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“What’s In It For Me?”: Why Voting In DUSU Elections Is Important #DelhiStudentsVote

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By Azra Qaisar:

DelhiStudentsVote

Posters across the walls, slogans of campaigns all around, and political parties doing rounds – that’s when you know it is that time of the year. The Delhi University Student Union elections are less than a week away. Apart from the usual parties – ABVP, AISA, NSUI, this year the debutante CYSS of Aam Admi Party would also be joining in.

For most students, DUSU elections don’t make much of a difference. Each college has its own union with its own set of representatives. DUSU elections are nothing but a time of the year when there’s pollution all around – noise, land and of course, of ideas. However, in spite of all the problems that elections bring with them, it remains important (for those who can) to participate in the electoral process.

Image source: Facebook.com
Image source: Facebook.com

Why should I vote? What is it to me? Why should I concern myself? All this is heavily politicised.

Indeed, the University of Delhi elections are political – not just by virtue of being a process of choosing representatives but also by the involvement of national level parties in it. If you vote for a candidate, you are not just voting for them but also for an ideology that they stand for. In this case, the ideology is also of a national level political party. You may not agree with a certain view and may see it as extremely regressive, so in order for that perspective to not be the one that gets to rule, you need to cast your vote.

It is important to get your voice heard. The same philosophy that applies to legislative elections applies here – your vote counts. The other important fact is that as a student in a university, you are a part of the larger community of students. There are decisions to be taken and dissent to be shown. A student union, ideally, can do that. It is a body elected by the students to address their issues. In 2014, in the FYUP row, DUSU played an important role in the removal of the system. This year CBCS remains an important matter and if DUSU picks it up, the issue would get more mileage than it is currently getting. You may not agree with their methods (or even the outcome), but the fact of the matter is that their actions will affect you directly or indirectly. So better go out and vote, and do your bit to ensure that a certain way of thinking doesn’t run the university.

DUSU as a political body can impart considerable influence. This year most candidates are targeting women’s safety as an important issue. What could also be helpful here, would be if they took up discriminatory hostel norms for men and women. Also, if regulation of rent and paying guest accommodation is taken more seriously, it will be in the interest of the students. In order for DUSU to take these issues up, it is important to vote for an ideology that is open to such changes and allows room to break away from the current norms.

Ideology is an important background to keep in mind while voting. You may think you are not involved in politics because these seem to be murky waters. Well, here’s the thing- choosing note to vote is also a political stand. Being apolitical is political too.

This is a part of YKA’s focused coverage of the  2015 student union elections in Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University . To know more about it, click here.
Tweet your comments, feedback and opinions on the election with #DelhiStudentsVote. We’ll make sure your voice doesn’t go unheard.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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