‘Gono room culture’ continues despite DU’s intention to end it
Dhaka University administration had a "strict plan" to end the "gono room culture" from its residential halls.
But in could not be implemented as first-year students returned to the rooms due to lack of seats.
Around 30-35 students sleep on the floor of each "gono room", which can accommodate only eight.
However, many teachers and students think that the "gono room" has been created due to political reasons rather than accommodation shortage.
The university administration does not provide seats for first-year students. So they take these seats through student organisations affiliated with the ruling party. In return, they have to take part in political processions and meetings.
When the decision was taken to end the "gono room culture", various hall authorities told The Daily Star that they had begun allocating rooms occupied by former students to first-year students. First-year students will be allotted the rooms as soon as the hall opens, they had said earlier.
After a year and a half, all the DU residential halls opened on October 5. On that day the university's Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman told reporters, "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also does not like the 'gono room culture'."
"She (prime minister) does not want the students living in a hostile environment. Therefore, she has advised me several times to address the issue. Now, all we need is the cooperation of all concerned," added the VC.
NO COMPLIANCE TO HEALTH RULES IN GUEST ROOMS
University authorities have banned students from gathering in the halls' guest rooms during the pandemic. But in case of Shaheed Sergeant Zahurul Haque Hall, it has been learned that students were called from the "gono room" and taken to the guest room as before.
The guest room is operated to keep tabs on students of the "gono room", which is controlled by leaders and activists of Chhatra League.
Asked, a BCL leader of Zahurul Haque Hall -- wishing to remain anonymous -- told The Daily Star, "Students have been accommodated in the 'gono rooms' of all the halls of the university."
Regarding the guestroom, he said, "We have called the students in the guest room to make them aware of the hygiene rules."
DU Provost Standing Committee Convener Prof Abdul Basir told The Daily Star, "It is true that the first-year students moved into the 'gono room' of Bijoy 71 Hall. But we let them stay there for a while. Within a couple of days their rooms will be allocated."
On the overall situation, DU VC Akhtaruzzaman told The Daily Star, "The hall has just opened. The long-standing accommodation crisis will be resolved with the cooperation of all."