The administration of St. Stephen’s College came up with list of the students who have been allocated residence in the college hostel for the academic year 2017-18 this Thursday. In what should have been a list drawn on precise criteria of merit throughout the academic year, the alleged arbitrariness of the list has drawn widespread dissent from the college students and the teacher community. As per the press release that appeared the next day, the students who have been vocal about their objection to the granting of autonomous status to college and those who questioned the autocratic functioning of the present administration were deliberately not granted the residence.
The list comes in succession to the impromptu decision of the administration towards a substantial reduction in the seats allotted for the sophomore and final year candidates, bringing down the number to around 70 from the 200 seats previously. “This is a done on purpose step of the administration towards taming the voices of dissent in the campus. Lesser the number of second and third year students residing in the campus, lesser would be the opposition to the administrative decisions of the college,” A second year hosteler of the college who had been denied a place for his final year told our correspondent.
In the wake of the subsequent protest, a mass boycott of the college mess was organised where more than 360 students of the hostel refused the dinner. “We are planning more extensive protests against this decision in the coming weeks”, said a student from the student’s council.The press release of the College Student Union also highlighted the need for a clear regulation outlining the basis for allotment of seats and a space to discuss and reach a consensus about the larger issues. “What is appalling is the implicit discouragement of the culture of protests in the campus and the way display of dissent is increasingly clubbed with indiscipline. We believe that an amicable agreement will be reached upon very soon”, a faculty of the College was reportedly quoted as saying.
The statement of the principal of the college, Prof. John Varghese, could not be recorded as he is reportedly on leave till the 11th of this month. Dean of Residence, Rd. Monodeep Daniel is also learnt to be on leave till the 25th of May.
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