A directive to deny continuing students of the Commonwealth Hall at the University of Ghana access to the hall is still in place.
The management of University of Ghana (UG) introduced a residential policy which directed continuing students of Commonwealth Hall and male students of Mensah Sarbah Hall to be assigned to other residential facilities on campus.
Some students of Commonwealth Hall have been stuck outside the hall premises since the first day of reopening for students [Thursday 12th January 2023] due to the new directive.
Security has been beefed up on campus to prevent the affected students from occupying the hall.
Some stranded students on campus from Commonwealth Hall, usually referred to as Vandals, who spoke to Happy FM’s / Etv.Ghana’s Joseph Nii Ankrah said “We came here and the school’s security said they will not allow us to enter the hall. I have been here since 12th January with my luggage and other items. I don’t know where they want us to go. I will sleep under the tree today,” one of the frustrated continuing students said.
Another stranded student said. “They have given me another hall which is very expensive, my parents cannot afford the fee. Lectures have started today; 16th January and I’m supposed to go but because I don’t have anywhere to stay and keep my belongings, I could not attend lectures. I’m depressed and stressed about the whole situation.”
It would be recalled that, some 8 disgruntled students of Commonwealth Hall secured an interlocutory injunction on January 6, 2023, restraining the management of UG from implementing the new residential policy and directing the school to revert to the status quo prior to the announcement of the policy.
However, the management of UG argued that the directive had taken off long before the injunction was secured, indicating that about 83 per cent of Commonwealth Hall students had agreed and accepted placement to other accommodation facilities provided by the university.
But on Thursday, January 12, 2023, some continuing students arrived on campus to see a heavy security presence, preventing them from accessing the traditional hall.
The measures which took effect from the beginning of the 2022 academic year, were to prevent future occurrences of violence between Commonwealth Hall and Mensah Sarbah Hall students. Continuing students of Commonwealth Hall and male students of Mensah Sarbah Hall are not to return to their halls or any of the traditional halls.
Rather, they have randomly been assigned to available rooms in the UGEL hostels available on campus.
Continuing female students of Mensah Sarbah Hall and students with special needs in both halls are exempted by this measure.
Also from the 2022/2023 academic year, only Level 100 and graduate students (Masters and PhD level) will be assigned to Mensah Sarbah and Commonwealth Halls and subsequently, undergraduate students will vacate the halls at the end of Level 100 and could secure accommodation in the private hostels from Level 200 until completion.
For Level 100 students who opt for traditional halls, they will be randomly assigned to the halls and progressively, all the traditional halls (Mensah Sarbah, Commonwealth, Volta, Legon and Akuafo halls) will be reserved for Level 100 and graduate students only, culminating into a full in-out-out-out policy by 2025/2026.
To improve upon security on campus, the university council said it was installing CCTV cameras and Electronic Access control systems in all halls.