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LSR students demand resignation of hostel warden and college principal

Starting the detailed statement with “Hostel Warden Istifa Do!” (Hostel Warden Resign!) LSR hostel residents demanded removal of the hostel vacation policies that put undue pressure on out-station and low-income group students.

Sabrangindia 11 Nov 2020

Image Courtesy:edexlive.com

Residents of the Ladies Shri Ram College (LSR) hostel released a statement on November 10, 2020 that demanded the resignation of the warden while condemning the inaction and apathy of the administration that resulted in the death of a second-year scholarship student.

Signing the statement “in rage,” hostel residents demanded full accountability from the hostel administration and resignation of the hostel warden Dr. Ujjayini Ray and Principal, Dr. Suman Sharma as a way of assuming moral responsibility. Further, they demanded revocation of hostel policies on vacation and withdrawal of the decision to convert the three-year hostel into a first-year-students only hostel.

The latter has been a persisting demand of LSR hostel residents since 2019 when the one-year hostel policy was first implemented. At the time, students were compelled to sign a letter limiting their period of residence to a year, if at all they were to receive affordable accommodation. However, student bodies continued to demand a three-year period of residence.

When the vacation notice came to the students amidst a global pandemic, students blamed the institution for neglecting the financial, logistical and health conditions suffered by students.

According to the students, this same negligence abetted the death by suicide of the second-year hostel resident who was to receive an INSPIRE scholarship by the central government. The girl died on November 3 following delay in scholarship money and the alleged pressure by hostel and college authorities.

“That the hostel and college administration can cite the pandemic as a reason for delaying a governing body decision on the status of the hostel that may as well be easily taken through online means, but can forcibly summon students from all over India to vacate and search for expensive alternative accommodation in the midst of the same pandemic shows their hypocrisy,” said the statement.

On October 20, students had received the latest vacation notification that extended the deadline to November 10 and stated that those residents who fail to vacate will have their things moved by packers which the hostel will employ while taking no responsibility for lost items.

“By force and harassment, the hostel administration made students travel in a pandemic to vacate the hostel for the supposed repair and maintenance to prepare the hostel for the new batch, about whose arrival even the hostel was not sure of,” said the students.

They were further incensed by the warden’s claims that the second-year scholarship student never approached the hostel administration about her grievances.

“A large number of students had written requests to get a deadline extension till college reopening which was outrightly denied … That an institutional failure of the hostel to provide a reasonable respite to students is blamed on [the girl] for not approaching the hostel admin for a few days’ extension is a hollow and insensitive argument,” they said.

The student body argued that not all students are privileged enough to have close contacts in Delhi who could pack and send their belongings to them. Further, since many out-of-station students left the hostel in a hurry in March due to the nationwide lockdown, their belongings were not properly packed or arranged. Many students were uncomfortable in asking a third unknown or distant person to organise and pack all their belongings from scratch for genuine reasons. They also pointed out that inter-state transport of their items would be extremely expensive and unaffordable for many students.

Moreover, students were angered by the warden’s outright denial to have any direct communication with second-year residents claiming that they “were” residents and no longer “are” since their contract was only till May 2020.

“It was put across as the hostel's generosity that it kept their luggage from June to October 2020, when it was in truth the hostel admin themselves who urged students to move out during the pandemic lockdown leaving behind their luggage. To consider a necessary and natural measure that the hostel must do to keep our belongings in the wake of a pandemic imposed nationwide lockdown, as a generosity of the hostel, is a clear evasion of the sense of responsibilities that the hostel has towards its resident body,” they said.

The complete letter written by the residents along with all proof of correspondence between the warden, hostel committee, hostel students’ union and hostel residents can be viewed in the document below:

Related:

Delhi and Telangana students demand justice for LSR student’s death by suicide
Student organisations call LSR student suicide an institutional murder
LSR Student Union claim institutional and administrative apathy led to student suicide
How Women At India’s College Hostels Are Winning Freedom

LSR students demand resignation of hostel warden and college principal

Starting the detailed statement with “Hostel Warden Istifa Do!” (Hostel Warden Resign!) LSR hostel residents demanded removal of the hostel vacation policies that put undue pressure on out-station and low-income group students.

