Student unions gear up for FSU elections nationwide

Published On: February 4, 2017 12:50 AM NPT By: Gyan P Neupane  | @GyaNeupane

-TU to hold elections from Feb 25
-Student candidates must be under 28 yrs

KATHMANDU, Feb 4: Thousands of students at various campuses under Tribhuvan University (TU) have started preparations for the upcoming Free Student Union (FSU) elections scheduled to begin on February 25.

As the TU on Saturday published a schedule to hold the FSU elections, student unions affiliated to different political parties have geared up for the election, which is taking place after a gap of 8 years. As per the existing regulations, the elections should be held every two years.

“By publishing the election schedule, the TU has now ensured that we will be able to participate in the election this time,” said Prem Raj Joshi, a joint general secretary of Nepal Student Union (NSU), the student wing of Nepali Congress. “We have already mobilized a 7001-member election steering committee and started preparations to mobilize our members in all campuses and districts.”

He said that the NSU has welcomed the age bar set by the TU for participating in the election and there is no any dissatisfaction regarding the election criteria set by the university.

TU senate meeting in the first week of January had set the age bar making it mandatory for any student aspiring to contest the student elections mustn't be more than 28 years old.

“We will fight for ensuring equal access to university education for all students,” Joshi said. “Election can be an important platform to ensure students' rights. So, we are not in a mood to miss this opportunity.”

President of All Nepal National Independent Student Union - Revolutionary of CPN (Maoist Center) Narendra Neupane said that they are also mobilizing their students across the country for the election. 

“The mood of the student leaders has changed now. So, this time we will not miss the election date,” he said. “The code of conduct set by TU has also tightened the criteria.”

In June 2012, the election was postponed just a week before the election date due to dispute over fake student admission in the campuses. Student leaders said that the TU itself has postponed the admission process this time from the last week of January, it wouldn't be a big issue for this time.

Nabina Lama, chairperson of All Nepal National Free Student Union of CPN-UML, said that they have already mobilized 11,111 students as election organizing committee members across the country. “We will participate in the election at any cost,” she said.

Tirtha Khaniya, vice chancellor of TU, informed that the recent student activities in the campuses show that the election fever has already gripped college students across the country. He informed that the students under the TU will be able to elect their representatives within the scheduled time.

“We are operating the election as per the timeline,” Khaniya said. “This time around, 400,000 students will be able to choose their leaders.”

He further informed that although few student unions have expressed their dissatisfaction over certain provisions of the new criteria, they will convince the dissatisfied unions through negotiation.

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