Reclaiming our voices: IIT-Kanpur students' petition against proposed alterations of hall rules and procedures.

We are the IIT-Kanpur student campus janta. Some of us currently enrolled, some of us students of the past. It is our contention that over the last 19 months the true student representations in academic, residential and administrative decisions have largely disappeared. Student issues have either been lost, diluted, trivialized, ignored or coerced away. Perhaps nothing captures this more than the most recent “committee recommendation report” set to be tabled to Senate E-meeting 544 on 25th October, 2021. We refer here to the recommendations on drastically altering rules and procedures for IIT-K’s Hall of Residences. From regressive policies of gender segregation, elimination of minimum wage of hostel workers, to mixing of academic and residential policies that withhold grades and interfere with a professor’s autonomy. None of these issues were brought up by students, nor did they receive unanimous support from student representatives. Still, these recommendations will be tabled and presumably passed on 25th October.

We have adhered and complied with many edicts brought forth by the administration in the last 19 months. We have done this in good faith and for the greater good. But in this process, we have slowly lost our voice. Now, please let us be heard. We have a simple demand.

The administration comprising of all offices (student run or otherwise), reintroduce a real link with the student population. Recognize our issues and concerns, and start addressing them. As a real demonstrative move towards this, we demand that the committee recommendations changing hostel rules and procedures should not be tabled on Monday 25th October. It has no support or backing from us. We do not want it to be stalled or deferred. The report should be junked.

If this is not done, we have decided that we will refrain from donating to the IIT-K alumni association when we are no longer subject to the existing power asymmetry, i.e. when we graduate. Moreover, we will actively discourage existing alumni from funding an administration that has lost touch with its janta.

Signed
Unheard and unrepresented students of IIT-Kanpur


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