If someone chitchating, holding hands or romancing in the campus will be summoned
Cases of love-linked suicides by students have got college managements worried. Hoping to pre-empt such ugly situations, a growing number of them are resorting to strict segregation of the sexes on the campus.
A stitch in time saves nine (or, at least, one potential suicide)! That’s the policy being adopted by a small but growing number of colleges in the wake of some recent suicides by collegians that have been linked to ‘love’ gone wrong. Ergo, boys and girls can no longer sit together in class, or get too ‘comfy’ with the opposite sex even in the canteen or the library.
Earlier this year, a student from Bihar ended his life by jumping in front of a running train. A suicide note recovered by the police revealed that the boy had taken the extreme step after being ditched by his girlfriend for another suitor. Prior to that, a first-year IIM-B student, depressed over her boyfriend’s status message ‘rejecting her’ on a social networking site, committed suicide. Not just suicides, a good number of fights have been reported from city campuses over love rivalries. Even though the colleges are not involved in these unfortunate incidents, they end up getting their image tarnished. Hence, some college managements feel the quickest and simplest way to prevent such situations is to get to the ‘root’ of the problem and segregate the sexes.
For example, Nagarjuna College of Engineering and Technology (NCET) has separate rows in the same class for boys and girls. Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, college principal Dr S G Gopalakrishna said, “In our college, we have separate seating arrangements for boys and girls. We do not want to see them moving together even in the canteen, library or any other part of the campus.”
What, we asked, would the college management do if some youngsters couldn’t keep their hands to themselves? Without batting an eyelid, Dr Gopalakrishna said, “If we find someone chit-chatting or holding hands or romancing on the campus or indulging in a public display of affection, we will summon them, counsel them and tell them not to do so in the future. I am sure no student will cross the line after that.” He added that if some students still failed to toe the line, their parents would be given a talking-to about the need to discipline their wards. “Prevention is better than cure,” he said, in an oblique reference to the incidents of love-linked suicides.
Other colleges are also putting in place strict disciplinary measures. Dr A Ramchandra, principal, AMC College, said, “No student should stand in the college corridor, the parking lot or elsewhere on the premises during class hours. Those found using cellphones on the campus will be given a warning first and subsequently fined Rs 300. VTU rules too say cellphones are banned.”
Dr T Munikenche Gowda , principal, SJCIT, said if they find girls and boys ‘misbehaving’, they won’t be allowed in class and their parents will be summoned to the campus.
Schools too are waking up to the dangers of pre-pubescent sexual infatuation. Kids’ Campus International School principal Srikantappa said, “As they are at a tender age, we need to be careful. We ensure that there is not much mingling between boys and girls.”