The University of Liberia’s College of Science and Technology Student Association (COSTSA) recently made a generous donation to help alleviate the shortage of chairs at the university. Over 140 armchairs were donated as part of a student initiative to support the administration's efforts.
Students at UL have been facing chair shortages for several semesters, which have led to protests and disruptions of classes by student organizations. Some of these protests even turned violent, resulting in injuries.
COSTSA President Anthony B. Saah-Bonkie commended his association for their contributions and highlighted the urgency of addressing the chair shortage. He explained that the lack of chairs in classrooms has impacted the learning environment and caused delays in students attending classes.
“We were faced with major constraints; we noticed that students were standing up to learn in various classrooms, especially the Science College (SC) and former Academic Building (AB). So the leadership decided that, in as much as we are students of Science, we are problem solvers, we are results-oriented people. We thought it wise to engage the Science College Administrative Staff,” Saah-Bonkie said.
“After we met them, we decided to give them the Science College Funds draft to procure chairs for the College but it was unfortunate for us. However, we were not frightened by that; we thought it wise to engage our students to enable us to raise funds. During our fundraising program, we had book sales, a dancing competition, and a singing competition. With these ideas, we were able to raise a little over L$99,000 and US$190 from the students who were in attendance and one of the students from the Department of Public Health donated US$120. So with that, we were able to procure 140 armchairs,” Mr. Saah-Bonkie added.
In response to these challenges, COSTSA engaged with the Science College Administrative Staff and organized fundraising events, such as book sales, dancing competitions, and singing competitions. Through these efforts, they were able to raise funds to procure 140 armchairs.
The Vice President of COSTSA, Teddy E. Seyon, praised the students for challenging stereotypes and taking action to support their fellow students. He emphasized that the influx of new students this academic year has placed additional strain on the university's resources, particularly in the Science College.
Seyon expressed disappointment in the university’s failure to adequately provide chairs for the increased enrollment. Prince Kpadeh Jr., Secretary General of COSTSA, highlighted the initial challenge students faced at the start of the semester with many having to bring their own chairs or stand for extended periods of time.
He stated that COSTSA saw the need to help their colleagues and initiate a student-led effort to acquire chairs, as the university’s response was delayed. Kpadeh stressed the importance of fully funding the University of Liberia to prevent such fundraising programs in the future and ensure that resources meet international standards.
Madam Elizabeth Kollie-Jones, Coordinator of TJP Faulkner College of Science and Technology and Environment Studies and Climate Change at UL, acknowledged the significant number of students in the Science College and urged the university leadership to quickly address the challenges faced by students in this academic semester, including the shortage of chairs.
She also called on the vice president for administration to provide adequate logistics and put an end to the scarcity of chairs at UL. Overall, this donation by COSTSA aims to address the urgent need for chairs and enhance the learning experience for students at the University of Liberia.