College Students’ Union


After a tumultuous pre-election campaigning season, the nomination period for DUSU and college Student Union elections has proven to be no less happening. Amid similar scenes being reported in Hindu College, SSCBS, and Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College, ‘Venky’ or Sri Venkateswara College (SVC) saw students protesting against the administration to demand an explanation for the grounds on which their election nominations were cancelled.

On September 14, 2023, the administrative body of Sri Venkateswara College (SVC) released the provisional nomination list of candidates for election of Executive Committee of SVC Students’ Union & Central Councillors. This document listed 5 provisional candidates against the post of President, of whom two candidates—Arth Ohlan and Kartikey Tomar—were supported by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) according to our sources. The very next day, however, a corrigendum was issued by the college, removing Kartikey’s name from the list.

Even though the very first list claimed the candidates being “found valid provisionally, after the scrutiny for various posts”, the nomination of Kartikey Tomar was cancelled in the second list reportedly on the grounds of not meeting the attendance criteria. In conversation with DU Beat, Kartikey revealed the explanation he received from the college administration for the cancellation of his candidature.

Nominal list mein mera naam tha, usmein meri attendance poori thi. Par doosri list mein mera naam nahi thi aur admin ka kehna hai ki tumhari attendance poori nahi hai. Ya to meri attendance poori pehle nahi thi ya meri attendance kam karwai gayi hai.

(My name was there on the nominal list and my attendance was complete at that time. But my name was not there on the second list and the admin told me that your attendance was not sufficient. Either my attendance was not sufficient in the first place or my attendance has been reduced by someone.)

He blamed the college administration and election committee for committing such a blunder, if it was a case of the attendance criteria falling short. The latter part of his statement here is referring to a protest that happened on the college premises on the morning of September 15, where he and other sources alleged that “pass-out students” had protested to cancel his nomination. The same was mentioned in a complaint mail sent by Kartikey, addressed to the DU Registrar, Dr Vikas Gupta, Dean of Colleges, Prof. Balaram Pani, DU Proctor, Prof. Rajni Abbi, among other University officials. It read,

My name (Kartikey Tomar) was there in the list. But today a group of opposition students protested in front of the college administration and finally the election officer favored them and finally reduced my attendance by 1%.

One of our sources claimed that these protesting students had belonged to a youth organisation called ‘Happy Club’. We were able to get in conversation with one of the students from Happy Club, and they told us that suspicions arose over Kartikey Tomar’s attendance when they talked to his fellow batchmates.

Classmates ko idea rehta hai kisne kitne lectures attend karein hain… Jab humko doubt hua to humnei strongly is baat par demand rakhi. Administration ne humari sunkar cross-check kiya aur fir list badal di.

(Classmates tend to be aware of who has attended how many classes… When doubt arose, we strongly raised this demand. The administration listened to us and cross-checked (the attendance), after which they changed the list.)

They also informed us that the candidates from Happy Club have won both the posts of Vice-President and Secretary unconstested.

The provisional list of candidates is supposed to provide a final window to candidates to withdraw their nominations. ABVP activists from the college informed that they had submitted the withdrawal of Arth Ohlan’s nomination on their own volition, since the latter “was a second-year student and we thought it would be better for him to contest as President next year”. However, with the cancellation of Kartikey’s nomination, ABVP is left with no valid candidates on the final list for the post of President of Sri Venkateswara College Students’ Union.

In view of the same, Saturday, September 16, saw sloganeering and protests by ABVP activists in the Sri Venkateswara college premises. Protesting students gathered outside the administration office and messages circulating on social media also claimed that students had locked professors and staff inside a room. While the validity of the latter claim could not be fully confirmed, one of the protestors present on-ground did strangely admit during our conversation,

Ek hi professor hain jo apni marzi se ander baithe hain. Bas hum unhein bahar nahi aane de rahe.

(There is only one professor sat inside willingly.  We are just not letting them come out.)

They also said that the door had been locked by the guards from the outside.

This is not the first time an incident like this is happening. Reports have been floating around of candidate’s nominations being cancelled allegedly without satisfactory explanations and students protesting against the same. The latest updates on the situation in SVC have informed that the Hostel Warden and another professor of the college advised the protesting students to send a mail to the Grievances Redressal Cell, along with assuring that their demands will be formally heard on Monday morning. Students wait in anticipation for the redressal of their grievances.

