Delhi: GGSIPU Mass Comm Students Express Outrage Over Campus Shift

Delhi: GGSIPU Mass Comm Students Express Outrage Over Campus Shift

1st year Journalism and Mass Communication students at GGSIPU have been protesting the administration's decision to relocate them from Dwarka Sector 16C campus to Surajmal Vihar, East Delhi.

Tanvi DalviUpdated: Thursday, May 23, 2024, 06:38 PM IST
article-image
FPJ

First-year Journalism and Mass Communication students of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) have been protesting for over a week now over the administration's plan to move them from their current Dwarka Sector 16C campus to a new campus in Surajmal Vihar, East Delhi.

In March 2024, an official directive was given by the GGSIPU to transfer the Mass Communication course for the academic year 2024-25. Starting May 20, students noticed that their amenities were about to be shifted to the new location.

GGSIPU's University School of Mass Communication (USMC) runs a two-year master's degree programme with a yearly batch size of 60 students. First-year students allege that when they enrolled in August last year, the administration told them that their class would be held at the Dwarka Sector 16C campus. Midway through their programme, students say that they are being forced to relocate.

"We were in the dark about the plan to relocate," says Sonal Agrawal, the Class Representative for the first-year students. She mentions that students had requested a one-year stay notice to finish their degrees at the current location. When that did not happen, students stopped attending classes and had been protesting silently with banners outside the Vice Chancellor’s (VC) Secretariat. 

"Our protest has been peaceful, conducted through LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram," Agarwal says. She also points out that other batches will have to comply with the decision to shift since the brochures for the 2024-25 academic year still refer to the Dwarka Campus as the main campus, and not the new one.

Apurva Juyal, a first-year student at the University, says the Dwarka campus gave students access to well-equipped labs and studios, including a photography studio, giving them plenty of space for their studies.

"But the East Campus is congested, lacks clean drinking water, as also in-built studios and labs, which are imperative for students’ class projects, and offers little space for Mass Communication students, who have numerous specialised courses," she adds. Next year, the batch of students will start their specializations, making access to these facilities even more urgent.

Some of Juyal’s classmates are involved in the National Service Scheme (NSS) and Mudra, a dance community on the campus, but there are no members of these groups at the East Delhi campus. “This isolates us from the communities we have been deeply involved in," Juyal explains.

"Our Dwarka campus took many years to get everything set up. Now, this move takes us away from that progress," says Arshi Banerjee, a student, adding that the East campus is too secluded, and students miss out on seminars and interactions with important guests that regularly happen on the West campus.

A female student from Uttarakhand, who wishes to remain anonymous, recalls how her parents had accompanied her to the university to ensure that the hostel facilities met their standards, before deciding to enrol. At the Dwarka campus, she appreciated the privacy of a single-seating room and availed amenities like the gym, cycles on rent, yoga classes and fully air-conditioned common areas and reading rooms.

But now, moving to the East campus hostel means losing all these perks and paying more for a room shared by three people.  "This is a clear breach of contract, and we are snatched away from our rights as stakeholders of the university," she states.

"I understand that it's the admin's call, but what gets to me is that we, as media students, are expected to be voices for the voiceless. The very university that should be instilling these core values in us is making us feel unheard and helpless," says Juyal.

The students have urged the dean, Prof AK Saini, to schedule a meeting with their parents to discuss their worries about the relocation. However, no meeting time has been provided to their parents yet. "Our parents are feeling unsettled," states Sakshi Prakash, a student.

Students say that only after protesting in front of the VC’s office did the registrar agree upon a meeting. Their demands still went unheard, with the authorities calling their concerns ‘irrational’ without acknowledging the financial loss students would face due to the shift.

The administration's response hasn't been satisfactory at all, said Vishnurupa Parayath, adding that students had to request repeatedly for a meeting with the VC and the registrar. Further, when a meeting was held with the registrar and the proctor, it was more of a formality, she said, as all of their demands were being sidelined. "As per the administration, students' demands didn't have any 'rational' ground", she stated. On the other hand, most of the faculty members continue to extend their support to the protesting students.

Until the article went to press, The Free Press Journal didn't receive any response from Prof Saini, the dean, the VC and the registrar on the questions mailed to them.

RECENT STORIES

AP Inter Supply 2024 Results: Check District-Wise Percentage

AP Inter Supply 2024 Results: Check District-Wise Percentage

AP Inter Supply 2024 Results Declared: 59% Students Clear The Exam

AP Inter Supply 2024 Results Declared: 59% Students Clear The Exam

Sikkim: District Magistrate Of Mangan Orders Closure Of Schools In Mangan Due To Safety Concerns Of...

Sikkim: District Magistrate Of Mangan Orders Closure Of Schools In Mangan Due To Safety Concerns Of...

IGNOU June TEE 2024 Exam On June 23; Here's How To Download Your Admit Card

IGNOU June TEE 2024 Exam On June 23; Here's How To Download Your Admit Card

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma Writes To West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Demanding CBI Investigation...

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma Writes To West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Demanding CBI Investigation...