In light of safety concerns arising in the past few weeks, the institute administration has announced a new set of comprehensive rules for students starting the new academic year 2017-18. All students are required to return to the hostel premises by 6 pm. Permission from parents or guardians will be necessary for spending a night away from hostel. Two instances of attempted robbery along the TGH-Velachery road have sparked off concerns about student safety especially as one of the alleged robbers was found to be an outsider and the other, a particularly aggressive monkey. As it is not possible to restrain all outsiders and monkeys, a curfew was deemed the most appropriate solution.
Dress codes will also be made compulsory for all students throughout campus, except inside the hostels. Students are banned from wearing pajamas outside hostels as fruit prints on them may attract monkeys, endangering the students. All pieces of clothing that ride above the knees are also banned, as it is widely known that short clothes can cause widespread attacks. Male students in particular are cautioned to stay safe at all times and only step out with a monkey whistle.
T5E spoke to a variety of individuals regarding these rules. A Prakruti spokesperson said, “It is true that monkeys have been getting more aggressive over time. It is better to be safe rather than sorry. Since we know what triggers attacks, we can prevent the attacks from happening in the first place.”
An unnamed administrative head backed this logic up, saying “Since we cannot prevent all outsiders from entering the campus, it is the responsibility of the students to keep themselves safe. However, the security section can be reached at any time for help in case of emergencies.”
Students, though, are noticeably upset with the rules. Several students who wished to remain anonymous said that these rules are regressive and will only help to create a “Rise of the Planet of the Apes situation”. Instead, they called for students to fight back. One student emphatically argued that it is SLC’s responsibility to pass bills and legislation against outsiders as this is what they do best. When contacted, an Executive Wing member responded, saying “We will act in the students’ best interests. We will take a survey to gauge their feelings and then act as we deem best.”
We called up the Security Section a few times, but nobody picked up the call.