The authorities of the University of Ghana, Legon, have said the university has not agreed on any percentage allocation of residential facilities to students.
They, therefore, said the “In-Out-Out-Out” residential policy to be implemented from 2007/08 academic year would go ahead as announced.
That is contrary to a statement by the Students Representative Council (SRC) that the Residence Board of the University had decided on allocating approximately 60 per cent of residential facilities in the traditional halls to fresh students and 40 per cent to final-year students in a new residential policy.
It said the decision was taken at the maiden meeting of the residence board of the university, which was attended by the SRC President, Ms Louise Carol Serwaa Donkor, last week.
However, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Dean of Students, Dr Bruce Banoeng-Yakubo, said “the meeting never agreed on any percentage allocation of residential facilities to students. What the SRC has said is misleading, deceitful and full of mischief. The meeting reaffirmed the university's policy of giving preference to freshers,” he stated.
With the In-Out-Out-Out policy, priority is to be given to freshmen and women in the allocation of rooms to enable new students to get settled in their new environment comfortably.
The university authorities stated that the prioritising of accommodation for some categories of students such as sportsmen and women, medical students, international students, persons with physical challenges, students with medical conditions and student leaders as pertained in the traditional halls of residence would continue.
Dr Banoeng-Yakubo said in spite of the policy, some Level 400 (final-year) students would get accommodation, adding that after this allocation had been done, rooms that remained would be given to Level 400 students with preference to those who had never had accommodation since they entered the university.
He said the In-Out-Out-Out policy did not just spring up, and that it had been something discussed since 2003 at a residence board meeting, which culminated in a gradualist approach that ushered in the policy.
He explained that the gradualist approach was followed based on an appeal by the then student leaders, who said that at the time the issue was being discussed there were continuing students, and called for the adoption of such approach to phase out the Level 200 and Level 300 students.
Dr Banoeng-Yakubo said during the 2005/06 academic year, the residence board held a meeting to discuss problems arising from the implementation of the In-Out-Out-In policy, and, therefore, tabled a 70:30 per cent allocation to freshers and continuing students.
“This, the students vigorously objected to,” he said.
In September last year, he said, during a residence board meeting, discussions started on the need to consolidate an enduring policy that would favour freshers and also stem the tide of sale of bed to freshers by some unscrupulous students.
Students of the university went on demonstrations to protest against the implementation of the policy when the authorities announced that the policy would be implemented from the 2007/08 academic year.
Some even went to the extent of threatening to disrupt last semester's examination if the policy was not changed. some indeed attempted to do so but their action did not deter the authorities from going ahead with the examination.
Story by Emmanuel Bonney