DU life


If all your answers in your society interviews were related to if you would be able to get sponsorships, whether it be the dramatics society or the placement cell, then this piece is for you.

On a bright sunny day, just before fest season begins, one can witness sleep- deprived college students burdened with lack of funds, and begging for sponsorships at many conference rooms. The hustle for getting sponsorships is quite exhausting for all, and even worse for freshers.
Being a fresher is daunting enough, as right outside the comfortable womb of school, you are settling-in, and yet exploring. In all this chaos, being sent on a sponsorship trip can give you something resembling an existential crisis.

Here are a few reasons why most freshers do not sign up for the sponsorship team in their societies:

The Client-Chasing

The third-years of your society are like gods to you. Whatever they say becomes the gospel truth, and perhaps, that is why you sign up for calling random cafés, IAS institutes, and local start-ups. It is very convenient how most seniors forget that you have literally no contacts, and to approach A-list companies without contacts is like getting full marks in a mathematics paper: highly improbable. What you are left with then, is visiting these institutions and cafés with your five-minute-long prepared speech on how your society event will provide them with the best marketing platform. If you are an introvert, you are allowed to cry in a corner, due to the added pressure of awkward interactions.
Dimple, a first-year member of the debating society of her college, said, “All we did few weeks before our inter- college parliamentary debate competition was call clients, asking to meet them. It was so awkward. We genuinely felt like Vodafone call centre asking people to shift from Airtel. Much before we were actually taught how to do parliamentary debates, we were taught how to get sponsorships.”

The Dreaded Rejection

Even if you bring your price down, from INR 1,00,000 to INR 10,000, there is a good chance that you still might not seal the deal. If you felt that the biggest battle was for you to make them agree to see your proposal, bazinga, you have been lied to. Most companies will just peruse through your seniors’ Power Point presentation-cum-proposal, and never actually give you any money. After a million follow-ups and a thousand requests of “please revert soon”, you realise that this was all just a move towards a dead- end. Then comes the sudden realisation that in the next society meeting, you have nothing to show for your work. Rhea Ahuja, Marketing Cell, Sri Venkateswara College, said, “With so much anticipation we send our proposals to the clients, later to just be dejected. I genuinely don’t like asking for sponsorships as most of them have already spent their budget on colleges like Shri Ram College of Commerce and Hindu College. They just stall us, only to reject us later.”

The Jugaad

It so happens that despite the reckless marketing, you are far from your desired budget. Then comes the most resource management any college student has ever done, from the tents to the water cooler, and somehow you manage to get everything downsized. Refreshments go from delicious Domino’s pizzas that you wanted to offer, the same way Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies did, to the samosa, Frooti, and Lay’s chips available in the canteen. There remains the joy of figuring out the weirdest of solutions while freaking out completely.
Whatever you must say, I would highly advice all of you to be a part of this madness, at least once. You will learn to find calm in chaos, you will meet tons of people, and you will be loaded with self- confidence. Now that is a deal that cannot be compromised upon!

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Chhavi Bahmba

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Every year, lakhs of students apply to the prestigious University of Delhi, thousands get it, and a few hundred join the college societies. The month of August in the University calendar witnesses orientation programs, society auditions, WhatsApp forwards to the freshers, and posters on notice board informing about the society. 

Amidst the arduousness of the ensuing academic pursuit, a college society plays an important role in giving its members the kind of experience they have never witnessed. Most of the students join these societies in order to enhance their curriculum vitae. However, down the line, they also understand that the exposure from the society not only transforms them, but also plays an important part in their holistic and professional development. It helps them express themselves, raise their voice against something which can create an impact in the university space. Meeting the deadlines, working in a team, recruiting people, generating revenue, and day-to-day management are some of the responsibilities handled by the society members. This extensive work that goes into making of any society, be it a newly formed one or an already existing one, demands enormous amount of energy and dedication. Shreya, a member of the fashion society of her college said, “Like every coin has two sides, it is the same with societies. Sometimes, the job is taxing. There is a schedule to be followed, a number of things to be done, paper work, coordinating with the society members, and what not. But at the same time, it is fulfilling. I have become confident. I know how to manage a team. Over the years, the society members become your family, you practise with them, eat with them, travel with them. Half your day is spent with the members. Your seniors teach you so much, and probably that is the best thing. When you see them working with sincerity and dedication, it really pushes you from within to strive for better, each and every day.” It is true that society is a gateway for finding friends in college. It helps build a mutual relationship of trust and respect, and also paves a way for healthy discussions.

