Jakarta – A circular requiring students from the Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar) to follow a public lecture by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Monday January 17 has gone viral on social media. Unpar rector Mangadar Situmorang has finally responded to the controversy.
According to Situmorang, the requirement for students to take part in Widodo's lecture was a form of respect for the president. "Please don't get caught up over the sanctions, but focus on the respect", said Situmorang in a written release on Sunday January 16.
Situmorang is asking all parties not to focus on the administrative sanctions against students in the circular. "The administrative sections are a way to warn students that the learning process needs to be undertaken with responsibility", he said.
Situmorang added that Unpar was honored by Widodo's presence on the university's 67th anniversary and referred to this as a historical event for Unpar.
It was this reason which underlay Situmorang's desire for his student to join and listen directly to Widodo's speech. According to Situmorang, it was a one time opportunity for them during their studies.
"To the President of the Republic of Indonesia Ir. H. Joko Widodo, Unpar is obliged to show respect", he said.
The circular, which went viral on social media, was officially designated Number 2 1/R/2022-01/096-1 and titled Circular on a Presidential Lecture and signed by the rector.
In the circular it said that President Widodo will give a public lecture to mark Unpar's 67th anniversary on the theme applying the state ideology of Pancasila in the life of the nation and state.
The circular said that all academic activities are obliged to take part and be actively involved in the lecture by President Widodo. Moreover if student do not attend Widodo's lecture, they will be subject to academic punishments.
"Students are obliged to be actively involved and follow the President's lecture though a Zoom link and register their attendance though the student portal. Students who to do not follow the lecture will be subject to academic administrative sanctions", reads the circular. (zul/rtc)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mahasiswa Unpar Terancam Sanksi Jika Tak Ikuti Kuliah Umum Jokowi, Begini Kata Rektornya".]