Published: 10th February 2020
Pondy varsity Students' Union refutes allegations of 'holding admin hostage, shouting dirty slogans'
The Union is continuing its struggle for the fifth day in a row and is not planning on calling it off any time soon
The Pondicherry Students Union has issued a statement in response to their VC Gurmeet Singh's comments regarding the ongoing protest against the fee hike. The Union claims that Singh made false statements and denied that they were included in the process of deciding the academic fees.
Singh had told Edex Live that the fee had been decided with 'student approval' and that they had paid the fees 'gladly'. This has left the protesting students enraged as they claim that neither the previous Union nor the incumbent one had not been consulted by the administration regarding the fees. They also state that they only came to know about the fees, when it was mentioned in the prospectus. It was only then that the students had launched their strike during the previous academic year.
The student protesters also took offense to the fact that the VC had said that students were 'gladly' paying the fees, pointing out that the new fee was a 'screening process' to filter out students from underprivileged backgrounds. They also criticised the fact that students who had paid online were allegedly the only ones who were allowed to get admitted.
The students reiterated that they had not agreed completely to the deductions in the fee that the administration had proposed after the fee hike. It was only when they launched a strike again that the administration had decided to constitute a grievance committee, "The Student Council pressed for a conclusive fee deduction and went to stage a hunger strike which was when the VC was forced to set up a grievance committee. The minutes of all the four meetings are enough to understand how the administration turned a blind eye to student concerns," the students said in their statement.
The student denied the accusations that they had held members of the administration hostage and had raised 'dirty slogans'. "No faculty members had been held hostage and we didn't raise any dirty slogans, except for pushing our way into the admin block, the protest was conducted in a peaceful manner," they claim.
In his interview, the VC had said that he wanted to talk to the students and called for a meeting to negotiate but the Union was adamant about rolling back the fees. He had also said that because of their unruly behaviour that he would not be calling them for a meeting again. To this, the students in their statement said the VC had not met them even though they had stated that they were not happy with their meetings with the grievance committee. We have reached out to the administration for a comment and will update this copy with the same.