With an increasing number of students knocking at the doors of higher education, the sense of the impersonal threatens the very existence of the student.
It is here that the hostel warden can play a crucial role. He/ she can give recognition and love to the inmate, help him/her build up self-confidence and self-reliance.
He/she can establish rapport through directness of approach, friendliness in manner, voice and sympathy and thus, create in the residents a much- needed sense of belongingness to an institution.
It needs to be remembered that hostel is not to be an island, it cannot be isolated from the other counselling or cultural or social functions of the campus. Rather it has to be an integral part of both the curricular and extra-curricular activities of an institution, and a warden can make it so.
The warden can contribute to the guidance and counselling programme in ways mere than one:
1. Orient the students regarding the customs and expectations of the hostel and help them anticipate some of the problems of group living and indicating the availability of help in the hostel so as to enable them to reach a satisfactory solution.
2. Provide help to those students who are handicapped by the lack of emotional stability or psychological resources which are needed in order to function well as students.
3. Collect all types of information regarding the resident in cumulative record and coordinate and use the information for the benefit of the student.
4. Take care of natural therapies which include day to day relations of residents in their rooms, in the mess and in co-curricular involvements.
5. Establish a good communication system, so that the students could express freely, participate in the activities without any reservation.
6. Encourage participation so as to develop self-discipline, initiative, sharing of common tasks within the framework of hostel and be well-adjusted residents.
7. Create a sense of belongingness among the residents through cultural programmes, informal evenings, dinner nights, celebration of days in the hostel.
8. Offer the student opportunity to achieve the kind of freedom, responsibility and skills which promise maturity and make the hostel a place par excellence for achieving the adult role.
9. Protect the weak, temper the strong, encourage the shy, bring out latent talents of the residents, stimulate self- discipline and serve as an interpreter of administrative policies of the institution.
10. Give sound advice recognising the needs of the students— security, recognition and love.
11. Refer residents to experts when the occasion demands.
The warden is in a very good position of knowing the aptitudes and interests of the wards in co-curricular activities, emotional maturity, financial adequacy and ability to handle finances, ability to take individual responsibility, family background, social development and social maturity, vocational development, special telents like singing, dancing, sports etc.
This information is of utmost importance in “seeing through” the student and helping him/her “sees himself/herself through.” No wonder, warden is a very important person in the entire superstructure of guidance and counselling.
The warden should have the essential qualities of politeness, patience and concern for the wards so that the wards develop an essential respect for him/her.