Know Your Clubs – Athenaeum

“We have received a lot of criticism, but it has always served as a motivation for us” says Hari Sehwag, Final Year, Production Technology, also the chairman of Athenaeum, in an interview with The MIT Quill


What does the word Athenaeum mean and why was it named so?

Athenaeum goes a long way back in history. It was a London club that was established in 1824. It comprised of men of distinction in the fields of literature, art and learning. So, in the same regards as that, Athenaeum was formed to promote literature, art and other skills, and also to enhance the learning and knowledge of the students. It has widened the horizon for many students in MIT.



Why did you become the Chairman of Athenaeum and what is your main motto?

When I was in my third year, my friends had an idea of organising the cultural events in a grand and pomp manner when we would become the final years, and with that goal firmly in sight, we started the activities this year. Moreover, I never had the idea of becoming the chairman of this prestigious club. The final year students had a discussion, and they ended up deciding that I should contest for the post of chairman. With their immense help and help from the support of juniors, I was able to become the Chairman. The motto of Athenaeum is simple : To do things differently and in the best possible manner, so that everyone gets their fair chance to exhibit themselves on the grand stage.


Who started the trend of bringing celebrities to our college fests? Was it Athenaeum?

No. Even before Athenaeum was started, many political leaders like Shri. Rajendra Prasad and K. Kamaraj Sir had visited our college. Please don’t come to the conclusion that celebrities include film stars alone. Even the aforementioned people were celebrities in their own way, doing good for the people.



Have you ever collaborated with other organisations from our college?

Nope. We haven’t forged a partnership with others yet. But we are holding talks with all the other clubs to collaborate together and bring up a two day fest for the students.


What are the other organisations which you are a part of, senior?

I’ve been actively involved in NSO and YRC camps.


Who are the core members of Athenaeum and on what criteria are they selected?

The core posts include Chairman, Program Secretary, Lady Representative, Treasurer, General secretary and PG Representative. For these posts, interested people were asked to contest. Except the post of the Chairman, all other members were selected by unanimous decision without any opposition. An election was held for the chairman post. Apart from that, core office bearers were selected based on their interests and the number of positions available. As of now, we have 7 core office bearers.


Is there any funny experience that you would like to share with us?

There were many such moments, but to be specific when I was in my first year, I can never forget the dance that we did during the Homefest.


Have you ever faced any kind of criticism?

Yeah, we’ve received a lot. But it only acted as a motivation for us. We know how to take it constructively, and we knew we were capable. We really wanted to make Sivaranjani a great success and fortunately that happened too. We got a strong response from the students and that delighted us. So the next and the biggest aim is, the Mitafest. I strongly feel that that it will be an even greater success.


Apart from all this, do you want to share anything else with us?

I would like to thank The MIT Quill for interviewing me. I’m humbled by your consideration for me. Thanks a lot.


Interviewed by: Baskar Monica, second year, Production Technology.

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