This year, the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections will be a little different. Till last year, agendas and manifestoes were structured on the basis of what the contesting parties deemed fit. This year, however, student groups are going out of their way to take note of what students have to say.
While the parties will conduct their pre-election campaign process from August 5 to 15, this time they are exercising all possible caution in structuring their agendas, given the skepticism around the poll process.
In recent meetings and interactions with students, it was found that students had little to no access to university officials during times of crisis.
“We have understood that after the unfortunate episode in JNU, sensitizing measures need to be put in place for students across the university. We have learnt that students have been demanding greater access to DU officials. If there is any emergency or students need to get their point across, there is no access to the VC’s office or the Proctor office or the Dean’s office,” said Rohit Chahal, member, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
As a preliminary move, the parties said complaint boxes would be set up, especially for women students who had little recourse if they faced any harassment.
“Where will the girls go if they have some problem? There is no grievance counter or redressal mechanism or any official they can go to. This is going to be one of the prime points that we will address. So much so, that we will also set up our own suggestion and complaint boxes for the upcoming polls,” Chahal added.
At the same time, the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI)-led DUSU has decided to tap the controversy over the four-year undergraduate programme.
“We have been continuously asking students—especially freshers — about what they feel is lacking. We understand that agendas hold prime importance and we are trying to make it as realistic and deliverable as possible. The FYUP system has left many students confused and that is a point that needs to be looked into the most,” said Amrishranjan Pandey, member, NSUI.