For the two weeks preceding the Alumni Meet, the fifth years were given the assurance that they would be allowed to attend the Alumni Meet at the expense of a token money of Rs. 200/student. Pursuant to which, a total of 38 students from the fifth year had agreed to attend the Alumni Meet. Accordingly, a total booking of 110 people (including the fifth years) was made at the venue.
D-Day (April 22, 2016) (All time references are estimates):*
- 11:00 am – The fifth year Placement Cell is called into the Principal’s Office and informed that the fifth years would not be allowed to attend the Alumni Meet (scheduled to take place on April 23, 2016). Pursuant to which, the Placement Cell tried to convince the authorities otherwise.
- 12:30 pm – The Prefects from the fifth year meet with the Principal in order to convince her to recall this new decision and allow the fifth years to attend the Alumni Meet as was initially indicated and decided. But the authorities are undeterred.
- 2:00 pm – The Alumni Cell was finally informed by the Placement Cell and the Prefects about the situation and were asked to support the call for allowing the fifth years to attend the Alumni Meet.
- 2:30 pm – The students involved (the Placement Cell, Alumni Cell and Prefects) decided to contact the Chairman, AIL but were unable to do so.
- 3:00 pm – The fifth year students approached the Principal in order to convince her, but to no avail.
- 3:15 pm – The students (the Placement Cell, Alumni Cell and Prefects) along with the fifth years had a meeting with the Principal. The decision by the authorities, however stayed the same. It appears that the Principal had made a few calls to the Chairman in order to convey the disappointment of the students at the decision, but to no avail. Following this, the fifth years alongwith Placement Cell, Alumni Cell and Prefects refused to attend the meeting.
- 3:30 pm – The students were called back and informed that the event had been cancelled. The Principal claimed that she would personally e-mail every alumni and apologize. However, this does not seem to have happened.
- 4:00 pm – The students (for some reason) decide against calling the Chairman.
- 4:30 pm – The students contact the Principal to reconfirm if the entire discourse was just a strong-hand tactic. The Principal informed the students that the event has been cancelled because the students had blatantly defied the authorities and had refused to attend the event.
- 5:00 pm – The students realise that the booking at the venue has been cancelled.
- 5:30 pm – The students decide to call the alumni individually and inform them of the cancellation.
The Blue Pencil Analysis:
The way we see it, the authorities (as always) acted extremely impulsively without considering the long-term consequences of such an action.
The students acted extremely ineffectively when they failed to take any action to revoke the cancellation or mitigate the circumstances.
So who exactly lost this battle?
Well, AIL did. It’s a settled position that the alumni are the core of any institution. This becomes an even stronger proposition in the face of the fact that AIL is a law school.
As many of you may be aware, the Alumni is currently in the process of sending emails to the authorities expressing their disappointment with the entire fiasco. However, in all honesty, we feel that this would only culminate into one thing: further blame-game. The authorities would try to easily shirk off the responsibility onto the students that apparently “defied” them. We agree that it might budge the authorities a little, but it’s highly possible that the e-mail might hit all the wrong chords.
We believe that the Alumni Meet should be an event that’s absolutely independent of the authorities. There should exist an Alumni Board, that would be responsible for overlooking the funding and the dates of the Alumni Meet, while the current students of the college (or the Alumni Cell) would work directly with the Alumni Board in order to successfully organise the event.
*Please note that the timeline is a second-hand record of the events of the day. In case of any feedback or queries please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.