GS Cultural Affairs – End Term Review
The Institute General Body Meets (GBMs) are conducted twice every year with the intent to provide all students a convenient mechanism to provide feedback and address concern to the student representatives responsible for various amenities on campus.
The GBM for Institute Cultural Council is scheduled from 10:00 PM on 4th April in the P. C. Saxena Auditorium.
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Events in red are those that haven’t been started or there has been no satisfactory development in this regard.
Events in orange are those that have been initiated but not completed, or there have been some developments in this regard.
Events in green are those that have been completed as described in the manifesto, or have seen satisfactory developments.
- Cult School: Yearlong classes conducted by experts; new admissions on monthly basis providing more freedom to explore different genres
- Pahal (पहल): Conduct a showcase event to provide a platform to participants of Cult School, Muskaan, “Cult…not diffiCult” phase II
- Pro week: Introduce professional workshops across all genres spread out over a week to boost the quality of cultural activities
- Cult-X-Posure: Propose providing professional opportunities to outstanding performances of flagship events of dance, dramatics, music and film to provide greater exposure and enhance the quality of these events
- Digitalize Publicity: In coordination with Hostel Affairs council, propose to install screens in common areas to replace flexes
- Cult Magazine: Create a magazine documenting the highlights of cultural activities in the past few months and information of the upcoming events
The manifesto had a number of difficult initiatives which were executed quite well. There was an increased emphasis on workshops and getting students more involved in cultural activities, which happened mainly through the Cult School and Pro Week. The Cult School, in particular, saw a surprising amount of participation, and the high-quality workshops were received quite well. Ample opportunities were also provided to students to showcase their skills, through Pahal and Cult-X-Posure. Moreover, the ambitious effort to shift publicity to a completely digital medium is in progress, and has seen approval by the Dean SA. On the other hand, the introduction of the Cult Magazine did not go as planned, due to its low priority and financial reasons.
CONSOLIDATION AND FOLLOW-UPS
- Lifestyle Club: Form a council to ensure regular club meetings and increased participation in events and outside competitions
- ‘Cult…Not diffiCult’ Phase II: To be conducted during the semester for those unable to attend phase I in summer; focus is to provide entry point into clubs for freshmen and increase interaction between club seniors and amateurs
- Muskaan: In coordination with NSS, organise regular cultural classes; appoint semester long volunteers to take responsibility for conduction
- Institute Cultural Night: Organize a night, full of low preparation informal events, crossovers and games for recreation
- Design Team: Maintain current structure with additional responsibility of establishing design as a culture in the institute
- Choose your Fest: Propose providing opportunities to different genres to participate in different fests best suited to that genre
- Extend Cult Yatra to all genres and ensure pre-planned trips at least once a semester
The establishment of a well-structured Lifestyle Club and Institute Design Club early on in the tenure was a welcome move, as was the “Muskaan” social initiative. The small increase in number of students participating in festivals outside as part of the “Choose Your Fest” initiative was disappointing. The budget cuts were felt, in the form of Phase II of “Cult…Not diffiCult” which didn’t happen. The themed Halloween Night eventually replaced the planned Institute Cultural Night, as it was felt that the former had made the latter redundant.
- Work Review Meets: Conduct bi-monthly meetings of current council with previous year’s cultural council for suggestions and improvements in functioning and events
- Bi-Monthly Genre Reports: Public log of accomplishments made available online of each member of the cultural council
- Genre Committees: Teaming up with hostel secretaries in conceptualizing and executing GCs and hostel events
The Cultural Council has functioned very transparently this tenure, with work review meets taking place as scheduled, and genre reports being compiled and published online. Genre Committees were introduced this year, and there has been a good involvement of hostel councils in the conduction of GCs.
- Introduce Documentary GC for greater exposure to different types of film making
- Introduce Hindi Creative Writing GC and Hindi Word Games GC in literary arts genre to provide a greater diversity of competition
- Introduce Model United Nations (MUN) GC to revive the MUN culture
- Conduct an institute wide Performing Arts Festival (PAF) Orientation focusing on freshmen
- Conduct Preparatory Sessions well before GCs for each group consisting of 3-4 nearby hostels to increase participation and improve quality
- Music Fest: Propose to restructure Surbahaar or Swarsandhya to showcase and give a platform to a variety of music genres
- Extend Sophie Culturals to music and photography and ensure proper mentor allotment in all genres to ensure quality participation
- Ensure proper orientation and organisation of 3rd SPICMACAY International Convention to be hosted at IIT Bombay
- Propose to provide a platform for performances by students before renowned artists in Virasat
- Cultathon: Introduce crossover competitions to promote inter genre team participation
- Introduce Costume Designing and Modelling competitions in Freshiezza
- Conduct club wise Award Ceremony for Freshiezza
- PG Cult League: Retain the two legged-structure of PG Cult League and hold regular workshops in PG hostels to promote learning and exposure towards various genres
Overall there was a sizeable increase in the number and scale of cultural events. Large-scale events, like the SPICMACAY Convention and Virasat, were executed very well. While some events, such as Cultathon, were ideated upon but abandoned due to the budget cutbacks, others which did not happen were mostly replaced (for instance, the Documentary GC made way for the Music Video GC). The proposed expansion in Sophie Culturals regrettably didn’t take off this year. On the PG front, PG Cult took place in its regular two-phase structure, and the introduction of workshops led to a noticeable increase in both quality and participation.
- Increased inventory of Amplifiers to be purchased in order to meet every genre`s requirement
- Purchase: Camera, Studio Lights, Boom Mics, Projector
- Discount Stalls: For music instruments; ‘Books by Weight’ Expo; Camera accessories
There was a concerted effort early on in the tenure to replenish the Culturals inventory for the year, particularly for Film and Dance. There were also a number of expos to increase the accessibility of equipments for students, in the form of student discounts on instruments and accessories.
The tenure saw a number of manifesto points satisfactorily completed. Muskaan, the collaborative social initiative with the NSS, took place on a number of genres, and was an admirable step forward. The SPICMACAY convention held in early June was also a highlight, and helped expand the reach of the classical and folk art forms. This year saw a marked increase in workshops and interaction with professionals in various genres, in the form of Cult School, Pro Week, Cult-X-Posure and PG workshops, which were favourably received.
Culturals this year faced a severe budget crunch, particularly in the 2nd sem. Various additional initiatives such as ‘Cult…Not diffiCult’ Phase II and Cultathon did not happen, so as to ensure that the flagship events of various genres were not overly affected by the lack of funds. Also, while the ideation and planning for initiatives like Digitalized Publicity is complete, they have yet to see execution, whereas others like Cult Magazine were entirely overlooked.
This was a tough year for culturals, mainly due to the budget issues, and similar difficulties can be expected in the coming year, with even more budget cutbacks expected. Despite that, no genre took a visible hit as such in terms of their main events and infrastructure, so it can be surmised that the GSCA and the Institute Cultural Council did the best they could with the resources they had. The Council was also forced to become more resourceful and accountable, and settling its debts from the last 3 tenures has given them some welcome breathing space financially.