At UL, Violent Demonstration Stalls Academic Activities Again

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As disruption of classes at the state-run University of Liberia recommences, the Administration through its Vice President for UL Relations, Dr. S. Momolu Getaweh, has told this paper that it will surely suspend students who are associated with the present ongoing disturbances.

On Monday, July 14 the two campuses (Capitol Hill and Fendell) were turned upside down as students calling themselves “Militants” roamed the campus, causing classes to discontinue.

According to the students, most of them have not been able to receive their control sheets since registration began in April, and the administration has closed registration.

The leftover students said if the decision stands that they cannot register, they will continue the disruption until their plight is addressed.

Reacting to this claim, Dr. Getaweh said when the first deadline set for registration passed, students requested a time extension, and a grace period of one month was given.

At the end of the one-month grace period, Dr. Getaweh stated, two additional weeks were given, and the last grace period was one week, which ended on Saturday, July 13.

He said those disturbing the campuses are less than 500 students who failed to meet up with registration because they were waiting for “scholarship” offered by the University of Liberia Students Union (ULSU).

“We are investigating those connected to the disruption of classes; and when those involved are investigated and noted well, we will give them suspension for three to four semesters without mercy,” Dr. Getaweh said.

This present fragile semester follows another crumbly semester, which was characterized by a series of violent demonstrations which led to the removal of former Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost, Dr. Wede Elliot-Brownell.

When Dr. Brownell left the UL, many students felt the problem at the university was over.  However, while on the Fendell campus on July 14, students were again heard complaining, “We thought when Brownell leaves this school will not have problem again, but the problem is even more than before.”

Students of the University of Liberia are accustomed to waiting on ULSU’s financial aid referred to as scholarship, and at most times the scholarship delays to the detriment of the students and the administration, our reporter said.

This semester scholarship slips were released after classes have resumed in May, and deadlines set for completion of registration were extended to help accommodate the so-called beneficiaries.

Over 5000 students are benefiting from this financial aid scheme, and it is being observed that because it exists every semester, most students use their fees to meet other economic needs while they await their scholarship slips to be given out.

Meanwhile, students’ pressure is always addressed quickly by administration in order to keep the campus calm.  This has now built the perceptions that whenever students get on the rampage, their views will be honored at the end of the day since administration always adheres to their call.

 Dr. Getaweh in response to this custom said administration will not always go by demand from students as the case has been, and those disturbing the university will have their weight to bear.

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