More than a week after the Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College Students’ Union submitted a 12-point memorandum to the principal in light of the suicide of Aishwarya Reddy (19), a second-year student of the college due to financial hardships, college authorities Friday announced they had accepted some demands, including reducing the fee for courses, setting up a committee to provide laptops to students, and allowing some second-year students to reside in hostels.
The Union called this a “partial victory” but said many demands were yet to be achieved.
A document titled “response to the demands met by students”, uploaded on the college website, read, “Given the fact that students are not able to avail certain facilities of the college due to being off-campus, the College has removed such charges from the fees this year. This has led to a substantial reduction in the fees… In addition, it is possible to pay the fee in installments.”
A revised fee notice states that the annual fee for all courses for second- and third-year students will now be Rs 7,970. LSR Students’ Union general secretary Unnimaya said the fee ranged from Rs 12,000 to Rs 26,000 depending on the course.
“While the fee has been revised, it is not transparent under which heads the charges have been waived off. The college authorities should clarify that,” she said.
LSR also decided that “keeping in mind the exceptional circumstances of the Covid pandemic, and for one year only”, current second years “who lived in the hostel, upon fresh application” and “on the basis of need”, will be allowed to stay in the hostel “after the Hostel’s commitments to incoming first years and the current third years, who already are in the Hostel, have been met”.
“When the pandemic recedes and the situation normalises and hostel seats are once again 288 in number, the College would look into accommodating some more students of the second and third year in the hostel, on the basis of need, during their remaining years of study,” the document read.
The college also said it would be removing a sentence which says a student “will not participate in any activity seeking to prolong my/her tenure at the hostel” from the hostel registration form, as it has been “misquoted as preventing students from participating in all protest”.
“A committee has been constituted to ensure that each student who needs a device is provided one and each department is in the process of creating a list of students requiring devices and their addresses. The college committee will ensure that these are procured and distributed to all students who need these at the earliest possible,” the college said.
However, in its email to the principal, students’ union wrote: “Regarding this committee, please clearly mention who all are in it, what is their status of work and what is being done by them on priority and kindly mention the deadline by which you will meet the requirements of students since examinations for the students are less than a month away.”
Principal Suman Sharma did not respond to calls seeking a comment.
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