Representatives from each batch or class of students in an educational institute serve as mediators between teachers and students. They work to enhance communication between staff, coordinators, or heads of the institution with students, as teachers can’t reach everyone. Class representatives should strive to contribute to a system that prevents crises and maintain good relations among students. They should seek opportunities to share perspectives and ideas that can improve the institution’s work. They should ensure that students participate fully in the institute’s academics and co-curricular activities, by encouraging scholarly discourse and strategic conversations. The purpose of this should be to increase both the institute’s and the student’s sense of alignment. A student who is confident enough to speak in public, determined to stand up for student interests, academically strong, and mature enough to find solutions to problems should be voted for the duty of class representative.
Put your hands up, whosoever is from section B, the Department of Civil Engineering — asked the academic officer in the Department of Humanities. I raised my hand, and she told me to introduce myself. In a low tone, I replied, “Mohmod Irfan Shah, completed my schooling at Tyndale Biscoe School.”
Well, I am allowing you to serve your batch for the current academic session, I hope you will prove to be worth it, and your batch mates will co-operate, she said.
It all began immediately when several duties started to fall on my shoulders. Maintaining attendance and participating in every student activity became an essential part of my life. I was the go-to person for everyone. Being a Class Representative is similar to being a mixed drink. You are a concoction of choices and recommendations made by your class and the administration. I was already familiar with my duties as I was the class representative in my 5th grade, so this was not the first time I was allowed to lead my fellows. Here the responsibilities were different because the fellows sitting around me were mature enough. Unfortunately, being an introvert, it was pretty tricky for me.
When the college reopened a couple of months after the abrogation of Article 370, that too for a month or two, I hardly knew two or three faces, and after that, everything shifted to online mode because of the pandemic. I was very keen on my job, responding to students within no time, completing tasks given by my professors on time, and managing my home chores simultaneously. My department, professors, and classmates were happy with what I was doing because I didn’t leave any room for them to criticise my actions. I helped everyone because it is one of my inherent traits. Things went well for the past three years. Though at times I wanted to quit this job, I couldn’t trust anyone else with these responsibilities. My fellow mates were also comfortable with me; they didn’t let me quit.
Unfortunately, after three years, I realised that being kind isn’t enough in this materialistic world. All because of my kindness, many people around me held grudges against me for what I never did for them. People around me still feel I am being paid with grades for being the representative, and some even feel that I help only to please people. The people I had helped yesterday were ready to stab me the next day because they thought I was not useful to them anymore. And yet, in a day or two, they came prepared with fake compliments to suck all of my boundless kindness.
Being a Class Representative has several advantages that outweigh its disadvantages, though. It’s an achievement you can keep with you and add to your resume. Even though working under time constraints may seem tedious, it is a great chance to develop and improve time management skills. These three years were an essential part of my life, and I will never forget these years. I understood that actions speak louder than words, and words speak better than fake expressions. Being accountable and associated with faculty and students helped me learn about leadership qualities. Being a class representative was a rewarding experience, so I wish the next class representative all the best.