The Katanga Hall Alumni Association has claimed that the decision taken by the management of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to convert the all-male hall into a mixed one, is an attempt to destroy the ‘age-old’ tradition of the hall.
The Alumni Association who have consistently expressed their opposition to the conversion of the hall, organised a press conference on Tuesday where they made the fresh claims.
The President of the Katanga Alumni, Charles Dontoh, said that when the management initially expressed concerns about the capacity challenges faced by the University and its effect on the enrollment of more female students, the Association had suggested some alternative infrastructural solutions which were ignored.
This, the Association believes raises some doubts about the University’s real motives for the conversion, sentiments he added were shared by the Alumni Association of the Conti Hall as well.
“The Katanga and Conti Alumni Associations held a series of discussions with the Vice Chancellor and proposed viable solutions to accommodate some problems being faced by the students. The Katanga Alumni even brought down an estate developer resident in the USA as well as some architects to present some plans, but the management did not budge and this gives us the cause to believe that the real intention of the management is not to increase the number of females on campus but to destroy the age-old tradition and brand of Katanga. The Contis also have similar plans in the plan provided if only they will cooperate with us.”
This was after a Kumasi High Court struck out an injunction application case seeking to restrain the management of KNUST from going ahead with the conversion.
Alumni of the Unity and University Halls had sought an injunction application against the conversion.
They had argued that the conversion will be eroding the heritage and identity of the halls.
The school’s management says it took the decision in line with the university’s policy of periodic review of Residential Accommodation for students.
It said the move was in line with the school’s policy of expanding access to female students who are growing in number.
There are also suggestions that the conversion was done as a measure to curb acts of indiscipline by occupants of the single-sex halls.
The Katanga Alumni Association, has however rejected this, stating that these acts are often perpetuated by persons living in nearby hostels, as the students in the halls are monitored.
“The only ones who were in the Hall are the first year students. Somebody who is a green horn, who’s just entered the hall, what kind of rowdyism can he display. We have all these students outside, living in various homes and hostels outside. If these boys decide to misbehave, there’s very little we can do to control them. They are not even in the hall. The first years who are in the hall, how on earth will they misbehave? So this is no reason to convert Katanga into a mixed hall.”
By: Edwin Kwakofi & Duke Mensah Opoku/citinewsroom.com/Ghana