Why Is LUMS Trending For All The Wrong Reasons?
The Lahore University of Management Sciences also known as the ‘Harvard of Pakistan’ is making headlines yet again. Despite the academic candor of the institution itself, the headlines are rather inflammable or defamatory for the university`s reputation.
One can just enter ‘LUMS’ into the twitter search bar or google it for that matter and appears a long list of tabloid material. It was a tweet from one particular LUMS student that attracted vile all over social media. Ali Zar who is a student at LUMS and also a popular YouTuber with a substantial number of followers made an elitist tweet regarding LUMS.
Although the nature of tweet itself was Ali Zar`s personal opinion, it led to an open-ended debate regarding the caliber of the institution with a subsequent university war on twitter.
— Ali Zar Raza (@alizarraza) July 17, 2019
The short video by the Youtuber was followed by another elitist tweet where he reflected upon the money and class’ associated with LUMS.
— Ali Zar Raza (@alizarraza) July 17, 2019
It is important to note that Ali Zar has been repeatedly reprimanded for his controversial social media posts, he was even removed from a student facebook group administered by LUMS Students. Many of those who are privy to the institution`s values refuted Ali Zar`s tweets.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself. I’ve seen more class in the watchman of my building than you. Money cannot buy class. I sincerely hope you take some time to understand that and change the perception of yourself and LUMS for that matter.
— Samie Tariq (@SamieTariq) July 18, 2019
Certainly money does not buy you into Lums, but when quality public education is non-existent, having money certainly paves the way. A few exceptional students get in who don’t come from privilege but for many, their privilege matters. Also check the arrogance please.
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) July 18, 2019
While talking to Naya Daur regarding the said controversial video by Ali Zar, many LUMS students responded with how the former pulled a publicity stunt.”He is a perfect example of one bad fish can spoil the whole pond”, another student added.
Secret Facebook Group
For what it’s worth, this is not the first time, LUMS is making headlines with controversy or a negative connotation. It was a few months ago when female students at the University discovered and subsequently reported a secret facebook group which was allegedly involved in defamatory and explicit content targetting women.
women at LUMS unearthed a FB group of ~600, mostly male, students, which was circulating derogatory, explicit content targetting women.
they have now come together in solidarity to demand administrative action against the misogynistic campus culture that aided such an occurence.
— zainab? (@zainabmsheikh) April 8, 2019
Although the issue was later taken up by the administration, the hostility in the University`s environment and cyberspace pertaining to LUMS just increased.
In the last academic year or so, LUMS kept on trending for all the wrong reasons. In one particular video where the graduating batch was celebrating the color week, many took to Twitter criticizing or rather ridiculing the on-campus environment.
It is important to acknowledge that amongst those who kept on ridiculing the video included TV anchors, academics, politicians, and etcetera.
The fact that the majority of the educated class of our country took a jibe at one of the premier educational institutes bordering on misogyny and harassment is nothing but worrisome. The comments made by Pakistani twitter were not only ludicrous in fact came up with presumptions regarding the university`s students.
Arguably LUMS perception as a university invites all kinds of negative attention, where people are willing to acknowledge the academic excellence however the majority of them are not satisfied with the level of freedom students tend to enjoy.
Prior to Ali Zar`s controversial video or exposure of a facebook group, the non-academic part of LUMS has been debated upon for quite a while.
It was a few years ago when a graduating student died of an alleged drug overdose on campus, now despite the widespread condemnation across the country, what sparked headlines was the rampant drug use on campus. It is pertained to mention here that drug use takes in excessive amount all over the country even secondary educational institutions for that matter. But the media was willing to let go of other institutions and places to isolate LUMS into an alleged ‘drug heaven’.
The question is why LUMS keeps on trending from a slight misdemeanor to largely controversial claims, precisely because many are concerned about what goes behind the red brick walls.
While referring to the so-called perception of LUMS, students from other universities of Pakistan tend to associate the place with ‘western values’. According to a few LUMS is trying to propagate a culture which goes against the sentiments of largely conservative Pakistani society.
As much as I would like to debate the values in question, what concerns me more as a student is, why our educational institutions are judged upon by non-academic factors alone?