What did your freshman year at IITD look like? How was it different compared to the regular offline semesters?
I had a fascinating and eventful first year. In comparison to my surroundings, covid was not as harsh for me. So overall, the 3 to 4 years I had in my college life were pretty good. I observed a vast difference between online and offline semesters. In the first year, you generally become acquainted and become friends with your group mates; in the second year, you get to explore your branch. This one significant change is what we, as a batch whole, did not get to experience. Now that I am back on campus, I feel at home.
What did your participation in clubs and extracurricular activities look like in the first year?
I was involved in many clubs in my first year. I actively participated in DebSoc and went to external competitions as well. I used to sing and was a part of Cadence, and I also did a street play. I wanted to explore my college life to the fullest and thus participated in a plethora of activities.
In your second year, how did managing extracurriculars, club activities, and academics play out for you?
We were in a void, hanging in a gap for approximately six to seven months where no academic or cultural activity occurred. I remember singing at one of the music club events, but there's a stark difference between offline and online activities. I sang, recorded and listened to my voice which may not be the smartest thing to do. I became a part of BSW in my second year, so I organized numerous events, due to which my participation in extracurricular activities declined slightly. Being a BSW rep took much of my time, which I was happy to devote as I enjoyed my work. I devoted the rest of my time to academics.
What were your initial interactions with SAC, and how did you plan on joining SAC eventually?
My first interaction with SAC was in the second year after joining BSW. In BSW I found out about the duties a student board generally has and the activities it undertakes. My SAC secretary Ishika Verma was very active in SAC, so she was my essential link to SAC and its functioning. We used to get WhatsApp notifications about initiatives of SAC alongside the decisions made in the meeting in the form of minutes of the meeting; for example, the revamped audit policy during covid was one of these significant decisions. This is how I got to know about SAC.
Describe your journey from the first interaction to becoming the SAC DGSec.
I could relate and draw parallels between BSW and SAC primarily because both function for the welfare of the student community as a whole. SAC is a decision-making body, and we'd often collaborate with different boards to implement these decisions. I looked up to the person in the position, and I thought that this was something I would like to take up in the future and something that I could do. That's why I became the SAC secretary, and as a SAC secretary, I made great strides with SAC GSec and DGsec. When the campus reopened, the transition started taking place, and we could feel the difference in the work as we did not know when the covid waves would end. The projects changed, and the way they had to be implemented changed. This is how I went from knowing about SAC to becoming the DGSec.
Your manifesto talked about crucial and novel initiatives such as installing sanitary pad dispensers, safety issues on campus, query redressal systems, etc. Can you explain them in general, and how do you plan on executing them?
As we move into a digitalized world, the old sanitary dispensers which need the insertion of a coin need to be upgraded. Thus, we are working in collaboration with BHM and BSW on the project of installing new sanitary pad dispensers. We'll be implementing this in hostels, LHC, etc. In such projects and initiatives, many factors and negotiations come into play that needs to be approved by the administration.
I'd like to speak about safety issues within the constraints of information that I can reveal. Lately, during fests and other events, many safety issues have been reported on campus, and we would like to avoid such incidents as much as possible. Through this initiative, we'll be installing boards across the campus and distributing brochures comprising of emergency contacts such as the security office, women helpline, hospital other emergency contacts. This will ensure the safety of IITD residents in case of any emergency. We are working on a query redressal system to address queries, doubts and concerns of the student body as we go offline after a long gap
In your manifesto, you've also emphasized the need of increasing PG participation and representation in SAC. How do you plan on ensuring the same, and what are the steps you are currently taking?
PG participation and inclusion in the SAC are integral and necessary. The first step is to have an introductory orientation for PG and UG sections to familiarize them with the working of IITD. Following this, we are trying to incorporate PG advisors so that they can aid in the process of planning initiatives and implementing them. We have a new team coming up full of enthusiasm and zeal, willing to ensure PG's inclusion in the whole of IIT Delhi.
As the DGSec of SAC, are there any changes you would like to make in the student body?
Whenever we go about making a major policy change, we have to follow a certain procedure. There has to be proper discussion and deliberation in order to implement anything. First, we conduct a small-scale survey, for example, amongst the POR holders, to get a rough idea about the problems and their probable solutions. Subsequently, we conduct an exhaustive institute-wide survey through google forms to get the opinion of the IITD student body. After thoroughly reviewing responses and compiling them, we present the case to higher-ups in SAC meetings and try to implement the changes. Naturally, if I feel something is problematic and needs to be changed, I'd discuss it with board members and boards like BHM, BSW, BSA, BRCA, BSP or whomsoever is concerned. The things we are currently working on in SAC are a part of our vision, be it Kartik's or mine. We try to implement every favorable policy for the betterment of the student community. We are trying to establish a better mechanism of Yulu. We are getting in touch with the concerned authorities and encouraging them to develop a better plan for IIT Delhi. We are trying to implement an inter-hostel movement in IIT Delhi, which is present in other IITs like IIT Kanpur, IIT Bombay, etc. To improve our relations with the alumni network, we are trying to organise more events involving them. These are some initiatives that SAC is currently working on.
Is there something you would like the readers to know about SAC?
SAC functions as an interface between different student bodies and the authorities. SAC is, at its core, the ever-so-important bridge between the student community and administration. As the apex student body, it is our duty to incorporate and deliberate student concerns and take them up with authorities.
Interview by - Ayush Agarwal
Graphics by - Shivam Jhanwar, Prisha Jain