In the free time that they manage to create for themselves between their commitments at the university and at the Scuola, the students organize numerous events promoted by the Scuola with the help of a small fund set aside for cultural and recreational activities.
Elected each year from among the students, the "ministers" have the task of organising and co-ordinating these activities, through agreements with local associations or firms, advertising of the events, and the acquisition of the necessary material.
Minister for Music
A considerable number of students have had musical training prior to being admitted to the Scuola.
For these students, and for all others wishing to engage in musical activities, there are rooms with musical instruments and a small but continuously updated collection of musical scores.
The Intervalli Musicali are a series of concerts organized and performed by the students. They are held in Aula Bianchi and allow students from within the Scuola and from outside to perform before an audience of young music lovers. Every year, a student is elected to organize and manage the event.
Minister for Sport
This “minister” has the task of purchasing the equipment for the college gyms and of stipulating suitable agreements with the gyms of Pisa so as to allow students to do physical activities.
In addition, there are numerous sports initiatives involving the students, giving them the chance to compete in ways other than on the academic plane with other students from universities in Italy and abroad.
Particular importance is attached to the "Inter-ENS" sports tournament, organised by the 4 French Scuole Normali, an important opportunity for competition among the students of the Scuole par excellence.
Minister for the Press
Being aware of what is happening in Italy and the rest of the world is extremely important for the development of an informed citizen.
This "minister" is responsible, in accordance with the preferences expressed by the students, for taking out subscriptions to the main Italian and international dailies, which are delivered each day to the colleges of the Scuola and placed at the disposal of the students in spaces suitably designed for free consultation.
There is also a fairly wide choice of magazines available, ranging from the scientific-cultural sectors to that of humour and entertainment, and including the most commonly read comic strips.
Minister for "Other cultural activities "
The students of the Normale organise numerous cultural events open to the students, the community of the Scuola and the citizens of Pisa.
The "Letture della Normale" (“Readings of the Normale”), with their characteristic atmosphere generated by the spaces and shapes of the Gipsoteca di Arte antica, constitute an occasion for the students and for the citizens of Pisa to appreciate the melody of the poetry pouring forth from the pens of the most illustrious writers.
The “Forum degli allievi (“Students’ Forum”) arose out of the desire of a group of students to take part in the cultural life of the Scuola Normale, to reflect on the present-day situation and to approach the world of work. Its activity mainly consists of the organization of public meetings with outstanding personalities, chosen and invited for their expertise within various fields of interest. They are not traditional conferences, but rather open discussions between the guests and the audience. Meetings pertain to three main areas: Education and Research; Economics and Development; Art and Communication.
Besides these more systematic and structured activities, the students can organise cinema discussions and slide show series, utilising the efficient and well-equipped video halls of each college, and the internal lending service offering a wide selection of DVDs, CDs and VHS cassettes that is constantly updated by the "minister".
There are also annual agreements with bookshops and cinemas, so as to enable the students to make the best use possible of the cultural patrimony of the city of Pisa.
Minister for Festivities
At the end of the summer exam session, when the only relief from the hot Pisan climate is an occasional evening breeze, there comes the moment for the "Festa di fine anno", the party to mark the end of the academic year.
Music of all genres and food and drink are arranged by the "minister", who is also responsible for choosing a suitable place for the most important social event of the year for the students of the Normale.
Minister for the Refectory
Although a "minister without portfolio", this "minister" is considered by the students as being one of the most important.
He is responsible for putting forward proposals for improvements in the menu of the Scuola's refectory and of reporting any problems regarding this aspect; he ensures that the food on the menu is varied and of high quality, and sends out surveys and questionnaires to the students to find out their level of satisfaction with the service.