Any student who participates in the organisation of what is described as ‘morale’ and/or ‘procession’ will be dismissed, the Governing Council of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has stated.
Additionally, with effect from the 2023/2024 Academic Year, the Junior Common Room (JCR) System of Hall Management by students has also been abolished.
Similarly, Hall Week and SRC Week celebrations on campus have also been suspended.
The development followed the outcome of a discussion of a fact-finding committee in line with the recent disturbances that led to vandalism on the campus.
A statement signed by the Registrar/Secretary to the Council of the University, Mr A.K. Boateng, said, “Council of the University at an Emergency Meeting held on Friday, August 26, 2022, among others, discussed the Report of a Fact-Finding Committee, constituted by the Executive Committee of the University, following the recent disturbances arising from the Hall Week celebrations of the University Hall.”
According to the statement, the decision has been taken to avert a recurrence of the unfortunate incident.
This implied that there would be no Students’ elections for hall executives, but existing governance structure comprising Hall Councils, Hall Masters and Senior Tutors would continue to operate in the management of the affairs of the halls.
Additionally, Hall Fellows would be appointed and assigned to floors/blocks of the Halls to exercise direct supervision over matters affecting students.
Any student/students who is/are caught to be harbouring dismissed, rusticated, withdrawn student(s) and/alumnus/alumna in his/her room in any of the Halls of Residence on Campus would be sanctioned appropriately”, the statement indicated.
“Students who would indulge in any act which would warrant dismissal, would have their names and pictures widely published in the National Dailies and on the University Website,” it pointed out.
Adding that students who have been rusticated for various offences would have their names and pictures published internally for the attention of the University Community.
The Council condemned the recent disturbances and supported the ongoing investigations by the Ghana Police Service and the University authorities.
“It was the decision of Council that any person/student found culpable should be dealt with according to the rules of the university and those requiring further prosecution by the State should be handed over to the Police.”
The statement expressed gratitude to members of the Ashanti Regional Security Council for the support in addressing the situation.
“We express our profound gratitude to the Ashanti Regional Minister, the Inspector-General of Police, the Regional Police Commander, and the Central Command of the Ghana Armed Forces, for the professional role they played in helping to restore calm and tranquility on the University campus,” the statement underlined.
Meanwhile, the Judicial Unit of the Ashanti Regional Police Command has secured a bench warrant for the arrest of 62 students of the University in connection with the vanadalism.
The Asokore Mampong District Court, presided over by Mr Samuel Quansah Buabeng, issued the bench warrant, on Wednesday, when two of the students were brought before it, charged with counts of rioting, causing harm.
They were named as Daniel Osei Bonsu, an alumnus and Francis Tutu Atuahene, a Level 200 student of the University.
Their pleas were not taken and would re-appear before the court on September 8, after a push for their bail by lawyers was shot down by the court.
Head of Legal and Prosecution at the Ashanti Regional Police Command, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Blagodzi, said efforts were underway to arrest the remaining suspects and called on the other suspects to surrender themselves to the police.
Counsel for the two suspects, however, expressed disappointment in the court for remanding their clients as they claimed the charges against them did not match the facts.
“I am really disappointed, the facts do not support the charges, and I do not know why the court should remand them,” Lawyer William Asamoha Sarpong insisted.
Twelve cars were vandalised and 12 students injured when students of the Unity Hall, popularly known as ‘Conti’, and University Hall, also known as ‘Katanga Hall’, of the KNUST clashed in a fierce battle.
The clashes triggered after residents of Katanga, with their affiliates from the Casely-Hayford Hall (Casford), University of Cape Coast, breached a convention after crossing the ‘Peace Junction’ during the Zulu procession of the University Hall.
It is recalled that following several clashes between the two Halls over the years, a treaty was signed by the two halls for Katanga, which is located close to the outskirts of the University’s residency, not to cross a route that links the Independence and Republic halls.
That route, if crossed by Katanga, means they have the intention of entering the Conti territory to cause mayhem.
But last Thursday night’s incident saw the Katangees and Casfordians cross the junction, leading to the clashes that saw some vehicles parked at the forecourt of the Unity Hall vandalised, and the 12 persons injured.
Hall week activities on the campus started on August 10 and was expected to end on August 28, this year.
Each hall was to celebrate their achievements and to fraternise.
The Katangees, who were celebrating their hall week embarked on a procession toward the main university entrance gate, blocked traffic flow on the Kumasi – Accra highway and created a lot of vehicular traffic.
On their return to campus, they decided to use the Unity Hall arena, against the treaty.
Without any provocation, the Katanga students were said to have pelted stones at residents of Unity Hall in an attempt to provoke them to react.
When that failed, the Katangees were said to have destroyed anything on site including cars, some of which belonged to staff.
It was thanks to a joint police and military presence at the campus that restored calm to the campus.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI