Aman Rochman, Malang, East Java – Amid rising fears of radicalism in academia in recent years, several universities in the country have taken measures to prevent their students from being exposed to religious intolerance and anti-Pancasila ideas.
Malang State University in East Java, for instance, collaborated with the East Java Police to hold a workshop during this year's student orientation that discussed the dangers of radical ideas.
East Java Police chief Insp. Luki Hermawan called on more than 6,000 freshmen in attendance to keep an eye out for fellow students who suddenly turn reclusive and hostile.
"Be careful of fellow students who change drastically all of a sudden, especially those who discriminate against people of different beliefs, and denounce the state ideology of Pancasila," Luki told new students on Tuesday.
He went on to say that the university should immediately conduct an internal investigation should any of its students fit the description.
"Discussions on the dangers of radicalism are vital, especially among young students who are still trying to find their place in society," he said, adding that technological advancements and social media made students especially vulnerable to radical ideologies.
Head of student affairs Taat Setiyo Hadi said the university had reserved slots for new students from various religious and ethnic backgrounds to push for inclusivity and tolerance.
"We've taken steps to prevent the spread of radical ideologies, in accordance with an instruction from the Research Technology and Higher Education Ministry," Taat said, adding that the university had also supervised extracurricular activities, especially those mentored by senior students.
The workshop was met with enthusiasm among some of the new students. "It's important to discuss the spread of radicalism and intolerance," said Nadiya Regita, a new student from Cirebon, West Java. (rfa)