This article is part of our Manifesto Review series, where we review the tenures of IITM’s Executive Wing (consisting of 10 posts) as well as that of the SLC Speaker, for the year 2016-17. In this review, we evaluate the manifesto of Shreyas Harish, Cultural Affairs Secretary Literary , for the year 2016-17. Executive Council Manifesto Reviews are usually done in April or May. The 2016-17 reviews were done in September, and so the status of completion of some manifesto points might be different had the review been done in April. It is important to note this when comparing secretaries of different years.
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The duties of the Cultural Secretaries, in short, revolve around conducting LitSoc and club activities in the institute, as well as organizing Saarang with the help of the Core team and the Cultural Advisors. They are responsible for the selection of the team, as well as the performance. While the initial idea was to have the cultural secretary (Lit) take care of the literary clubs, and the remaining by the cul sec arts, over the time, the secretaries have begun to work in tandem, distributing work amongst themselves.
To create a culture that encompasses and supports the aspirations of every member of the student body.
To build the infrastructure that promotes the development of this culture, both in the present and the future.
The detailed review of the manifesto points below gives us an idea of how he has fared in achieving these goals.
His manifesto is mainly divided into two sections. Clubs and LitSoc, and Saarang, the two major responsibilities of a CulSec.
CLUBS AND LITSOC
- Clubs and LTAP to collaborate- Organisation of exclusive events for LTAP students, providing outlets for their learning, and enabling them to later join clubs
While the foundations for this was laid during the year, no club-LTAP co-operation could happen. This is being implemented this year after admin approval the previous year.
- Increase Open Club Events as Saarang Collaboratives-Introduction of open club events as pre/post Saarang events, inviting other colleges and professionals, improving quality, and creating a network of students with similar interests and talents across colleges
No major new open club events were conducted through the year, barring a Comic-Con workshop. Again, however, the team is said to have laid the foundation on which the open club events have been happening this year.
- Increase the Number, Variety, and Scale of Socialiser and Informal Events-Addition of further Socialisers like Concert Night, Comedy Night, etc to existing ones like DJ Night .Increment of Events that require little knowledge/prior experience – charades, gaming, etc.
New socialisers were organized during the Freshie Weekender and Freshie night. Casual events like Charades, Gaming and Wolf nights were conducted predominantly under the Informals banner.
- Involve Regional Societies-Initiation of ethnic food fest and cultural weekender alongside club weekender for regional societies, celebrating unity in diversity.Introduction of Club fundae sessions in regional languages in association with Samiti members
While Samithis consulted the Events team for fundaes regarding events and logistical needs, neither the ethnic food fest nor the fundae sessions in regional languages happened, due to time constraints. While an ethnic food fest was planned early on in the year, it was not implemented because the team was not equipped to handle an event of this scale.
Hostels and LitSoc
- Misram: PG LitSoc Establishment of an organising team of PG Students to improve relevance and outreach of events. Usage of polls to determine type of event and suitable time for events conducted throughout the year
A PG convenor was selected for each club, and they could choose their coords. UG students from the events team also helped out in the organization. Polls were sent out regularly, and the events conducted accordingly. The polls showed a fairly consistent number of responses through the year.
- Hostel Induction events: Awarding of LitSoc points for intra hostel events in the first month, based on number and rates of participation, especially of second years.
After consultation with the Hostel Secretary, this format was changed to 5 intra-hostel events through the year, and LitSoc points were allotted for the same.
- Allocation of freshers to UG Hostels for LitSoc within the first month
- Club Outreach Committee to assist clubs with Design, Sponsorship and PR for all campus events Dedicated Club Spaces in easily accessible parts of the campus –
While a Club Outreach Committee was created to collect and analyze data for the clubs, it did not function properly, and the committee has been scrapped this year.
- Allocation of space in Quark top floor followed by modifications in tune with various clubs’ needs. Allocation of a building space along the lines of CFI in subsequent years
While Quark was being utilized for Cultural activities from the year before, the 1st floor of Krishna Mess (Nilgiri) was proposed as an alternative space. This however, could not be accomplished, with a mess set up in the 1st floor as well.
- Improve functionality of Mobile App; provide information about all campus events (cultural & otherwise)
Upon the request of the Dean Of Students, Flexboard was used as an alternative to a new app. However, this did not see many downloads( only 1000) and most of the users were the coords themselves.
- Festive Feel Collaboration of student and professional design and execution teams to scale up ambience Creation of more spaces for ‘informals events’ along with an increase in the number of such events Increment of the late night events like Lone Wolf, Night Jam Sessions, etc
Professional Design teams and the institute ambience worked together on large projects like OAT ambience. The KV grounds were utilized for organizing the events, which saw a huge jump in the number of events. Board, video games were added to the night events, along with formalizing the Music Club events at Himalaya.
- Event Participation: Introduction of a system wherein points won at minor events can be traded for Saarang merchandise Initiation of Large Scale Events like ‘Real Life Monopoly’, ‘The Amazing Race’ using entire festive area as a game board
The points for merchandise system was implemented for a few minor events by the sponsors. Large scale games like Pokemon Go and Treasure Hunt were organized spanning the whole festival area.
- Saarang as a brand: Increment in volume and quality of merchandise at publicity events, aided by retail and publicity partners
Saarang tied up with FBB (Fashion Big Bazaar) as a retail sponsor. A few retail stores offered Saarang T-shirts on purchase of other clothing articles. The number of T-shirts sold during the fest has also increased.
- Social Wing and World Culture Festival Improvement of consistency and follow-up of social outreach programmes, extending into the semester post Saarang as well. Organisation of concerts for charity during the semester using the World Culture Festival banner
A separate team, Sukriti, was created to handle social outreach programmes in the even semester. A village was adopted, and rainwater harvesting pits dug to help in water conservation. While no charity concerts were organised during the semester, the charity was done under the WCS banner.
- Collaborate with other Institute Organisations to share expertise and promote unity and transparency
Saarang was in collaboration with IITM TV, the I&AR team as well as the Shaastra team for the same.
- Quality and Documentation: Reorganisation of QMS with fewer cores and more coordinators assisted by a functional ERP from day one
Instead of an ERP, the Saarang team worked with Ryver this year. The QMS structure was also changed to two cores, with super coords being allotted for each vertical in Saarang.
According to Shreyas Harish, apart from the points on the manifesto, there was an emphasis on the team throughout the year, a shift from a culture wherein a few club events would take place to one where anything non academic and non co-curricular was classified as a cultural event.
In summary, Shreyas in his tenure managed to complete 56% of his manifesto promises, with 25% partially complete, 13% ongoing, and 6% incomplete. We congratulate him on a successful tenure and wish the best to his successor, Srikanth Musti.