The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has called on the authorities of the University of Ghana, Legon, to suspend the implementation of the in-out-out-out residential policy with immediate effect.
The immediate suspension of the policy, it said, was to allow for broad-based participation and consultation by the relevant stakeholders.
“NUGS sees the in-out-out-out policy as arbitrary, obnoxious and an imposition which must not only be condemned by all but also halted immediately,” it said in a statement.
It described the university authorities as being too radical with the implementation of the policy, which it said was a recipe for plunging the university community into a state of chaos, with a spill-over effect on national security.
It said the action of the authorities was a deliberate and well-calculated attempt to dislodge student activism on the campus.
The statement said the policy would not only put a financial burden on parents, guardians and students but also create a system where education, especially tertiary education, would be the preserve of the rich.
It appealed to the media to visit the university and find out the number of students sleeping in mosques, dining halls and TV rooms because they could not afford to pay huge private hostel fees.
“NUGS, and for that matter students of Legon, refuse to be shanghaied by the intimidation and threats by the university authorities. We shall remain resolute in these trying times and use all the available legitimate means to resist the implementation of this alien, obnoxious, treacherous and draconian policy of the vice-chancellor,” it said.
The statement called on the President, Mr J. A. Kufuor, to personally intervene to ensure the reversal of the policy, since it had serious implications on national security.
On the way forward, the statement proposed that the university should create a strategic accommodation policy which would build at least one or two hostels every year for at least five years.
It further urged the university authorities to introduce a positive discriminatory accommodation policy whereby students outside Accra would be given priority in the allocation of rooms.
“The university authorities should also be more ingenious by employing students to do some jobs on campus to enable them to earn some income to support themselves,” it added.
The statement urged authorities of the university to allow their children and wards to stay with them in their homes, instead of always allowing them to compete with poor students for the inadequate rooms on campus.
It also called for the re-introduction of internship programmes.
It condemned the smearing of examination halls with human excreta by unknown persons believed to be students, saying that “such acts do not befit our status as future presidents and ministers of this country”.