Read also: Death of Democracy? Protests at Hindu College as Multiple Student Union Nominations Rejected

Featured Image Credits: EducationWorld

Sanika Singh
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 After protests in Gargi College campus against the violence endured by students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the government’s anti-people policies, the administration prohibited students from protesting in campus premises.

 On 6th January 2020, the students of Gargi College carried out a peaceful protest and discussion in the campus against police brutality in campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and against Citizenships (Amendment) Act (CAA)-National Register of Citizens (NRC). The gathering was supported by the Students’ Union and was attended by students with posters and placards.

However, on behalf of the Principal, Dr. Promila Kumar, the Union Advisor asked for the protest to be shut down as the posters, apparently, were inappropriate. The advisor also asked the students to carry out the discussion indoors and prohibited sloganeering.

As a result, the students of Gargi College proceeded to recite slogans outside their Campus.

 On 7th January, the Principal, then, in a discussion with the protestors, said that no gathering would be permitted without the principal’s written permission.

The administration of the Gargi College released a notice prohibiting students from participating in any protests unapproved by the principal, stating that all students found doing so would be punished. Moreover, the college now requires prior permission from the police for any gathering outside the college.


Official Notice by the administration

The notice read, “All students are hereby informed that no gathering or protest of any form in the college premises is allowed without the prior approval of the Principal. Further, the prior permission is required from the police for any protests/gathering outside the College. In case, any student is found protesting in the College premises, disciplinary action shall be taken against such student. Further, if any student protests outside the college, such students shall be solely responsible for his/her action.”

 Ashwini, an Applied Psychology student of the college says, “The gathering was actually something which was approved and put forward by the Students’ Union for which the permission has been granted. However, seeing this bipolar behaviour has upset me to my very core. My college has always been a safe space for something like this, so this wasn’t really something I expected.”

A student, who wished to remain anonymous, stated, “On one hand, by calling it a form of protection the College administration and Principal wanted the College to remain away from tangible issues, as they feared misrepresentation. At the same while, the students wanted to stand up and speak out together. It became a conflict inside the College itself where the positivity of solidarity transformed into negativity and resentment amongst students, students’ union, and the authorities.”

The Gargi College Student Union, on 10th January, along with college Department Presidents, organised another gathering in support of students and against the acts of brutality, which went on peacefully.

Students and teachers were witnessed reciting Hum Dekhenge, Hum Honge Kaamyab and other songs in solidarity. Members of Upstage, the stage play society of Gargi College also enacted a small performance on the ongoing distress in the Nation. The gathering ended with a recitation of the Preamble of the Constitution.


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Official statement by Students’ Union, Gargi College

Image Credits: Instagram @studentuniongargi


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Satviki Sanjay

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Around 10 students have been on this strike since October 25, in a bid to demand student union elections in the varsity.
The protesting students say that the university was founded as part of the ‘fight for democracy’ against the British, which demanded that Indians be allowed to choose their own representatives to govern them. Protesting students told The Quint that they will celebrate Founder’s Day only after they are granted the rights their predecessors enjoyed.
Students quoted Jamia Vice-Chancellor, Talat Ahmed, as saying that the elections could not be held because the matter is sub-judice and thus any move made by the University will be seen as ‘contempt of court’ on their part.
But the real story looks a little different.
The last student union in place in the university was dissolved in the year 2006 claiming that the student body was hindering the academic progress of the institution. In fact, JMI is the only prominent central university in Delhi which doesn’t have a students’ union. The other prominent ones – JNU and DU – have a robust union and elections. The struggle to resurrect the body has been on for the past 11 years with the students claiming that the administration has left no stones unturned to thwart all their efforts.
Students have alleged the university has taken no steps withdraw its position from the court, a move that could re-open talks about the elections between the students and the administration.
Polls were banned in 2006 over allegations by Jamia that student representatives had started interfering in administrative work. In 2011, three former students moved the Delhi HC demanding a students’ union, reported The Indian Express.
It is indeed quite shocking and absurd that a central university, which is associated with the anti-imperialist movement, is apolitical.
Protesters also have a list of other student-centric demands which they claim can only be fulfilled once a democratically elected union is set up. Some of these demands are: setting up of a 24-hour library, a working anti-sexual harassment cell, and so on.
“The Jamia administration treats the university as their personal jaeger (fiefdom). They are completely anti-students and routinely issue diktats without even consulting anyone. Constant fee hikes, delay in declaration of results, regular paper leaks – you name it, the bureaucracy here is completely inefficient and corrupt. We want to ensure these things don’t happen,” says Ihtesam, a student of BA programme to ScoopWhoop.
In 2012, a group led by then-student Hamidur Rahman, filed a writ (Petition No 917/2012 titled ‘Hamidur Rahman vs JMI’), stating that they didn’t want Jamia authorities to hold direct elections for a student council.
In an official release, the university said: “ A group of nine students have intervened in the Writ Petition and filed an application dated February 2012 praying to present their case in the larger academic interest of Jamia. In paragraph 9 of the said application, these students have opposed any direction system of elections in the Jamia Millia Islamia. This application was admitted on record by the High Court of Delhi”.
“The writ for the case that the VC keeps mentioning, was filed in 2012. The student who had filed the case is currently not a student at this University anymore. More importantly, there were nine students who were forced by the administration to go to the court and file a case that they didn’t want any direct system of elections” said Amber Fatmi, President of AISA (Delhi Unit) told The Quint.
For now, the students have the blazing passion of not discontinuing the strike as long as the authorities give in to their demands and allow them to hold elections for a representative student body.

