Jayapura, Jubi – Students from Cenderawasih University took a firm stance against the scheduled public lecture by Ganjar Pranowo, one of the presidential candidates.
Their demonstration on Tuesday aimed to challenge the university's decision to host only Ganjar for a lecture without including the other two presidential contenders.
The protesters, including activists from the Student Executive Board (BEM) and Student Representative Council representing nine faculties, voiced their dissent by unfurling banners, delivering speeches, and removing promotional materials advertising Ganjar's lecture at various university locations.
Yanes Hisage, the Chairperson of the BEM of Faculty of Law, stressed the importance of institutional neutrality, advocating for an inclusive platform where all three presidential candidates could articulate their visions and missions."The objection isn't directed at Ganjar's visit to Papua but rather the exclusive nature of his planned lecture at our university. The students strongly feel that it is more appropriate for the university to invite all three candidates to ensure fairness and equal opportunity for expression," said Hisage.
Their plea for inclusivity was underscored by the belief that providing a forum for all candidates to convey their ideas would eliminate any potential bias and allow for a comprehensive understanding of each candidate's platform.
They highlighted the educational and academic significance of such an engagement, expressing disappointment that university authorities had not involved students in the planning process. Furthermore, scheduling Ganjar's lecture on November 21, coinciding with Papua Special Autonomy Day, without prior consultation with student representatives, added to their discontentment.
Binius Kakyarmabin, Chairman of the BEM of Faculty of Economics and Business, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the missed opportunity to engage students and academics by excluding the other presidential candidates. Kakyarmabin emphasized the need for a broader platform that would allow students and faculty to interact with all candidates, fostering a more comprehensive exchange of ideas and perspectives. (*)