Full access at just Rs 3/day

Journalism of Courage
Advertisement

Pune Campus Watch: Regular communication and discipline can help avoid incidents like that in Chandigarh, say hostellers, rectors

Hostel rectors said they cannot control how students use cell phones or social media, but strict adherence to basic rules can bring in discipline

Even women hostellers in the city feel cordial communication amongst hostel residents and better conflict resolution will leave little room for such incidents. (Representational image)

Even as an investigation is underway into the case of the alleged video leak at Chandigarh University, it has raised concerns about safety at women’s hostels in Pune. The incident in Chandigarh where a student allegedly recorded her fellow hostel inmates and shared the clips with an outsider has alerted both hostellers and rectors over the privacy of students in the city.

Hostel rectors said they cannot control how students use cell phones or social media, but strict adherence to basic rules can bring in discipline and regular communication with students which promotes a friendly atmosphere can also help avoid such incidents.

At the Fergusson College women’s hostel, students are expected to be within the premises by 8 pm. Outsiders and students of the campus are not allowed to venture into the girls’ hostel area and deliveries are picked up by the hostel office and then given to the respective students.

“What happened in Chandigarh is an unfortunate event. But, we have been taking the minutest of steps since day one to avoid such incidents within the hostel premises. Apart from the regular rules and regulations to be maintained, our rectors and assistant rectors engage in routine conversations with the hostellers where they try to give them a safe space to communicate their needs,” said Anand Katikar, chief rector, Fergusson College.

Subscriber Only Stories
Premium
Premium
Premium
Premium

“The conversations are informal to understand if their stay is comfortable or not, if their needs are met or if there is something we can do to have the requirement addressed,” said Katikar, adding that while the guards at the main gate are men, the staff for cleaning and maintenance are all women.

Jyoti Bhave, a rector at BMCC girls hostel, said regular communication and sensitisation sessions with inmates of hostels are key. “These students are living away from home and we become the first point of contact and people responsible for them. I am wary of social media myself but I ask the girls to be as careful as possible while they use it,” said Bhave.

“Apart from the everyday attendance and checks, I do make sure to interact with both undergraduate and postgraduate students regularly, asking if they are ok or noticed anything untoward. We do not wish to invade privacy or make hostels a jail sentence but some self-discipline is required too. The rooms are private spaces for the girls but they should be mindful of their actions,” she added.

Advertisement

While the ‘curfew’ time starts at 8 pm, the hostel compound is closed by 5 pm. “We have guards present in shifts and cameras in the common area of the hostel building like the mess and corridors. Even if someone wishes to meet me, they have to come by 5 pm as after that the gates close for outsiders,” Bhave also said.

Even women hostellers in the city feel cordial communication amongst hostel residents and better conflict resolution will leave little room for such incidents.

“We are two to three people in one room and as we stay away from our families, our roommates and the people that we live with within the hostel are our home away from home. We look after each other’s necessities and are attentive if anyone needs our assistance,” said a 19-year-old BSc student and hosteller at Fergusson College, who did not wish to be named.

Advertisement

“As we share space, there is also room for conflicts to arise but we either resolve them amongst ourselves, talk to our block superintendents who are senior students and they relay any issue we might have to the rector. On our hostel campus, after our attendance every evening, the rector asks us if they are any issues at hand and she tries to mediate them in the best way possible,” added the student.

Her 18-year-old roommate said there is an unsaid understanding between all the girls. “We are about 250 girls living together and those who have stayed longer try to make things more comfortable for the new hostellers. Even the smallest of things, like the time used in the shower area, are resolved amicably.”

Although private hostels are deemed a better choice among many students as it offers a

little flexibility in food deliveries and a late curfew hour, several conditions are in place to ensure their safety and well-being.

Five women hostellers at Shri Mahavir Jain Vidyalaya, a community hostel for boys and girls, told The Indian Express the private hostel premises are safe and secure with an established security system of guards, rectors, and in-campus cameras.

Advertisement

“An incident like that in the Chandigarh hostel is scary but it makes us question the reasons why it happened in the first place. In the hostel we stay, residents have become a family who looks out for each other. For example, we call each other if one of us is late to make the curfew of 8.30 pm and also inform the rector,” said a student, who did not want to be named.

“One cannot have cameras installed in rooms and washing areas as it is a clear invasion of someone’s privacy. So, something like this has less to do with the security in place but more to do with the relationship of hostellers with each other.”

First published on: 26-09-2022 at 11:56:21 am
Next Story

Pakistan wrestle over weightlifting administration. Two sporting bodies fighting for control amidst allegations of corruption

Tags:
Home
ePaper
Next Story
close
X