Image Courtesy:edexlive.com

Residents of the Ladies Shri Ram College (LSR) hostel released a statement on November 10, 2020 that demanded the resignation of the warden while condemning the inaction and apathy of the administration that resulted in the death of a second-year scholarship student.

Signing the statement “in rage,” hostel residents demanded full accountability from the hostel administration and resignation of the hostel warden Dr. Ujjayini Ray and Principal, Dr. Suman Sharma as a way of assuming moral responsibility. Further, they demanded revocation of hostel policies on vacation and withdrawal of the decision to convert the three-year hostel into a first-year-students only hostel.

The latter has been a persisting demand of LSR hostel residents since 2019 when the one-year hostel policy was first implemented. At the time, students were compelled to sign a letter limiting their period of residence to a year, if at all they were to receive affordable accommodation. However, student bodies continued to demand a three-year period of residence.

When the vacation notice came to the students amidst a global pandemic, students blamed the institution for neglecting the financial, logistical and health conditions suffered by students.

According to the students, this same negligence abetted the death by suicide of the second-year hostel resident who was to receive an INSPIRE scholarship by the central government. The girl died on November 3 following delay in scholarship money and the alleged pressure by hostel and college authorities.

“That the hostel and college administration can cite the pandemic as a reason for delaying a governing body decision on the status of the hostel that may as well be easily taken through online means, but can forcibly summon students from all over India to vacate and search for expensive alternative accommodation in the midst of the same pandemic shows their hypocrisy,” said the statement.

On October 20, students had received the latest vacation notification that extended the deadline to November 10 and stated that those residents who fail to vacate will have their things moved by packers which the hostel will employ while taking no responsibility for lost items.

“By force and harassment, the hostel administration made students travel in a pandemic to vacate the hostel for the supposed repair and maintenance to prepare the hostel for the new batch, about whose arrival even the hostel was not sure of,” said the students.

They were further incensed by the warden’s claims that the second-year scholarship student never approached the hostel administration about her grievances.

“A large number of students had written requests to get a deadline extension till college reopening which was outrightly denied … That an institutional failure of the hostel to provide a reasonable respite to students is blamed on [the girl] for not approaching the hostel admin for a few days’ extension is a hollow and insensitive argument,” they said.

The student body argued that not all students are privileged enough to have close contacts in Delhi who could pack and send their belongings to them. Further, since many out-of-station students left the hostel in a hurry in March due to the nationwide lockdown, their belongings were not properly packed or arranged. Many students were uncomfortable in asking a third unknown or distant person to organise and pack all their belongings from scratch for genuine reasons. They also pointed out that inter-state transport of their items would be extremely expensive and unaffordable for many students.

Moreover, students were angered by the warden’s outright denial to have any direct communication with second-year residents claiming that they “were” residents and no longer “are” since their contract was only till May 2020.

“It was put across as the hostel's generosity that it kept their luggage from June to October 2020, when it was in truth the hostel admin themselves who urged students to move out during the pandemic lockdown leaving behind their luggage. To consider a necessary and natural measure that the hostel must do to keep our belongings in the wake of a pandemic imposed nationwide lockdown, as a generosity of the hostel, is a clear evasion of the sense of responsibilities that the hostel has towards its resident body,” they said.

The complete letter written by the residents along with all proof of correspondence between the warden, hostel committee, hostel students’ union and hostel residents can be viewed in the document below:

Related:

Delhi and Telangana students demand justice for LSR student’s death by suicide
Student organisations call LSR student suicide an institutional murder
LSR Student Union claim institutional and administrative apathy led to student suicide
How Women At India’s College Hostels Are Winning Freedom

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