Chhatra League says it is pleased by decision to end 'Gono Room' system
The Dhaka University authorities have taken almost all necessary preparations and completed all types of renovation and repairing activities in the dormitories to welcome back students after a one-and-a-half-year closure.
According to the decision of the DU syndicate, the institute’s highest policy-making body, the residential halls will be reopened on October 5 only for final-year and master’s students and there will be no more "Gono Room", which have long been a controversial issue for both faculties and student organizations.
“Most of the renovation, repairing and preparatory activities including the activities related to health rules have been completed in the dorms and the halls are ready to welcome only the regular students,” informed DU Vice Chancellor Dr Akhtaruzzaman.
Initially from October 5, only final-year and post-graduation course students will be allowed to board their rooms on the conditions of receiving at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and showing valid papers proving their studentship, he added.
The rest of the students will be brought back to the dormitories on the condition of receiving vaccines from November in the second phase, he said.
Those who were staying illegally or with expired studentship will not be allowed inside the halls anymore and the vacant rooms will be allocated for regular students, said Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall Provost Dr Masudur Rahman.
Canteens, dining rooms, reading room, mosque and washrooms of the dorms have been renovated as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave a special donation of Tk5 crore to renovate and clean the halls considering the pandemic, he added.
After entering the halls, students must follow standard operating procedure (SOP), which includes abiding by health guidelines, wearing masks and maintaining social distance, said Chairman of the Provost Standing Committee Prof Abdul Bashir.
“No residential students will be allowed to set up a floor bed under any circumstances and the surroundings of the rooms should be kept clean and tidy,” he said, adding that: “A large room can accommodate a maximum of four students."
"Students must put on a mask while leaving rooms; they must wash their hands before entering their halls. Students must avoid spitting in random places and avoid crowding mosques and canteens," Prof Bashir said.
If any student tests positive for Covid-19, he or she will be placed in quarantine at the DU Medical Center, he added.
Several residential halls, including Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall, Jagannath Hall, Salimullah Muslim Hall and Bijoy Ekattor Hall have installed hand-washing basins at entrances and will place some banners and festoons on Covid-19 to raise awareness.
Meanwhile, student organizations, including the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), welcomed the DU administration's decision of removing "Gono Rooms" and not allowing the students with expired studentship or outsiders anymore.
"BCL welcomes the decision of bringing an end to the ‘Gono Room’ system in the dorms but the concern grows how the authorities will implement the decision as the university is facing severe accommodation problem," said BCL DU unit General Secretary Saddam Hossain.
"We demand that the authorities ensure legal seats for every student including freshers. 'Gono Room' culture has proven harmful for studies but the university authorities have to ensure alternative accommodation facilities first," Saddam added.
However, students expressed mixed reactions over the authorities' decision of opening halls only for final-year and master's students and removing "Gono Room" as students of other batches will face serious accommodation problems ahead of their examinations.
“The decision of reopening hall partially raises concerns among the students of residential students of 1st, 2nd and 3rd years as they have to take preparation for exams along with facing severe accommodation problems," said Rashedul Islam Shahed, a third-year student of the sociology department.
“We welcome the decision of reopening halls but it will be a more legitimate decision if the authorities consider allowing vaccinated students of all semesters and years as some departments and institutions are taking exams both online and offline,” said Taniazaman Sharna, a master’s student of the political science department.