Authorities at Madras University, Guindy campus installed panels in bathrooms
Students of University of Madras, Guindy Campus, on Friday returned to their classes after two days of boycotting them protesting against alleged lack of security on campus. They called off their boycott after the management installed thick panels and lights in the girls’ bathrooms and beefed up security.
The students had staged a protest on Wednesday night on charges that they had caught a voyeur peeping into the bathroom situated on the first floor through a broken glass pane. They alleged that a broken compound wall at the Guindy campus had paved way for strangers to enter the campus regularly.
There are 1,200 students at the Guindy Campus of Madras University of which 500 are women. Most of them, who are research scholars, reside in the campus hostel.
“On many days, we thought we had seen a man peeping into the bathroom around 7 30 a.m.,” said R. Vaishnavi, a student. On Wednesday morning, when a group of ten students went to the second floor balcony, they saw a man seated on the slab, trying to peer into the bathroom that had a broken glass panel. “We ran to catch him, but he disappeared into the (adjoining) CLRI (Central Leather Research Institute) building,” a student said.
The students alleged that the man was again seen near the women’s bathrooms on Wednesday evening too. “We called some of the boy students to help but he managed to escape under cover of the dark. Since there is no compound wall surrounding the campus, anyone can come in anytime,” said R. Fathima, a research scholar.
The students said they had complained to the authorities about a month ago, but action had been delayed. Madras University vice-chancellor R. Thandavan and registrar Koteeswar Prasad had met the students on Wednesday night to pacify them.
Director of Madras University, Guindy campus, M. Arumugham said officials were in talks with students to understand their problems. “We have done what we could do in a day,” he said, adding that the problem was only a week old and not a month, as claimed by students.
“Since the campus is shared by students from both Anna University and Madras University, it is difficult to ensure full-time scrutiny. We are working on a system to ensure ID-based entry to the campus to increase safety.”