A loud knock on the door followed by a voice “ If you are freshers, come outside, there are a few seniors here to talk to you” sent chills down the spine of the home sick boy, owing to all the gory stories he had heard back home. Ironically enough, the seniors waiting outside greeted him with a gentle smile and asked “Any problems you people are facing?”
They belonged to the Student Welfare Group (http://swgiitkgp.in/), a student organization founded in co-ordination with DoSA and as an attachment to Counselling Centre in August 2011, which works towards a “stress free student friendly KGP life” and assisting fellow students in various aspects of the campus life. Already popular among the freshers with their PDS doubt clearing sessions, which are conducted twice every week with a huge turnout, the SWG has various activities sketched out. The interesting part about the PDS classes is the involvement of around 20 seniors of CS department who volunteer to act as tutors for these sessions.
SWG has also initiated a very strong and an impactful Student Mentor Program (SMP), with every first year UG student being mentored by an experienced third year (All courses) or fourth year (5 year course only) of his/her department over a span of 3 semesters. The factors which makes SMP to look very promising is the 1:5 ratio of mentor:mentee and involvement of more than 250 quality mentors with balanced profile for 1300 UG students. This, they believe, will help all juniors make better choices for themselves after heeding to the first hand experiences of their mentors.
Their other initiatives include English conversation classes for those having difficulties with spoken English. They are organizing these classes for a span of 6 weeks with 4 hours interaction time on each weekend. The classes are conducted by an organization named Constellation Training and Placement Services founded by IIT KGP and IIMC alumni Mr. Ranjan Majumdar.
One of the recent initiatives has been Hall Outreach programme with 4 Counsellors from the counselling centre heading towards halls to interact with the students directly. For this purose, SWG has a strong interface between Counselling Centre and Halls via its team of 52 Hall Coordinators with representation of students from all years in every Hall. These Hall Coordinators were given a professional one month training by Counsellors known as Gate Keepers Training for carrying out their role. SWG has also got the green light for a Crisis Intervention Programme with the counsellors available 24 x 7 on phone for the service of the students.
All the activities of this group are managed by a Central Team and have Dr. Sangeeta Das Bhattacharya as its Faculty Coordinator. The SWG with a noble task at hand promises to emerge a more successful group with more initiatives and many more people under its ambit in future.