The campus of the University of Ghana is slowly but steadily being turned into an active market by the over 10,000 resident students. In every nook and cranny of all the seven halls of residence, commercial activity is booming.
One can see a variety of goods being literally advertised for sale. They include assorted phone cards, fresh and boiled eggs, soft drinks and meat pies. Many students have turned their rooms into “business centres,” where they have installed telephones, photocopiers and computers, with which they offer their fellow students all manner of secretarial services without paying any utility bills to the university. This goes on despite the fact that the university authorities frown on students engaging in commercial activities.
“Students who engage in business activities do so at their own risk, because they are here for full-time academic work,” the acting Director of Public Affairs of the University, Mr Peter Yarquah, said.
Speaking to Times on Tuesday about the allegations that had been circulating about unauthorized commercial activities on campus, especially in the halls of residence, Mr. Yarquah said that although the authorities were unaware of these activities, they would “apply the necessary sanctions” if they received firm reports.
He said that the university authorities were aware, however, that some students rented out their beds to colleagues who desperately needed on-campus accommodation. “Bed sellers will be thrown out of the halls, and looking at the severity of the offence, additional sanctions will be applied,” he stated.
“The Vice Chancellor said at a recent Students' Representative Council forum that those who do that will be dealt with, so I'm only reiterating what he said,” said Mr Yarquah. The acting Director of Public Affairs said it was the responsibility of the Porter, the Senior Tutor and the Hall Master in each Hall to ensure that students did not break the rules while in residence.