26 August 2016 | The International Students’ Association (ISA) on Friday evening conducted a meet to welcome new students (regular and casual) by organizing a party at their headquarters in Teflas. Scheduled to start at 05:00 p.m. and supposedly to be led by ISA President Mina Babazadeh, the meet only began at 06:30 p.m. with General Secretary Karma Phuntsok taking lead in introducing the objectives of the association and reflecting on the year that passed.
“We have to apologize for not meeting up to expectations; there have been disparities within the panel and claiming funds from the Dean of Students have not been an easy task. The President marks her absence today due to ill health,” he shared. The ISA was given a budget of Rs. 1,50,000 for the previous academic year but managed to utilize only Rs. 80,000 due to bureaucratic reasons.
The ISA Vice-President Teruaki Fujioto was absent too and had a special mention by Joint Secretary Kanwoo: “He has been very cooperative and helpful throughout the year but is unavailable today as he is in Japan.”
More than a hundred new students were expected at the event but only a handful turned out. “We do not have access to everybody’s contact, it is only through an email list from the Foreign Student’s office and our Facebook page that the information on today’s meet got shared. We did put up posters across campus too,” said Phuntsok.
Kanwoo also shared that ISA was formed for a reason – to take care of international students on campus; he invited students to share their grievances and concerns, affirmed help and support from the members of the association, and insisted that the members think on what are their expectations from the next elected panel. He also mentioned the rising number of cases of dengue in the city and suggested that students be careful. He also urged students to be cautious when venturing outside the campus at night.
As customary to every Freshers’ meet, an election commission was formed with seven students volunteering to take over from the existing panel, the roles and duties of ISA, and proceed with the conducting of the elections as per the constitution. The commission that was formed included Tsering Gyalpo of Tibet, Jenny of South Korea, Mingyur of Tibet, Nice of Taiwan, Irfan of Afghanistan, Iglesias of Zambia and Aslam Hiyat of Nepal.
Refreshments, music and an open dance followed thereafter. The ISA elections are scheduled to be conducted on 18 September 2016.
Dhaval Bhate is an MA student at CSSS, SSS and works for The Informer. With contributions from Lakhyajit Taid and Shilpa Bharti from SL.