March 24, 2009
Campus Moves to Stamp Out Violence
In a bid to stamp out brutal initiation rites that resulted in the death of a student in February, the Bandung Institute of Technology, or ITB, on Monday held a preliminary review session with the heads of students groups, organizers of the event and officials from the Department of Earth Technology and Sciences.
Dwi Yanto Wisnugroho, 22, a sophomore student from the ITB’s Geodesy and Geomatics program, which is overseen by the Department of Earth Technology and Sciences, died after a hazing incident during a school orientation event on Feb. 10.
Widyo Nugroho Suladi, ITB deputy dean for student and alumni affairs, said a commission charged with investigating the incident had already turned up evidence in relation to the student’s death.
“We will punish anyone who is involved in this illegal activity,” he said. “The maximum punishment is to be expelled from ITB.”
He said that at least 52 students who were involved in the hazing had been punished with public service assignments.
Dwi was found unconscious by residents of Pagerwangi village, West Java Province, where the hazing activities were held. His arms were said to be covered with bruises. He died, reportedly from fatigue, on the way to a hospital in Bandung.
Wedyanto Kuntjoro, head of the Geodesy and Geomatics Program, was dismissed a day later because he failed to report the activity to other members of the faculty and the student office.
“We do not want this kind of case to recur in the academic world,” he said. The institute pledged to closely monitor student activities in an effort to prevent further incidents. “The ITB president has also asked all deans to submit statements outlining their ideas about student activities and the deadline is going to be this Wednesday,” he said.
ITB had banned hazing in 2007. The ban was instituted after a series of hazing incidents resulted in serious injuries to a number of ITB students, drawing widespread public outrage.
Previous calls for a crackdown on hazing were sparked in 1996, when several freshmen died during an initiation ceremony organized by senior ITB students.