also highlighted that the time spent at university should not only be devoted to study but is a time for the integral formation of the person. Why, then, should university be so hard and all-consuming in terms of study hours? Would it not be better to leave more free time for students to develop social relations and cultivate other interests that can help them acquire soft skills?

Other questions concerned the need for practical and not just theoretical formation, better management of internships; or how to assess preparation for examinations.

It was a moment of open and encouraging discussion, which ended with a beautiful pub-style evening organised by the GrUSF and the ‘Calabresi a Pisa’ Association and a viewing of the final of the Champions League.

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