General News of Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Source: GNA

UCC Casely Hayford hall closed down

Cape Coast, April 2, GNA- The Casely Hayford hall at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), has been closed down with immediate effect for the rest of the Second Semester of the 2007/2008 academic year. The closure by the Executive Committee of the Academic Board of the university was due to reported acts of violence by students of that hall.

All students of the hall are therefore required to vacate the premises by noon on Wednesday, April 2.

The decision to close down the hall, followed an emergency meeting held by the Board on Tuesday, in the wake of certain activities by the students of that hall in connection with their annual week celebrations. A statement issued by the registrar of the UCC, Mr Samuel Kofi Ohene on Wednesday, said the decision was taken to restore law and order to the hall following students' general behaviour including the throwing of stones, use of petrol bombs, the destruction of property and issuing of threats to the hall administration.

It said the students have also blocked some of the roads on the campus, indecently exposed themselves, and refused to allow their hall master access to the premises and had earlier spread human excreta in front of his office.

According to the statement, members of the Junior Common Room Committee (JCRC) of the hall had reported to the university administration that they could no longer control students of the hall, who had been demonstrating the whole of the day in violation of the UCC's regulations on demonstrations, rallies, assemblies and processions.

It said that the decision was to safeguard life and property in the hall in particular and the university campus in general and warned that any student or group of students, who will indulge in any further acts of lawlessness in the hall or any part of the campus, would be dealt with in accordance with the UCC's rules and regulations. Meanwhile, when the GNA visited the campus at around 0815 hours there was a heavy police presence, numbering about 200 and were all armed at the Casely Hayford hall. Some students of the hall were seen standing dejectedly outside, while others had packed their belongings and were standing by it, with a few still in their rooms. Some of them told the GNA, that "they had nowhere to go" and that they were unprepared for the decision taken by the UCC authorities. An executive member of the hall, who only gave his name as Odeefuo, told the GNA that on Tuesday at about 1500 hours, 11 out of the 13 of his colleagues were arrested by the police and detained for about three hours.

At the time of filing the story, the executive members of the hall were in a meeting with the UCC administration. According to him, when they asked why they had been arrested they were told by the police that, they were disturbing the peace and causing damage to property.

One of the students of the Atlantic hall, whose shoulder got dislocated during the fray between students of the two halls, was discharged on Tuesday from the UCC hospital. It would be recalled that the UCC authorities on Monday, cancelled the remaining activities planned for the hall's week celebrations following clashes between students of that hall and their counterparts in Atlantic hall.

The GNA also came across a notice that the UCC administration had in addition, cancelled the hall week celebration of the Atlantic hall, which was scheduled to have begun on April 13.