Awol Safe Haven : Hall Allotment Ordeals
Witnessing the beginning of another academic year, the campus was full of chaos with boarders bustling into their respective halls of residences. The place known to get the stardom of all amateur experiences soon turned out to be a house of unsatisfactory emotions because of the woes in the allotment procedure in most halls of residences. Analyzing the situations at various halls of residences, Team MM took the effort to investigate into the matter by speaking to the wardens and students of various halls of residences.
The Freshmen Hall
The halls allotted only to freshmen i.e. GDB and MV seem to be devoid of problems due to the manual allotment being done this year. This year the boarders were given an option to select their roommates and hall of residence at the time of admission itself. This meant that the GDB hall of residence did not have any empty rooms left making the manual allotment a very good move by the authorities. The rooms were allotted on a first come first serve basis might seem unfair on the late admissions but to say partiality being done would be a mistake. Upon asking the GDB hall warden regarding this change in the allotment process, he was quoted as saying:
This time the allotment is manual. An authority of Chief Warden office is sitting at the admission centre and I personally do not know anything about the allotment and whenever anyone is taking admission he is being asked about the hall he would wish to stay in and according to a vacancy that hall is being provided to him.
One major issue common across all the sophomores was the allotment of halls according to the groups. The sophomores had given a name as to whom they would like to be roommates with in groups of six students with a preference of the hall they would like to stay in. But here comes the cache in some cases these group of six were allotted completely different halls let alone different rooms in the same hall. Another reason for discontentment among the sophomores was finding their allotted rooms still locked with the belongings of the previous occupants. These were the problems common across all the halls.
Dhirubhai Ambani Hall of Residence
This was not the end of goof ups. In DBA, there was a huge confusion as some rooms in the B block ground floor were to be allotted on a first come first serve basis to the existing students of the hall. But after receiving some complaints from students, the warden had scrapped out the process and resorted to a lottery system for the allotment of rooms to the third years with the rooms being on the second and third floor in the C-block. The allotments were done on a particular day, with students picking up chits for the rooms which were given as a preference, by two or more students. Eventually, all the third year B.Tech students were given rooms in the second and the third floor. However, the students who hadn’t gone for the chit picking process were given rooms on the ground floor of the C-block, which didn’t go well with many students.
Upon asking the previous warden, he had to say as follows:
Hall allotment is not done by us, we did the room allotment in the hall. The allotment of rooms in the B-block on a first come first serve basis is a wrong information and no such kind of thing was planned. The third year students were allotted rooms according to a lottery system and we worked out a chit picking mechanism for the rooms which had been put as a preference by two or more students. One needs to understand that the rooms cannot be always be allotted according to the choice of the students as there is a protocol defined by the Chief Warden’s office. We gave a fair chance to all and wanted to accommodate all in a just manner.
Homi Bhabha Hall of Residence
In the HB Hall of residence, the boarders were given an option to retain their rooms or if they would like to change their rooms. But after the holidays, the students opting to retain their rooms were in for a surprise as they found people staying in their rooms. The M.Tech students were given these rooms without any confirmation from the students who had left their belongings in the rooms. Upon asking the warden, he was quoted as follows:
Actually, room retention was not given as an option and whoever gave the application, they were considered and whoever had not given the application were not considered, perhaps. I told the new warden to consider the applications or devise a stand through mutual understanding. If anybody had given application letter I would have done it .Otherwise, they would have given after the allotment process got over. The Assistant warden and I along with another hall assistant, sat down together and completed the allotments. I also suggested to the new warden that the old students should get the first preference in getting their choice of rooms.
MS Swaminathan Hall of Residence
The MSS hall of residence also had its own share of problems. Unfortunately, there were a couple of problems faced by the boarders this year. The prime problem was the randomness involved in the allocation. Many boarders were not allotted the rooms with their preferred roommate as they were expecting and were distributed randomly.
Since the D Block of MSS Hall is relatively newly constructed, featuring larger rooms and cleaner amenities, it received a higher order of preference among the boarders. Some of the third year and the final year boarders who gave D Block as a preference were allotted random rooms in the A, B, and C Blocks since there are a limited number of single rooms available in the block, owing to the larger size of its rooms. Here is what the warden had to say:
The room allotment was done by the previous warden and I took charge on the first of July. By that time, the room was allotted and notice was displayed on the notice board. I did not alter it and the list remains as such. The D block rooms are all allotted and allotments were done on what basis I don’t know since it was done by the previous warden. For the room change option, I don’t have any idea and it will be better known by the Chief Warden and might be possible only at the end of the semester.
The other snag was the locking of rooms by the graduates`, which was resolved by breaking the locks.
