Where did the DU house tutors go?
It is disappointing to know that the majority of "house tutors" of Dhaka University, who are supposed to act as guardians of students, hardly ever visit their halls for months on end. A report in this paper has revealed that although there are specific guidelines for house tutors to visit their designated blocks or floors at least once a week, and hold meetings with students once a month, these instructions are largely ignored by most. So why are they not turning up?
Reportedly, there are 150 house tutors for the men's dormitories and 73 for the women's dormitories. But after interviewing students, our correspondents found that many of them have not even seen their house tutors, let alone have meetings with them. Others have said their visits have been rare and after long gaps. This is very unfortunate, to say the least.
Students in the halls need someone they can trust, and with whom they can share the problems they are facing. The conspicuous absence of house tutors points out to the general lack of control and accountability of the authorities over these dormitories.
Almost all the halls of DU are controlled by the cadres of Chhatra League, and ordinary students are compelled to pledge allegiance to them if they want to stay in the halls. As the media has reported, there have been incidents of physical and psychological abuse of students by some leaders of the student front who enjoy continuous impunity for their crimes. Students in the halls need someone they can trust, and with whom they can share the problems they are facing. The conspicuous absence of the house tutors points out to the general lack of control and accountability of the authorities over these dormitories.
House tutors get residential facilities and honorariums for this post, which makes them obligated to carry out their basic duties. If they are willing to enjoy these benefits, why are they not willing to provide basic guidance and counselling to the students as required by the university guidelines?
Compared to the men's dormitories, house tutors in the women's halls were reportedly much more proactive. Female students told this newspaper that their house tutors did come to the halls once a month, and often called them to their offices to listen to their problems and allocate seats relatively impartially. In a situation where politics dominates even when it comes to seat allocation, it is laudable that these house tutors of the women's dormitories are trying to live up to the role they have been entrusted with. This begs the question: if they can do their job despite political pressure, why can't those from the men's dorms follow suit?
It goes without saying that the university authorities must investigate the reasons behind the continuous absence of these house tutors and their failure to contribute to the welfare of the students. It is high time students and their overall wellbeing were given priority, rather than maintaining the status quo that has proved to be so deleterious to campus environment in general.