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28.09.2004 General News

10 in room meant for 4 at Legon Campus

By Chronicle

The accommodation problem that has beset the premier University of Ghana-Legon is gradually getting out of hand.

Credible information reaching The Chronicle indicates that, at the moment, a residential room that were meant for two and later five students some few years ago, is currently housing 10 students.

Though, the allocation of five students per room at the annexes of traditional halls, the number is unofficially increased to 10 by the students themselves through what has become known in the University as "perching."

Interestingly, the facilities in these halls still remain the same as were created for the original number of students.

Sources indicated that the school's authorities are peeved over the issue of "perching", but there is little they can do about the situation.

When The Chronicle visited the campus yesterday, a circular was sighted on one of the notice boards on Akuafo Hall, indicating that the authorities of the hall were disturbed over the issue and consequently warning students from harboring others as 'perchers.'

"Any student caught harboring a percher would definitely lose his or her residential status," the circular warned.

Meanwhile, a number of students expressed the view that issues of perching were problematic and could not be eradicated completely in the halls of residence.

According to students that spoke to the paper, the authorities should not be blamed for the overcrowding in the halls of residence "because it is as a result of keeping people in rooms as perchers."

One disclosure that was made was that, without perching, over 700 students will have no place to stay and the poor among them cannot afford the huge sums charged for hostel facilities, and that would make them abandon their University education eventually.

For now, the number of perchers and official occupants of rooms at the halls is drawing to a 50-50 proportion, raising signals of devastating consequences, should there be any unfortunate outbreak of an epidemic.

Further information gathered by the paper indicates that, some students not being able pay their fees, have resorted to selling their beds for huge sums of money to their own colleagues who have no accommodation.

It was gathered that the current ¢ 640,000.00 being paid by students as Residential Facility User fee (RFUF), which represents a 100% increment over last years academic year's amount of ¢ 320,00.00, and was one of the reasons that compelled students of the university to take to the streets for a demand in reduction, included accommodation fees, but has it yielded no results so far.

Speaking on issues the treasurer of the Students Representative Council, Mrs. Adoma Amina, stated, "Indeed there had not been any substantial improvement in the state of residential facilities to warrant the collection of the current RFUF."

She stressed that there might be some maintenance works in some part of the her block, which she was not aware of, while emphasizing that nothing was being done in the halls either.

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