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‘Christ University, You Are Dealing With Adults. It Is Time You Wake Up To This Fact’

By Tarika Ninette Shastry:

The rise against Christ University’s atrocious management is one that I did not see coming (owing most definitely to the fear of showing any signs of a spine that the university has successfully instilled in me) but is one that is long overdue. And one that I dearly hope will not fizzle out till it brings about some observable change. Thankfully, social media has afforded students of Christ University this opportunity to voice opinions that have been dismissed for far too long.

Even as I write this post, I am figuratively looking over my shoulder contemplating the drastic measures the university could take against me despite the fact that I have graduated after five long years at Christ. Is that not a microcosmic reflection of how students with an opinion are treated at this institution?

But before I delve into all that is wrong with this highly acclaimed university, I’d like to first address the counter-arguments I have read and heard against the few who have listed what they think is not with Christ University.

1. Yes, my resume does say I have graduated from Christ. But only because it has to. It is not something that I am overly proud of nor is it something that gets me called for interviews by the dozen.

2. And of course, I voluntarily sought admission to the university, alas it was because my naivety did at one point lead me to believe that listing Christ University as my Alma Mater would indeed get me job interviews by the dozen. I find it laughable, however, that the fact that I was not forced to join the university should mean that I must accept its ridiculously authoritarian functioning lying down.

And I do not use the term ‘authoritarian’ lightly. Christ University’s response to the necessity of a student body is to set up a cardboard organization of representatives often hand-picked by faculty members, who are then guided as to what is a legitimate student concern and what is not. After all, it’s ridiculous to assume that a student knows what she/he is talking about. This is the foundation of everything that is wrong with this university. Students are a means to an end (read: income). The student welfare and holistic development that the university reiterates ever so often are much like an attractive packaging of a pair of well-worn socks; it only serves to attract the eye and then disappoint.

The university’s sprawling campus that is admittedly home to some advanced, state-of-the-art technologies and facilities can only be seen as a compensation for the mindset it advocates and operates on, instead of being a reflection of it.

And for heaven’s sake stop brushing aside the dress code issue. No, it is not a minor adjustment students have to make. No, it does not infuriate me because it is cramping my style. No, it does not in any way prepare me for a career. And no, there is no logical way of rationalising it. Surely I am not the only one who sees the alarming correlation between the sexual harassment complaints and the increasingly stringent dress code at the university! Surely I am not the only one who sees how this reflects the regrettable stance our larger society takes up on sexual harassment; it is the woman’s fault!? Is this the supposed progressiveness that Christ University waves in your face? Why should I be judged fit or unfit to receive an education based on the way I dress? How does wearing loose pants as opposed to tight ones make me more receptive to what is being taught in class?

Taking off from those questions; if I am confident in my ability to pass an examination without having attended 85% of the classes, why shouldn’t I be allowed to do so? And if that is too progressive a line of thinking for Christ University, I have a set of simpler questions: do you think it is at all just to hold attendance as an ominous figurative guillotine over your students? Is it healthy for students to openly proclaim that securing the required attendance percentage is the sole reason they are attending classes? Moreover, is this high attendance requirement not a reflection of the confidence you have in your faculty’s ability to engage students? Or does it just speak of how you view all students as being irresponsible, immature and waiting for the slightest chance to run amok?

Christ University has a fine list of incredibly illogical rules that are seemingly in place solely to reinforce the control the institution exerts on its students and to serve as a source of cheap-thrills for its management. A personal example would be a friend of mine and I being banned from the university library for hugging each other outside said library. For those of you wondering, yes, it was another girl I was hugging (as if that should matter). Another personal example would be when I had my id card confiscated for not exiting the lift fast enough, much to the irritation of a faculty member who was running late for his class. It gets better, the said faculty member (who I am assuming realised the half-wittedness of his rant, halfway through) then accused me of eve teasing him with my body language. Apparently, that’s a thing. And apparently, that’s a thing that is conveyed by two-second delays in stepping out of the elevator. But these incidents aren’t what infuriate me. After all, there are unreasonable people everywhere. What really grinds my gears is that I was given no space to offer any explanation or defence. A student at Christ University can never be acting purposefully or rationally and therefore, it is futile to waste any time in listening to anything they might have to say. It is always their fault.

Christ University, you are dealing with adults. Much as you might dislike waking up to this fact, I honestly believe it is time you did. It’s time you revert to education, for it seems like you’ve lost sight of what you are there for. Wait, isn’t that another argument that is used against those who have shared their woes about Christ University? That you are there to receive an education and that’s what you should focus on? Well, I have news for you. Students look for far more than an education in any school or university they attend, as they should. Holistic growth is what education is a mere part of. A university should be proud of giving their students a platform through which they are able and encouraged to explore, question, experiment and learn. In stark contrast, Christ University boasts of its regressive and oppressive regime that stifles any outlook that its narrow-minded top management does not subscribe to.

This is not to say that I did not enjoy my stint at Christ University. I made some great friends, I was taught by some truly inspirational teachers, and I had access to some of the best academic amenities thanks to Christ University. My grievances with the management of the university should not serve to invalidate my positive experiences, nor should it be the other way around. The way I look at it, I grew from my experiences at Christ University in spite of the management, and I contribute to this movement solely in hopes that future students may grow because of a reformed management at Christ University.

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