A brief summary and critical analysis of the SAC Meeting that took place on Aug 17th.
by Shailend Chand
Barani, the Students General Secretary, began his talk by enlisting all that was accomplished over the summer. These mainly included floating various tenders, insurance policy overhaul (which now saves you 50 rupees a semester) and GCU Orientations. He was quick to acknowledge the shortcomings in his manifesto like the absence of a more reliable bus-schedule and the insufficient number of washing machines. In reference to the washing machines, he fired the usual round of ‘improper usage’ and ‘water conservation’. He mentioned a ‘15x improved’ Basera kitchen, a statement that many people will surely find difficult to digest. In his efforts to make shared bicycles a reality, he had approached the NSS to collect unused bicycles from various hostels. He lambasted the Gen Secs of the undergrad hostels for not being responsive enough and from the looks of it, also devised a scheme to penalize the deviant Gen Secs. In lieu of the recent deaths, he talked of hiring 3 of the ‘best counsellors in the country’ on whom amounts to the tune of 2 Lakh rupees are to be spent. A noble initiative put forth by him was the creation of a Student Welfare Fund to help out those students to whom MCM does not apply.
Somesh, the HAS’s speech dwelt mainly on the supposedly inevitable circumstances in which A-Diet was awarded the contract. A convincing argument was that if Cauvery and Krishna could run on 43 rupees a day and cater to hundreds, why can’t A-Diet when it is catering to thousands? He attributed part of A-Diet’s expertise in making nauseating food to the lack of kitchen equipment and even claimed that the food got better as the equipment came rolling in. He denied the possibility of raising the price from Rs.50 and perhaps make the food better by stating that he was bound by protocol. In contrast, he did paint a dystopian scenario in which A-Diet had the right to walk away from the contract whenever it wanted to and leave thousands hungry. Other points raised include industrial washing machines in the offing and soon-to-be-installed vending machines.
Sivateja, the Sports Sec had to dodge many a question regarding the dubious manner in which Tennis and Badminton cards are issued (It’s just a simple matter of moving the issue date from the beginning of July to that of August). Expected facilities yet to come up are lights in the Hockey and Football fields and a brand new Squash court which costs more than 55 Lakhs. Events in this semester include the Terry-Fox run, Freshie Schroeter and the Sports Fest. An interesting thing to note about the Sports Fest is that only the colleges IITM has a good chance of beating are invited. This is to preserve the morale of the Inter-IIT teams. Chess has been scrapped from Inter-IIT and has been replaced by Girls’ Volleyball.
The Cul-Secs were crisp in speech and brisk in manner. The media club will now be under the Cul-Sec and will host a Chennai-wide SFM and photography contest in the near future. The rest of the clubs will now be funded and will have a more formal structure. The Lit-Soc calendar has been pushed beyond Quiz-1. The Duo were followed by a certain Ms.Balan who insisted upon the need for a Female Security Committee owing to the harassment incidents that have occurred in the past. She brought to light the perils of poor lighting, perimeter breaches and construction workers moving a bit too freely.
The RAS pointed out the unfortunate lack of procedural information in the institute. He has plans for a graduate handbook to address this. Other plans up his sleeve include a digital, less cumbersome Academic calendar and a research counterpart to CFI. The AAS, in the longest speech of the day, talked about Research-Park Internship Drives for the benefit of 1st and 2nd years and the need for concrete Placement rules. He had commissioned the creation of a structured database to ensure that the gyan from the current Placement-Team is passed on to the next. He claimed that the construction of Campus-Connect – a portal in which one could communicate with recently graduated alumni had stopped midway due to a curious lack of Web-Ops people.
Bharanidaran, the General Secretary, unveiled the plans for creating the IIT Way by the end of this year. The ambitious project attempts to encapsulate values that students of IIT Madras must uphold. Poondla Prashant, the Cultural Affairs Secretary opined that it is, “Our materialistic attempt to reclaim the lost brand value”. This meeting lasted 2 hours during which the Executive Wing put forth many issues but the main issue, the elephant in the room, was the unfortunate lack of dissent.
#Edit – 23/8/11 – ‘Gayab, the SAC Speaker…lost brand value”‘