Presidency University: SFI protests against Code of Conduct draft

The students’ union is protesting against the clause that disallows processions on the campus without permission from the university authorities
SFI plans to grow the protest into a bigger movement without disrupting academic activities | Pic: EdexLive
SFI plans to grow the protest into a bigger movement without disrupting academic activities | Pic: EdexLive

Students of Presidency University, who are affiliated with the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), launched a week-long protest today, Monday, June 26, against a code of conduct draft. This draft, among other pointers, prohibits the taking out of processions, parades or marches on the campus without the prior consent of the institute's authorities.

The recommendations of the draft have been termed as “authoritarian” by the SFI, the student wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). SFI, which also heads the Students' Council of the University, called all "students who believe in democratic and liberal values" to assemble at the portico of the institute's campus at College Street this week, reports PTI.

"Presidency is a citadel of free thinking and liberal views. It has always supported a progressive school of thought. We will not tolerate any blueprint to murder democracy in the university campus or any code of conduct for surveillance in the name of discipline," said SFI Presidency Unit Spokesperson Anandarupta Dhar, to PTI.

Bigger movement in the offing? 

Anandarupta further said the students' assembly will plan out a bigger movement by this month, without causing any disturbance to academic activities.

According to the draft code of conduct, which was circulated on Friday last week, organising meetings and processions without prior information and proper approval from the concerned authorities of the institute will be not allowed.

The draft also strictly prohibits students from providing audio and video clippings of any activity within the campus to the press without seeking prior approval from concerned authorities. 

Smoking on campus will also not be allowed, says the draft.

The draft code of conduct was being circulated among the students for their opinions on how to uphold discipline on the campus and is not yet binding as there has been no final decision on it, says Arun Maity, the University’s Dean of Students.

The SFI, on its part, maintains that the draft should have been circulated with prior consultation from the students. "But it was not done," its leaders said.

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