Student government: a mirage?

Lately, university students’ demand for a student government/student union is gaining currency. In this context, New Age Youth sought student opinion on the issue.


Do you think an elected student body representative could make a difference in the academic environment of both public and private universities?


Hafsa Sabira

Manarat International University

I concur with the idea of an elected student body council; however, I fear that misjudgment in the selection may lead towards more calamity than progress. Absolute power handed over to a part of the students may tempt them to misuse the opportunity and it may not entirely speak of the general needs. I feel like it might sound promising in theory, but the practical implication can be very uncertain unless the deserving ones are chosen to create the difference.


Noor Ul Huda

University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh

Student representative body has been in several institutions for decades. This practice stands as a voice for the voiceless. Being part of a private institution myself, I strongly approve of a student body council. Setting aside political agendas, student council can work as a catalyst, verily improving the standard of an institution prioritising the need of students.


Hiya Islam

Brac University

A student union is necessary to support university students and is a must in universities abroad, unlike Bangladesh. From organising big events such as national level competitions to solving issues related to academia student councils play a vital role. Students who become a part of it are significantly benefited. It is where student get to practice skills, discover themselves and learn new things. And most importantly, it helps to acquire a key skill — leadership.


Al Kaviul Sarker Tanzim

University of Rajshahi

No, I do not think that an elected student body representative could make a difference in the academic environment of public universities, but to some extent it might be possible in private universities. What the union students are craving for is like the concept of ‘Plato’s Utopia’. To give a concrete answer to this question, another question arises: who are going to participate in the election to form a student government in a university? The answer is either the student leaders of the ruling party or the student leaders of other political parties. And we can blindly predict from our experience that not even a single student without the tag of any political party can win the election. Our students’ unions are going to be the extended bodies of existing political parties. I don’t think such student’s unions will generally have general students in their mind.


Nasir Nice

University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh

Though the scenarios of universities are different but the outcome is quite same — students are becoming less conscious about society, culture and politics. On the one hand, no single private university has students’ union and on the other hand, public universities have no active central students’ union; one has not born yet and the other one is living-dead. Future leadership requires present practice of politics. But the practice ground is caged by the authorities. Having students’ union is one’s constitutional right and it must be ensured by the authorities. And what can be more shameful if one has to sit for hunger strike for a constitutional right and the authority says continuously and spontaneously that he has been allowed to stay on the holy ground only for manobik karon (humanitarian ground)? Doesn’t his language suggest the smell of incomplete democracy?




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