Most university lecturers, on Thursday, abandoned classes at the University of Liberia’s Fendell Campus, outside Monrovia, following Wednesday’s students protest against the expulsion of student activist Alvin Wesseh by the UL administration.
Some students interviewed yesterday by this paper expressed regrets and frustration about the situation considering the long distances they travelled and transport fair they paid in vain as the semester heads toward its fourth week.
The Liberia National Police deployed troops from the Police Support Unit or PSU on Wednesday, as students dressed in ‘militant outfits’ blocked the main Monrovia-Kakata highway and the road leading to the City of Bentol -all connecting the UL Fendell Campus.
The aftermath of the protest turned the UL Fendell Campus into a ‘ghost town’ from the morning hours of Thursday to noon when militants from the Student Unification Party or SUP matched through the campus issuing flyers in which they disassociated themselves with the action of their expelled partisan Alvin Wesseh.
Student Teah N. Siakor of the College of Science and Technology at Fendell told the NewDawn that due to Wednesday’s protest most of the classes were empty, saying the situation has discouraged most students. He said none of his classes scheduled on Thursday was held due to rumors on campus that there would have been another demonstration.
“And most of the instructors were like scary to come on campus; so because of that, it has – like, created a setback for me and most of the students,” he said. A female student also interviewed – Abigail Ross, said Thursday was better than the previous school day owing to the orderliness on campus, though she also faced similar situation as other students, including Siakor, on grounds that the instructor for her first class did not show-up.
“My first class was this morning by 9:30, but my instructor said that he wouldn’t be here because he was uncertain about classes today,” she said, indicating that it would be a setback if none of her classes was held considering the fact that she paid money to learn. She argued that the continuous absence of instructors would likely delay her lessons or even result to their failure to cover other materials.
In a phone interview with the Vice President for UL Relations, Mr. Norris Tweh, he said lectures were ongoing on the UL main campus on Capitol Hill, but “there may be other teachers who may stay away” from classes at Fendell due to the situation which occurred there on Wednesday.
According to him, the administration was doing everything possible to protect the university and its students, as well as professors and facilities, saying lots of things were being worked out that he couldn’t disclose.
“If it reaches a point where we have to close the university, the decision will be made; but that decision has not been made yet,” Tweh intimated.
In a statement issued on the UL Fendell Campus Thursday, the Student Unification Party – the party from which expelled student Alvin Wesseh hail, condemned what it referred to as a “thoughtless and callous approach” its expelled member (Alvin Wesseh) by allegedly “leading misguided students to disrupt the academic semester of the University of Liberia.”
“This act of unruliness does not only have the propensity to undermine the successful completion of the semester, but the proclivity to relapse the academic journey of thousands of University students currently acquiring tertiary education,” SUP said in its statement.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited George Barpeen