The SAC Speaker recently took an initiative to gauge the opinion of the students on campus-related issues. An online form was circulated and students were asked to rate various facilities provided in the institute. They were also asked to comment on any issue they felt needed attention. More than 1300 students filled the form. The responses and comments were compiled and are presented in this report.
The rule demanding 85% minimum attendance draws the most ire. Students demanded the cut-off to be relaxed, if not abolished. Some suggested that the working hours of the library be extended. A 24-hour library would improve academic performance, since most students have a habit of studying in the night. Many complained about the shortage of certain books that were prescribed by professors. While the air conditioning has led to increased visits, the temperature needs to be controlled as it gets too cold at times. Students wanted courses to be more holistic and enjoyable than “just a bunch of mathematical models”. Some felt the need for a more informal approach by professors. The moodle and library website are not being used to their full potential. The effectiveness of the midnight LAN-cut was questioned on the grounds that it did not have much effect on academic performance. Concerns were raised about the poor results in core placements, especially in branches like Civil, Chemical, Meta etc.
Complains regarding laundry and washing machines outnumbered others in the hostel scene. Most students criticized the ban on purchase of washing machines. Washing clothes has become a big problem, especially after the laundry service at Brahmaputra was suspended. The number of students has increased, but not the number of washing machines; hence the increased load on the machines leads to more wear and tear. Some were concerned about the hygiene of water dispensers, since they are not maintained properly and are also vulnerable to contact of monkeys. Monkeys further reduce hygiene in the hostels by toppling waste bins in search of food. Residents of Sharavati particularly face lots of problems due to the frequent simian invasion. Students with asthma complain that they have no access to hot water for bathing, since their hostels lack water heating facilities, and using immersion heaters is prohibited. Computer rooms and music rooms are not utilized to full capacity, and need maintenance. Some residents in Saraswati have raised voices against double occupancy of single rooms, on grounds of privacy and congestion. Many residents want some official procedures simplified. Application for accommodation of visiting relatives is one of them.
Do you know about…
It is known that messes never receive praise by the student community. However, comments on the mess service were more than mere cribs about the taste or lack of seasonal vegetables. Last semester, a bold change of caterers drew criticism from students since the criterion for selection of new caterers was allegedly based on low prices instead of better quality. Students opting for messes had limited choices, since a single caterer replaced 3 caterers. This could also lead to a monopoly, some felt, giving the example of the recent “inevitable” price hike by A-diet. They expected better quality of food in exchange of the hike, but in vain. Students dining in the food courts had their own share of woes. Long queues, unhealthy food and limited quantity made the food court a no better option than the mess. Most were willing to pay higher for better food. Students expressed dissatisfaction with the way the HAS and his mess monitoring committee have handled things.
LAN and Internet
Almost every student complained about slow internet speeds. Senior students pointed out the inconvenience faced in research and placements owing to slow internet. LAN speeds have reduced by roughly 2 orders of magnitude. It is felt that the increase in number of users on the same bandwidth, and the change to openLDAP have caused the current condition. Internet issues were on the top of the agenda for most students, who demanded quick action for increase of bandwidth. Voices in support of 24 hour internet were also raised by many. Some students said they would eagerly pay additional charges for faster and uninterrupted internet. Freshmen have to depend on the DKC at the Central library for internet access, which they say needs to be better managed. The feedback was taken before facebook.com, one of the biggest bandwidth consumers, was temporarily suspended in the hostel zone.
How do you rate…
While many complained about the Gurunath stores enjoying a monopoly, others wanted the seating capacity at Gurunath increased to accommodate the increased number of students. Some felt that Zaitoon would be just another Basera unless they started offering their specialties like grilled chicken on campus. A water dispenser was demand at CRC. Some students enquired about the progress of reparations at the swimming pool. Others wanted staff at CCW and Admin block to be more student-friendly. Some felt more security was needed at campus gates. Many suggested that more buses be allotted to cater to the morning rush between 7:30 and 8am. Some commented on the redundancy of multiple databases in the institute, and felt all the student cards could be replaced by a universal card. Few students pointed out the illegal use of powered vehicles in campus, and how bikes were being parked at paid shelters outside Taramani Gate. The desire for an all-night canteen was expressed by many, who said that there was no refreshment available at the institute late in the night. The shifting of Shaastra and Saarang did not seem serious issues to a majority of the students.
Two trends are clearly evident from the responses of the students. Firstly, it is seen that the students are willing to pay more for better facilities and services, and seem to realize that cheap is not necessarily better. Secondly, the students want to maintain a flexible biological clock which is not restricted by the administration. This is can be seen in the demand for 24 hour library, 24 hour internet, a 24 hour canteen, and relaxation in minimum compulsory attendance.
On the whole, students felt that there was lots of room for improvement in the institute’s facilities. The feedback also showed increased awareness as well as expectations in the students. It can be said that students saw the feedback as a means of reform, and thus emphasized more on the flaws in the system than on luxuries provided by the institute.