SD Hall of Residence
The plight of the hapless boarders of the far-flung SD Hall is still a woeful tale after well-over a year. The incompleteness of the promisingly large building has its own bag of problems and it starts right with some hiccups with the room allotment. In most of the cases, the primary complaint among 2nd-year boarders was—one – not being allotted the roommate of their choice, and two- being allotted on the top floor only, where the roofs were leaking and water coolers were unavailable. The other minor complaint was finding many of the allotted rooms locked with belongings of the previous occupants—something that was resolved by either mutual understanding with the adjacent boarders or the intervention of the caretaker who gave some new rooms after special requests, sometimes involving a guardian. Warden being unwell was unavailable and the assistant warden spoke to MM as follows:
Actually I came to SD Hall on 1st July, but by that time the allotment was already started, and so was the repairing and maintenance work. Particularly in C block, the electrical work is going on, but by today the work might be completed(28th July). Even in the other blocks where the rooms are closed some repair work is going on and they will probably be completed in 2 or 3 months. Generally, we follow the first-come-first-serve basis for room allotment and the rooms are filled with their sequential room numbers. The members who come first are allotted rooms accordingly, we do not prefer making them in groups. However, if the students do so by mutual understanding, we haven’t denied them.
On being asked about the locked rooms after vacations that had the belongings of the previous rooms, where boarders had to adjust or convince the caretaker for a new room, the warden was of the opinion that the caretaker was looking after the process.
KMS Hall of Residence
With the advent of the new session, the boarders of KMS Hall of Residence witnessed irregularities in the allotment of rooms. While at the end of the even semester, the boarders were supposed to submit their preferences for rooms and their room companions. Allegations made by one of the boarders bring the discrepancies into light as there was some tampering with the original list, later confirmed by the warden herself. Eventually, the rooms were allotted with whatever information was recovered from the primordial list.
Moreover, the predicaments still prevailed for the pre-final years. It all started two days prior to the last exam of the even semester when the boarders received a notice quoting that all the rooms in A & B block would be four seaters and that of C & D block would be two seater and the boarders reluctant with this information would be moved to CVR, the reason behind this being the allotment of all the freshmen at KMS and shortage of rooms. But the current scenario contradicts the aforementioned fact as rooms in B block are yet to be filled, but the third year scholars have to calibrate in four-seater rooms. The warden, Prof. Monalisa Mishra turned a deaf ear towards the troop that approached her, so the boarders decided to take up the matter to the chief warden, Prof. Manoranjan Barik. Living in a room of four would be cumbersome and would procure problems in fulfilment of academic goals. The discussions with the chief warden brought no rational termination and the issue still lingers. Here is what Prof Mishra had to say:
I don’t know about last year. Third years were in four seater rooms. Only final year students will get the single seater rooms. In A block, owing to small rooms, the third years were given three seater rooms. Entire B block and upstairs was converted into four seater rooms. If the hall was a little empty I would have tried to accommodate the boarders according to their choices. I was asked to vacate the entire B block and so I gave them the offer of shifting to CVR hall of residence. On their denial, I have accommodated the second years in the C block and D block. So all the allotments were done according to their choices.
CV Raman Hall of Residence
The boarders of the CVR Hall had to face a number of problems in the beginning of this academic year. Many final year students were shifted from KMS Hall to CVR Hall for the accommodation of single room. The boarders were asked to provide their preferences so that they could get a room and roommate of their choice. But neither the final year students were given a room of their preference or the other boarders were given roommates of their choice. In the first allotment list the preference order of only CVR halls students was taken care of and in the second allotment, the preference of students who shifted from KMS was considered. From the last few years, preferences are being taken from the students and rooms are not being allotted according to the choice list. On being asked about this matter, the warden of CVR halls, Prof. Poonam Singh said:
I was appointed the warden of CVR Hall of residence on July 1. I did not know that preferences had been given to the boarders of CVR. When I joined many boarders complained regarding the room allotments. So, we decided to do the allotment again and then we considered all the preferences and finally allotted rooms. We have tried to accommodate everybody and most of them have got rooms of their preference. For those students who did not get a room of their preference, we promise to give them rooms of their wish a few days later.
This is not the only problem that has been cited in the CVR halls. Every year the boarders are asked to remove their luggage from their allotted rooms with the promise that there would be some renovation work during holidays. But there is no such renovation work being carried out. Talking about this issue, Prof. Singh says
I can’t tell about that because I have joined recently. I have seen the condition of rooms and I have decided that next year when the rooms get vacant renovation will be done.
All in all the halls of residences, have their own share of problems but the need of the hour is proper follow up to the problems of the boarders by the authorities for them to have a comfortable stay.