University Justifies Rustication

The University of Cape Coast (UCC) has said it is “dismayed” with the negative reactions from sections of the public over its attempt to maintain discipline in the University following the rustication of 22 of its students.

According to a statement signed by Acting Director, Maj. Kofi Baah-Bentwum rtd, this is as a result of a lack of information about the University’s disciplinary processes.

The University rusticated the 22 students for engaging in some disturbances on the campus during a hall week celebrations in March which led to the stabbing of three students. The rusticated students are to serve an academic ban ranging from a period of two to four semesters.

The Student’s Representative Council, some alumni and some members of the public have bemoaned the school’s decision but authorities in the school maintain they followed the University’s disciplinary processes.

A statement explaining why the authorities rusticated the 22 students read: “The Management of the University of Cape Coast has monitored with dismay the negative reactions from sections of the public over its attempt to maintain discipline in the University. This is obviously as a result of a lack of information about the University’s disciplinary processes.

“Following the campus disturbances that led to injury to some staff and students and destruction of Oguaa Hall building and some vehicles, the Vice-Chancellor constituted an eight (8) Member Disciplinary Committee with a mandate to investigate the matter. The Committee’s terms of reference were as follows.

1. Investigate the disturbances involving students of Atlantic Hall and their student guests.

2. Recommend appropriate sanctions for students involved in the disturbances.

3. Any other issues related to the disturbances.

“The Committee which was chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor had the Dean of Students, a Legal Officer, Head of Security, Director of Academic Affairs, the presidents of the Students Representative Council (SRC) and the Graduate Student Association of Ghana (GRASAG) as members. There were four others in attendance.

“The committee held series of meetings, interviewed the JCRC and Planning Committee Members and others, called witnesses and came up with the following findings and recommendations:

1. The Atlantic Hall Junior Common Room Committee (JCR) did nothing to prevent the coming of their “traditional allies” to participate in their Hall Week Celebration as they were expected to do.

2. The singular act of Mr. Enock Abeiku Bart-Plange Tawiah to aided the Vandals to enter Oguaa Hall started the stone throwing and the subsequent destruction of property and injury to persons. His act has caused Destruction of University Property contrary to Article 46 (g) of the Students’ Handbook.

3. The Committee recommends that Mr. Bart-Plange Tawiah should be rusticated for four (4) semesters with effect from the Second Semester, 2016/2017 academic year. Mr. Bart-Plange Tawiah is, therefore, expected to report at the beginning of the Second Semester, 2018/2019 academic year to continue his programme of study.

4. The other twenty-one (21) students made up of JCRC executives and the Planning Committee showed disregard to University Authorities and were negligent in their duties, thus leading to non-compliance with directives from the Dean of Students.

“Their collective negligence and disregard for lawful instructions are tantamount to insubordination contrary to Article 45 (a) of the Students’ Handbook. The Committee therefore recommends that all JCRC executives and Planning Committee members should be rusticated for two (2) semesters with effect from Second Semester, 2016/2017 academic year. The affected students are therefore, expected to report at the beginning of the Second Semester, 2017/2018 academic year to continue their programmes of study.

“It must also be noted that this punishment does not preclude the criminal aspects of the act which the police are handling.”

The statement added that the Vice-Chancellor approved the recommendation and it has since taken effect and that the University acted within its statutes and the students hand book.

Management of the school noted that it does not take delight in punishing its own students without reasonable justification but had to act in the interest of the entire University.

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