What Campus Watch Writers Had To Say About Reporting On Students’ Issues In 2017

Posted by Rajkanya Mahapatra in Campus Watch, Specials
December 31, 2017

This year has been quite the whirlwind for college students in India. From a drastic seat cut for M.Phil and PhD students in JNU, clashes between students and the police at Ramjas college and hundreds of women students protesting in Banaras Hindu University against rampant sexual harassment are just a few of the many incidents that left the student community fuming, but more importantly, thinking this year.

We asked the Campus Watch writing team how 2017 has been for them, and their experience of writing about various students’ issues.

Here’s what some of them had to say:

1. Saptaparno Ghosh

This year has been noteworthy. Writing for Campus Watch, I happened to be at the centre of things during the Ramjas incident, the unanticipated NSUI-victory at the DUSU polls, and the multiple student protests for accommodation and better educational infrastructure. Reporting and writing about the mentioned occurrences, I interacted with both the parties involved. This was when my convictions and ideology were severely challenged. Overall, it has been a very satisfying and challenging year. The year made me more critical and observant. Hope the newly acquired thinking serves well for my master’s application.

2. Sanjana Chettri

2017 has been pretty eventful for me. My experience with Campus Watch helped me understand that my voice matters. For instance, when I wrote about taboos around menstruation, and its consequential patriarchal customs in societies in the north-east. A lot of women contacted me expressing their discomfort with the customs. Campus Watch also allowed me to take up genuine issues looming as obstacles for students. For example, my piece on how the admission process through the ‘quota’ system in Delhi University for students from Sikkim is a complete nightmare, was widely discussed in the state. These experiences have brought in me a sense of responsibility: to cross-check facts better and build reliable content and to try and understand grievances through an objective lens. It also taught me punctuality.

3. Saumya Arora

Like every year, 2017 came with unprecedented challenges and big lessons. There were times I hit rock bottom. I fought out of my safe spaces and took to situations which were novel to me. Despite the all the downs, I gathered all my strength and kept going, and now look back at all these experiences as opportunities which built and humbled me.

My experience with Campus Watch has been an extremely enriching journey. From writing about issues that were important to me, to reading about different problems and stories about others, it has helped me understand the deep-rooted social and political concerns at the university level which I was ignorant about earlier. I wrote about the rigging of results at the IIT Rendezvous’17. I was able to see and engage with different perspectives. Listening to, and documenting personal stories exhibited how we constantly need to speak up for ourselves. I hope to continue this exciting journey with Campus Watch of learning and unlearning.

4. Ananyaa Mehra

Before entering 2017, I had thought of how important this year was going to be for me. From entering the final year of college to coming to terms with leaving college soon, this was meant to be a year that would decide my future. Now that I look back, this year has taught me a lot. I have grown as a person, made friends with people whom I hope to be in touch with for as long as possible and have finally discovered where my heart lies. I got my share of opportunities, and I made mistakes from which I learnt a lot.

I became a part of the Campus Watch writing team, and I consider it to be one of the best things that happened to me in 2017. I wrote about my experience of starting a new club in my college and spending Diwali away from home. I have learned so much about writing and have a different outlook on things happening on campuses today. My belief in the fact that words can make people feel emotions the best way, became true. It was a year which changed me as a person, broadened my horizons and gave me multiple reasons to look forward to life.

5. Shruti Shhreyasi

2017 was a year of growth and healing for me. I learned a lot about myself, and my ability to deal with hard times. I matured greatly, re-discovered my love for writing and learned how to navigate panic attacks and the occasional heartbreak.

In 2018, I want to put my new set of adjustment skills to use, and figure what path to choose after college. Moreover, my experience at Campus Watch has helped me understand how to communicate my problems better. I’m glad that I’m going into the New Year by catering to myself and my health needs. Here’s wishing all Campus Watch readers a happy New Year!

6. Simran Nandrajog

This year has been, in many ways, great for me. I have always felt grateful for the opportunity given to me by Campus Watch. Not only have my writing skills improved drastically, but I also feel more confident in expressing my opinions. I have also gotten the chance to write about issues I never thought I would get to otherwise.

I wrote an article this year on why it shouldn’t be a problem if college students are having sex. While I have had discussions about the topic with my friends, I never imagined writing on it due to various apprehensions. However, I took it up as a challenge, asked people for their opinions, and in the end, most people appreciated the article.

2017 has been great in terms of personal growth too. Instead of comparing with other people’s lives, I started to focus on myself. I started working out, which has benefitted my physical as well as mental health. I have begun to enjoy my own company, which I believe has been my best accomplishment so far. From being a highly insecure and self-conscious individual, I have become more independent and strong this year.