Come every spring and the Lady Shri Ram College for Women’s campus comes abuzz with political fervor and elections become the flavor of the season. It is the time of the year when the baton is passed on from one generation of office holders to another. In a span of two weeks, the Students’ Union, the many departments and societies, the NSO (National Sports Organization), the NSS (National Service Scheme), the NCC (National Cadet Corps) and the Residence Hall all elect their new representatives.
As in a democracy, the elections process for the Students’ Union comprises of a series of steps. Nominations are filed, core teams for each candidate formed, agendas released, campaigns carried out and secret ballots cast. The process for the various department and society associations is not an as elaborate one; however, it is as democratic in its conduct.
The Students’ Union at LSR comprises of four posts- President, Cultural Secretary, General Secretary and Treasurer; the first three in that hierarchical order. The first two posts are open to all second year students and the second two to all first year students, the Union that gets elected replaces the incumbent Union at the end of the academic year in a formal Passing Over Ceremony. This year, the college saw a considerably overwhelming number of applications for all posts and an equally encouraging voter turnout. Three students each contested for the post of the President and Cultural Secretary, five for General Secretary and four for Treasurer. When asked why the aspiring candidates chose to contest, Lakshmi Venkitesh, who contested for the post of Cultural Secretary said that it was the best way to give back to a place that had changed her for the better in more ways than one.
While the informal confrontation saw demands like Urdu rap and English nursery rhymes in Hindi, the formal confrontation saw each candidate present her agenda and take questions from the from the existing Union and the audience. In the Group Discussion, questions like ‘Should the social media be used for college election campaigning’ were deliberated upon. These events were held with an aim to intimate the student body with their candidates’ ideas and outlook.
But at the end of the day, it was the campaigning that stole the show. The two day long campaigning saw the wackiest of slogans- ‘Janhit mein jaari hai, Sabika ki baari hai’ and ‘Main Jaya Jaya chillaungi kurta phaad ke’. With the amount of clamour, sometimes musical and sometimes not, it was quite the battle of the bands, albeit with cymbals and tambourines. “Our voice cords trembled as the tempo increased but the game was on”, says Shireen Vidrohi, a campaigner for one of the presidential candidates.
The week long elections remained largely hassle-free one and some great camaraderie despite the competitive air. After the polling was conducted on 28th March, 2014, the results were announced by college Vice-Principal Priti Dhawan the very same day. The newly elected Union has Sabika Abbas as the President, Manosi Chaterjee as Cultural Secretary, Jyotirupa Das as General Secretary and Latika Sidhu as Treasurer. “I wish the new Union luck and hope that will take the collaboration model further. Work hard and party harder“, says incumbent President Tanvi Bist who is happy to pass on the reins to Sabika who assures us that she will try her best to fulfill her agenda promises and will focus on the accommodation and integration of Hindi medium students into the college.
Featured Image Credit: Mugdha for DU Beat