So you are finally here. The butterflies in your stomach may be justified given that this is just the first day of college, but there is really no reason to bother about ragging given the fact that authorities are more worried than you. Most colleges are geared up to combat ragging — even in the mildest form — and principals are threatening to act tough at the slightest transgression. Most colleges expect to start classes in the earnest from Monday.
“The DU Ordinances on ragging are very clear and quite serious about the prohibition. Senior students should remember that they risk rustication if they are caught ragging. In fact, the university can withdraw an awarded degree and debar a student for three years. If the ragging instance is proven to be sexual harassment, one can be even jailed,” warned Rajendra Prasad, principal Ramjas College.
First day of college, however, is not only about dreary academics and serious adherence to DU rules. Hindu College plans to test the talents of students who have secured admission through the Extra-curricular activities quota. “They have been practising over the weekend. We thought since they got into college on the basis of their talents, they should be ready to showcase the same for their seniors and teachers,” said Sharma, Hindu principal. While it’s the song and dance routine at Hindu, at KMC freshers will get a tummyful after an earful at the departmental orientation.
Eye on hostels
While the colleges are vigilant about ragging on campus, special attention is on hostels this time. “We have a hostel committee that will conduct surprise raids at the hostel at all hours. During the day, vigilance squads comprising students and non-teaching staff will keep a watch on vulnerable areas like the canteen, the science labs, the Wisdom Tree, corridors and the library. Basically any place where students can converge will be monitored,” said Kavita Sharma, principal Hindu College. In fact, the crackdown against ragging is so strong that colleges like Miranda House have banned even mild forms of ragging. “There is an element of bullying in even the mildest forms of ragging. We don’t accept the position that ragging encourages senior-junior interaction. You can always host a lunch and get to know each other over a cup of tea,” said Bijayalaxmi Nanda, faculty member at Miranda House. That means that the “Miranda House Hostellers’ Dress code” is set to become a part of university folklore. “It was mild stuff like asking freshers to wear mismatched salwars or asking them to carry their books in a bucket. But after a few freshers complained that this was a strain that added to their homesickness, we have put an end even on this,” added Nanda.
While some colleges like Kirori Mal are relying on CCTVs to keep an eye on any untoward incident, most others say having a good network of students who can campaign against ragging and prevent it is more effective. “We educate students about the laws and their right. We have never had a culture of ragging, but the checks are extremely stringent,” said Manaswini Yogi, media co-ordinator at IP College.