Coffee with Feeds – Sai Prakash Reddy, candidate for Student President, 2017-2018

What made you want to stand for Student President?

Personally, many of my friends and I have faced many problems in campus. We tried to approach some of the Student Council members, and they tried their best to help us. At that time, we felt that why couldn’t we take up responsibility? Why couldn’t we try to solve the problems of other students? Other than that, for the past three years we have been seeing some spectacular changes on campus done by the student council, and they inspired me to contest so that I can help the students of this campus. The problems that people face are mine too, and that’s the reason I’m standing for President today.

A lot of people in NITT feel that most manifesto points are empty promises. How do you change that mindset?

While preparing my manifesto, I spent three days talking to many students and asked them about the problems they faced in campus. I also went to every academic dean and told them about the various problems that students faced, and asked if it is possible to solve them within a one year span. Based on all these inputs, I formed my manifesto. I assure the students that if elected, I will definitely work towards executing my manifesto points because they are achievable.

Your manifesto talks about renovation of the existing shopping complex, and the building of a new one. Why do both, and what would both complexes consist of?

New shopping complex in the sense, we have Chennai bakery and Friends Xerox in a complex that is reasonably close to Amber. But problem is when a resident of Amber has to buy even a pen, he has to go all the way to SC or Gurunath. So we can build a new shopping complex in the Chennai Bakery area to make it easier for Amber and other hostel residents. When talking about the existing SC, the image what we had when we first joined college and what we saw were completely different. I want to really improve the cleanliness of the existing shopping complex. Also, students who need to purchase electronics or architectural products have to go all the way to the city to buy them. But if we can provide these facilities inside campus, that would be very beneficial. Further, almost every student has a laptop and mobile, but we don’t have a single service center inside campus. So I think we should get a service shop is necessary as well. By renovation of the existing shopping complex, I meant that these facilities should be added. My main aim is that people shouldn’t have to go out of campus for basic needs.

Your manifesto mentioned photocopy machines and vending machines in hostels. How do you ensure their maintenance?

There’s a security guard in every hostel. My plan is to install the vending machines near the entrance of the hostels. So we can extend their responsibilities and duties to take care of these machines that we will provide in all hostels.

Why do you think that we haven’t gotten sports coaches all these years, and if you do get them, how do you plan to assign them?

From admin side, it is very tough to get coaches for all sports teams. I spoke to the PD regarding this, and he said that one month before every tournament, we could get coaches on payment basis and based on teams’ achievements. Let’s say for a team that has been winning tournaments, we will get highly paid and efficient coaches. And for improving teams, coaches will be provided on a payment category. This will ensure that every sports team gets coaches. Again, after a year, based on their achievements, the coaches can be reassigned.

Do you plan to assign coaches to people who are also interested in learning sports? How do you nurture the interest of people wanting to learn sports?

It’s very difficult to assign coaches to the entire student body. So what we can do is request team players to go to hostels once a month to teach the basics of sports to the interested students, while improving sports facilities in hostels.

What is your plan of approach to improve the existing faculty feedback system?

After every semester we give feedback about our faculty, but we aren’t sure about whether it is considered or not. One of the points on my manifesto is temporary faculty review system. I spoke to a few HoDs and what we could do is we could give monthly reviews of the temporary faculty members. The HoDs would take charge of this, and he could give suggestions to improve their teaching styles. The end semester review system could be done through the HoDs so that they get our inputs, and this would make it more effective.

In both your manifesto and your speech, you mentioned the usage of video lectures by our professors to aid in learning. Could you elaborate on that?

Say I have an exam tomorrow. Many people would prefer the notes taken in our class than NPTEL lectures. So instead of the notes, if we could have that same lecture recorded and put up online, it would make learning easier. So we don’t have to run to the topper’s room before the exam and get notes photocopied, and watching these lectures again would be very useful.

What do you think are the major issues that currently affect our campus?

WiFi and water. These are the major problems that students told me when I spoke to them. With regard to the water problem, I spoke to Muthukumaran Sir who is incharge of estate maintenance. He told me that for every hostel inside campus, except Amber, we have a borewell system. So, if there is a scarcity of water, they have a backup. This is hostels except Amber don’t usually have water issues. So they have already begun the process of installing a borewell system for Amber as well, and the water issue should be fixed soon. With regards to the WiFi issue, I spoke to Ramkalyan Sir who said that students will soon be provided with one access point, by means of their roll number and password. This means that students can connect to the Wi-Fi through one device at a time, and when this is done, students will be able to get better WiFi speeds. There are 550 access points at the moment and they are trying to get 150 more, and they are trying their level best to solve the problem.

Is there something that you want to tell to our readers?

Yes. Take the example of water. Admin is trying their best to solve the issue. But as students, we should make sure that we don’t waste water. Just yesterday I saw students not closing taps after using them. So students should co-operate with administration as much as possible. Regarding the voting process, voting is a right we get here. A student President is for the students who takes the concerns and tells them to Admin. Students should feel free to approach the students council with their problems.

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