To ensure smooth transition for new students in to campus life, the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) has started an online forum for first-year students. The ‘freshmen forum’ will allow new entrants to post their doubts and queries and get them answered by senior students. The forum, which is an extension of IIT-B’s ‘student mentorship programme’, will come in handy for students even before they actually join the institute.
“All students, who have been allotted a seat at IIT-B, get a notification of their admission. This year along with their acceptance letter, we have sent a letter to all parents informing them about the online forum. The forum will be a platform for freshers to get all their concerns addressed before they join the institute,” said Rahul Srinivasan, coordinator of the student mentorship programme.
According to Srinivasan, who is a final-year student at the IIT-B, the aim of the forum is to ease concerns of first-year students, which range from academic to emotional issues, and also to prepare them mentally to settle down into the IIT environment. “All of us, at some point of time have had similar concerns. So, this platform is extremely useful as the freshers can tap into the experience gained by their seniors,” added Srinivasan.
The query sections in the forum have been divided into several categories – academic, infrastructure (facilities available on/off campus), hostel affairs (rooms, allocation), extra-curricular activities and general doubts.
Each of the queries posted by freshers is answered online by a specific student mentor — a senior student — from IIT-B. “We get several posts related to academics. Students want to know what the rules are for a branch change. Some students don’t like the department allotted to them and are unsure of its future prospects. They want to know if they can opt for the second round of counselling,” said Srinivasan.
And, it’s not just about academics, first-year students are also keen to know about the ‘happening’ places to eat and shop around the campus.“They also want to know about extra-curricular activities on the campus, and ways in which they can get involved with Techfest and Mood Indigo,” said Srinivasan.