PESHAWAR: In a surprising move, the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda has prohibited students from smoking within the university’s premises while male students and staff have been barred from sitting idly or roaming with female students.
The varsity issued a notification earlier this month announcing the new set of rules.
Apart from barring smoking and roaming with girls, the varsity’s administration banned the use of rooftops of all campus buildings, including hostels.
Moreover, the use of shawls and ragging of new students has also been prohibited.
Some of the students appreciated the new set of rules, but others voiced their concerns over them.
Basit Khan, a student, said that the university was located in a rural district and most of the residents are quite conservative.
“I personally agree with these decisions and I appreciate them because it is the responsibility of the [varsity] administration to create a good environment in the university for the betterment of students,” he said.
The university has also barred students from politics on campus. An official of Bacha Khan University (BKU), who requested not to be named, criticsed the varsity administration over its decision.
“This is a university, but these people [administration] wants to turn it into a primary school. The people will laugh at them when they do such dramas apart from harming the reputation of the university.”
Chief Proctor Dr Muhammad Shakeel told The Express Tribune that such activities were already barred on the campus but they had just issued the notification as the varsity seeks to implement it seriously.
“We try to create a better environment in university for students so that they only have one purpose,” the chief proctor said.
Explaining some of the measures, he said that smoking was already banned at every educational institution. On the shawl ban, he explained that it was a security measure.
On girls sitting with male students, Dr Shakeel said, “we do not want to create an environment like primary schools but we just want to create a suitable environment for students to study,” he said, before quickly adding that the bar does not mean boys were completely barred from sitting next to girls and interacting, however, if they are sitting together for hours or in objectionable places, then they will be pulled up.
About the punishments, the chief proctor said that these will be decided on case-to-case bases. If the violation is quite very serious, then the matter will be referred to the university disciplinary committee who are empowered to expel students.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2017.