Speaking on AYV’s Wake Up Sierra Leone Program on Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, PRO Rogers in response to questions from presenters Lamrana Bah and Phebian Swill said among other things that “with correspondence from the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, the continuation of the students’ union election at Fourah Bay College has actually been put on hold because of the untoward activities that was perpetrated by students yesterday on campus which actually resulted to the decision of management as well as the line ministry for putting on hold the electoral processes.”
He added that “putting it on hold implies that we would actually observe the scheduled date that was slated for the conduct of the election. Because, the conduct of the presidential debate (yesterday) would have given us the platform or confidence as management for us to pursue but the manner in which supporters of candidates behaved at the Adjai Crowther Amphitheatre was so unprecedented that we have now decided to put the entire exercise on hold.” He added that “students union elections in the University of Sierra Leone is considered as a privilege and one that is extended to our students for them to make sure they imbibe the culture of leadership during their stay in the university.”
Pressed further about what the university administration is doing to resolve the issue of student union election violence at specifically the FBC, Munda Rogers went on to say, “As a research station, we are not unaware of the fact the behavioral tendencies of our current crop of students at the university does not conform with the standards set for their existence in the university. And the leadership of the university is poised enough to make sure that we correct of all these anomalies so as to be able to make sure that we bring in a concept of student leadership.”
Asked whether the university administration cannot simply handle those unruly students causing the trouble rather than allowing them to cause the disenfranchisement of those students in the majority who want the elections to go ahead, Mr. Rogers replied that “moving forward that is currently what the college has been able to table on our administrative desk.” He added however that college students’ election can only be conducted in a convenient environment where peace and not violence thrive but that at the end of the day, “the crop of students that we have now, in spite of the fact that upon enrollment into the university, we provide them orientation; matriculation – giving them the rules of engagement and we normally explain to them that the conduct of student union elections is a privilege.”
He warned however that it is when students want to covert this privilege into a right “that is when we stand tall.” He informed AYV that the college administration is going to launch an in-depth investigation to punish the culprits. He pointed out that the issue of good training from the home also comes into play, adding that parents and guardians need to follow up on the activities of their children or wards.
He used the opportunity to state that the college administration may have a few challenges but that when it comes to the area of administration, it is well equipped and capable to manage eventualities, adding that it is because the college has the capacity is the reason they are going to seriously clamp down on the students who cause the rumpus on campus. He maintained that a university they have standards they maintain and best practices they imbibe among other attributes which the administration expects all students coming into the college should acknowledge and put into practice but that the college would definitely frown on any student that decides to do otherwise and put the college in an embarrassing spot.