Students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology would next week Tuesday go to the polls to elect new Student Representative Council executives. Ahead of the elections, students say the poor state of security on campus is their most pressing concern, which they want the next SRC leadership to focus attention and resources on addressing, in collaboration with the school authorities.
The students want aspiring SRC executives to come up with clear blue prints on how to make the campus much safer, especially during the night, in order to earn their votes. In a poll conducted by campus research group, RESEARCH ASSOCIATES KNUST involving 2842 students, almost half of the respondents (48.1 percent) mentioned security as the major concern they want the incoming SRC executives to invest energy in tackling head on. Concerns were also raised about frequent power outages on campus especially at night, which not only worsens the security situation, but also impedes academic work.
The intense anxiety about poor security on campus from the students comes on the back of a couple of criminal incidents this semester, including the shooting of an attendant of a local supermarket during a robbery, and the stabbing of a female student at Republic Hall. Other concerns that came up strongly in the poll results which the students wanted the incoming SRC leadership to address swiftly were increased school fees, poor academic facilities, unreliable paid up wireless internet connectivity, among others. About 20 aspirants are vying for four SRC executive positions with the keenest competition being that of the race for the presidency, involving 11 students, all males.
The survey which also found out from respondents which of the presidential aspirants they would vote for, saw local National Union of Ghana Students Secretary, Ebenezer Bonsra topping, with 23.6 percent. Vice President of the KNUST Business School Students Association, George Sarpong came second with 21.3 percent, while a third contender, Agyemang Yaw Nsiah, followed their heels closely with 20.1 percent of the votes. The concern about the poor state of security on campus is one that came up strongly for discussion during the SRC Presidential Candidates’ debate over the weekend, with candidates proffering various means through which the security situation could be improved. Aspirant, Agyemang Yaw Nsiah called for a strategic re – deployment of the limited security personnel on campus to crime prone areas to make those areas unsafe havens for criminals. The election comes off on 27th March 2012. More than 21,000 undergraduate students would be expected to vote in the elections. Research Team Leader at Research Associates Joseph Opoku, expressed joy about the issue based nature of campaigning that have characterized the SRC elections this year.
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