The case of two emails

Besides the Nigerian scam emails the emails from the institute authorities make me laugh the most. I understand their predicament. The people in-charge were born during the days of Doordarshan and Akaashvani, certainly will find it difficult to manage 1000 young and exceptionally intelligent students with access to internet and DC++ (the internal P2P filesharing system having thousands of movies and other entertainment material that keeps student awake till morning).

This one classic email that was posted on the internal newsgroup by one student.

Dear All,

I would like to bring to notice of all that what happened in 3rd
wing ground floor is the second incident, when people left the geyser
ON, just few weeks back same thing happened at 3rd wing top floor.

I must tell, this is very careless acts on part of inmate and such
recklessness is not tolerated. Both these incidents engender the need
of fine for entire wings but till now I have avoided it but dont test
my patience.

Soon, I will put up the list of all the possible actions that covets
fine. And I am not planning to be generous in future.

There will be strict code of conduct for each inmate, if not follow,
he will be fined. Don’t wine about that “I didnt do anything” cause
now its the time to do something.

“Do push people to close the geysers and lights, if you find anyone”

Because, if you cannot find the black sheep, you all will bear the
punishment. Just closing the lights when you dont need it is not good
enough anymore.

Please change by yourself or I will be forced to force it on you.

However what really caught my attention was this mail from the Dean Students Affairs. After a lot of rhetoric about motorized vehicles the 9th point in the email deals with an area not addressed before so far :[Epmphasis added by me]

Dear Students,

Off late this office has been receiving complaints against students  from
the security section relating to the following issues:

1. Using IIT Bombay students I-cards for bringing in friends and relatives
inside campus.

2. Keeping guests in the hostel rooms without proper permission;not paying
the guest charge in time;

2. Not showing the I-card when demanded by the security.

3. Making duplicate I-cards

4. Not collecting the I-cards from Security Section

5. Jumping over the fence to enter into the campus, if entry is  not
allowed through the gates;

6. Getting  into unnecessary arguments with security staff when asked to
fulfil the official documentation;

7. Bringing in motorized vehicles without proper permission;

8. Roaming/sitting in dark or isolated places with opposite sex during
unearthly hours.

As regards rules relating to motorized vehicles on the campus kindly note
the following and adhere to it strictly.

Now the questions that the point 9th raises are fairly obvious:

1. Is roaming/sitting in dark a problem ? If yes then sitting with opposite sex is it’s subset hence there was no need to mention it. Saying “Sitting/Roaming in dark or isolated places is not allowed” would have sufficed.

2. Is sitting with opposite sex a problem ? Then where you sit is immaterial.

3. So obviously the authority has problem with a guy and gal sitting in dark isolated places. If they are only sitting then what is the problem ? Are we living in Saudi Arabia or something ?

Now, the smart kids of the institutes must have made some real fun of this notice. Hence the authority was forced to send another mail. [emphasis added by me]

Dear Students

As a result of discussions between student representatives, editors (past
and present) of Khabardar magazine and my office, we have reworded the
last posting which we believe may meet all your OR, NOR, AND, NAND, and
any other boolean logic! (BTW I am fairly well informed of your taking pot
shots at our office)

Here we go. The joke may please be on the student reps. and the editors
who have provided this version.

Due to increasing number of violations being committed by the students,
the Security Section hereby lists few of the most violated rules. The
students are to take note of these rules listed below and abstain from
violating the same.

1. The students are prohibited from keeping guests in hostel rooms
without prior and proper permission. Where permission has been given and
guest(s) is staying in the hostel room of the student, non-payment of
“guest chargesï” for such stay, on time, is a punishable offence.
2. Any duplication of I-cards is a punishable offence.
3. Where entry has not been allowed to a student through the gates of the
campus, the student is prohibited from jumping over the fence to enter
the campus or forcing entry by any other means.
4. The students are prohibited from bringing motorized vehicles inside
the campus unless prior and proper permission has been sought and
granted by the concerned Authority, as intimated to the students from
time to time.
5. While free movement of students of IIT Bombay is not restricted by
curfews, any abuse of such freedom by way of sexual misconduct or public
acts of kissing or indecent exposure will be construed as public
indecency and is subject to punishment or/and fine thereof.
6. The students shall not allow their IIT Bombay student I-card to be
used by non-students for entry into the campus.

Now the language of notice might give and impression to the reader that I.I.T.-B campus might look something like the heaven where terrorists get their 72 virgins. That is certainly not the case. I am yet to see a couple in the campus which was behaving indecently. (some people may claim here that my own standards are pretty low).

Certainly public decency is important but whatever has caused these notices seem less about care for decency and more of an attempt of moral policing.  Best of luck to the authorities.

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