Venky students worry, protest against change in college affiliation proposal
Ongoing talks of the possibility of shifting the affiliation of Sri Venkateswara College (Venky), from Delhi University (DU) to Andhra University (AU), and the recent news of the proposal has taken the students and teachers of the college by storm. Reportedly, the professors and students were neither informed nor consulted about this development and heard it via social media and news channels. As a result of this, most classes in Venky were cancelled on Thursday, followed by a dharna organised in the college from 10am to 4pm where teachers protested peacefully against the proposal.
Venky students find the development unfair and are in a state of worry regarding since they feel their identity as a DU alumni is at stake. “If our college’s affiliation changes, the move will clearly rob us of the very reason we took admission to the college — to be a part of the prestigious institution that is DU,” says Sameer Ahmed Siddiqui, a second year student of BSc (Hons). Echoing a similar sentiment, Divya Goyal, a first year student of BCom (Hons), adds, “Whenever I tell someone I am in Venky, I feel a sense of pride. But when I think things might change, it’s scary. Our batch might still be a part of DU, but think how immensely it will affect our placements!”
The students have been holding an online protest and plan to create ‘Twitter storms’ with #Venky_belongs_to_DU and #VenkyIsDU to oppose the proposal and bring attention to the issue. Some members of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) have organised an online protest along with the presidents of the student union of Miranda House, Sri Aurobindo College and Venky. And scores of students have started tweeting and participating in the online protest, making the hashtags trend on Twitter. Shubham Chaudhary, executive counsellor of DUSU, says, “We are all flabbergasted at the sudden development and deliberation. We don’t know what will happen next but if the issue remains unsorted or if the affiliation changes, we will switch to a physical dharna from the online mode. Venky was always a part of DU and we can’t imagine it otherwise.”
Students across various colleges have formed protest groups on social media and are circulating an appeal to raise a voice and take a stand regarding retaining affiliation of Venky to DU. Mukul Malik, a final year student of Sri Aurobindo College expresses support to the students of Sri Venkateswara College, saying, “It doesn’t matter if it’s my college or not. We can’t imagine South Campus without Venky and we all are in shock. Freshers from Venky have been reaching out to us, and asking what they must do when their whole career is at stake because of probable affiliation change of their college. Their family members are distressed. How can you be a DU student and suddenly become a student of a different university within a span of few days?”
The sudden uncertainty regarding the future affiliation of the college has garnered a distressing response from the faculty as well. “This move will dilute everything Venky stands for. It has a history, name and a present. Students come to the college because it’s part of DU,” says a senior professor on condition of anonymity.