Published: 25th June 2020
St Stephen's College gives hostelites 5 day-window to come back and clear rooms to start sanitisation process
Most guardians are reluctant to send their children back to Delhi to vacate their rooms. The students have written to the Principal for permission to keep their belongings in their rooms longer
The St Stephen's College in Delhi has asked students who are availing their hostel facilities to come back and vacate their rooms within five days — from June 29 to July 3 — so that they can prepare the rooms for the coming semester. As the Coronavirus pandemic is claiming more lives every day, the students and their parents are reluctant to go back to Delhi, one of the worst affected areas in the country. The Students' Union Society has also written to the Principal and the Dean of Residence requesting them to let them keep their belongings in the rooms until they return.
The students said that this exercise will not only expose them to the health crisis when they venture into the capital, it will also be a financial burden on a lot of the students. "We will not only have to fly to Delhi, but we might also have to be quarantined for 15 days there. I do not have any relatives or friends in Delhi. Where will I stay?" asked a second-year student who did not wish to be named. "The college wants to paint and sanitise the hostels but that is only required once the admissions end. The second and the final year students are anyway supposed to return before the new students come in," he added.
Most guardians are reluctant and afraid to send their children back to Delhi to vacate their rooms. "Also, since travel guidelines are still restricted, it would be difficult to vacate rooms and transport all belongings back home," the letter pointed out. "Many of the students who have just returned home from college are currently in quarantine and cannot leave the quarantine facility just yet. "The prescribed duration for vacating the rooms coincides with the Online Open Book Examination of Third Year and Final Year Masters Students. They will not be able to vacate the rooms by then. As per the notice, not everyone's local guardian will be ready to move out of their homes to vacate our rooms and not everyone in the hostels has a local guardian. This also entails a great degree of personal risk for the local guardians, who can ill-afford to jeopardise their family safety in this exercise," it further added.
The letter got a reply from the Dean of Residence after two days but that did not help much. The new notice said that only graduating students who have their exams can been exempted from this exercise and other who might have problems reaching out can contact the authorities. "The issue is that majority of the 400 students in the hostel have a problem with these regulations. Most of us are from places far off Delhi and that's why we live in the hostels. And all of us have the same issues with travelling back to college. How then can it be handled case-by-case?" asked the student.
The students, in their letter also suggested they the college can allot rooms before students return to college based on the odd semester results so that students can shift or move out their belongings all at once. "As some students have already packed up their belongings in their rooms, their belongings, with their permission, could be removed from their rooms and stored in the common room until the start of the new academic session," read the letter that also acknowledged that the college had kept them safe and that they are "grateful for allowing us to keep our belongings in our rooms thus far".