Workshops in MIT — Scam or not – Should we be worried?

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: room mit <[email protected]>
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 01:09:56 +0530
Subject: Workshops
To: [email protected]

I am a 6th sem student of MIT. Over the years, I have observed the activities held by the TSC’s, and have discovered a very negative trend. It started with the event “Anveshan” by ISTE, followed by Ankit Fadia by IE CSE. Now we have “dot Java” by ISTE and Web designing by IE CSE.(being in CSE I dont know about other branch events, so I cant say much about the other IE’s)

The disturbing parts are:

  1.  Anveshan: Take a look at their publicity budget. They had massive flexes all over the campus, in addition to normal publicity. Should clubs really budget a large portion of their expenditure towards publicity?
  2. Ankit Fadia: This workshop was organised, even though the organisers themselves knew the guy was a fraud. Perhaps they were getting some financial cut themselves, but I cannot say for sure. However, they did  clearly lie at the infodesks and on the youtube video posted by them.
  3. “Dot Java”: This is the one that actually prompted this mail. What gives a Student organisation to charge Rs 700/head for a workshop taught by a 3rd year student? Assuming they got 50 participants(I believe they got more), net income = 35000. Costs of publicity=5000(at the max). Room booking costs Rs 100/day I believe, so 1400 for that. Budgeting other logistics+certificates at 1600. Their net expenditure=8000. They are making a minimum profit of Rs 27000. Yes, TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND. Is it really justified to have a TSC make such massive amounts of profit?
  4. Web Designing: I dont have much of a problem with this, but considering that IEEE did a similar workshop for about Rs 200/head and LUG does it for free, Why is IE CSE Charging Rs 700 for it?

The reasoning behind raising this issue is that currently the above clubs are stockpiling cash by preying on 1st year students, who do not know the actual costs of workshops, since the clubs doing lower price workshops are out publicized by these clubs.

I can predict what will happen next sem, these same clubs will have a large amount of free workshops for the incoming 1st years,(sponsored by the stockpile they have collected from the current 1st years), and basically
wipe out the possibility of any other club conducting any workshops.

Someone can say that it is up to the students to decide which workshop they want to attend. But, they must know about it, and a workshop with a publicity budget of Rs 500 CANNOT compete with one having a budget of Rs 5000+

I do have a few proposed solutions/suggestions to solve this problem. Pls reply to this mail with your thoughts. published this mail in good faith and doesn’t side with any of the aggrieved parties or insinuate malice towards any of the parties mentioned above!

I am from the health sciences campus, and I do not much about the affairs of MIT but if such things are actually happening, then it is wrong… it is good that it has been brought out in the public. I do not know how much of a hold the officials have on these clubs, but their expenses and accounts should be monitored.