University of Delhi: St Stephen’s College has notified that the students who have their belongings in their residence rooms, and cannot vacate their rooms by August 07, 2020, shall be charged ₹100 per day. This notification has been opposed by the Students’ Union Society (SUS), which has asked the principal, John Varghese, to consider revoke the decision.
The Dean of Residence had issued a similar notice in June, 2020 that asked the students to vacate the rooms by July 03, 2020. Read here. Most of the students, however, could not vacate their room then, because of extremely limited means of transportation, increasing COVID cases, absence of a local guardian or other unavoidable circumstances.
This notification has been especially problematic considering the travelling hazards in the country and the exorbitant fares of tickets for travelling. The students are at their homes in different parts of the country for the mid-semester break and the subsequent Covid-19 lockdown. John Varghese, the principal of St Stephen’s College said that the students could have vacated the room, post lockdown, not considering the fact that lockdown was still imposed in certain parts of the country and travelling to and fro was not easy.
The notice further said, “Resident junior members are also notified that, if and when the government gives permission to reopen the residence facilities, all belongings and luggage will be moved a week prior to the date of residence reopening to facilitate necessary cleaning and renovations. On such an occasion, the college will not be responsible for loss or damages.” Read the official notice here.
The Resident Scholars of St Stephen’s generally pay ₹1400 per month for the facility of hostels. Paying Rs 100 per day will significantly raise the monthly fee to ₹3000-3100, which is more than twice the current fee. In times like these, such penalties might affect the financial condition of students adversely.