VIT’s better hostel rooms come with better academic ranks

The choice of hostel rooms equipped with air conditioners and other luxuries doesn’t depend particularly on the whims of the students in VIT, but on their rank scored in the semester exams. At Vellore Institute of Technology in Tamil Nadu, a better rank in the semester exams means the student can avail better hostel room. This is sort of a motivation for the students that enable them to make choices based on their efforts in exams.

When students appear for their semester exams, their GPA is converted into ranks. Higher the student’s rank, greater is the option he/she has to make a choice in their room. ‘Hostel counselling’ displays the available rooms in various buildings, the student then gets to pick a room. Not just their room, but also their room-partners. Students usually with a higher rank, get the maximum choice.

The first years also have a say in this. They have their accommodations in separate buildings, and they make their choices based on the rank scored in VIT’s entrance exam. Students share the rooms only with their batch-mates, and not fellow students from a different year or batch. This way the groups are close knit.

This move is an innovative way to allocate privileges according to academic performances. But again for a few without a good rank, there is a war to get around this ‘counselling’ criterion. If you haven’t guessed it yet, the easier way is to befriend a ranker. The rankers will not just choose the best room for their own self, but also make the choice for their ‘friend’ as a room-mate. This way, even without a rank, having a friend with a better rank proves useful.

However, the choice of luxuries in the room is not of as much importance for most students, as is the choice to select a room partner. “More than the kind of room, it is the partner who is more important. For some of the rankers, they don’t prefer the A/c rooms. They are more than happy in a regular room, but what does matter is the room partner.” said a student in his fourth year.

This does seem to be a novel way of giving students a choice. But, one can’t be sure if there could be a better way to allocate the rooms just on the ranks and not on the choice of friends? After all, motivating students to perform better in return for better room and room-mate, was precisely why the criterion was introduced.