Image Credits: Scoopwhoop

Ankita Dhar Karmakar
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The differences between the College Administration and the Student’s Union at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (Morning) further widened this week. The crisis between the administration and the union, which has existed for sometime, continued after the removal of the student union’s board from the Canteen Area by the college authorities.

Abhishek Bishnoi, the President of the Student Union and Prateek Kothari, the Vice President of the same body, in conversation with our correspondent maintained that the college has been indifferent to their demands since election time. According to them, the proposals for the Power Backup system and better infrastructure at the Canteen area among other things had been rejected multiple times by the administration.

Prateek Kothari further added that “Even the Student Union display board was erected after many efforts. But the college administration took another offence, this time in response to a grievance post on social media. The display board was torn down. Only after many protests, it was reinstated at a different location.”

The student union’s members also complained about the lack of financial incentives. The Vice President of the student’s Union in this regard said, “Even the bare minimum funds are never made available to us. For instance, only 2.9 lakh has been sanctioned to us for the fest, which is an impossible amount to work with” .

The Students Union had also approached the college authorities, who had refrained entirely from any clarification on the matter. According to the Union members, despite repeated efforts no response has been recorded from the administrations side as yet.

The students of the college seemed harboring similar questions. Sparsh Saini, a first year student, having keenly observed the conversation, had made his opinion and said, “Something is missing. If the fests don’t do well or the infrastructure is bad, it’s the college’s reputation that gets tarnished”.

A strike has been called for in the first week of February by the Student’s Union of the college. “The administration cannot go on kicking us out of the rooms and turning deaf ears to us”, Union members added.

Feature Image Credits: www.sbsec.org 

Nikhil Kumar

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Asha Elizabeth is a third year B.Com. Honours student in Jesus and Mary College. An eminent part of the Commerce Core team and NCC of the college, she is currently getting trained in athletics at JLN stadium.

 Q. Congratulations, Asha! How does it feel, and did you use any strategies to win the elections?

 Thank you, this feeling cannot be expressed in words. I want to thank god for his abundant blessings. The only strategy I used was to reach out to the students and make them aware of my views and agendas for the upcoming year. I did offline and online campaigning, talked to the students individually and collectively and ensured that my posters covered the entire campus.

Q. What is your immediate plan of action as the President of the Union?

My immediate plan is to take steps to ensure cleanliness around the campus and to form an effective and efficient student council. My main aim is to organise workshops for all the courses so that they can get practical knowledge related to their field of study. I also plan to introduce self-defence training in the college.

Q. What do you think, lacks the most in Delhi University colleges? How do you plan to overcome it in your college?

I feel that most colleges lack adequate healthcare facilities. To overcome that, I would want sufficient medical care to be provided in JMC. I have also observed that there is more bookish knowledge than practical knowledge in the education system. I want to organise educational trips and workshops to overcome that.

Q. What is the biggest challenge that you see coming your way this year?

 The biggest challenge I see ahead of me is balancing both, the demands of students and those of the college administration. I wasn’t to be able to fulfill everyone’s expectations, but that can be difficult if they clash.

Q. What advice would you like to give to the students, aspiring to hold such leadership positions in future?

I would like to tell them that leadership qualities are not hereditary but they have to be developed and used in the right way. Be confident, be enthusiastic and find happiness in whatever you do. Make sure your actions inspire others.


Interviewed by Lovleen Kaur

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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.

Students Campaigning. | Image Credit: Mugdha for DU Beat

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.

Students Voting. | Image Credit: Keshini Dhamania

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