By: Manahel Ayyaz Khan
On December 10, 2020, an email from the Dean of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) announced the conversion of the M-5 male dormitory into a female dormitory to expand accommodation space for women on campus.
The email stated the following:
“After looking into many options and speaking with the Student Council, it has been decided that all Graduate and Undergraduate women students will be given space on campus. This will be accomplished by converting M5 to a women’s dorm. All male graduate students and all male juniors will be given accommodation in a LUMS only compound within the Askari 11 complex.” Additionally, to remain COVID-19 compliant, no more than two residents would be allowed per room in M-5. The decision to give preference to the female hostelites was a much welcomed decision owing to the fact that about two years ago, a controversy sparked regarding this same issue among the campus community.
In recent years, female dormitories have been over-crowded as the number of female residents exceeds the hostel capacity. To accommodate female students coming from far-off Lahore areas, the administration decided to allot them M-2, a male hostel for graduate students. Shortly afterwards, after the hostel residents’ protested, the decision was reversed.* Details about the incident can be found here.
Hostel applications for Spring 2021 were opened through the 10th to 15th of December. However, it is interesting to note that while applying, Zambeel shows an applicant cap of 1250. As of the night of the 10th of December, 600 applications had already been submitted. It is important to note here that the number of female residency applicants exceeds the 1250 cap based on the fact that there are approximately 600 female students per batch. The question of whether the administration will be increasing this cap later remains to be seen in light of developing SOPs at the University. The matter becomes further relevant considering the Student Council’s email regarding the administration’s plans of bringing desiring students with a Lahore address to the hostels as well.
In any case, the student community is requested to stay on guard as the COVID situation develops in the country. Special care is of utmost importance as a second strain of the COVID-19 (VUI-202012/01) has already made its way to Pakistan. A collective effort made at an individual level will ensure health and safety for all.