Having said all this, I do realise some of us are not a part of any society. There can be multiple reasons, though. Some of us didn’t get in, some may have left the societies after having an idea of the hectic schedule, or probably some of us did not bother to join a society at all! A common factor the students who were not a part of any society talked about was the work and hours of practice. Some of the students live far away and dread reaching the college sharp at seven in the morning. Others believe that it is important to prioritise academics over extracurricular activities. Amanya, a recent graduate who was a part of the western dance society of her college said, “I joined the society in my first year. Hours of practice, missing classes, not being able to cope with my studies, and reaching college early in the morning were the reasons I had to leave my society. The fest season drove me crazy, I used to reach home late and had no energy to do anything productive after that. It was extremely difficult to manage. After a point of time, it felt like a burden.”

Coming to the those of you who did not get into any society this year- it’s okay if you failed that society audition. Your college life is much more than one audition. I have always believed that something better awaits all of us. Having given your best and still not being selected is something most of us have experienced at some point of time in our lives. You might feel disheartened and dejected. But utilising our potential in a productive way is totally up to us. Keep an eye on other societies, if not western music society, you might end up being a part of Enactus of your college. If not all this, make sure you indulge in something you like, maybe you can join a certificate course or try learning a new language. College life is about discovering yourself and your abilities. There are a variety of options available in this free world. Being or not being a part of any society, I hope your college years transform you into a confident, informed, and a more responsible individual.

Anoushka Sharma

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The college fests bring with them large and often overly enthusiastic crowds, necessitating tight security measures. DU Beat looks at what the security staff themselves have to say about this.

“Fest ke samay zyada satark rehna padta hai” (we need to be more alert during fests), tells us a security guard at Hindu College, requesting anonymity. Naturally, a larger crowd makes checking more difficult. The gentleman tells us that while they recognise 90% of the regular college students, strict ID checks are the first step before allowing entry to anyone – outsiders or not. The same sentiments are reiterated by a female security guard at Hansraj College, also wishing to remain anonymous.

Mr Damodar Singh, a security guard at Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) tells us that since it is easier for troublemakers to enter colleges during the fests, the security has to exercise extra caution – switching their phones off is the first thing guards do. Talking unnecessarily to anyone has to be avoided, lest some slip in checking may happen.

Colleges make extra arrangements during fests, especially for maintaining order inside the premises. Bouncers are often present around the campuses to control any chaos. Yet, perhaps their effectiveness is up for question.

Mr Singh tells us that bouncers have an important role to play if chaos erupts; security guards can’t get aggressive in controlling the situation as they have to encounter the students regularly. “Hum bas pyaar se samjha sakte hain” (we can only deal with students softly), he remarks. The lady at Hansraj also tells us how guards sit at the gates while bouncers handle the situation inside.

On the other hand, the gentleman at Hindu, says, with a chuckle, “Hungama hota hai to bouncers bhaag lete hain” (the bouncers run away if chaos takes place) – stating that in such cases, the guards themselves need to control the situation.

While the guards admit that some students get rowdy and try jumping on stages during music performances, they don’t really agree to alleged cases of misbehaviour or lapse of security happening at the fests.

Some students allegedly managed to get alcohol and weed inside the barricades during Crossroads 2018. Mr Singh, however, maintains that beedi, cigarettes and alcohol are strictly banned.

As was reported by the Hindustan Times, the crowd stormed the barricades during singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh’s concert at Hansraj’s Confluence 2017. A stampede was caused following a gas leak, accompanied by the felling of a firework station that caused some electric shocks. The security guard at Hansraj, however, denied these claims.

