And this was the resolution passed by GH residents, after HEC (Hall Executive Committee) has resigned “en-masse”🙂 Its strongly worded, isn’t it?
Resolution of the residents of the hall of residence for Girls taken on March 26, 2003
We, the residents of the Hall of Residence for Girls, are concerned regarding the following issues
1. The extent of the role of the students in the functioning and governing in the hostels in particular and institute, in general.
2. The stand of campus community, students and faculty members, on the equality in rights and treatment of students irrespective of sex.
Due to various events taking place in recent past, we feel that that there has been a major shift in the way these issues have been approached by the administration. We strongly feel that the participation of the students is not encouraged and appreciated sufficiently. Particularly looking at the events that have taken place in the Hall of Residence for Girls, the situation of hostel administration is questionable. We strongly feel that there has been a complete neglect of the concerns of the residents in the decision making.
We also particularly object to the way the free interaction of the two sexes is being hampered and questioned. We feel that there is an attitude of discrimination on the basis of gender in the way the issue has been dealt with at various instances. This is unacceptable not just constitutionally, but also socially, in a time of equality of status for people irrespective of caste, creed, sex etc. We come here on an equal footing and we expect to be treated equally in all respects.
The institute is not only to make us good engineers/scientists. We are expected to become professionals and leaders of the society in every walk of life. It is an essential part of our training that we are treated as adults at this point of time so that we are prepared for the responsibilities that will be entrusted to us later in life. The system here had traditionally acknowledged this and this is what made us not only the leaders of technology, but also the spearheads of social changes. It is disturbing that this institute, which has been cited as an example at other places to bring about changes, has abandoned this belief and is set to bring about restrictive practices.
We have the following concerns on both these issues, particularly in the case of hostel administration:
1. We believe that the residents are mature enough for understanding all their concerns including their security and any issues arising should be discussed with them. Even if there are certain sensitive aspects, which can not be disclosed to the General body, the student office-bearers must be trusted for confidentiality. We particularly insist that the credibility of our elected representatives should be honoured.
2. We raise serious objections to the imposition of rules and regulations on us either stating irrelevant reasons or stating no reasons at all. Students here are responsible people and they are capable of understanding the administrative aspects. We should have the right of deciding what rules are necessary for us. The democratic student bodies, HEC in the case of hostel administration should hence be given due importance. The reasons like the “shy and silent minority” are just excuses. We acknowledge that if few people are not comfortable with the culture of this place, it is a serious problem and needs to be taken care of. But the corrective measure is to help those who are having a problem in adapting to the environment and the system and not imposing rules on the rest of the residents.
3. To develop a good rapport between the democratic bodies of the students and the faculty member(s) involved with them, the students should be duly involved in their appointment. For example the appointment of the wardens. The lack of this rapport in case of the Girls’ Hostel has lead to a situation where the residents were asked to vacate the hostel if they could not accept the rules imposed on them unilaterally. These kinds of incidents give us an unfortunate feeling of not belonging to the hostel and the system.
4. We feel that as the residents of the Girls’ Hostel, we are entitled to all the facilities of a hostellite. The kind of opportunities the hostel life provides for our development should not be curtailed in the name of making this place a home, thus purposefully discriminating between the sexes. We have consciously chosen to come to a hostel keeping the differences between a hostel and a home in mind. The fact that over-protectiveness is a characteristic of many homes in our society should not be made a reason to carry it over here and curb our development into an independent and confident individual.
5. We strongly feel that freedom to interact with any student, irrespective of sex, is not just a luxury but an essential part of our college life and experience. Preventing us from doing so will not lead us anywhere. We express our dissent on the decisions taken recently regarding the hostel norms, which curb interaction between male and female students.
6. We strongly believe that the dignity of the students is to be respected under all circumstances. At several instances in the Girls’ Hostel and otherwise the character, values and self-respect of the students, both boys and girls, have been questioned in a rather embarrassing and insulting manner. It is a disgrace on the system that the statements like girls “entertaining” the boys in their rooms have been made. “Socializing with the female friends” has been clubbed with vices like alcoholism, drug-addiction and the possession of arms. Rape incidences are being expected out of the students since boys are allowed into the GH. This clearly indicates that students are not being trusted. We also resent the personal intimidation and extremely rude and unprovoked behaviour of the wardens towards the GH residents in various incidents.
7. We would like to emphasize that students are an important part of this system and if the system can not trust them, it is a serious failure on the part of the whole system and administration. Even if something is wrong, students are not the only ones to be blamed. Imposing arbitrary rules or taking restrictive measures instead of correctives ones is an escapist attitude and is not going to help in long term. Restrictive measures only agitate the people more and do not help to solve the problem.
We expect that these issues will be discussed to our satisfaction and the required measures will be put on paper and practice at the earliest.
Residents of the hall of residence for Girls
Indian Institute of Technology