Thursday, 21 April 2016

The Unsung heroes of Xtasy 2K16

By: Team PenTastic

Interviewed by: Anshuman Ray & Pooja Pattnaik

It was nothing short of a revelation when we interviewed these two fine gentlemen who know about this college more than any student worth one's salt. Yet there wasn't any sense of entitlement or conceitedness when they shared their experience of managing Xtasy. For the first time in the history of this college, a star night happened in the campus. One might wonder what's there to brag about. But the same people have no idea about the incredible amount of red tape that comes with organizing such a huge fest. Mr Abhishek Khemka, The President of the student union and Mr Rajesh Ranjan Mohanty, The cultural secretary completely swayed us with their amazing amount of dedication and commitment they have towards this college. Excerpts from the interview:

Pooja : What were the major responsibilities as the President and Cultural Secretary and what were
Abhishek: Since it is a huge socio-cultural fest of CET, a much bigger function than what we celebrated in the school days. So, for XTASY we had many different teams such as the Registration team, Hospitality team, PR Management  team, etc. I was in charge of the event management section. My responsibility was to manage the teams and maintain proper coordination between them.

Rajesh: My job was to handle the PR team and take care of the hospitality. Since we lack in having proper media contacts, this time we tried to create a good relationship with the media and sponsors so that in the future we can build up a better relation with organisations in order to get more support from sponsors.

Anshuman: What were the issues and hurdles you faced while organizing the fest?

Abhishek: The major issue that we faced is the ego related problem of some students. Many students want undue importance which at times creates a mess for the organizing and coordinating teams. Many people find the work allotted beneath them. Also managing the crowd becomes difficult if the crowd doesn't cooperate!

Rajesh: The main difficulty that I came across was handling the official work during Pre-XTASY time. I was really tensed as the system is so complicated and the process becomes extremely lengthy.  Although the college cooperates, there are a lot of limitations to that. It becomes such a huge headache that it's nothing short of arranging a marriage for a daughter. 

"Organizing a fest is nothing short of arranging marriage for a daughter"

Abhishek: The college authorities are prejudiced about the fact that the organizing committee students might be misusing the money which is utterly ridiculous and makes the money sanctioning process tedious and frustrating. First of all we need to prepare a proposal to be presented in a meeting which would be presided over by the PIC, student union along with the co-ordinators and clerks. The PIC has the power to grant upto ten thousand and it would all be recorded in a proceeding which would form the basis of another application to be written for more money. This would be approved by the Principal and the maximum amount which can be sanctioned is 1 lac. If we require any amount exceeding one lac, we need to furnish tenders in order to do that. Even if the amount is under one lac, we need to produce quotation for the amount to be sanctioned. For example if we require a computer system that costs 25000, we need to produce three quotations and the quotation with the lowest price is selected. Then we need to produce the bills by the respective shops and the bill processing takes around two months owing to which the shops quote a much higher price than the original price on purpose which adds to the inconvenience of students and college authorities alike.

Rajesh: Can you guess the how much time the pre-Xtasy work would have taken to be completed? I have been literally on my heels for three months.

Anshuman: It's been more than 34 years since the college was established. Shouldn't these processes be streamlined by now?

Abhishek: Nothing can be done about it. This is a government process.These process can be streamlined only when 1-2 exclusive clerks are allotted to the student affairs. We being the members of student union are doing the clerical work such as writing applications, arranging  meetings, producing bills etc and many other students and faculties are doing the same. The primary work of a student or a faculty is academics. No student or faculty of an institution should ever hold a file and do these clerical work as it's not a part of their job. There should be clerks allotted to student affairs, placement cell so that these places could function seamlessly and efficiently.

"We, being the members of student union are doing the clerical work such as writing applications, arranging  meetings, producing bills etc and many other students and faculties are doing the same."

Rajesh: Students partake in these activities as clerks don't work properly in this college and if it were only upto them, the pre-Xtasy work would have taken years to be completed. To avoid any hassles we had to take the responsibilities and bear the brunt of such work which brings down the level of our fest.

Pooja: But if we are talking about government colleges, NIT Rourkela also organizes it's fests which
are better than our college fest.. 

