Demands for the election to Jahangirnagar University Central Students' Union (Jucsu) have not yet come to fruition as university authorities have not taken any visible initiative to hold the polls, taking no heed of the student organisations' demand.
While Ducsu election is scheduled to be held on March 11, JU authorities are trying to nullify the demands of student organisations without any valid reasons, alleged student leaders.
JU Vice-chancellor (VC) Prof Farzana Islam made a commitment to hold Jucsu polls after last year's registered graduate election, which was held after 18 years.
Jucsu election has been held only nine times since the university's inception in 1971 and the platform has been inactive for almost 27 years. The last election was held in 1992.
Left-leaning student bodies such as Chhatra Union, Chhatra Front and Jahangirnagar Sangskritik Jote have been protesting for the last few days on the campus, demanding that Jucsu polls be held immediately.
JU Chhatra Union President Nazir Amin Chowdhury said, “Delaying the process just shows the authorities' negligence and lack of sincerity. We have already issued an ultimatum to the administration.”
“We have also collected around hundred teachers' comments on whether or not they want Jucsu election during Teachers' Association election on January 31. The majority said that they are in favour of holding the polls,” he added.
JU Chhatra Front general secretary (GS) Mohammad Dider alleged, “The authorities do not want Jucsu to operate. They fear that they would not be able to impose their whimsical decisions on students in the presence of an elected student body.”
Ashikur Rahman, president of JU Sangskritik Jote, echoed the same demand.
Abdur Rahim Saikat, GS of JU unit Chhatra Dal, said they will welcome the initiative if it ensures the co-existence of all parties on campus. Jucsu polls can never be held if students' rights are not assured, he added.
SM Abu Sufian Chanchal, GS of JU unit Bangladesh Chhatra League, said, “For the sake of a healthy political environment, the university authorities should hold the election immediately.”
Jucsu worked as a platform that bridged the gap between students and the authorities. “Due to the absence of Jucsu representatives in the senate, the authorities can deprive students of their rights,” said Chanchal.
“Since the registered graduate election in 2017, the issue of Jucsu election has been a topic of discussion around campus,” said university senate member Barrister Shihab Uddin Khan.
“Regrettably the incumbent university authorities seem very reluctant to arrange such polls. I demand that Jucsu election be held immediately,” he added.
Contacted, Parvin Jolly, an associate professor of JU History department, said it is very disappointing that the VC assured students about holding the polls last year, yet took no initiative for it.
“Student representation has to be ensured in decision-making processes, especially in major development projects,” she said, stressing that Jucsu election should be held on a regular basis with co-existence of all student bodies on campus.
Prof Farzana Islam said they are thinking about Jucsu election and going through the process gradually. They will sit with student organisations soon and try to take necessary initiatives.