IIT-B's ban on 'valfis' disappoints students

Sep 03, 2018, 10:20 IST | Pallavi Smart

Popularly known as 'valfis,' they are essentially farewell functions for graduating batches, a tradition for over a decade. Hostel-mates arrange them for those passing out

IIT-B's ban on 'valfis' disappoints students

Bans seem to be a trend, and students of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) are disappointed with one by its administration, on valedictory functions held in their hostels. A notice regarding it shocked them on Wednesday, and led to discussions on campus over the reasons behind the ban, as well as why students’ opinions were not considered before taking the decision.

Popularly known as 'valfis,' they are essentially farewell functions for graduating batches, a tradition for over a decade. Hostel-mates arrange them for those passing out.

The notice
The notice issued by the dean of Student Affairs reads, "The Disciplinary committee found that the statements made in valedictory functions were vulgar, racist and extremely derogatory. The committee also noted that this seems to be the norm in all valedictory functions and it happened in spite of the dean sending a notice to students before the valedictory function season to desist from such behaviour. As such the valedictory functions in the hostels are becoming highly controversial and disorderly. Therefore, it has been decided that holding of valedictory functions in the hostels should be stopped forthwith."

The institute’s official student media body, Insight, wrote about students’ concerns. "Valfis are popular among students and an outright ban on them has disappointed them. So we thought of talking to students and taking a review of the situation," said Aparajeya Dash, chief editor of Insight.

'Not held abroad too'
Dr Soumyo Mukherji, dean of Student Affairs, said, "These functions are outdated so we have discontinued them." Though the notice mentions the alleged language etc used in the valedictory functions which is why students also say they were banned, he refused to comment saying these are internal campus matters. However, Mukherji explained, "Even in other countries where there are huge hostel populations, such functions are not held. More so, as the institute officially makes it a point to arrange farewell functions, we do not feel the need of these individual hostel level celebrations."

Quote

Even in other countries where there are huge hostel populations, such functions are not held. More so, as the institute officially makes it a point to arrange farewell functions, we do not feel the need of these individual hostel level celebrations.
- Dr Soumyo Mukherji, Dean of Student Affairs

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