Mangaluru: A Jesuit college in a southern Indian city has come under social media scrutiny for introducing rules that are allegedly loaded against female students.
St Aloysius Pre University College in Mangaluru, a port town in Karnataka state, more than 3,100 students, recently introduced the rules and regulations that ban among others mingling of boys and girls in the campus.
While social media platforms and blogs slammed the college for what they called are draconian laws, the college administration maintains the rules are much milder than rules of other PU colleges in Mangaluru district.
The Jesuit college announced the rules during an orientation program held a few days back. Most of the alumni and current students say these are not required and biased against girls.
Some rules that have irked girl students are: No pubs and parties and no girl student can leave campus for afternoon food. During breaks, girls should not visit boys of other class. Mehandi (henna) can be applied only on palm and only for family functions and feasts with prior permission from class guide. No high bun or low bun. Interaction between a single girl and group of boys and a single boy and group of girls is also a no-no.
“The aim of these rules is to make these young students focus on study and inculcate moral values. The college is taking responsibility of a parent,” college principal Fr Melwin M Mendonca told The Times of India.
Reacting to posts on social media sites, he said an alumni who had issues with college had taken grudge by venting it on the net. “Author of the blog (satshyatharien.wordpress.com) had issues with one of the deans in 2011. So she has come out in public to vent out her anger now,” the principal alleged.
Agreeing above mentioned rules is in practice at the campus, Fr Mendonca revealed that those were announced during orientation program and not ‘officially’ recorded in college prospectus. One students has taken picture of the rules and circulated it. Pointing at the printed matter on rules, he said: “Since it was just an informal announcement, the language used in the rule sheet was not polished. It could have been better.”
Why rules are biased against girls?
“There are rules for boys as well and most of rules are quite similar that of their opposite gender,” the priest said and claimed even parents are happy with rules. “They have no objection to it. The admission is increasing every year and it wouldn’t have been possible if they are against our institution.”
Fr Mendonca also said some educational institutions in Mangaluru district do not even allow opposite sex to interact with each other. “Soon after classes, they have to walk outside in two separate lines. Apart from it they are restricted going outside campus for months,” he said and claimed that his college is more liberal than others.
Some female students said they agreed with the rules on over makeup . “But not allowing us for lunch in the afternoon is unfair. If boys can, why can’t we?” asked a female student, who did not want to be named.
Tharien’s blog post had alleged that the college rules did not promote gender equality. She shared an anecdote with the dean when she was a student of the college.
“It changed the way I viewed male-female relationships for a while. Every boy and girl talking to each other seemed suspicious to me. To my horror I was becoming exactly what I had loathed. This is how the cycle of abuse continues.
“It took me a while to calibrate within myself that male-female interactions are but normal.”
St Aloysius College is a Christian Minority Institution Jesuit founded in 1880. It is the oldest college in Canara region. St. Aloysius College is managed by Mangalore Jesuits Educational Society, which runs 16 institutions. Its website claims the college aims at an integral formation of the youth, striving to form individuals who are academically competent, morally strong, artistically accomplished, physically fit, socially concerned and personally balanced.
The college became autonomous in 2007.