Dhaka University Central Student Union (DUCSU) elections have not been held for three years. But every student of Dhaka University has to pay an annual fee of 60 taka for DUCSU and another 60 taka for the hall student union.
The amount of money does not matter, it is more important as to why should the Dhaka University authorities take money in the name of the institution that does not exist? The Dhaka University administration tried to hint that they have no objection to the DUCSU and hall union elections. But an environment conducive to elections is still missing.
Who is responsible for restoring a fair environment in the university? What are the university's vice-chancellor, two assistant vice-chancellors, proctors, provosts and resident teachers doing? In addition to the students, many teachers also played a vital role for the DUCSU election in 2019. Some of the distinguished teachers of the university who went to the High Court for DUCSU election at that time are now occupying the policy-making positions of the university. This means that those who vocal about DUCSU elections while outside the administration turned a blind eye after joining the administration.
According to the Dhaka University Ordinance, five student-representatives nominated by DUCSU become members of the university's policy-making forum senate. In this formal forum they get an opportunity to highlight various issues related to the interest of the students. VP Nurul Haque, GS Golam Rabbani, AGS Saddam Hussain represented in the senate as members of the senate in the last nomination of DUCSU. As DUCSU elections did not continue, student representation in the senate is about to end.
After 28 years, in 2019, DUCSU and 18 hall union came into operation. In that election, Nurul Haque was elected as VP and Akhtar Hossain as Social Services Secretary from the panel of Student Rights Council. Chhatra League candidates won the remaining 23 seats in DUCSU. Apart from this, Chhatra League won 12 VP and 14 GS posts in the hall unions. Other posts were won by independent candidates. The term of that Committee and Hall Sangsad of DUCSU ends in 2020.
According to Prothom Alo news, the level of 'guestroom torture' in the halls decreased due to the effect of DUCSU and hall union elections. Even if there was no peace on the campus, there was a kind of stability. After DUCSU tenure ended, the atmosphere has heated up again. It is very unfortunate.
Regular DUCSU elections were held even after the fall of the military dictatorship. But in the post-90s, all student council elections have been held back during the democratic regime.
We hope that not only DUCSU, but the authorities will organise student council elections in all higher education institutions. Otherwise, the occupation of the campus by certain organisations will continue. We don't want to see any student organisation’s power in the university.
Finally, if the university administration does not have the capacity to conduct elections, they cannot collect fees from the students in the name of student council. It is unethical. We expect Dhaka University administration will wake up even if it is delayed.