We are deeply concerned that the published statement of the president of IUTAA is presented in the news out of context
IUT Alumni Association has sent a rejoinder to the report titled: "IUT taking advantage of autonomy," published in Dhaka Tribune on September 16.
The rejoinder states, in pertinent part:
We are deeply concerned that the published statement of the president of IUTAA is presented in the news out of context.
The president of IUTAA was approached by Dhaka Tribune to comment on a separate issue that is not reflected in the published article, and a small portion of his statement has been published that fails to convey the overall context and interpretation of the statement.
In the article, the statement of the president of IUTAA was placed after the following paragraphs:
Wahida Ahmed, director general of the International Organizations wing of the Foreign Ministry, said: “From the very beginning of IUT, no Bangladeshi authority was ever involved with the management of the university.”
The land in Gazipur where IUT is situated was donated by the Bangladesh government to the OIC. The land for constructing the women’s dormitory was also donated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina two years ago, upon the OIC’s request.
The article then suddenly jumps into how IUTAA has condemned media attention, while the president of the association has shown his full cooperation and responded to the actual queries with factual information. The article says:
“Meanwhile, the IUT alumni association has condemned media attention on what it termed such a delicate issue.”
President of IUT Alumni Association Dr Nazmul Arefin said: “We strongly believe the IUT administration is capable of taking proper steps regarding any incident inside the campus, irrespective of gender.”
This statement has been taken out of context and provides a misleading narrative, as the president of IUTAA was approached to comment on the issue of previous incidents of sexual harassment complaints at IUT, how the IUT administration has reacted to these complaints, and particularly on the context of the meeting of IUTAA with the VC of IUT.
The president of IUTAA has responded to the queries. Unfortunately, Dhaka Tribune's report failed to present the essence and gist of the response and has used a small portion of the statement, that too in a separate article, while the full statement was a summary of the key outcomes of the meeting of IUTAA with IUT administration regarding sexual harassment and treatment of the female students.
His statement to Dhaka Tribune reads, in pertinent part:
"From IUTAA we strongly believe the IUT administration is capable of taking proper steps regarding any incident inside the campus irrespective of gender. The newly appointed VC sir has confirmed that the current administration is dedicated to maintaining international standards for safety, equity, diversity and well being. To that extent, positive changes will be reflected in actions in the coming days as well. We believe both alumni and administration want the best environment for the students, staff and faculties irrespective of their gender and nationality. IUTAA has offered help to contribute to make any positive impact.
Every organization in the world improves their policies from time to time. This is a continuous process and we believe the IUT administration will make the best decision after consulting with relevant stakeholders when any changes are required.”