With support from college authorities, students are finding it easier to juggle academics and their creative pursuits
College canteens and other hangout zones on campus are usually hotbeds of raging debates. Here, students find an outlet for their creative energy when they step into college life. But, it is often a challenge for the administration to channelise this energy into productive work. Sometimes, protests, gheraos and bunking classes take precedence over studies. So, how do students manage to strike a balance between the all-important classes and find an outlet for their creativity? CT spoke to students and teachers from city colleges to find out.
All hunky dory
For students of some premier colleges and universities in Kolkata, finding a balance is easy. They are also happy with the way the institutes tend to their need of balancing academics and co-curriculars. “In our college, academics are definitely the priority. But co-curricular activities are also given importance. We have a host of societies like the English academy, Hindi literary society, theatrical society, Bengali literary society, science association, fine arts society, debating society, NCC and sports, management society and commerce society. We choose from them alongside our studies,” said Rishi Basu, general secretary, St Xavier’s College Students’ Council.
College fests come as big opportunities for students who love co-curricular activities to unleash their creativity. According to Father Dominic Savio, principal of St Xavier’s College, their fest, Xavotsav, is the best example of how the college takes care of students’ creative needs. “Apart from studies, we have plenty of spaces for students to showcase their talents. We have a number of societies for them to engage in. In case students have to participate in college co-curricular activities or visit another city to represent the college at any fest, their attendance is taken care of. They are given on-duty leaves. Those days are not counted while taking attendance,” said Father Dominic.
A balancing act
For students of Jadavpur University, getting criticised for their political views is nothing new. But, they appreciate the fact that their university is all ears for their creative needs. “We have a good system in place. In case students miss their first semester exams because they are busy with a protest, they can sit for the same along with their second semester exams. Besides, our university has free Wi-Fi and well-maintained libraries for us to study in. It’s not just about classrooms and notes. It’s a combination of being aware as students and the university having provisions for us to maintain a balance between the two. We don’t really mess around with our studies,” said Rishika Roy, a first-year student of philosophy from Jadavpur University.
While students are happy with the many opportunities that the university provides, professors too think there is more to university life than just regular classes. Sayantan Dasgupta, head, department of comparative literature, JU, said the university is known for its good academic rankings alongside students active in art-and-culture pursuits. “It’s a university and not a school. So, we don’t believe in restricting our students’ learnings to just the classroom. Co-curricular activities aside, they also like to attend other departments’ seminars alongside their own classes. We encourage that. The university believes in fostering interdisciplinary interest in society. It’s totally up to the students how they balance both,” he said.
Source: Times of India