Even though each DU college has its own students’ union, the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) is the body that encompasses most of the colleges and faculties that are affiliated with it.
DUSU is a students’ organisation that handles politics at a university level. With the University of Delhi (DU) being
one of the biggest central universities of India, their position becomes all the more important and they go on
to decide the mood of the political environment of the country. They have a constitution with objectives
like ‘promoting the spirit of oneness among students’ and ‘service towards the state’. DUSU is also responsible for organising debates, meetings, and programmes for the students. DUSU’s most important function, however, is making representations to the University authorities on matters concerning the students.
Known to be one of India’s largest student elections, the DUSU elections happen every year in either the month of August or September. As announced by the University, the elections for this year will be held on 12th September. The elections for the Delhi University Students’ Union are by direct voting of the students of the colleges affiliated
with it. The panel consists of a duly elected President, Vice President, Secretary and Joint-Secretary. For the year 2017-18, Rocky Tuseed was the President of DUSU, Kunal Sehrawat was the Vice-President, both from the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), while Mahamedhaa Nagar was elected Secretary and Uma Shankar, the Joint Secretary, representing the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
However, colleges like St. Stephen’s College, Lady Shri Ram College, and Jesus and Mary College are not affiliated with DUSU. In fact, most of the girls’ colleges don’t associate themselves with the Union. They have their own internal students’ unions to represent their issues in front of the college authorities. The manifestos of the parties remain focussed on women security, affordable hostel facilities, proper implementation of the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS), anti-ragging, and anti-discriminatory practices and so on.
The major parties contesting for the DUSU are the ABVP of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the NSUI of the Indian National Congress (INC). For the past few years, the presidents have been members of either of these two
parties. As they campaign vigorously, aggressive competition is witnessed between them.
Apart from these two giants, there are parties like the All India Students’ Association (AISA) of the Communist Party of India -MarxistLeninst, the Indian National Students’ Organisation, and Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), the student wing of the Aam Aadmi Party. This year, CYSS and AISA have decided to contest DUSU elections together. They will raise issues like student passes in AC buses, decrease in metro fares, 24-hour library facility, and installation of CCTV cameras.
DUSU has been a gateway to real-world politics for many of its former members, and several of them now hold office at the local and central governments. Leaders like Arun Jaitley, Ajay Maken, Vijay Goel, Vijay Jolly, Alka Lamba, etc., have been union members of the DUSU in their time in DU as students.
With campuses littered with a sea of campaign posters and blaring voices on megaphones promising better infrastructure, the DUSU elections are worth all the hype they get. Because it is the voice of the youth that goes on to decide what the country will look like in the next few years.
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat