Q - What are the Student Support Services offered at Ahmedabad University?
The University has a robust system that functions under the umbrella of the Office of the Dean of Students. This office has a team that provides help, services and guidance to students in various areas. For a simple understanding, the support provided can be put under three categories:
New student support: Orientation and Circle of Care programme
Wellness: Mental as well as Physical Health
Student activities: Student Clubs, Sports and Events
Q - What is orientation of new students?
Normally, when students join Ahmedabad University, the first week on the campus is spent helping them get familiar with people, courses, systems, peers, seniors, facilities etc. A whole lot of interactive sessions walk them through what life on the campus will be like. This year due to the altered reality because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the orientation is modified and your experiences are virtual rather than physical. Even though we would have loved to have you be on the campus and get to know you but in current circumstances we will make the most of what can be done.
Q - What is Circle of Care programme?
You are already into this programme. A senior student – your Mitr – would have contacted you and some other new students from different disciplines. Hence you already belong to a Friends Circle that has a name (based on a river or water body in India), a Mitr and a Faculty Advisor as your circle of people you know on the campus. The idea is to help you make friends right at the onset, for you to have a senior student who can answer your basic queries and a Faculty Advisor you can approach if you have academic concerns.
Q - What kind of information and services are provided by the Wellness Centre (SSETU – Student Support, Engagement and Tutelage)?
SSETU provides information/services such as:
Q - If I am feeling lost and without friends, can I approach SSETU?
Adapting and adjusting to a new environment usually takes time. Leaving home, family, school friends and joining a new course are sometimes reasons for a person to feel lost and without friends. SSETU counsellors will be happy to extend the hand of friendship, listen to you and suggest ways to feel better and happier. What you share remains completely confidential.
Q - Will it help even if I have study or exam related problems?
We are there for the students and are always happy to help. Sharing your concerns with someone who is a qualified counsellor, is neutral, objective, non-judgmental and mature always helps. Some helpful tips can ease the study pressure.
Q - If I want to talk about family or relationship issues that are bothering me, can I?
Of course! Trained counsellors are available to provide insights and guidance in an environment of trust and confidentiality. You can fix up a time and come to see a counsellor. This service is available from 10.30 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday.
Q - I may want to remain anonymous but still need counselling. Is there a way I can do that?
Sure! Services of an online counselling portal are available to the student community. You can chat online, have an audio session or make a video call for counselling. All these services are offered free.
Q - What is the difference between a counsellor and a psychiatrist? Are they the same? Am I a “mental case” if I seek help for mental health?
In life, we often go through rough patches when we need guidance and support from someone. A counsellor is a mental health professional who helps people tide over such difficult times by helping them tap into their own personal resources and strengths. The counsellor remains neutral and non-judgmental and maintains complete confidentiality. He/she offers tools that help restore confidence, self-esteem and self-worth so that the individual can lead a fulfilling, productive and happy life. A psychiatrist is a medical professional (a doctor) who specialises in mental disorders. Such an expert can deal with mental health issues that incapacitate an individual and stronger intervention is needed to restore mental health. It may include medication also.
Q - What if I need a psychiatrist’s help?
The University is committed to providing wellness services to its community of students, faculty and staff. To augment the services further, a panel of mental health professionals has been taken on board and their services are available to the University community. These professionals have expertise in various domains and are qualified psychiatrists, psychologists or therapists.
Q - Can staff and faculty members approach it for any of its services?
SSETU will be happy to help; however, the prime focus is the student community. That remains its priority. Time permitting, it will be happy to provide guidance to staff and faculty members too.
Q - What role does the Health Centre play?
A qualified senior family physician cum gynecologist is available at the medical room for five hours 5 days a week (10am to 3pm, Monday-Friday).
Q - What are other health services?
Q - What is Thalassemia Screening? And why do I need it?
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder which goes undetected in most cases. It is medically strongly recommended that all youth of marriageable age undergo Thalassemia screening through a simple blood test. It needs to be done only once in a lifetime. Ahmedabad University is a responsible institution and cares about the well-being of all its students. Therefore the University organises screening camps routinely for its students in collaboration with the Indian Red Cross Society. Thalassemia screening costs are high but it is free for our students as the cost is borne by the University. It would be highly beneficial to get this simple screening done under very safe and hygienic conditions. It takes barely 5 minutes.
Q - What are student clubs like?
Well, these are student-driven extra-curricular activity clubs. In all there are 17 operational clubs. You can check out the list and get a glimpse of various activities organised by them by following them on social media. You will find the details on student engagement webpage.
Q - How can I register for a club’s membership?
Registration for the clubs opens every year in the month of August and students can register for up to four clubs. Registration link will be shared with all students of the University through email. The validity of club membership will be for one year.
Q - Does Ahmedabad University have housing for outstation students?
Yes, Ahmedabad University has a provision to provide safe and secure housing for outstation students. The facilities are outsourced to and managed by a world class Student Accommodation partner, and overseen by a dedicated Office of Student Housing and Residential Life.
Q - Will I have to share with someone or can I get a separate room? Can I choose my own room and roommate?
Currently we only have provisions for double sharing rooms, with attached washrooms. In case you wish to have a private room, you can do so by paying 50% extra (subject to availability). The room and roommate allocation is done by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs to ensure a good mix of diversity and education. Don’t be surprised if you as a BA student have a roommate who is studying BTech.
Q - What are the facilities available at the Residence?
You can choose from three types of rooms- Type I (large room), Type II (medium sized room) & Type III (regular sized room). All rooms are air-conditioned (chargeable on actuals). Each student is allotted a single cot with a mattress, a study table and a chair along with a wardrobe.
Q - What are the amenities provided at the Residence?
Common amenities provided to all students for a comfortable and secure stay include:
Q - Will I get meals as well in the Residence?
Yes, currently the meal plan is built into the cost of the stay. Nutritious and sumptuous multi-cuisine meals are served four times a day in the dining area. The menu and dining areas are overseen by a Mess Committee that also ensures appropriate cuisine during different festivals.
Q - How will I commute to the University?
A dedicated bus facility is provided to pick up and drop students to and from the Residence and the University campus at specified hours – this is also flexible and takes care of different timings during examinations.
Q - Do boys and girls stay together?
Yes. They stay in the same complex, but on separate floors. Dedicated security monitoring is provided for the girls’ floors, with controlled biometric access to only girl students. Common areas are accessible to both boys and girls.
Q - How do I get help to settle in and who do I go to for my problems, personal or academic?
This important aspect of residential life is taken care of by Resident Advisors (RA), who are chosen after careful screening from among the senior students.
Q - What role do they play?
The role of Resident Advisor (RA) is to ensure that the overall environment of the Residence is conducive to academic achievement, and the development of a caring and nurturing student group that is supportive of diversity and divergent aspirations.
RAs play an important role in the life of resident students who live, eat, study and socialise together – in short, they help to initiate and create a support network.
The RA’s roles and responsibilities fall broadly under the following categories:
Q - Who do I reach out to during an emergency?
Apart from the RAs, Residence Managers (wardens) can be approached. Apart from them, the Director of the Office of Student Housing and Residential Life is available for any emergencies.