Oppression, disregard for our rights triggered Monday’s disturbances – KNUST SRC

The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) says systematic oppression by the university authorities and the wanton disregard for their rights triggered Monday’s disturbances on campus.

It claimed authorities at the university have for some time disregarded the views of the student body in decision making, stating the authorities have arrogated onto themselves, arbitrary powers.

A peaceful protest of some recent decisions of the university management turned violent Monday morning on the campus in Kumasi, forcing the Regional Security Council to shut down the school indefinitely.

The students did not understand why some of their colleagues were manhandled by the university security last weekend during a vigil organised against the university authorities’ decision banning all “morale nights”

Some people have condemned the university students for their Monday action which caused destruction to both private and university property.

But responding to the issues, the SRC in a statement Tuesday explained the protest that degenerated was triggered by some arbitrary decisions of the university management.

The SRC did not understand why legally elected executives for Unity and University halls who challenged the university decision to convert their all-male halls to a mixed one were stripped off their position and freshmen handpicked and imposed on them as executives by the university authorities.

“This clearly shows they were not ready to listen to the students even when they use legitimate means,” the SRC said in a statement issued Tuesday.

The SRC also accused the University management of insisting that all hall weeks are done concurrently by all the halls within a week.

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Again, the students claim the authorities “arbitrarily” took over all students association accounts, thus depriving the associations the means to plan and implement their programmes.

By that, it explained, the authorities have succeeded in taking over their ability to represent their constituents

“These and many more acts caused the students to have no other option but to show their displeasure. No matter the crimes a person has committed, they do not deserve to be stripped off their human rights in that manner,” it said.

The SRC is however hopeful that the impasse would be resolved amicably for academic work to resume, indicating it is ready to “chart a new course with university management where students are treated with dignity and respect”.

Read the full statement below

By P.D Wedam|3news.com|Ghana