Students’ union polls in Calicut varsity colleges by October-November

‘Talks may be held with students’ union leaders about trimming number of UUCs who have voting rights in university union elections’

September 20, 2022 08:16 pm | Updated 08:16 pm IST - Kozhikode

The University of Calicut is likely to hold students’ union elections in its 405 affiliated colleges spread across five districts by October-November.

Sources told The Hindu on Tuesday that the next Syndicate meeting, scheduled to be held by the end of September, was likely to discuss the procedure to be followed for the elections. A notification could be issued in October, and the process will be completed in November.

Elections to the university union may also have to be completed by the first week of December so that college arts festivals and the university arts festival can be held in December-January. The university could not hold the union polls and arts festivals after 2019 because of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Syndicate sources said discussions could be held with students’ union leaders about trimming the number of university union councillors (UUCs) who have voting rights in the university union elections. Syndicate member Tom K. Thomas said all concerns of students’ organisations would be addressed.

In 2019, the Syndicate had brought in an amendment to the election bylaws reducing the number of voters who could elect the union functionaries. Instead of choosing them from a general council of UUCs from all affiliated colleges, an executive council of select councillors was proposed. Later, the Kerala High Court struck this down after a section of students filed a petition claiming that the rights of UUCs in self-financing colleges were being curtailed. The court also pointed out that the amendment was brought in after holding students’ union elections in colleges as per the old format, and that election process would be complete only if the functionaries were chosen from the general council.

The university union elections, however, could not be held in 2020 and 2021 owing to the pandemic.

Now, it is learnt that changes in the election bylaws could be introduced in the Syndicate much before issuing the notification for students’ union polls in colleges. At the same time, sources in students’ organisations affiliated to the United Democratic Front (UDF) said they would challenge any move that would curtail the rights of students.

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