University politics – Pakistan Today

Besides providing students with academic knowledge, educational institutes are required to provide students with a nurturing environment and empower them through student unions. Globally, most universities have student unions that are responsible for representing all students, hearing their grievances and communicating them to the administration, and providing students with avenues for extra-curricular activities. The student unions are usually headed by a group of students, which are elected by the student body.
Unfortunately, most Pakistani universities do not have student unions and students have few opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities such as debate, sports, etc. This prevents students from interacting with each other outside of classes and often creates a sense of alienation within the student body. As a student at the University of Punjab, I’ve seen many students come to Lahore from across the country to study here. Most students either form friend groups with people they already know or keep to themselves. The lack of healthy interaction creates a sense of animosity and in recent times has resulted in heated arguments and quarrels among students. Even those who try to break off the fights end up getting beaten up. Some students turn these petty fights into larger enmities, which have often resulted in fatalities.
University administrations should remain vigilant of student activities on campus and must discourage students from promoting political agendas at universities. Importantly, universities should form student unions and provide students with the opportunity to engage in healthy debate and other activities with each other to ensure a conflict-free and peaceful educational environment.
FAIZAN BASHIR
CHINIOT

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