Earlier this year, a group of students in the institute approached the Dean SA to create a student jury for matters concerning security issues in the campus. The need for such a student jury arose from the stringent security rules being imposed on students; for example the restriction on untimely interactions between students of opposite genders. In addition to this, some students claim to have been troubled by security, for small issues such as walking in the institute late at night. These students believed that such rules were unwarranted in our institute. The increased security was meant to safeguard the institute from outside attacks, not to be a means for moral policing in the institute. For most of us, it is often difficult to approach the Dean personally and have such issues sorted out, hence there was a need felt for an independent body in place which could help in suitable redressals of student problems.
These students initially proposed an idea of having a student jury which would consist of 3 representatives from the students’ side, and 2 from the security side. They proposed that two students who were a part of the GS Council and one student, who has not held any elected position at the institute level (but someone who was impartial and recommended by the Dean of Student Affair) would form the student representatives. In addition to this, they proposed two ways of implementing the student jury . As a ‘Jury for First Landing’, or as a ‘Jury for Appeals’.
In the first case, all incidents would go to the student jury initially. In case of a unanimous agreement about the nature of the case being worthy of a punishment, the student(s) involved would have a fine placed on them, or have DAC proceedings initiated on them, as is the case presently. However, if the jury feels that the case is worth a hearing, the case is deliberated on by the jury, with the student/s involved being given the right to present their side of the case before the jury. The jury would then decide the quantum of punishment, and would recommend such an action to the DoSA.
The second proposed implementation of the student jury is like that of an appeals court. In such cases, if the punished student feels, that the punishment/fine has been unjust, he could appeal to the student jury. The jury, in cases where they unanimously feel that the punishment was justified could dismiss the case and in cases where they find that the appeal was unnecessary, could even impose a stricter fine. However, in cases where at least one member feels that there is a need to review the punishment, the student will have the opportunity to present his case in front of the student jury, and if the jury finds the punishment harsh, they could recommend a reduced punishment to the DoSA.
While the concept of having a student jury sounds good, the idea is romantic and whether the institute is open to such a move remains unforeseen. However, since all the GS’s are our elected representatives, approaching them in most cases is far easier than approaching the Dean. Thus, if implemented well, a student jury could benefit many students, who are at times unjustly fined. It remains to be seen if the current GS’s would take this idea further, and implement such a student jury in the campus.
For further details contact Seshadri G. at email@example.com.