According to an article in the Times of India, similar incidents of crowd rampage and breaking of barricades took place during singer Parmish Verma’s performance at Maitreyi College’s annual fest last year, forcing the gig to be stopped midway.

Regardless of whether the accountability for these incidents is acknowledged, the probability for security lapses remains high. Of course, the management and organisers need to be held accountable. However, with enthusiasm and excitement running high among overwhelming crowds, the responsibility also lies on the students to exercise precaution and alertness and to maintain civility in order to ensure a safer environment.


Featured Image credits: The Times of India

Prateek Pankaj
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What is it like to be half at home, hoping to hault time in the comfort of your town? Vacationing in the hometown is a bittersweet journey of learning and appreciating. Read on to find out why.

Gaius Plinius Secundus was a Roman philosopher who said, over two thousand years ago, “Home is where the heart is.” The twenty-first century is a time of wanderlust, throwbacks to holiday destinations, Kierkegaard’s much feared aesthetic sphere of existence over social media, and a home strewn everywhere but where the heart remains.

The outstation students- smoking in the allies near Symbiosis (Pune), or sitting in protests in the campuses at DU (University of Delhi), or shooting pictures for assignments at NIFT- share this longing for the hometown. So, when the semester ends, December arrives with chilled breezes and cocoa cups in the comfort of home. To go back home is no longer an end to the party, but it is the calm of returning to familiarity after a long day out in the streets of the world.

As a child, one awaited the two months of frolicking away from the hometown, maybe in the garden of grandparents’ place. One felt the joy in climbing up bunkers in trains for journeys that lasted the night to seek a place out of the home, for a vacation. As teenagers in school, Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara were the dream-worlds to aspire for. Sharing the hopes of road trips to Ladakh, making jokes about unfulfilled Goa plans, the time to finally leave hometowns knocked quietly. Vacations at home now become a luxury.

When living with a fixed set of people during the time of peculiar growth and evolution in your desires, friction is bound to exist. Generation gaps, value clashes, adolescent mood-swings, and a sense of distance while living in the same place, day in and day out, are the gist of the drama in an average Indian family. But vacationing in the home thaws the hardened egos on all sides, because it is not a given that one would be around forever to resolve the long-drawn differences. Presence, for a fortunate change, are not taken for granted anymore. Living out of a half-unpacked suitcase, though, remains an unfettered reminder of the vacation that is now home.

Image Courtesy: The New York Times

Image Caption: One looks at the familiar places with a softer lens, mostly grateful for having somewhere to always feel familiar at.

Anushree Joshi

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No one likes asking their parents again and again for extra pocket money (especially when it is followed by your father and mother giving you judging looks). So why not earn a little bit on the side?

Read on to know about some simple ways you can earn money, while attending college!

  • Do a part-time job: There are a lot of options where you can work as a part-time employee and get paid well. Check if your time table allows you to work for four-five hours at a stretch and apply to a few places near your college/home that have the job for you. This is not only just good for the money, but also the experience will teach you a few things about corporate jobs and be a bonus point on your CV.
  • Sell your previous semester books: There is a very good chance that the bookstore you got your last semester books from will accept them and pay you half the price. There are many bookstores in the Kamla Nagar market and the Patel Chest area in North Campus that you can go to for queries.
  • Teach young students: You can home tutor young students and you can either teach them subjects like math, science, English or you can teach creative skills like playing an instrument, painting, creative writing or dancing. Ask your friends and family to help you reach out to some kids aged between 10-16 years and spend two to three days a week with them and you’ll have a fun experience!
  • Walk dogs for your neighbours: Who doesn’t like soft, furry animals? People in your locality who have dogs would probably not have time to take them out on walks and for playtime and would certainly be willing to pay someone to do it for them. If you’re a dog lover and would want a daily 20 minute time with a fluff-ball, then start asking your neighbours already!

Yes, now you can splurge a little too much on junk food, clothes and gadgets!  

Featured image credits: FilmEdge.net

Anagha Rakta
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