It has been a few months since the NEHUSU elections 2017-18 took place, and giving up our post, we thought we left NEHU better than it was. But to our confusion and dismay it seems to be still riddled with mismanagement and sexual harassment complaints. Development seems to be stagnant and any form of suggestion is met with, to put it simply, “a look.”
The establishment of the Internal Complaints Committee as mandated by Sexual Harassment Act was one of the highlights of our term, believing that this would allow students the space where they are heard with no interference from the administration, yet even that has been put on pause, simply because it didn’t get the “stamp of approval” from a body of the administration. Now what does this imply? Until it gets that approval, are sexual harassment cases left to be piled up or does the Women’s Cell take over? Students are not going to allow the Women’s Cell to take any more cases, believing that since it is simply an advisory board, its suggestions may be accepted or not, which always results in NEHUSU holding agitations and pressurizing the administration to act on their suggestions.
Basic needs like street lights are not working in certain areas of the campus, especially near the girls’ hostel, yet even though complaints have been put forth by the students’ body, yet something as simple as changing a light bulb seems to take months for the administration to pass it on. Maybe they are still deciding on which bulb will be best for the street lamps? We will never know.
It is depressing to list out the many faults that NEHU has; we know it cannot be perfect, yet we also know that it lacks any form of effort to make things better. I was in NEHU for two years and was a part of NEHUSU for one, and I remember being ecstatic to be a part of such an Institution. Unfortunately, we were met with only a university where students go to class and go home; no one wanted to be aware of the issues that plague the university because they don’t affect them personally, because they cannot be made better, not with the way things are handled anyway. It honestly seems that the university does not want to make any changes, and this mindset will deteriorate the integrity of an institution which does have the potential for excellence.
Would I recommend others to apply in NEHU? Honestly no- there are other institutions where students’ welfare is put as a priority, where rules are kept to safeguard the students and at the same time allow them to grow as individuals and as a collective. The Students’ Union does try, yet it becomes harder and harder to understand how and why certain actions are taken swiftly, like the fencing of the DSW office, while others which require immediate action are still pending like the cluster fencing of the girls’ hostel.
NEHU needs a change, it needs a change in the mindset on how to tackle problems and figure out solutions. We cannot just leave NEHU believing it will get better because it won’t. Sexual harassment cases are piling up, and students are too afraid to even put forth a complaint because when they do, the teachers are at times reinstated, which does not make sense and speaks of complete injustice. NEHU is in a puddle of problems, and we have sat in meetings that lasted for hours which at times filled you with hope till you realise words and deeds are two different things.