Update on the issue of security regulations

July 28, 2009 at 1:33 am 2 comments

On Friday the 24th, in a rare instance of student mobilisation, people from across courses in TISS came together in solidarity with the Students’ Union, as the latter sat with the director to discuss the growing unrest among students about the new security regulations on campus.

For the uninformed, new rules restricting our movements were imposed soon after the incident of sexual assault outside the campus on one of our colleagues. (For details, see previous post).

While it was extremely disheartening to know that the meeting could not be completed due to lack of time (also the meeting started an hour and a half late), some outcomes of the meeting could be considered positively, albeit in a guarded manner.

  1. Deadline has been restored to 12.30 a.m. However, the need and justification for deadline needs to be thoroughly debated.
  2. Students staying out of campus can remain on campus even after 12 a.m.
  3. The provision of informing parents will not be followed through. It is not clear though if this is only temporary or the provision has been put on hold till a new system is put in place.
  4. Hostel residents will not be removed from hostel if they come late often.
  5. Wardens need to be informed (not sought permission from) through SMS whenever a student might come late. It does seem like there are no caps on how often students can come later than 12.30 a.m. at least till the time a new set of rules are decided upon by the Committee.

The last two outcomes are not entirely unproblematic. When the Director later fielded questions from students, he said that information collected through the SMS will be used. On further questioning, he admitted that it is not yet known what the information will be used for. If penalty will then be imposed in retrospect, one does not know yet.

5. To a question on if there was no restriction on moving between campuses, the director’s response was a guarded yes with a caveat however that “unnecessary” movements between campuses need not be undertaken. The qualification merits further probing on what constitutes necessity and for whom.

6. An empowered committee consisting of students and administration will be set up.

It is not clear if the rules thus relaxed will be discussed again at the scheduled meeting with the Deputy Director on Wednesday. Also unclear is how long these rules will be in force.

Even while we discuss the nitty-gritty of rules, the larger question that looms before us is how much codification we are willing to subject our lives to. When rules are made for students to be “safe” does this mean that women are? Does it eliminate possibilities of sexual harassment? Has it done so in TISS?

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Entry filed under: discussion.

We object. We resist Queer Azadi Mumbai

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kerry  |  July 28, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Glad to see TISS Talks back and active.

    It’s also good to see some flexibility from the administration. I find the tactics adopted by the student union frustrating, however. When we ask that the deadline be moved from 00:00 to 00:30, we essentially cede the point that the administration legitimately draws the authority to tell adults who are paying to be on campus where they may be and when.

    The issue ought not to be nitpicking about the time at which TISS gets to begin acting like parents, rather than partners in learning, but instead to put in question the very premise that such nannying is appropriate or justified. And it’s not limited to the time of return. The same could be said about restrictions on who can be in what hostel, attendance in class, or any of the myriad ways in which TISS micromanages the lives of its students.

    Reply
  • 2. Harsh  |  July 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    It’s nice to see this forum getting more and more active. I feel that the attention provided by our director is encouraging but we are yet to reach a common consensus. To what degree we let our guardian institute manipulate students’ movement is a matter of debate. It requires some ethical consideration too. The institute stands for certain social values and the tragic event in recent past compelled the authorities to adopt such a patronizing role.

    I am of the opinion that there shouldn’t be any restriction on inter-campus movement as students here are all adults. Whenever a student is going to be late, he/she should inform the wardens about it IN DETAILS (location, objective, etc). This way, the institute will not find itself in trouble in case of any mishaps and the students get their freedom too.

    I hope that the student’s union will play an active role in this matter.

    Reply

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