Unpad does not facilitate political campaigns on campuses, here’s why

TIME.CO, Jakarta – Different from Gadjah Mada University and University of Indonesia, Padjadjaran University or Unpack stated that he would not facilitate political campaign activities on campus. This decision follows a circular from the Council of Rectors of Indonesian State Universities (MRPTNI) which met with the General Election Commission.

“The contents of the circular essentially provide recommendations to all state universities in Indonesia not to facilitate political campaigning activities on campuses,” said UNPAD Public Communications Office Head Dandi Supriadi on Friday 13 October 2023 .

The recommendation contained in Circular no. 104/E/MRPTNI/IX/2023 is based on three considerations. First, the impacts that require attention and anticipation are related to the implementation of the teaching and learning process, the use of campus facilities, and the neutrality of the academic community. Secondly, there is the potential for polarization and division of the academic community into certain political forces so that it may violate the principles and principles of neutrality of the civil state apparatus.

In addition to this, there are several articles in the electoral law that prohibit the participation of state officials in electoral activities. The third consideration is that for educators and teaching staff who are not state public employees there is a risk of a conflict of interest that could compromise the implementation of the educational process and campus safety.

However, according to Dandi, if the leaders of state universities believe that they are able to carry out the 2024 election campaign on their campus without interrupting the teaching process, and that they are able to maintain the independence of the academic community and the favorable atmosphere of the campus, then permission to conduct election campaigning on campus can be considered.

Regarding the option of allowing political campaign activities to be held on campuses during the 2024 election season, Dandi said, Unpad has taken a position not to facilitate campaign activities. “Or any form of public seminar or conference containing the campaign of participants in the 2024 elections, be they presidential candidates, their deputies or political parties,” she said.

The reason is that, in addition to considering the same recommendation as the MRPTNI, UNPAD is also trying, as much as possible, to reduce political friction on campus. At the same time, to ensure the smooth conduct of internal activities in the form of the election of the Chancellor which will take place in 2024. “In terms of political interests, Unpad has absolutely no interest, so there is no particular need to invite participants to the elections,” Dandi said.

Unpad will not facilitate this if the student executive committee or alumni association invites the potential president to attend campus. In the meantime, if the activity is off-site, the rector and the Student and Alumni Relations Department will discuss it. “But a red line is that UNPAD’s involvement in political activities must not be implied, because UNPAD must be neutral in elections,” Dandi said.


Meanwhile, Unpad Student Family Student Executive Committee Chairman Haikal Febrian Syah said so far his party is not happy if presidential candidates come to campaign or take the form of a campaign.

The student organization will prepare a program to invite official presidential candidates to UNPAD, if possible. This takes the form of testing ideas, as at Gadjah Mada University and the University of Indonesia. “If there is a desire, obviously there is and we are trying to plan scenarios for the future,” he said on Wednesday 11 October 2023. BEM is still waiting for the final decision of the KPU and Unpad regulations.

According to him, the test of ideas consisted of inviting not just a couple of presidential or vice presidential candidates, but all of them. Themes can be topics that have not been asked by other campuses and even related to regional issues.

“Since West Java has quite a large mass base and is a point of contention for presidential candidates, we also want to know if they know the aspirations and problems in West Java,” he said. So far, according to him, no presidential candidate’s party or his successful team has contacted BEM Kema Unpad or vice versa.

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