Published: 18th August 2022
CUSAT students put up makeshift hearth, cook rice to protest lack of hostel mess
"If a solution is not arrived at in Friday's meeting, we will resort to agitation," said a student
Students from the School of Engineering (SOE) at Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) on Wednesday, August 17, protested the lack of a proper mess at their hostels by putting up a makeshift hearth and cooking rice in front of the university's administrative block.
The students, who were angry and frustrated, laid siege to the administrative block in the morning, after which the university authorities — led by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor — called them for a meeting in the afternoon and promised to solve the issue, as stated in a report by The New Indian Express.
"They have assured us that the issue will be solved at the general body meeting of the hostels slated to be held on Friday," said a student.
As per students, it has been two months since the beginning of the new academic year commenced and they arrived at the Sahara Hostel of the SOE. But the mess is yet to start functioning, they alleged.
"On July 21, a general body meeting of the hostels had been called. Four students staying at Sahara Hostel were chosen as the members of the panel that looks after the functioning of the mess. While 78% of the students approved the selection, 15% of the students affiliated to the SFI (Students' Federation of India) objected, and hence, it was decided to hold an election. But the Vice-Chancellor issued an order saying election can't be held," a student said.
The students then submitted an affidavit pointing out that they were ready to accept the panel constituted by the general body.
"However, we received no reply. We were told that a general body meeting will be called. But that didn't happen. So we decided to launch an agitation. We decided not to enter the hostel and remained outside for the entire night. After this, the registrar called a meeting. But when we raised the mess issue, he said that is the VC's call," the student said.
They decided yet again to remain outside the hostel for the entire night on Tuesday, August 16.
"If a solution is not arrived at in Friday's meeting, we will resort to agitation," said a student.