September, 2016

Highlights of the Undergraduate Orientation Week 2016

By Team Ashoka

The one-week long orientation programme welcomed over 330 undergraduate students to the Ashoka University Campus. Here is a quick snapshot.



Madhavi Mudgal’s performance

Madhavi Mudgal, a woman of many skills, is a well-known and acclaimed Odissi dancer and a recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award. It was an absolute honour to have her on campus for a lecture demonstration. Miss Mudgal and her student, along with three musicians put up a mesmerizing show. She gave us an overview about Odissi and threw light on the Devadasi culture. In addition, she also demonstrated some basic Odissi steps such as the Chawk and Tribhang, among many others. Her beautiful Mangalacharan piece was truly a feast to the audience. Gauri Bansal, a second year undergraduate student exclaimed, “It was a privilege to witness the serenity that someone as graceful as Ms Mudgal brings with her performance. I was in constant admiration of her humility and hardwork as her legacy shall be embarked in the history of Indian performing arts.” Gauri’s words aptly represent the view of majority of the audience.


(By Shivani, Gauri and Anushka Kapur, 2nd year Undergraduate)


The Gender Sensitisation Workshops, or as Ayesha Mago, the organiser of the workshops stressed, “The workshops on Sexual Harassment” were conducted in six batches of 60 students each. Each workshop began with a fun and interactive round of introductions, following which Ayesha explained Ashoka University’s policy on sexual harassment. The students were introduced to several situations through interactive role plays and playcards and were asked to assess for themselves whether the situations were instances of sexual harassment. They were also shown two short films to clarify any confusions that they may have had. The workshops not only gave the students crucial information, but also got them to start analysing and thinking critically about their surroundings and their own actions. Thus they were also a befitting introduction into a liberal arts university.


(By Aaina Singh, 2nd year Undergraduate)


Students attend a workshop during the orientation week

Students attend a workshop during the orientation week

Sopaan was a three round, competitive event organised as an icebreaker for the incoming batch. It was designed with the intention of familiarising freshmen to the Ashoka campus and their seniors, as well as learning to work with their own batch. Round one involved giving the entire batch, split in teams of 10, a list of clues leading to different second and third year undergraduates on campus. They then had to track down these people, and perform tasks that their seniors would then give them. The top ten teams from this round qualified for round two, where they were sent on a treasure hunt around campus. The first five teams to complete the treasure hunt then participated in the final round. Half the team was ‘kidnapped’ and taken to a room, and half were outside. The two halves had to work together and solve a series of puzzles, leading the half of the team outside to a ‘key’ with which they could ‘rescue’ their teammates. The winning team, Team Phoenix B, will now be in charge of planning Sopaan 2017 for the next orientation week, as well as have the opportunity to have a meal with one of the founders of Ashoka University.


( By Aastha Girotra, 2nd year Undergraduate)


Every year, the Academic Expo is conducted with the purpose of acquainting the new batch of students with the academic structure of the courses offered at the University with the aim of assisting the students in choosing their major. This year, the expo took place on Monday, 22nd August. Each major department was represented by two senior students, of which one was a member of the Academic Advisory Board, along with two to three faculty members. Every department was allotted two sessions of 40 minutes each which ensured that no student misses out on a session he or she wants to attend. Help desks were arranged after the expo to cater to individual questions. The sessions were designed to acquaint and inform the students about the course structure, course content and to give them a sense of the personal experience of the representatives. The expo was well received by the students and we hope it helped them gain a better idea of which subject they would want to major in.

                                                                              ( By Tanisha Sabnis, 2nd Year Undergraduate)


To orient new students to the culture of the University is important, however, it is equally important to give them a way to connect with ideas, people and initiatives. This is one of the ideas behind the Creative Workshops conducted during the week, and many of them were student-led. The freshmen were exposed to workshops in slam poetry, dance, baking, theatre, planting and music.

Students attend the creative workshop for debating

Students attend the creative workshop for debating

One of the main attractions during the orientation week was the importance given to introductions- be it to physical spaces, traditions or heritage. Following this line of thought, Ashoka University welcomed the new undergraduates with a Haryanvi folk Ballad, Ragini, performed by Mr. Mahendra Singh and Co.


With close proximity to Delhi, the University also holds itself responsible to introduce Delhi, in a unique and holistic way.


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