On 22nd August, the Dean of Students Prof. Govardhan, who will shortly be leaving office, addressed the Hostel Wardens, members of the GCU, Hostel Council and regarding various issues regarding the institute. He was assisted in his talk by CCW Prof. Maiyya and GCU Head Prof G Srinivasan.
The spotlight was placed on problems pertaining to mess facilities in the institute. In this regard, the Dean assured that complaints regarding the current mess caterer, A-Diet express, is being considered severely and will be resolved as soon as possible. He also explained how the mess tender works and shed light on the procedure that led to A-Diet’s selection. Prof. Maiyya added to this by stating that if students come up with a strong demand and assure a registration in the numbers of 1000 or more, he was open to the idea of running messes with a different menu.
The Dean also expressed his deep concern about the recent accommodation crisis, saying that it won’t be long before the current population of about 7000 will go up to about 8500. He revealed plans to have either Sindhu or Cauvery hostel to be converted to a hostel for girls. Until then, he requested cooperation from the student community.
The Dean expressed commiseration for the series of suicides that have taken place in the institute over the past year. In order to avoid such misfortunes in the future, he said that a 24/7 Tele Counselling Unit (with a toll free number) will be introduced to guide students and help them overcome stress and depression related problems. This Unit has been outsourced to a private company called MEDALL, run by reliable professionals with help being just a phone call away. This is likely to start in the month of September and students will have to register for the use of this service. Prof GS said that the contract was approved after good research and assured of the professional expertise of the company.
“All of you shouldn’t take bath every day!” he joked blithely, saying that the file for Solar Water Heating facility in all Hostels has been cleared and the Rs.4 crore-project would commence shortly. He also said that around 40 lakhs of funds have been channelized towards improving and introducing state-of-the art facilities in the hockey and football stadiums.
He said that a number of professors in the institute were in not in favour of Shaastra and Saarang being conducted during the semester as opposed to during vacations. On the face of it, the problem was apparently with the distractions the latter were inflicting on the students and also with the unnecessary number of holidays they demanded. Considering this issue, he said they were working on shifting either of the festivals to the winter vacation. The students were asked to come up with suggestions and prepare their case in favour or against this motion and present to the administration.
After expressing emphasis on personal safety, the Dean talked about starting a Student Welfare Fund, wherein the caution amount of Rs1500 deposited by every student while joining the hostels will be used to give medical and other assistance upto 1~1.5 lakhs for students. He also mentioned that the Assistant Warden’s room in hostels and the Warden’s quarters behind Himalaya would be converted to guest rooms for parents of students in medical emergency, at nominal rates.
In his concluding words he thanked students, advisors, and the hostel management for all the support that he got from them and wished them a good luck for the future.