Two months have passed since the year started and the University of Delhi began a new semester. Between the on-goings of college life, meetings, and encounters with the administration, three student unions of Delhi University’s best colleges and the Delhi Student’s Union Association (DUSU) shared with us their new-year resolutions and past achievements.
Delhi Students’ Union Association (DUSU)
The 2017-18 DUSU panel is mixed. The President and the Vice President belong to NSUI and the Secretary and the Joint Secretary come from ABVP. In the course of our talk with the DUSU office bearers, we figured out that the office stands dived in terms of campaigns and initiatives. The work done was being attributed either to NSUI-led DUSU or ABVP-led DUSU, but not the union as a whole which is independent of the party lines.Rocky Tuseed, President, DUSU, briefed us about the work done by NSUI-led DUSU in the past year.
In the past few months, they have met the transport minister and demanded more University special buses, and helped in the inception of a boys hostel at Khalsa college, which, accordingly to Rocky Tuseed, will be inaugurated by March. They held ‘Chatra Panchayats’ in several colleges, and conducted lectures and seminars as a part of their Democracy Dialogue initiative. When asked about the goals for the New Year, Tuseed said, “We have many things in store for the new year. A Youth Conference will be organised in February, we will announce the details very soon.”
Uma Shankar, Joint Secretary, DUSU who is affiliated to Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad, mentioned that they wrote a letter to Proctor Neeta Sehgal about the illegalities of hostel admission, planned a women’s marathon, and pushed for more bathrooms on the Chatra Marg.
When asked about the issue that will be their focus in 2018, Umar Sharkar said, “We will regulate the entry of miscreants in the Campus area. You see, often times unruly boys engage in eve teasing and rash driving around the campus. We want to stop that from happening.”
Both office bearers seemed at a loss for words when asked questions about the manifesto promises. They mumbled about having written letters, registering complains, and ‘working on the issue.’ Let’s hope if not the sense of responsibility, then at least that of competitiveness will force the Union members into action.
Lady Shri Ram College for Women
The Students Union of Lady Shri Ram had an illustrious year. They celebrated Hindi Divas for the first time in the history of LSR as a joint initiative of the Students’ Union and the Hindi Department. To aid the students of Hindi medium background, a Translation Committee and English Remedial Classes were started. The Union ensured the release of society and department forms in English, Hindi, and Braille.
Keeping in mind the issues of accessibility, they constructed ramps at the Mother Dairy outlet as well as in one of the college gazebos. The water coolers in the New Building, which were inactive for the past two years, were fixed, and open gym facilities were started. The Union succeeded in the successful establishment of a new cafe caterer that provides better quality food at lower prices. They also introduced two short-term language courses, one in Spanish and the other in Russian.
2017 also saw glaring cases of sexual harassment near LSR premises. In the aftermath of one such incident, the Student’s Union along with the college authorities got in touch with the Amar Colony Police Station and demanded police patrolling at the two gates. They also circulated the important phone numbers of police officials and other concerned authorities through WhatsApp class groups and their official Facebook page. The internal security at the gates was also strengthened.
Talking to DU Beat about the upcoming plans for 2018, a member of the Students’ Union said, “With just 2 months left to our tenure, we put our heart and soul into organising Tarang, our annual fest.”
The University of Delhi’s Ramjas College’s that dominated the headlines last February owing to the violence caused in opposition to a seminar saw a relatively peaceful 2017.
“We are taking continuous preventive steps to ensure that no such incident happens again on the campus. Our principal also increased the security of college as a follow-up. As a preventive measure, the entry gate is to be secured by CCTV camera system and we have also demanded biometric entry system from the administration”, Ashish Sahai, President of Ramjas College Students’ Union, told DU Beat.
Speaking about the work done by the Union since the begging of their tenure, he added, “We have ensured that we can make various facilities like water, electricity, sanitation, etc. available to students. We have set up new rooms for Enabling Unit and Placement Cell.”
The Hindu Colleges Students’ Parliament that works under the Prime-Ministership of Brijesh Tiwari, saw attempts being made towards community and administrative engagements.
According to the claims of a Parliament member, “For the first time, the society presidents were sent letters asking them to make the Parliament aware of the yearly expenses so that the Union could form a budget that is need oriented and fair. We also took upon the issue of the elections for a representative girl’s hostel union with the college administration. Hopefully, we will have a union in place soon.”
The Union has also made formal requests regarding setting up of new water coolers, cheaper food at the canteen, sports complex facilities, etc. Along with this, the administration has also been asked to explain to us the breakup and utilization of students’ fees.
“We have made it clear that we are not a government which is here only to conduct the three big events, but we are here to listen to and resolve issues that face students every day”, a member of Students’ Parliament said.
Feature Image Credits: Srivedant Kar for DU Beat.