Institute Soapboxes (Day 2): Students’ General Secretary

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.

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Institute Soapboxes (Day 2): Hostel Affairs Secretary

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.

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Immerse (#1): Playing with Twitter

“Do you see a lot of physics words here? That’s because there is a lot of physics involved, and the study of social physics brings together the two exciting fields of social media study and statistical mechanics. However, as with all theories and models involving human decision-making, this too is a slave to the sometimes arbitrary sensibility of people’s everyday decisions. A human may choose to drink Pepsi today and not Coca-Cola; there is no way this seemingly random and whimsical choice can be modeled by logical rules.”

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Nihilanth 2016: A Personal Account

“Some might ask why I have gone into so much detail when describing something as drab as a quiz competition. The IITM QC story mirrors every classic sports story arc – from underdogs four years ago to dominant winners for the next two years to grizzly competitors seeing off new challengers. But that is not the point of this post. The real point is to record all the different experiences that I have been fortunate to undergo as a part of this contingent…”

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Casual Sexism on Campus: Perspectives From a Male Student

“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”. “

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Book and Movie Recommendations: Professor Edition

“The book was gifted to me by my first MTech project advisees, along with a pack of liquor-filled chocolates. Unsure how I treated my students for a year that I received those gifts, but reading Steve Jobs turned out to be an intense experience, worth repeating … I hypothesize that the book tastes better than those chocolates.”

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How Things Work: Stem Cell Donorship

“Firstly, I would like to encourage all the students of IIT to step forward and register themselves as donors. It would be wonderful if DATRI is given the opportunity to address the students during all major events held by IIT. Stem cell donation today resembles the scenario in which blood donation found itself 50 years ago. In contemporary times, blood donation camps are commonplace. This was made possible due to campaigns and drives held by the people. Hence, we believe that students must spread the message of stem cell donation by conducting campaigns and drives, particularly during student-run events.”

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Catching up with Diro: On Reappointment as IITM Director

“I would like the campus to be a place that is vibrant with ideas, activities and the joys of discovery. In particular, I want students to be able discover their true selves and take to their chosen pathways with great energy and daring, whether it is academics, entrepreneurship, or any of the co- and extra-curricular activities.”

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Manifesto Reviews 2015-16: Anand Babu, Hostel Affairs Secretary

Anand, in his tenure as the Hostel Affairs Secretary, has implemented most of the initiatives that promised comfort and convenience to the student community. While a few novel initiatives could not be implemented on account of feasibility, many others have been set in motion. Seeing as how many of these points find mention in Kishore Kumar’s manifesto and the fact that both of them have already started working together, one can expect to see their completion. We congratulate Anand on the completion of his tenure and wish Kishore all the best.

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