Due to recurrent issues at DU fests, the advisory has introduced DU fest regulations. Delhi University colleges prepare for cultural festivals, typically held between March and April. Starting 2024, student bodies must adhere to the new advisory for fest organization. Proctor Rajni Abbi from DU issued this advisory.
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Regulations imposed by Advisory
The advisory mandates a no-objection certificate and police NOC for security. Liaison meetings with stakeholders, including the Fire Department, are now essential. Fest regulations include pre-event form registration for entry and submission to the police. Participant numbers must align with venue capacity. CCTV installation and concertina wires at hostel and college gates and washrooms are compulsory.
Necessity for Regulation
The advisory responds to incidents, like the one at IPCW in March 2023. Men scaled walls and harassed students during the ‘Shruti’ fest.
Similar occurrences unfolded at Miranda House in 2022 and Gargi College in 2020. Instances of inappropriate behavior, i.e cat-calling and sexist comments, were reportedly made. There has been sexual harassment against attendees after unauthorized entry at a college.
The university believes the advisory boosts safety for female students at events. They argue it limits opening campuses to other institutions.
Aiyesha Khan, Miranda House, emphasized the need for better responses to harassment incidents. Setting clear guidelines is crucial for preventing such occurrences altogether. Miranda House, located in North Campus, is expected to host its fest, ‘Tempest’, in April.
Opinions on the advisory vary. Some find it restrictive, affecting sponsorships. Others consider it essential for security and smoother organization.
Difficulty in Fest Planning
Harsh Dalal, SRCC, highlights the impact on securing sponsorships. This is due to attendee restrictions.
Previous Incidents and follow up Cancellation
Jesus and Mary College canceled the ‘Montage’ fest last year after the IPCW incident. Some students argue that if it can’t be held grandly this year, it shouldn’t be organized at all. The three editions before were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
IPCW alumnus Anjali Sharma views the guidelines as “restrictive, alienating, and discriminatory.” In contrast, former AP at IPCW supports the NOC and security liaisoning. Yet she opposes attendee restrictions.
Support and Opposition to the Advisory
Despite differing perspectives, the advisory has garnered some support. Professor Apoorvanand sees the guidelines as reasonable. emphasizing the administration’s role in ensuring student safety.
Even among students, opinions differ. Some believe the advisory can ensure security and improve fest quality. Aman Choudhary, SVC, notes that pre-registrations and controlled entry are effective. This South Campus college plans to host its annual fest ‘Nexus’ in mid-March.