“.... and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Very few institutes in India provide a healthy and constructive atmosphere for students to raise their concerns and voice their opinions. A definitive aspect of IIT Madras, however, that sets it apart from other colleges is the respect it accords to students’ voices—this has been institutionalised in the form of the Students Constitution.
The student government operates at three levels: Institute level, Hostel level and Department level. Here is an overview of our student governance as a whole, including its components and functions.
The Student Government Organs
The Student Governance at IIT Madras has a legislative body. It comprises the Student Legislative Council (SLC), the Executive Council and the Student Ethics and Constitution Council.
The SLC is IIT Madras’ apex student legislative body, established by the Senate of IIT Madras. It consists of nearly 60 student legislators elected from various hostels and departments. It has jurisdiction over all student-related matters, and acts as an advisory body to the Institute Senate through the Board of Students.
The Executive Council consists of student representatives who are directly elected by the general student body, and is the most visible face of the Institute’s Student Governance process. The executive positions are:
- The Student General Secretary
- The Hostel Affairs Secretary
- The Sports Secretary
- The Co Curricular Affairs Secretary
- The Academic Affairs Secretary
- The Research Affairs Secretary
- The International and Alumni Relations Secretary
- The Cultural Affairs Secretary (Literary)
- The Cultural Affairs Secretary (Arts)
- Speaker, Students Legislative Committee
The Student Ethics and Constitution Commission is the regulatory body that oversees matters of violation of the Students’ Constitution, as well as disputes among students, student government officials and bodies. It consists of three student commissioners and a Faculty Advisor.
It also acts as the Student Election Commission, entrusted with the role of conducting elections to over 170 student representatives among over 9000 voters.
The Hostel Council
Every hostel has its particular needs and requires students to take care of its day-to-day functions. For this purpose, every hostel elects student representatives who manage different aspects of hostel life. These student representatives, along with the Hostel Warden and Assistant Warden, constitute the Hostel council. The student representatives in the Hostel Council are as follows:
- Hostel General Secretary
- Hostel Legislator
- Sports Secretary
- Social Secretary
- Literary Secretary
- Technical Affairs Secretary
- Health and Hygiene Secretary
The Department Council
Departments are amongst the most important, if not the most important, hubs of our Institute life.
From freshmen orientations to placements, some of the most important events of student life happen through our departments. To facilitate these processes, every department elects its own set of student representatives, which include the Department Legislator and the Research Legislator.
These legislators, along with Class Representatives from each batch and secretaries of the department associations, form the Department Council. They have a charter, made by the students which governs their activities.
Student Mentorship Cell (SMC)
The SMC works to ensure a smooth transition for freshers to Institute life. It helps them adjust to the new learning and living environment, get involved in Institute activities and be motivated.
Upon arrival, all freshers will be contacted by their SMC mentor, who will guide and equip them with the required knowledge of the campus, their department and other available facilities in and near the campus. It would also provide freshers with future possibilities for networking and nurturing talent.
Saathi is an initiative of IIT Madras to guide students through their days here. As the name suggests, it is a body of senior student pals and friendly faculty who will always be willing to help them with any matters. It strives for the overall well-being of the entire student community by equipping and enhancing students with the all-round skills needed to succeed on campus and in life. Another important objective of Saathi is to break the stigma around various issues regarding mental health.
You will be introduced to a SMC mentor—a responsible senior student who will meet you soon after your arrival at IIT Madras. Besides being your first friend on campus, your mentor can also clarify your doubts on various aspects of Institute life.
Mitr is an Institute body comprising faculty and senior students, functioning under the Dean of Students. The primary objective of Mitr is to provide emotional support to students in times of need. Students can seek guidance regarding a plethora of issues, including academic and peer pressures, extra-curricular activities, relationships and self-management. It is a completely confidential one-to-one support system.
Being away from an accustomed environment always leads to a new set of experiences. You will be woven into a novel world of academics, relations, tastes, preferences and more. In this journey, where you transform into an individual that surpasses your expectations, you will not be alone.
Like every other journey, you will experience highs, lows, successes, failures and a variety of emotions. While you are capable of handling and managing everything, there is a slight chance that you may sometimes feel overwhelmed—it is completely normal to feel so. When that happens, you may unburden yourselves by talking to us.
Mitr comprises a team of 45 passionate, empathetic and trained individuals from varied academic and social backgrounds, who are available to you at any time of the day throughout the year to lend an empathetic ear to you.