Long-awaited DUCSU disappoints all but VC

Published: May 25, 2019 12:05:28 | Updated: May 25, 2019 17:06:00

Two months after the formation of the Dhaka University Central Students’ Union or DUCSU following a long-awaited election, it is far from fulfiling expectations of the students.

Before the polls, the members of DUCSU and the hall unions had pledged to resolve issues like crisis of residential seats, presence of outsiders in the halls and vehicles from outside on the campus, and commercialisation of education but there is no visible progress in delivering on the promises.

Students say the leaders showed some activities immediately after taking charge, but with time it all died down.

The DUCSU leaders blamed a lack of funds and coordination among themselves for their failure to resolve the problems.

But Vice-Chancellor Md Aktaruzzaman, the ex-officio chief of the DUCSU, thinks it is doing well.

Like many others, political science student Anika Anjum Orni disagrees.

The only things DUCSU leaders have done, she says, include increasing slightly the time limit for female students to enter the halls.

“We don’t see any progress in implementation of the pledges on sensitive issues related to female students they put in their election manifestos,” Orni said.

The DUCSU leaders also stopped personally contacting the students after the elections, she said.

Zahidul Usha of philosophy department expressed anger over the activities of the DUCSU leaders.

“It seems they are concerned only about the price and quality of food. They are paying no heed to the basic problems of the university. Now we have to look really hard to find them after they had so many promises. It’s natural for people (to ignore voters) after becoming leaders!” he said.     

Foyej Ullah, president of the Dhaka University chapter of Bangladesh Students’ Union, alleged DUCSU General Secretary Golam Rabbani, elected from Bangladesh Chhatra League, was interfering in their programmes.

“They don’t play any role in resolving problems like proper allotment of seats, but the DUCSU GS is fixing schedule of our programmes,” he said.

In the March 11 elections marred by alleged irregularities and boycott by groups other than BCL, the ruling Awami League’s student front bagged 23 out of the 25 seats in the central committee.

They lost the top post of vice-president or VP to Nurul Haque Nur of Bangladesh Council to Protect General Students’ Rights, a group with no direct affiliation with any political party.

Speaking about the allegations against the DUCSU leaders, Nur said he would sit with the general students after the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.

“I will take effective steps to put an end to problems like presence of outsiders in the halls and forcing students to join any organisation’s programmes if the students cooperate,” he said.

The DUCSU VP thinks the administration with its silence has played a part in allowing BCL to control seat allotment and intimidation of students to join programmes.

Rabbani said the student leaders can only work as mediators to point out the problems to the administration.

“We don’t have any money to change the university overnight,” he said, demanding that the DUCSU be given 0.5 per cent of the total yearly government allocation for the university.

The lack of coordination among the DUCSU leaders is another reason behind their failure to make good on the pledges, bdnews24.com reports.

BCL leaders in DUCSU allegedly took decisions like the launch of recruitment process for DUCSU office without informing VP Nur and submitting memoranda on different demands without his signature.

Nur also issued a statement congratulating students who passed SSC and equivalent exams this year, but without signatures of the BCL leaders in the DUCSU central committee.

Rabbani claimed they were overcoming the problem over lack of coordination while Nur blamed the DUCSU GS for their failure to sit together in a meeting with all members present.

DUCSU Transport Secretary Shams E Noman thinks the new leaders are taking time to understand their roles due to the break of about three decades between the two last DUCSU elections.

“They are doing well. I hope they will do better in future,” said VC Aktaruzzaman.

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