Disclaimer: While this is something that is expected to be included in the “Campus Buzz” section of this fortnightly, the terse composition of the recent General Body Meetings wouldn’t do enough justice to the details. Thus the decision to include it as a segment of the blogroll. Most terminologies included will only make sense to the BITSian folk, so other readers may safely revert to the homepage.
Arriving after a rather uneventful week of Test 2s, amidst the competitive environment of Renaissance in the post-T2 week, it was rather interesting (eh?) to note the attention and glam that the 2nd General Body Meeting of the semester received. Boasting of one of the largest turnouts ever for a GBM, the gameplay of numbers and people was starkly visible. The varied agenda of the GBM boiled down to a discussion about the dissolution of an existing department of Firewallz in Arena to form DoSH (Department of Security and Hospitality) and ControlZ…but we’ll get to that in a bit.
As people flocked into F-106, the General Secretary opened the discussion by announcing details of Renaissance and proposing the event plans for Shangri La – all received without any disturbances whatsoever. As more people fluttered in, dates for Ignite, Verba Maximus’15, Arena’15 and Pearl’15 were agreed upon, followed by the release of a hoodie for the General Body by the President (priced at Rs. 650), as dictated by the agenda. Having swiftly dealt with all other agenda, the discussion moved to the Arena charter, as the President and the Sports Secretaries ascended the dais to present the Arena Charter to the General Body.
The Sports Secretary (Girls) took charge to read out the charter clause by clause, often receiving a cold response – her voice hushed down among murmurs from the floor. While the initial atmosphere was of mutual indifference, the entire audience sat upright upon the mention of ControlZ. The questions and answers were set into motion as the ex-Sports Secretary (Boys) questioned the credibility of those drafting the charter, on the basis of their level of involvement in the previous editions of Arena. Further, the President decided to play the moderator as he took it upon himself to justify their stance. The Sport Secretary (Boys) decided to play it safe, not presenting any of his opinions, which perhaps proved counterproductive as his reticence raised quite a lot of eyebrows among the General Body. The President initiated discussion by referring to standardization of Arena as a fest for it being equally important as ATMOS and Pearl; but sadly, that ended up as his only major point of defence.
The ex-CoSSAcn body had continuously argued they were not involved in the drafting of the current charter, and were completely against the dissolution of Firewallz, for certain valid reasons which include the difference in functioning of a Sports Fest from the other fests, the fluidity of work that includes a dissimilar and a higher standard of hospitality, the inappropriate division of labour between ControlZ and DoSH which wasn’t distinctively mentioned in the charter and the tradition of FirewallZ existing since the first edition of Arena – the continuation thus being a mark of respect towards its first working committee.
Eventually, the CRC and the Election Commission clarified the presence of the ex-Firewallz CoSSAcn in meetings, for the drafting of the current (failed) charter, along with the CoSTAAn of each department mentioned in the charter. As more questions poured in and the President accused the ex-CoSSAcn body for their inaction in failing to release a charter the previous year, the discussion took a bizarre turn when one of the ex-CoSSAcns established with the CRC and EC that they were the current CoSSAcn body too, since the elections hadn’t yet transpired. Their legality was questioned again, after the members on the dais had a quick discussion with the neutral bodies; the President and the Sports Secretaries announced that no charter bound the previous working committee of Arena and thus they were not to be recognised as the CoSSAcns. This brought an intriguing point to the fore: considering the previous statements made, the lack of an ATMOS charter also deemed the authority of CoSTAAns to be null and void.
Ultimately, the CRC and EC – each represented by their senior-most members – decided to involve themselves in the blitz. They lay down facts in front of the General Body which had been overlooked by all remaining parties all too easily. Simply stated, the EC and the CRC were the saving grace of the entire GBM. Their thrust to move into voting for the charter was clearly visible; hardly does anybody recognise their drudgery – so much for being a neutral part of everything. The voting came through, and the results were no surprise: the charter failed to receive a 2/3rd majority (failing to receive 149 votes from 224 people – falling short by 9 votes).
Post all the drama, the theme discussion for Pearl’15 was also in the agenda, but only 24 people graced this part of the meeting, following the voting on the charter. The discussion on the themes, continued for another 15 minutes. “Television”, “Pseudologia Fantastica” and “One Last Time” were among the proposed themes (“Odyssey of Legends” was proposed too, only that name had not been coined yet) and the meeting was concluded, with an apprehension that yet another GBM would have to come in the near future.
Author’s Note: Factual details of the above report have been verified by the Election Commission (EC) and the Corroborative Review Committee (CRC). Details of the GBM that followed on 22nd November will also be added after verification by the neutral bodies.