The Late Entry Fiasco
A term that has been debated time and again at NITR, as well as various other institutes of national repute – the subject of Late Entries is submerged in several contexts. While the UGC Guidelines promote equal rights among both the genders, in practice the issue of late entry applies only to the girls of our institute. The existent rules laid down by HMC state that a boarder will be “thrown out” of their hall of residence after four late entries. The duration of the four late entry rule became a matter of confusion when the warden of CVR Hall of Residence sent out a webmail on 14 March 2017 which said that the period in question is a semester and not a month. This led to considerable resentment among the boarders, and Team MM took up the matter with the authorities.
When team MM contacted Prof. Archana Mallick, Warden, CVR Hall of Residence, she said that there has been no sudden change in rules and these rules were always a part of the constitution. However, in the recent HMC meeting when the Chief Warden asked her about the rules in place, she had to let go of the existing practice of allowing the three late entries per month and revert back to the semester rule. In addition, when interrogated about the way of informing the students, she was quoted as saying,
The webmail sent out the boarders of CVR Hall of Residence doesn’t only apply to them, but to all the students present in NITR, girls and boys alike. I had put up the disclaimer in the register of late entries of CVR and as this was the outcome of a HMC meeting the details were sent out to every hall as a circular.
Prof. Mallick also said that the students who already have had more than three late entries will not face any disciplinary action and will only be issued a warning letter. The count will be started afresh from the month of March to ensure fairness. When asked what actions will be taken against those did not abide by the rules she told MM that the both Director and the Chief Warden were disgusted upon seeing 6-7 late entries per month consistently for a particular individual. If such a scenario arises again, the parents of the boarders will be called. Asking about the feasibility of such an action, Prof. Mallick stressed that this rule is one that has been passed by the HMC and its viability can always be discussed. As of now, boarders have been given warning letters to call their parents to meet the Warden, in-person and convene a discussion after which suitable disciplinary action will be taken against them.
The boarders of CVR begged to differ and said neither were there any disclaimers of the change in the late entry register nor were they informed through circulars. Talking to Sujitha Jayaraj, General Secretary of the CVR Hall of Residence, she was quoted as saying:
The rule spoke of three late entries at most, the duration of which wasn’t made clear. The problem, which persists now is that with almost two and half months gone, and the sudden implementation of this rule, the duration of which was initially thought to be a month, many boarders may face problems. The information about the rule was only mentioned in a few sheets that are a part of the late register and boarders were informed through webmail after a lot of fiasco.
Prof. Mallick was also of the opinion that girls who take prior permissions for club activities and academic tasks need not panic but those who do not have any such reasons should not remain unattended. She also refused to comment on the recent abolishment of late entry policy at BITS Pilani. When it came to the act of “throwing out” boarders from the hall, Gen Sec CVR, Sujitha Jayaraj clarified that the rebating of the dues was a question, which was raised in the HMC, but the authorities ignored it and it remains unanswered. During the discussion, the topic was diverted to, “Who will be answerable to the parents?” she says.
The students of the other girls’ hostel remain very unaware about these rules and speaking to the General Secretary of KMS Hall of Residence, Ojaswi Chaurasia, she is quoted as saying:
The rule laid down by HMC applies to all the hostels. We adhere to it, however in special cases like academic projects, club activities, etc. a boarder can always write an application to the warden who then decides the due course of action.
While instances of unnecessary moral policing have been in aplenty this academic year, one can hope that the UGCs’ guideline of imposing rules unanimously is taken up seriously on our campus and many questions that remain unanswered, will soon be answered, as everyone has the right to be informed and enjoy an equal status.