Rajesh: For organizing fests,in NIT, there is a Dean and a Students Welfare Team which includes at least five faculties members allotted to manage and handle all the work. Here in CET, we have no such facilities nor exclusive posts like Placement Official or Student Welfare Officials, etc.

Abhishek: The Professors who are given the responsibility of  taking classes have to do the extra work, due to which academics are hampered significantly. There is a dire need of additional posts to be created which streamline the entire process thus helping us meet the deadlines.

"Here in CET, we have no exclusive posts like Student Welfare Officer, Placement Officer etc."
Anshuman: When and how did you decide to call Darshan Rawal? 

Abhishek: We initially zeroed in on Armaan Malik. We tried really hard to make it happen. But then again the whole process of bringing him in took a lot of time. Since a star night would mean a lot of money and due to the mind-numbing tedious procedures, we missed the window. It was a huge kick in the gut.

Rajesh:  But since the file processing for approval in College took a very long time, by the time we could get the approval. Armaan Malik's Dates had been booked already. So we decided to contact Darshan Rawal through our event manager.

Pooja: How cooperative were the students and the teachers?

Abhishek: The students were very much cooperative and so were the teachers. But some problems are inevitable while one organizes a big fest!

Anshuman: There were rumours about Darshan Rawal leaving the concert in the middle. Was it true?

Abhishek: No, no such thing happened. He didn't end the show abruptly. In fact, before singing the last song, he mentioned that it was the last song for the day! It was some misunderstanding that gave people the wrong idea that he left the show abruptly. The show ended well and as per plan.

Anshuman: What should be the ideal budget to organise a big fest in CET?

Abhishek: Budget at present is completely okay.

Rajesh : If the budget is low, one will manage it with prudence and purpose. If a fest has a huge budget, the money is drained in fulfilling trivial matters, most of the work is outsourced and the organizers face serious shortages as money is either spent recklessly or is misused. When the budget is less, it's a great opportunity to showcase your managerial skills as you already have a tight budget and one needs to act with great pragmatism to deliver.

Abhishek: Even if the budget is high, what really matters is the number of sponsors you can bring to the table. We didn't have too many sponsors this time, but we made it a point to hype brand CET big-time. We have worked really hard to maintain a great relationship with the sponsors which would definitely yield results when the organizers approach them next time.

"When the budget is less, it's a great opportunity to showcase your managerial skills as you already have a tight budget and one needs to act with great pragmatism to deliver. "

Pooja: Since many girls were out in the night and the in-time was extended, how was the security system of the college?

Abhishek : Security was never an issue as this time, we made central registration mandatory for everyone. No one was allowed without an ID card and there were 25 police personnel in the first two days and 50 in the second. Apart from that, we had our own executive security and 60 SHIELD members spread across the college.

Rajesh : The thing with security is, if one doesn't feel secure in one's bone, even a level-Z security would fail miserably.

Anshuman : There is a general perception that whoever takes the post of president or cultural secretary, they do it for money. Is there any truth to the statement or is it just another preposterous assumption made by the students?

Abhishek : To be very frank, no one can swindle any money meant for the fest. What happens in reality is money is not utilized in many cases. We try our level best to spend the entire amount in organizing the fest with lot of accountability. It's entirely up to the person holding the post to utilize the money judiciously or erratically. Even after the fests are over, we are into purchasing of sound equipment for arpeggio and we have also furnished cultural room. Again after all the expenses, money is left and we always try to identify the areas where that amount can be spend for the development of the college. The bottom-line here is we are answerable to anyone who has any queries regarding budget and where did every penny go.

"It's entirely up to the person holding the post to utilize the money judiciously or erratically."

Pooja : What was unique about Xtasy-2016 ?
Rajesh : The centralized registration was unique and it made the process very smooth as students just had to register online and on producing the receipt and they would be issued an ID using which they can participate in any event. The art gallery and photo gallery were comparable to any major fest held across India. The prizes and certificates were distributed immediately after the completion of the event. These were the few unique aspects......

Rajesh bhai, with his trademark sheepish smile signaled us to ask another question. On knowing it was our last, he almost heaved a sign of relief and the friendly banter continued....

No comments:

Post a Comment