'The 85 percent attendance rule was used to blackmail us,' said a former student.

After Christ University protests former students narrate their own experiences on social media
news Christ University protests Wednesday, August 03, 2016 - 19:48

After an assistant professor was sacked at the University’s Bannerghatta Road campus, many former students are narrating their own experiences with the institution’s ‘strict rules’.

Former students are taking to Facebook to comment on or speak about the alleged strict enforcement of rules, while sharing news reports of the events of last week.

Many former female students spoke about the unfairness of the dress code, and the mind-boggling ways in which they were enforced. The dress code mandates that girls be dressed in a salwar-kameez with dupatta at all times. One former student recalled that guards were allowed to touch the fabric of the lower garment to ensure that it wasn’t lycra. Another alleged that there was a time when they were made to lift up their duppattas to check that they weren’t wearing sleeveless outfits.

One ex-student recalled that while they had spent good times in college, reading the recent news reports made her relive the “terrorizing” policies. “At last some of them spoke,” she says in her Facebook post.

Some former students said that while they are still loyal to the college, things had gone too far. “We, ex-Christites say your name with pride. We pick fights with people on your name. This is going from embarrassment to shame,” wrote one of them. “The same rules are going to kill them if they push it too much. They tend to forget that students are their biggest ambassadors,” said another.

One student who studied there before the institution became a university, said that “the punishments were always disproportionate to the crimes” and that the “harassment was so severe” that he considered suicide in his first year as a BCom student. “But the thought of my parents held me back,” he said.

Some, like Mayank, quit their course midway. He enrolled with the University in 2014 as a BBA student but left the next year. He told The News Minute that the 85 per cent attendance rule is used as “blackmail”.

“Professors would spend half of the lecture just checking if we were dressed properly. They’d come really close to our face to see if we had shaved. If there was even a little stubble, we’d be asked to leave the class and not get attendance,” he recounts.

Mayank also says that there were guards appointed to oversee that there was no physical contact between the opposite sexes. “Hugging, and even handshakes weren’t okay,” he says. Once a head from a different department came to class and was surprised to see girls and boys sitting together in class. Mayank says he spent half of the lecture separating them.

A 2013 graduate who requested anonymity, says that interaction between the sexes was very restricted. “Almost everything could be considered PDA (public display of affection) unless the guards were in a good mood. Your ID cards were always under threat,” he says. But much of the enforcement of rules depended on the ‘deanery’ you were in. “The faculty sometimes shielded us from the fire, and sometimes threw us into it,” he says.

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