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Suicide of Luminite and responsibility of University?

25 Apr

I received this really sad news on the email list. A student of Lahore University of Management Sciences has committed suicide . The little information I was able to grasp from the group (before everyone started the analysis of the LUMS, its system, fees and everything) was that the student was deeply disturbed because his GPA went below the required threshold.

I will not talk about whether such threshold is valid or what other causes were there for that student’s death.

I do not want to say whether the University was responsible or not. I have too few information to do that, I have too much bias to discuss that.

What I want to say is to University is that: Even if I am not responsible it does not mean I should not try to resolve it.

Academia is a stressful place. Unlike what outside people think, being student is not easy. It’s full time job. Your day does not end at 5:00 pm and it does not start at 9:00 am.

Students around the globe commit suicides in universities and it is not new Phenomena. Most of the time its stress of the course, sometime its stress of the environment, other time its just too much to handle the explosion of new-ideas and new-themes of the life.

LUMS is more stressful place than other Institutions of Pakistan not only because of paradoxical culture they have, because they are in too much hurry to become best university in Asia , because their systems are not so mature, because some teachers feel that they should not be giving ‘Good Grades’, because some teachers consider themselves “Khudai Faujdar” (God’s Crusader’s) of cleaning out the LUMS from ‘un-intelligent’ students, because some of the faculty member are too ……

Also because LUMS is one of very few academic places where they really allow you to talk what every you want. Discuss what ever you want. It’s a real academic place rather than just great expansive building.

Teachers are allowed to sell their ideas and they have huge faculty that have really opposite theologies; there is God, there is no God, is-there or not-there I do not care, Pakistan is at false, we should be more moderate, less moderate, this or that.

This becomes lot to handle comparing to the world outside that gives you very little opportunity to have your own thinking. (well even at LUMS the so called “MODERATES” are in power and most of the things go there way; but its another issue;). Where you might be joked out but will not be man-handled by Jamiat-students.

Crux is, there is stress; not only due to University itself and its management policies, But might even be what it is offering. University might not be in control of many of these things. But this does not mean that they should not do anything about it.

This is one of the thing I have seen in American Society (or at least what ever American Society I have seen). They deal with matters and do not let them go because by Law they were not required to deal with that. It’s of social obligation, even if not for the moral purpose but just for the survival of the society.

In extreme selfish manner you protect each other for at least benefit of protecting yourself .

For example how can we know that next time if someone in LUMS decides to commit suicide will not decide to take few others with him? Next time the student might say ok, that teacher screwed me so why should I go alone? So Management of LUMS should do it not for themselves if not for others. {Again I do not have information that they didnot tired,}

Whatever be the reason, the stress exists in the students and University is (morally) obligated to help students out of that. Its one thing we should provide to them in the University Environment before we throw them to the vultures of outer-world.

Many Universities around the world are thinking about the proactive way of dealing with this issue. Current student-shootings in the US Universities has kicked started the new discussion about how to stop people before they hurt themselves and others.

LUMS has been very good to me, I learned a lot there; it opened the opportunities for me which my Punjab University degree would not have opened. This does not mean that they should remain silent. LUMS should atleast think that by taking few other step if it can avoid this situation, it should do that. It’s worth it.

LUMS management has always handled these situations much better than other universities, I hope they are able to do that this time also.

I feel sorry for that student, his family.

May Allah Help us all.

World might be horrible place to live in, but life is too wonderful to loose

But then these are just Stranger’s Words

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