Open Letter to the Vice-Chancellor

Sub: Arbitrary functioning of the Dean of Students office and complete lack of accountability and responsibility
Dear Sir,

9.10.12

All of us cherish the fact that we belong to a university where students from all parts of the count ry including remote and deprived regions are able to come and pursue higher education. We are also a part of a le gacy where different sections of the university community have ensured that after coming to this university th e students can live a life of dignity and affordable education. That is why, proper hostel facilities and functioning of the Dean of Students’ office becomes vital to maintain the standard and values that a Central University like JNU stands for. But given the present manner of functioning of the Dean of Students office and the continuous anti-student decisions taken by the same office, as IHA Convenor of JNUSU, I would like to raise certain question s on behalf of the entire student community: What in your view should be the purpose of Dean of Students’ office, should it be to facilitate students or to harass them? Should the Dean’s office follow norms evolved in a democratic manner or unilaterally discover ‘rules’ intended only to harass the students.  Do decision making forums like the office of the hostel president, hostel committees, mess committees and the IHA have any value to your administration or do you believe that certain officials in the Dean of Student’s office can dictate the terms of functioning of an important institution in a central university like JNU?  Have not several individual students as well as the JNUSU communicated to you and the Dean’s office several times regarding the extreme inconvenience faced by students regarding the present CENTRALIZED POOLING SYSTEM of single-seater allotment?    While the anti-student centralized pooling system still exists, why random norms are invented and followed to determine seniority in allotting single-seater causing further inconvenience to the students. Why the seniority of a student does get reduced if s/he has changed her/his hostel?  Does allotting hostel and providing basic facilities like a mess facility for students residing in dormitories come under the responsibility of DoS or can the responsibility of accommodating new students be completely left to the voluntary contribution of the students who keep them as guests? Are you aware of the fact that even after half the semester has passed 696 students have not got hostel and 326 students are without any facility of SR/TR or dormitory in the P1 category itself? Are you aware of the conditions in which the students of SPS dormitory are residing? Do you know that the longpromised mess facility in SPS dormitory has not started till date and that they have to buy food from the ad-hoc canteen there at extremely high rates? Can the whimsical attitude of the different hostel administration be allowed to impose fines on students for taking out food from the mess in their own utensils? Can different hostel administration be allowed to scuttle democratic spaces of students by not allowing public meetings and asking students to sign the register before entering into a hostel? Why the residents of Yamuna hostel have to face continued harassment because of the absurd and undemocratic decision making process by the administration? Why some working students are victimized on the pretext of income cap that has been decided by Hostel Management Committee where no student representation was ensured despite repeated demand by the students?    When will the IHA meeting take place or have you given complete sovereignty to the whims and fancies of the officials in Dean of Students office to determine norms to run the university?

If you think that the Dean of Students office can function in a manner which makes life difficult for students on this campus, then the students of JNU will oppose this in the strongest possible way. Now, it’s up to you to decide whether you would allow the present arbitrary functioning of the DoS to continue or would intervene to ensure that the democratic and accommodative hostel facilities are retained which are so central to JNU’s academic and social life. Yours Sincerely, Do Not Remove Till 13 Oct 2012

Piyush Raj,

IHA Convenor, JNUSU