All India Catholic University Federation
The All India Catholic University Federation (AICUF) is an organisation of Catholic university students. The movement was started in 1924, at St.Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli by Fr. Carty, SJ. Currently it operates in 15 states of India. The organization is affiliated to Pax-Romana, an international association of catholic professionals. The AICUF's vision is "to sensitize students towards those at the margins and involve ourselves in the struggle for their basic rights by equipping ourselves physically, intellectually and spiritually while networking with NGOs and peoples' movements".
The Catholic Young Men Guild (CYMG), started by a group of college students with the guidance of Fr. P. Carty SJ at St.Joseph’s College, Trichy was an organization in the tradition of ‘Catholic Action’. The guild was based on the following principal aims:
- the spirit of Christian Brotherhood
- informed catholic mind
- application of catholic principles to social problems
It was then merged with the MCYL (Malabar Catholic Youth League) that was founded by Fr. Honore SJ in 1915. CYMG was renamed as CYMF (Catholic Young Men Federation). In 1937 CYMF grew in the Southern part of India and got re-christened itself as SICUF. SICUF became AICUF in 1949 as a national level student movement and got recognized by Catholic Bishops' Conference of India . AICUF publishes an alternative student monthly 'THE RALLY' in English which deals with the current educational, social, cultural and political scenario of the country.
The AICUF membership is open to university students who share the ideals of the movement as enshrined in the constitution. However, every member state has the autonomy to decide on its own policy regarding membership. Every member is entitled to participate in all the decision making activities of the unit. However, a member can be selected as an office-bearer only on completion of one year in the AICUF, except in the case of newly formed units.
AICUF in States
At present, there are two AICUF units in Mumbai existing in St Xavier’s College, Dhobi Talao and St. Andrew's College, Bandra. The St. Xavier's unit was revived by Fr Roy Pereira SJ in 1998. The St. Andrew's unit was opened also under his supervision as well as Xavier's unit advisor Fr. Prashant Olalekar, SJ on 10 December 2014.
The Pune unit of AICUF was revived by Fr. James Selvaraj SJ in 2011 at St. Vincent (Night) College of Commerce. The unit is animated by Sch. John Mezsia SJ. Dr. Gilbi John. Mr. Franklin Fernandes of St. Vincent College, Pune was the National Convener of AICUF in 2012-16. St. Vincent College of Commerce hosted the National AICUF Camp in May at Social Centre, Ahmednagar.
Karnataka has AICUF Unit across several Colleges. They conduct several outreach programmes. State Aicuf Secratariat is located in St Joseph's College, Bengaluru. Fr Brian Pereira SJ was Aicuf state Advisor for several years until 2018. Fr Joy Rodrigues SJ has become Karnataka State Advisor from 2018. He is mentoring several units. Every year elections are held to elect National Representatives.
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