CHENNAI: With very few first-year students this year given admissions in the hostel at the Marina campus of the University of Madras, the students fear that the administration is planning to shift the hostel to the far-away Taramani campus of the university.
Pointing out that Taramani campus is far away and the daily commute would make a toll on the students, they demand that the university administration drop the move and instead improve the facilities in the hostel at the Marina campus.
“We had a meeting with our warden when we were told that next year the hostel will be completely shifted. But nothing has been officially announced. The granting of admissions for freshers on the Taramani campus is only the beginning of the process,” said a student, requesting anonymity.
The main reason for apprehensions of the students is that this academic year only 20 first-year students were allotted rooms in the hostel on the Marina campus. Most of the students, who say they heard about it from teaching staff, believe that the hostel on the Marina campus would be turned into a guest house next year and the hostel students will be made to stay in the far-away Taramani campus.
Speaking to Express, P David Jawahar, registrar of the university, said, “There is a scarcity of space in Marina campus hostel. Now we have a new campus functioning at the Taramani campus with better facilities. So we are admitting fresh students there. Once they reach second year, they will be allocated rooms in the Marina campus hostel.” He denied any move to shift the hostel on the Marina campus permanently and convert it into a guest house.
The students say the bigger issue with the Taramani hostel will be the commute. “It’s true that the Taramani hostel is well furnished, unlike the Marina campus hostel. But from the Marina campus hostel, we can just walk into the university campus. From Taramani, besides the travel time, the students should also spend money on transport, which will be a huge burden,” said another second year student, pointing out that most of the students who take the university hostel hail from financially poor families.