Ours is a university that hosts over 5000 students typically within the age group of 17-25. Buoyant with energy, we head to our passion almost as soon as we are relieved of academic work at 5 each day. Various technical clubs, associations
and interest groups are littered around a campus where it is believed that everyone will find their passion and a good peer group to share it with. Inductions posters scream out at us each day and yet, the problem remains the same.
All our lives we are taught to learn – to take up a new skill – to practise a new sport – to hone and sharpen our minds. What happens to this drive in college? How
many ‘new skills’ do we acquire in our college beyond the walls of academics?
And more importantly, does our college provide us with the necessary avenues for the same?
Over the last couple of years the orientation program conducted for the first years has seen a wide array of classes being held. Sports coaches from around the state come down to Trichy for a month-long program exclusively held for the freshers; yoga and martial arts classes for girls are other frequent appearances. It makes the first month of college a great time for students to pick up as many skills as possible, and figure out where their interests lie.
For the rest of the campus, the same opportunities are not provided. Inductions to clubs are held solely on skills already acquired by the students, and while some of these clubs help one develop that passion, a large number of aspirants are left out in the process of elite selection.
Magister Club, NIT-Trichy
A club formed as recently as 2015, aimed entirely at bringing up new opportunities for students to delve in beyond academics. Two-month crash courses were held in music, art and dance. This gave students the much needed kick start to flourish thereon.
With respect to sports, our college does not host special coaches who might come and impart training.
In the past, teams have tried arranging for coaches to come down to campus. Without the backing of the administration, however, this is not a viable long-term solution.
NIT vs. IIT: Management of Facilities for Extra Curriculum
In NITT, none of the sports teams have coaches to train them whereas in institutes like IIT-K and IIT-KGP, full-time coaches guide the respective teams. Also, they have provisions to reside in campus or can choose to shuttle.
Most of the teams in our college can only complain to the Physical Director about outdated equipment, bad flooring or need of better maintenance but very little is done in this regard. On the other hand, IITs have a body managed by the students under the guidance and active participation of the faculty and staff members, called the Students’ Gymkhana. At the apex of the Gymkhana is the President (professor), followed by a Vice-president (student) and a General Secretary, one for each of the 3 committees- tech, sports and social & cultural. Under these are sub-committees presided by Secretaries who are also in-charge of holding regular meetings. In order to pass a budget, a proposal is made to the Gen-Sec of the Gymkhana.
Sports Centre is not functional on Sundays in our college and team captains are not allowed to possess the keys of the indoor courts. This constricts both flexibility and practice hours. IITs allow their student captains and coordinators to take charge of courts and rooms by maintaining offices that keep a strong account of who has taken the keys and when.
Our college must bolster the idea of conducting workshops for dramatics or dance under theatre or dance experts. In IITs, clubs invite eminent figures who could mentor the team members both on and off semesters. Our Student Activity Centre, very contrary to its name, is not very active when compared to IITs. Most of the rooms lack basic amenities or are not designed owing to the requirements of the particular club or troupe.
Team Feeds spoke to our Director, Dr. Srinivasan Sundarrajan, and invited his views on the dearth of avenues towards a wholesome learning process.
Many colleges today have sports coaches employed by the institution. This isn’t present in our college. Is there any reason?
“Coaches for sports can be arranged as per the need of students, we have employed coaches for Orientation programs in the past and the same can be extended through the year. The desire of students has to be expressed first. In most cases, students just express dissatisfaction amongst themselves and leave the matter be. Demands have to be raised from the students for administration to respond to”.
With regards to budget, will this be a problem?
“The budget is always allotted with respect to what the students need.”
What about cultural activities?
“Right now, we face a bigger problem with respect to cultural activities in campus. The buildings we have for the same are quite inadequate to the large number of clubs we host here. We are taking steps towards giving each club a good area to work on, and these classes can also find a place in campus then!”
Being in a desolate area in Trichy, bringing quality teachers for extra-curriculum might not be an easy task. However, in the past we’ve seen our institute provide us with brilliant mentors for CAT, GMAT, GRE, German language, and GATE preparation. Extending the same for the other facets of college life coaching may not be a distant dream anymore. It begins with the students representing their need for these amenities in college, and then forming the necessary teams for the same to be executed. With the acquisition of the old school building for use as another SAC, our non-academic schedule in campus may just be altered drastically – taking another huge leap forward.
This cover story aimed at bringing to light one of the key aspects that our institute lacks.