by Musa Ali ’24
On the afternoon of October 24, eighty LUMS students sat at the landmark khoka of LUMS for the first time in over six months — in fact, for some freshmen, it was their first visit to the campus.
The gathered students had spent the past few weeks organising this meeting and had gathered outside LUMS. After an hour, the administration invited the students onto campus for a discussion. As the protestors collectively moved towards the seating area, they continued to raise their posters and chanted slogans, reverberating their demand for a full campus reopening to be arranged before the Spring 2021 semester began.
By 3:00 PM, the protestors had settled in at the khoka. A microphone stand and speaker system had been set up where Vice Chancellor Dr. Arshad Ahmad, Dean of Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Dr. Adnan Khan, Professor of Practice of Public Health and Director Health and Safety Dr. Samia Altaf, and Provost LUMS Dr. Farhat Haq, and the protestors utilised the speeches and question-answer session.
The discussion went on until around 6:30 PM, at which point much of the crowd had dispersed and left. During this discussion, students were able to voice their concerns, and senior leadership said that the campus was being opened in phases to “ensure that the health and safety of students was not compromised”.
While many argue that the answers given by the administration were “insufficient” and “did not properly address the students’ demands”, others are cautiously optimistic.
“I think this was definitely effective,” said Roshaan Waseef ’22, “but I’m still very, very uncertain [about what the future holds]”.
Could similar weekly sessions lead to better solutions to the re-opening dilemma? At the very least, they might help bridge the communication gap between students and administration.
Picture Credits: Hijab Kashif and Ahmed Qazi
- The Feasibility of Outdoor Classrooms - January 15, 2021
- Students Protest Outside LUMS For Campus Reopening - October 26, 2020