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     Volume 4 Issue 23 | December 3, 2004 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   In Retrospect
   A Roman Column
   Special Feature
   Human Rights
   Time Out
   Food for Thought
   Slice of Life
   On Campus
   Straight Talk
   Book Review
   Dhaka Diary
   New Flicks

   SWM Home


On Campus

Experiencing a difference
Life is full of pleasant surprises, the memories of some which keep you going at times when life becomes rather dull. Taking up residential semester turned out to be one such memorable experience for me and my 44 fellow students. Private university students can hardly imagine such an experience in their robotic and monotonous classes in cramped buildings. But as a fortunate student of BRAC University, I had an amazing opportunity to live with my batchmates.

The announcement of a residential semester came as a mixed surprise. We thought we were going to be taken to a prison where we would be treated like schoolchildren, made to follow a strict routine without any freedom. But our misgivings were proved wrong for we were without our parents and our supervisor (Dadu) wasn't smart enough to keep us caged.

The first few days were quiet and everyone was attending regular classes with the same enthusiasm as we did in the Dhaka campus. But things began to change as we all began to discover new ways to entertain ourselves. We still remember the long, boring ethics sessions, the professors' mispronounced words and the Shakespearian words of the campus super. The dormitory gates were always open and we spent many nights off campus under the open sky, clear and star-studded. We hardly ever slept, whiling away nights talking and singing. It wasn't chaotic, however, and we maintained peace because we weren't the only students there. The different activities of the English classes like movie shows, playing Scrabble and doing crosswords and fun amateur dramas were all a lot of fun. Even students of the usually quiet departments came alive on the trip, to our major surprise.

Where universities lacking quality education and a proper academic environment are mushrooming all over the country, this experience was indeed an unique and memorable one and I felt lucky to have enrolled in such an institution which gave me much more than offered by the typical private university. BRAC University in Savar has a wonderful campus embracing the magnificence of nature minus the political chaos, instability and uncertainty. It's like enjoying the campus of a public university but with the peace and calm of a private one.

Shehabun Saaqeb (Tonmoy) BRAC University

What of the students?
We often find advertisements for private universities in the newspaper. I don't understand how they get government approval where most of them do not follow the Private University Act of 1992 which contains the minimum rules and requirements for establishing a university. Recently, the daily Prothom Alo published a story which said that there are around 52 private universities in the country, but that government approval of nine of them is going to be revoked. The first question that arose in my mind is what will happen to all the students of these universities. What will the government and the university authorities do about them?

Sultan Md. Wohid LLB, IIUC


In search of signboards
Dhaka University (DU) has witnessed many historical events and movements and contains a number of landmarks and sites of national as well as architectural significance from as far back as the British era. They include the famous Kala Bhaban, Curzon Hall, and the graves of the national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, the great artist Zainul Abedin and cartoonist Kamrul Hasan. Sadly, however, DU has no signboards pointing out these sites. Many visitors come to DU every day and even more so on occasions like Pahela Boishakh, Ekushey February, Independence Day and Victory Day, but they remain oblivious to these landmarks, and those who look for them on their visits often cannot find them. The Central Library and the different faculties also have no signs whatover, putting even students into confusion whereas many unimportant buildings on campus display large signboards. My humble request to the authorities is to place signboards that will guide visitors as well as point out sites of historical significance and architectural beauty.

Md.Zillur Rahaman Ex-student of DU

Sound pollution on campus
We cannot concentrate in class because of microphones and amplifiers on campus loudly announcing political events and meetings. Students are asked to join these by blaring invitations by loudspeakers -- as if they cannot read notices put on bulletin boards. I am save that At times, the sounds seem louder than missiles launched by the Americans in Iraq. I request the authorities to take steps in this regard and to enhance the beauty of the campus.

Shafiqul Islam Department of English Islamic University

Outbreak at DU
Around 350 students of Dhaka University (DU) living in the various residential halls have reportedly contracted jaundice and other viral infections. The outbreak is said to have been caused by poor sanitation and hygiene at the university dormitories. Apparently, DU water tanks go unchecked for years, allowing the accumulation of bacteria that may cause jaundice, hepatitis A and other such diseases. Illegal makeshift shops inside the halls lacking any sort of quality control further exacerbate the risk of disease. While DU authorities say they are taking steps to prevent further spread (by attempting to ensure safe water supply and the eviction of the shops), scores of students have been rendered unable to regularly attend classes and sit for exams. The university medical centre is also doubling under the overload of students going for pathological tests and undergoing treatment and are referring them to public hospitals. After a number of unscheduled closures this year, the students themselves are resisting any move to close down the university and evacuate the halls, but the onus remains upon the authorities to check the outbreak of diseases and fast, and to take steps to prevent such disasters in the future.

--SWM Desk

NSUSS Displays a Colourful 10th ACE

A form of the traditional Lathi dance, by the boys of NSUSS

The jargon mentioned by almost every other person today about private universities being aloof from our culture and being westernised is absolutely wrong and has been proven so by the 10th Annual Cultural Evening, recently organised by North South University Sangskritik Sangathan, a culture club of North South University, the first private university established in the country. The audience was taken aback by the colourful display of the dhulis, playing their dhols in their colourful costumes, along with the students greeting the awe-struck onlookers with massive sunflowers, lion-masks and showers of flower petals. 10th ACE went on to sparkle the environment with various elements of nature and our culture, namely folk songs, classical dances, lathi dance, comedy shows, a mockery of the present situation of the Bangladeshi film industry and much more.
Sadya Afreen Mallick, famous Nazrul Geeti singer, who was present at the show, expressed her surprise and appreciation of the superb presentation by the students.
"I wasn't planning on staying long at the event," she said. "But once the show began to unfold, I just couldn't leave!"

Elita Karim

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