Written by Yasmeen Saadi
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Changes to the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP), concessional Metro passed for students, and a need for more hostels were the issues highlighted in the manifesto released by the All India Students’ Association (AISA) Tuesday for the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) election.
The conference began with an introduction to each candidate and the campus issues they are passionate about.
AISA presidential candidate Aiyesha Ahmad Khan from Miranda House spoke about FYUP, which was reintroduced in 2022. “I too was a part of the campaign against FYUP. This election is a referendum against FYUP and we are urging students to come out in large numbers to vote against it,” Khan said.
First-year student Anushka Chaudhary, AISA’s candidate for vice-president, brought up the issue of fee hikes limiting the number of students able to attend DU. In AISA’s manifesto, the party ensured an “uncompromising struggle against the fee hike”.
Secretary candidate Aditya Pratap Singh has led movements at DU to increase the number of hostels for students and control rent in campus spaces. During the press conference, Singh said AISA is fighting for an inclusive DU and against the money and muscle power that has run DUSU elections in the past.
The student organisation also distributed a release that read, “AISA calls upon all students to uphold student democracy and reject hooliganism and intimidation on campus”.
Anjali Kumari, contesting for the post of joint secretary, spoke about the necessity of ensuring safety for women on campus.
Pointing to attacks against women on campus, she said: “(This) is an attack against women’s autonomy and the right to education. A strong and fully functional Gender Sensitisation Committee against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) is the need of the hour.”
Among other issues, the manifesto also outlined setting up anti-discrimination cells at the college level. The party also ensured they would continue fighting to establish GSCASH in all colleges and establish more queer-affirming counseling and support groups.
The election is slated to take place on September 22 after a gap of three years. It could not be held in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 while disruptions to the academic calendar prevented their conduct in 2022. Voting is on September 22.