“See you in court” – UGSS to admin

first_imgUG fees increaseUniversity of Guyana Students Society (UGSS) President Norwell Hinds said that the body was in the process of “putting its ducks in a row” as it contemplated mounting a legal challenge against the University of Guyana administration over the move to “unconstitutionally” raise administrative fees.On Thursday last, students were notified by email by that from March 1, there will be an increase ranging from 20 to 100 per cent for 28 different services offered by the administration.A section of the students at the meetingThe University released a statement on Sunday, which revealed that a Special Meeting of the Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC) approved the increase in various service fees since June 1, 2017.According to the statement, the new fees were sanctioned after a comparative analysis revealed that the administrative fees of the University were lower when compared to other tertiary institutions. It was also stated that it has been almost a decade since these fees were last adjusted.However, the current UGSS Executive, which was installed in October of 2017, is disagreeing with that contention and expected to challenge that in the court.“Our interpretation is that the action to implement the fees requires the approval of the Council. That is our contention and the University disagrees and their contention is that the approval of 2017 stands. Our position is that the approval of 2017 was a part of budget estimates for 2017 so until you present the budget for 2018 as approved by the Council, there is no legal standing,” Hinds said.“Our view is that we want to go to the court and let the court say to us whether we are right in our interpretation or the administration is right. We are pursuing it (the court action) right away. We have been doing that since last week,” he added, while shying away from revealing when they would file for the proceedings to commence.The UGSS President maintained that a new Council has not been installed yet; hence, the unilateral decision by Vice Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith, to implement the new fees was unconstitutional. He explained that the body was seeking the court’s opinion so as to prevent any further reoccurrence of such an issue.When asked about any planned protest action by the UGSS, Hinds related that there were “many ways to skin a cat” and that protests have been tried by previous UGSS Executives with little or no significant results; hence, they were bent on taking the administration to court should it go ahead and implement the fees.The students are now required to pay $1000 (previously $500) for processing applications for degree, diploma and certificate programmes and $3000 instead of $2000 for late application. Additionally, fees were adjusted for late registration from $10,000 to $12,000, supplemental examination from $1500 to $5000, personal transcripts from $3000 to $5000 and to $6000 to re-sit an exam while a letter for visa applications and other purposes would cost $5000.Town-hall meetingIn order to bring the student body up to date with the actions taken by the Society and to also listen to their suggestions, the UGSS hosted a town-hall styled meeting on campus on Tuesday.At the meeting, the UGSS was bashed for knowing of the decision to implement the raise in fees and doing nothing about it. However, Hinds indicated that the body only became aware of the raise in January after students writing supplemental exams complained.Several of the students complained about the sloth in the University releasing their grades. They noted that although it was three weeks into the new semester, grades from last year were not released as yet; in addition, their timetables were a mess, lecturers were not showing up and in some cases, they were still waiting to sit exams for last semester courses.The students questioned the level of service being delivered by the administration, noting that UG’s back gate was being closed as soon as it got dark as a result of lack of lighting, there were dogs roaming the campus biting students and parking spaces were inadequate. The students are irate that all the administration seems to be doing is enhancing itself and ignoring the concerns of the students.They all committed to banding together to ensure the fees were not increased and to pressure the administration to ensure quality, efficient and timely services were delivered.last_img

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