To reform the institution of the warden, smoothen security issues and to promote inter-hostel activities, a Delhi University Wardens' Association has been formed.

The Association will consist of hostel wardens of DU colleges at the under-graduate level. The wardens of Lady Hardinge Medical College, Maulana Azad Medical College and University College of Medical Studies would also be invited to join the association.

The wardens of Ramjas College, St. Stephen's College, Kirori Mal College, Hindu College and Shri Ram College of Commerce were present at the founding meeting of the Association at Ramjas College this past Friday.

Since the summer vacations are on, many hostel wardens are out of town and are expected to attend the Association's second meeting in June end.

Ramjas College boys' hostel warden and head of the new Association Prof. Tanvir Aeijaz said: “The main idea behind forming this Association is to reform the institution of the warden and have coordinated effort among wardens to promote academic and non-academic efforts.”

“The Association would make efforts to lessen the security problem that hostels are often plagued by. A whole culture of violence gets promoted by student politics and when there is violence in the hostel, its residents are drawn in and outsiders also come in. There are many girls' college hostels in the vicinity and girls return to the hostel early as they are apprehensive of the security situation. We will ask the university authorities to improve the security situation through better street lighting and other measures,” he added.

More cultural and inter-hostel activities would be encouraged by the Association so that students would have an opportunity to know each other.

‘Too much pressure'

“We will make an attempt to bring about changes in the office of the warden. There is too much pressure and responsibility on wardens and no commensurate authority. Wardens find themselves largely helpless many times and there is need for formal authority to be vested in them so that they can effectively take action in times of crisis and otherwise,” Prof. Aeijaz said.

Suggesting alternatives so that hostellers are not inconvenienced during the Commonwealth Games is another item on the Association's agenda.

Hindu College warden Prof. Chandrachur Singh said: “The Association is essentially a consultative one. As wardens we thought that we must get together as we face similar problems.”

Reasoning that the job of a warden itself was not secure, Prof. Singh said wardens often felt concerned about their security and that of their families as they were in charge of a large crowd of young and impressionable people. “Most students are all right. However, some of them can be very aggressive. As teachers we have all protection, but as wardens there is none,” he added.

The Association would provide a means to reach out and sensitise the policy makers.

Citing the Raghavan Committee report, Prof. Singh stated that wardens need to be trained. “Wardens need to be equipped and trained to deal with hostel issues. Some kind of counselling or orientation should be given to them,” he said.

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