The Students General Secretary Soapbox was the second soapbox on Day 2 of the Institute Soapboxes, held on 9 March. It was preceded by the soapbox for the Hostel Affairs Secretary, which had a single running candidate. The contesting SGS candidates this year are Sai Kiran G L and Dheeraj Kumar Reddy. As per standard Soapbox procedure, the candidates presented their manifestos and corresponding visions for the Institute.
The second day of Soapbox began with the unanimous candidate for Hostel Affairs Secretary, Ashwanth Monian, a third year student from the Department of Chemical Engineering. It is to be noted that the event had a very low turnout, and the turnout mainly comprised of the candidate’s team. Thus the candidate finished speaking about his vision for his tenure as HAS in approximately 10 minutes, understandably so, due to the lack of audience members who weren’t already acquainted with his manifesto.
“With the election season underway in full swing, Wednesday marked the return of the annual soapboxes, albeit with a slight variation in the format. In this new format, candidates facing a contest would battle it out against one another while unanimous candidates would be engaged in a discussion with the anchor. Questions from the Executive Council Members and the GSB would follow.”
“The other transition from male to female is not happy either. One who is assigned male at birth but who wants to be a female faces a harsh life in the institute. Their male friends frown upon their behaviour of having “fallen” to the level of a female from a male. Be it their dressing, way of speech, and gait, the transgender students have to face teasings from other students everyday. “
“A simple reflection on the Institute norm would make us realize that casual sexism is quite deeply rooted here, and sometimes leads to egregious cases of sexual harassment. This norm is established quite early – think back to the freshie night comment screen and how it is filled with sexually explicit comments when women perform. Freshie guys are forced to follow freshie girls and get their room and phone numbers, which dangerously normalizes stalking and falsely equates persistent harassment with reward. We’re also introduced to Insti slang fairly early, and one of the most used terms is “rape”. “
“In this first article in T5E’s gender series, we break down our survey of 815 students and expose serious deficiencies in our understanding of sexual crimes on campus as well as the institute’s mechanisms for addressing them. In all, we received responses from 815 students.”
“More than the decision, what I was able to observe in the scholars was the anger towards the authoritarian way of decision making by the administration, as always. Many of the scholars were emotionally moved and there was a cry for having a protest. After repeated meetings with the administration by the RAS and scholars, it was decided that there will not be an immediate implementation of the policy, even though it still stays as a policy.”
36 years ago a group of students aimed to make the campus an ideal democracy, with rules of its own, like a country within
“From getting lost in the institute to stealing refrigerators and mistaking drunk drivers for kidnappers, our graduating junta have done it all. But as a final word of wisdom to the juniors, our graduating seniors agreed that insti life should not be a rat race to attain the highest CGPA, get all the major PoRs or climb the insti ladder to be a ‘stud’. Even though there are no disadvantages in having a decent CGPA, several felt that it should not be the only driving force behind your existence in insti and it is those memories you make on the way with your peers that stay with you longer than your CGPA.”
Dr. Devendra Jalihal had been the warden of Godavari Hostel around 10 years back. He prepared this ‘questionnaire’ for potential applicants for IIT hostel wardenship. The ‘questionnaire’ is based on some of his real-life experiences and takes a light-hearted look at student life in IIT Madras.