The Student Affairs Council (SAC) and the Executive Wing (EW) are the student bodies of the Institute which symbolize the spirit of mutual co-operation among the various sections of the campus community. The SAC functions as the central policy making body of the Institute and formulates its policies based on the demands and aspirations of the General Student Body (GSB). The EW is involved in the execution and implementation of these policies and is accountable to the SAC. Both the SAC and the EW are responsible to the GSB. The SAC constitution aims at " providing the students opportunities for overall personality development with the emphasis on leadership qualities and the spirit of service." (from the Preamble of the SAC Constitution)
The Executive Wing consists of the following members
- General Secretary
- Academic Affairs Secretary
- Research Affairs Secretary
- Hostel Affairs Secretary
- Sports Secretary
- Cultural Affairs Secretary (Lit)
- Cultural Affairs Secretary (Arts)
The members of the EW are elected by the General Student Body on a one-man one-vote basis. The elections are usually held during the third week of March every year, following which the elected representatives take over from their predecessors. The election of the Speaker of the SAC is held within 20 days of election of the members of the EW. The Speaker is elected by the SAC Councilors i.e. all the Hostel General Secretaries, branch councilors for the B.Tech programme, day scholars' councilors and class councilors from the M.Tech., M.Sc. and Ph.D programmes.
Every Executive is assisted by a Council of which he/she is a chairman. Policies can be recommenced and presented to the SAC for ratification. The executives are responsible for the performance of functions in their domain.
The General Secretary (GS) co-ordinates the work of other Executives and represents the GSB. Matters in areas which are not covered by other Executives are handled by the GS. The AAS represents the views of the GSB on academic matters and coordinates the functionality of facilities like the Library, the Computer Center, the Placement Office etc. and is also responsible for conducting IIT Madras' techno-scientific festival Shaastra. The Research Affairs Secretary (RAS) works in conjunction with the AAS, laying special emphasis on the specific problems and needs of Research Scholars. Hostel maintenance and issues concerning the hostel messes come under the purview of the Hostel Affairs Secretary (HAS). The Sports Secretary looks into issues regarding sports activities of the Institute teams, coaching and organizing inter-hostel and inter-collegiate tournaments.
The Cultural Secretaries work as a team and together with the Cultural Advisor and the other members of the faculty, organize Saarang , the annual Cultural Festival of the Institute and Bharat Utsav, a festival based on Indian Culture. They are also responsible for the organization and conduct of the inter-hostel cultural events.
The SAC Speaker convenes and conducts meetings of the SAC and is assisted by a Deputy Speaker of the SAC who acts as the Presiding Officer of the SAC meetings in the event of the absence of the Speaker.