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CASE OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF STUDENTS OF UCC

We write as alumni of the University of Cape Coast concerning the rustication of some 22 students of the Atlantic Hall of the University of Cape Coast and subsequent issues that have unfolded during this academic year’s (2017/2018) Hall week celebrations.

As former students of this Great University and Atlantic Hall affiliates, we deem it a responsibility to contribute to issues that have a direct impact on the reputation of this University as well as the security and

the welfare of its students.

We, the undersigned, maintain that the sanctions that were meted to the 22 students (all Atlantic Hall affiliates) were very unfair and borne out of a hasty judgment. However, we were very much certain and hopeful that management will put forth measures to that will curb such disturbances in future. It is in this light that we welcomed the new guidelines that management prescribed for the celebration of Hall weeks after the unfortunate incidents in May. Rather unfortunately, recent developments seem to testify otherwise to this situation.

The University is an equal opportunity ground that regards all students as same and equally irrespective of their ethnic, religious or social background (not forgetting their halls of affiliation). Indeed rules are supposed to apply to ALL students, sanctions are also supposed to apply to ALL students too.

On the contrary, we would like to bring to your attention; if you have not yet realized, that there is deep-seated perception that University management tends to favour students of certain halls as compared to other halls. Many believe that the University’s management treats Mariners (Atlantic Hall affiliates) with iron fists while it treats other halls with kid gloves. This perception is borne out of a chronology of events that have happened in previous times, and most recently in the rustication of the 22 students. For the avoidance of doubt these are some reasons that have arisen cause to suspect unequal treatment of students:
1. In the rustication letters that were served to the 22 students, management gave the following reasons as part of some 5 reasons for rusticating the students:
a. That the students were ordered to celebrate the hall week within the premises of the hall
b. That ATL embarked on a procession to donate books on Monday 13th March 2017
c. That ATL processed through the North campus on Wednesday.
In the face of these three reasons, hall leaders were sanctioned, rusticated. It is, however, a matter of fact that Oguaa Hall and Casely Hayford Hall similarly embarked on processions on Monday and Wednesday of their hall week celebrations. Not even a caution or sanction came from management to the hall leaders of these two halls but management found a reason to include these as reasons for rusticating the 22 Atlantic hall affiliates who did the very same thing. This feeds into the belief or perception that management is looking to make scape goats out of Atlantic Hall leaders.

2. In the same matter of violence that occurred last year, it was strange that management found only leaders of Atlantic Hall culpable. Even in the face of audio and video evidence, nobody from Oguaa Hall was found to be a part of the disturbance. This has also fuelled the perception that management is out to hunt leaders of Atlantic Hall or that it has an agenda to punish members of Atlantic Hall either unnecessarily or unfairly.

3. On 30th October 2017, members of Casely Hayford Hall embarked on an unauthorized procession throughout campus and all management did was to serve them a ‘warning’ letter/notice (copy attached to this letter) when in fact 22 students have been rusticated some few months ago for similarly embarking on what management calls ‘unauthorized procession.’

In all these we ask: why would management want to treat two groups of students differently and apply different sanctions to them when they are all students of the same university? Are there different classes of students or are some groups more students than others?
In any case, Atlantic Hall did not have the benefit of a ‘warning’ letter/notice as management has done in this case when Mariners went to donate books to a deprived school for which reason they have been rusticated.

For us as former students, these concerns have the potential to breed enmity among students or affiliates of these halls. Students are also very likely to lose trust in the justice dispensing system of the University of Cape Coast. If students continue to lose trust in the system we foresee a time when situations will get out of hand and management we fear will have a harder time handling the situation.
We feel this is an opportune time for management to prove to students that they are not segregated based on their halls. We are keenly looking forward to how management will deal with leaders of Casely Hayford who have clearly flouted the guidelines for celebration of Hall week for which reason management has warned them. We urge you not to give credence to the believe that because most of you are Casfordians you tend to be sympathetic to them in delivering justice.

Cordially,
Signed

Bernard Quaye
benlaw292@gmail.com
0544951515

Oswald Okaitei
oswaldokaiteye@gmail.com
0244174908
Cc:
Pro Vice Chancellor
Hall Council, Atlantic Hall
SRC
ATL FM
Lawyer Emmanuel Asare

About Efo Korsi Senyo

Efo Korsi Senyo has over 4 years experience working as investigative journalist with Awake Africa. He is the Head of Awake Investigates. Connect with him via senyo@awakeafrica.com or WhatsApp: +233249155003

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