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CU tweaks union election rules

Calcutta University has clipped a tier off its student union.

Elected class representatives will directly elect the members of the Calcutta University Students’ Union, which covers all six campuses of the university.

In the old system, the first round of elections were held to elect the class representatives of the six campuses. The class representatives then voted for forming the autonomous unions for the respective campuses. The autonomous unions formed the central committee of the Calcutta University Students’ Union.

The university decided to scrap the campus unions. The decision to shift from the three-tier system to the two-tier one was approved by the university’s syndicate on Monday.

“The new system will be followed at the student union elections scheduled for January 18,” vice-chancellor Suranjan Das said.

The university, Das said, wants to ensure that the class representatives “are allowed to form the union directly”.

The details of the new structure of the students’ union will soon be posted on the university website, an official said.

The class representatives will be elected in the ratio of 1: 15 — for every 15 students there will be a class representative. Which means a class of 300 will have 20 representatives. In the earlier system, a class could not have more than five representatives.

Many teachers and officials of the university welcomed the decision. “By cutting short the process of forming the Calcutta University Students’ Union, we will save a lot of time,” said an official.

“Earlier, academic activities used to be affected on all campuses because of the lengthy process of forming the unions,” said a teacher.

Trinamul Chhatra Parishad supported the move but the SFI opposed it.

“The new system is easy and simple. The old system was complicated and often created confusion among students,” said Trinamul Chhatra Parishad state president Sankudeb Panda.

The SFI said the new system would ensure absolute freedom for the majority and deny the opposition any say. “Besides, the new system does not guarantee that the union will have representatives from all campuses,” said an SFI leader.

New system

  • Students to elect class representatives (CR)
  • CRs to form CU Student Union

Old system

  • Students elected CRs
  • CRs formed unions of each campus
  • Campus unions formed the central union