Despite repeated demands, the administration has yet to organize a new election
Due to the absence of a committee, the Rajshahi University Central Students’ Union (Rucsu) has de-facto been defunct for the past 29 years.
The lack of an active student’s union is depriving students of the opportunity to communicate their interests to the administration. It has also halted the growth of new leadership among students.
Despite political movements frequently being launched by students’ organizations, the university administration has yet to take the initiative to elect a new committee.
Following the announcement of a Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) election, the issue of a Rucsu committee has again come under the spotlight.
Rajshahi University (RU) authorities have also expressed their interest in meeting with the representatives of student organizations to discuss the Rucsu election.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Rajshahi University Vice-Chancellor Prof M Abdus Sobhan said: “We will decide on the next course of action regarding the Rucsu election after holding a dialogue with students’ organizations.”
History of Rucsu
The first Rucsu election was held in 1956, shortly after the founding of Rajshahi University in 1953. Then, it was called the Rajshahi University Students’ Union.
The committee became inactive during the regime of Ayub Khan but renewed its journey in 1962. No elections were held between the years 1970-1972, 1975-1980, and 1981-1988.
So far, 14 Rucsu elections have been held since its formation.
The students’ union was formed to: nurture leadership, build model citizens, create better understanding among the youth from home and abroad, and create more opportunities for extra-curricular activities.
Rucsu was also responsible for organizing various humanitarian and social events.
Demands for a new election
Many leaders—representing various students’ organizations at Rajshahi University—have been demanding an election for a new committee, for some time. Following the announcement of the Ducsu elections, student leaders are thinking of launching a new political movement at RU.
Rajshahi University Students’ Union President AM Shakil said: “We engaged in a political movement demanding a Rucsu election, in tandem with the demonstrations for the Ducsu polls. The university administration has yet to respond to our demands.
“We are planning to resume our political movement for an election.”
Meanwhile, leftist students’ organization Biplobi Chhatra Maitri’s President, Fidel Monir, said: “We want Rucsu to resume its activities. However, the administration has taken no steps for an election, despite giving us frequent assurances.”
Echoing this, Bangabandhu Projonmo League President Abdullah Al Mamun said: “A Rucsu election has been our demand for a long time. The student leaders will reinvigorate the political landscape of the country in the future.”
Ruling Awami League’s student wing Chhatra League RU unit General Secretary Foysal Ahmed said: “We strongly support the demand for a Rucsu election. We have submitted a memorandum to the university vice-chancellor in this regard.
“We will again press our demands for a Rucsu election.”
Responding to a query, Prof M Abdus Sobhan said: “The administration is positive about the demands for a new Rucsu election. The students’ union will help create more leaders, and they will lead the country in the future.
“The administration will discuss the matter with students’ organizations. The schedule for a new election will be announced if there is favourable atmosphere.”