An outcry over the lack of proper security for students at the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen Campus has prompted the UG Student Society to demand increased security.
The UGSS has done so in a 21-point manifesto it delivered to political parties. The society has demanded increased Guyana Police Force (GPF) presence on campus, since it is said that the guards who patrol are insufficient.
There have been multiple instances of robbery in and on the outskirts of campus, especially at its back entrance, according to UGSS President, Devta Ramroop.
Current security includes those installed by Massy Security (Guyana) and the university’s internal security subset. Most are posted at those entrances, and it was stressed by Ramroop that ranks should be stationed throughout campus. She said that the recommendation is for a security presence at each building.
Ramroop told Kaieteur News that some security ranks do not appear to be physically fit. It has created a perception that the personnel are not being properly vetted, and that they are incapable of protecting the campus. It is common, she said, for the security to sleep through the night, instead of being alert. Further, it is common for some of the male guards to make sexual advances on students, and for ranks to even verbally abuse students.
Additionally, the campus is poorly lit. Ramroop said that this is an issue for students because the guards refuse to allow vehicles to take students past a certain point on campus, while only staff vehicles are allowed to traverse freely.
Earlier this year, bomb threats on the University prompted the administration to convene a meeting to discuss security improvements, but Ramroop said that nothing came of it.
The student society has recommended a Public Address (PA) system so that classes could be alerted, a walkthrough metal detector, police presence, especially at the back gate, increased lighting, and reconstruction of the back entrance to allow vehicular passage. It has also asked for the security to develop a method of screening vehicles, so they could be allowed to transport students through poorly lit parts of the campus.
UGSS has also asked for GPF presence at student dorms, since students have even been robbed inside their dorms.
Recent events at the campus have highlighted the need for efficient security. The student society noted that a fee increase is set to kick in, yet again. The increase is the final of three consecutive increases decided on, in 2016. The students were subjected to a 15 percent increase in 2017, 10 percent last year, and another 10 percent increase this year. Ramroop noted that, with the continuous increases, proper security should not be an issue for administration, but the issue remains.
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